Congratulations! At this point, you've organized all of the information that you need to make a great impression on a prospective employer. But you aren't quite finished yet. In fact, you've actually only now come to the most important step in the process: proofreading.
Think of resume proofreading as a kind of insurance policy. It's a minor investment at the end of the resume-writing process — and it will protect all of the time you invested into crafting such a thoughtful, well-worded document. So if you're ready to get started, here's everything you need to know.
why proofreading is the most important step in building a resume
- There is no faster, or more boneheaded, way to derail your candidacy than to neglect typos, misspellings and other errors in your resume. Make no mistake, snafus like these can kill your chances of landing your next great opportunity.
since you're probably looking at several jobs at several different companies simultaneously, proofing is also a reliable way to ensure that you're strategically tailoring your resume for each position you're applying for.
resume proofreading checklist
- Misspellings: Be on the lookout for words that a spell checker won't flag even when you transpose a few letters. "Compliant"/"complaint" comes to mind. Likewise, “realized” and “relied” are both spelled correctly, so if you use one word when you actually meant to use another, your spell checker won’t catch it.
- Grammatical errors: Make sure subjects, nouns and verbs are all in agreement. Double-check that you aren't inadvertently switching from past to present tense within the document.
- Outdated information: Verify that all of the information you've included on your resume is up to date and factually accurate. Next, revise your resume (as needed) — and be sure to save the changes, too!
proofreading with a spell checker
- Be sure to use a spell checker — the built-in feature on Microsoft Word or Google Docs will do the trick. Think of this as your first line of defense against misspellings.
- One of the best ways to use a traditional spell checker is to simply note where it places redlines on your page. These are words that your spell checker either does not recognize or believes may be incorrectly spelled (duplicated words will show up here as well). You can easily see all possible mistakes this way, as opposed to simply accepting automatic corrections.
spell checkers aren't infallible — they don't catch everything!
additional resume proofreading resources
- Online tools: Hemingway App and Grammarly are two of the most popular programs, although a simple Google search for “proofreading tools” will return even more resources for you to consider. If you're still struggling, consider using Randstad's free resume builder, which can help you craft the perfect document.
- Friends and family: Ask someone close to you to review your resume. Often, it's easier for someone with this kind of outside perspective to spot errors that you might have missed. Plus, if you can get someone in your industry of choice to read your resume, that’s even better.
the most important thing is to find someone who you can trust to give you honest feedback about your resume before you click "submit."
- Yourself: Even after you've used a spell checker or asked someone else to read your resume, it never hurts to take one last look. Read the document word-for-word; read it slowly, out loud, even backwards if need be. All of this may sound a bit excessive or silly, but proofreading tactics like these can definitely help improve your resume.
Resume proofreading is the final step in the process of crafting and polishing the perfect document to represent your candidacy. Done right, what's more, this step should help you not only eliminate potentially costly errors, but tailor your resume to each position that you're applying for, too.
Now that you’re an expert, it's time to start browsing available jobs or better yet, submit your resume to Randstad. From there, we’ll reach out to you when we find jobs that match your interests, skills and qualifications.