Ask anyone in HR who has read resumes, and they will tell you that the number of people who manage to send in ones with errors is astounding. A poorly proofread resume goes straight into the trash, so take care to carefully proofread every bit of it before the hours of work you put into crafting it get tossed aside because you accidentally wrote “20017” instead of “2017” and missed it.
Print it out.
Our eyes don’t read things the same way on screen that they do in a hard copy. You may also want to print it in a larger size font so you can more easily spot mistakes.
Read it out loud.
Ears can catch mistakes that our eyes miss. In fact, our brains are trained to fill in blanks and errors with our eyes subconsciously, so carefully reading your resume or cover letter aloud allows your ears to proofread as well.
Read it backwards.
Going along with the fact that our eyes slide over errors, reading a resume backwards disrupts the flow and makes it harder for the brain to “autocorrect”. You may want to put a finger under each word as you do it as well, forcing you to look at each word individually. Spell check does not catch all mistakes!
Look at bulleted lists for consistency.
Did you add periods where needed? Sentences in bulleted lists need periods. Single words or phrases do not. Make sure that you’ve punctuated your periods consistently.
Leave room for editing.
When using those bulleted lists, leave multiple spaces to help yourself look at each one individually — then make sure you take out the spaces and check for clean and consistent formatting (are the bullets aligned? The same size?) before sending it on. Always check the headings — this is where many errors get overlooked. Then make sure the fonts are the same throughout and check for proper capitalization.
Have a friend look it over.
It always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes who may well spot a mistake that, even with looking it over carefully, you may have missed. A friend can also listen and read for tone to make sure it sounds right. Have them read it as a hard copy and read it aloud to them to check for any awkwardness or repetition, etc.
Proofreading your resume is the final, crucial step that can be the difference between getting an interview and getting passed over. For advice writing your resume, visit PrideStaff.