By Jane Hurst - March 23rd, 2020
Writing a good resume can be the difference between getting a great job and not hearing anything back from potential employers. Your resume is typically the first thing potential employers see. You want to make sure your resume is a good reflection of you and your abilities. Most people who read your resume do not have time for errors and will put resumes with errors aside. Don’t end up in the garbage can; use these nine proofreading tips to improve your resume and your chances of getting a new job.
- Choose a professional font – When you’re writing your resume, be sure that the hiring manager can read what you have written quickly. If you have a font that’s too elaborate, it may be difficult to read. Also, never use comic sans in a resume. You want to stick with the basic fonts such as Arial. The more readable your font, the more seriously the hiring manager will take your resume.
- Create an ideal environment – When you’re starting to proofread your resume, you want to be in a quiet spot where you have good lighting and will not be disturbed. Print out a copy of your resume to make proofreading easier. You want to be prepared to spend at least an hour proofreading, so make sure you have the time and attention to give to this project.
- Start from the end – When you first read over your resume, start from the end. You are more likely to catch errors if you are reviewing it out of order. Use another piece of paper to block the rest of your resume off, and concentrate on one line at a time. Starting at the bottom will make your mind help you pay more attention to detail and catch more errors.
- Read word by word – Read each line word by word, not phrase by phrase. Make sure your words are spelled correctly and that you’re using correct tenses and not confusing contractions. You do not want to mistake “you’re” for “your,” lest your resume end up in the “do not call” file.
- Use a fitting style – Look at your resume as a whole and make sure it’s written in a style that you like. There are hundreds of different ways to write and format a resume, and it is important that your resume looks good overall. You do not want to have a disorganized resume. Take some time and look over some resume builders online to find some different styles and formats for your resume. Ask a friend to look over your resume and get their input on your style and format — and ask them to proofread it, while they’re at it. Different people may have ideas that you had not thought of. Be open to their suggestions.
- Be consistent – You want to make sure your resume is consistent. When you use bullets, you want to either end them with a period or not. Do not mix them up. Make sure your bullets are capitalized and all of your other punctuation is correct throughout the entire resume. Remaining consistent will help your resume flow.
- Check your contact information – Triple check your contact information. Make sure your name and address are spelled correctly and that your zip code and phone number are correct. Often, contact information is overlooked when proofreading, and you’ll miss potential job opportunities if you give out incorrect information. And ask someone else to check your contact information a couple more times to make sure it is correct.
- Use keywords responsibly – While you want to have keywords in your text, make sure you do not overuse any business jargon. Keywords will impress the hiring manager. A bunch of jargon will make her put your resume aside quickly. If you’re not sure if you have too much jargon, ask someone who is not in the industry you’re applying for to take a look at your resume. If they are having trouble deciphering it, the hiring manager will be confused as well.
- Check your changes – Any changes you make can change the look of your entire resume. Once you have incorporated your edits, print the resume out and review it again. An extra word can throw off an entire bulleted section. Make sure the changes you made have not disrupted the look of your resume.
Remember to take your time when writing your resume. You want your resume to stand out and look good. These tips should help you write a great resume that will catch the eye of the hiring manager and put you in the front of the pack.
Jane Hurst is a writer, editor, and avid traveler from San Francisco.