In many job advertisements, employers require you to have excellent verbal and written communication skills. Employers can evaluate your communication skills even via your resume. So just imagine what would happen if your resume had a typo or grammar error. Sometimes it can even cost you the job opportunity or the job interview.
You will not get many chances to make a first impression through your resume. Often only one chance. So no matter what your professional level is if you are a job seeker proofreading your resume is a must.
Resume Proofreading and editing checklist
Every time you proofread a resume, pay close attention to the following. These are the most common places that we make mistakes when building a resume.
Proper font usage
Word usage / contraction errors
Punctuation and capitalization
Formatting and resume design
Dates and abbreviations
10+ Tips for proofreading your resume
01. Schedule a free time
You have to have a free mind to proofread any document. So if you too are planning to proofread your resume, choose a convenient time and a quiet environment free from distractions and be well prepared for it. Then you will be able to review your resume with a more concentrated and refreshed mind.
02. Check the font
Check whether you have used a conservative font on your resume that is easy to read. Do not use heavily stylized fonts such as brush script, comic sans, and papyrus in your resume for any reason. And make sure you don’t use more than two font types in your resume. Read our guide on resume fonts to learn more about the best resume fonts and the right resume font size.
03. Print out the resume
Our brain reads a text on paper better than reading text on a screen. So take a black and white printout of your resume whenever you proofread it. It allows you to see the complete resume in a single sheet at once.
Then you can take a red pen and highlight or make the necessary changes in the printed resume. It will help you to edit your resume file on the computer and minimize errors.
04. Read it out loud
First, skim-read your resume. Then read your resume silently and slowly. Don’t forget to read every word. As the next step, read your resume aloud again. When you read your resume out loud, you may feel a bit silly. But when you do this, it will be easier for you to catch the misspellings and awkward phrases in your resume, if there are any.
05. Read it backwards
Backtracking a resume from the bottom to the top of your resume is a good method to catch misspellings. Reading a resume backward will automatically slow down your reading speed so that you can easily detect capitalization errors and typo errors.
06. Check the dates and abbreviations
You have to enter dates in different places on your resume. Therefore it is worthwhile to check if your resume is stuck to one date format and maintains its consistency.
When it comes to abbreviations, you have to compare them with the job advertisement. If you have found abbreviations in a job advertisement, feel free to use them in your resume as well. But if the full word is used in the job advertisement instead of the abbreviation, be smart to use the same word in your resume as well. That’s also a small trick to beat the ATS.
- SEO / Search Engine Optimization
- MSc / Master of Science
07. Check for word usage
We are more likely to make mistakes when using common contractions as follows. So it is very important to check if you have used the right word in such places.
- there, their, they’re
- its, it’s
- your, you are
Also, look out for the following easily confused words.
- affect / effect
- accept / except
- role / roll
- personal / personnel
08. Check the verb tenses
When you list your work experience on the resume, you should list the achievements gained through your activities, not the job duties and responsibilities. When you describe your achievements, you will use resume action verbs. So be sure to use the present tense verbs when describing your current job achievements, and use past tense verbs to describe the achievements of your previous jobs. Avoid mixing past tense and present tense in bullet points under the same job title.
09. Resume design
Avoid extending and overcrowding your resume unnecessarily with irrelevant details. Doing so will affect the readability of your resume. Also, if you are using a resume template, make sure that it is a simple template with a basic design. If not, swap it with a basic resume template.
10. Check hyperlinks
In your resume header, you might place your email and the LinkedIn URL. Some job applicants may even include social media handles on it if they are relevant to the job. So if you are saving your resume as a PDF file, it is worthwhile to check if these hyperlinks are linked correctly and work properly.
11. Use a tool like Grammarly
Grammarly is a great tool for you to use if you need a mistake-free resume. This tool helps you to eliminate not only grammar and spelling errors but also punctuation and subtler writing mistakes.
12. Ask a third party to proofread your resume
No matter how many times you checked your resume. You should always get the assistance of a third party to review your resume with a fresh set of eyes.
As humans, we rarely see our own mistakes. But mistakes that are not visible to ourselves can be easily identified by someone else. So give your resume to a friend or a family member for further proofreading. They will be able to easily spot any mistakes on your resume. Not only that, but also you can use a professional resume review service or hire a resume writing professional to review your resume.
Your resume reflects who you are as a candidate.
So proofread your resume as mentioned above and make them correct if there are any errors to make yourself the perfect candidate for the job.