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Eight Essential Proofreading Secrets to Keep Your Resume Out of the Trash

Do you ever wonder why you did not hear back from an employer once you applied for a position? Is it possible that in your rush to get your resume sent, you made some errors that could have been avoided if you had taken time to proofread?

I estimate eight out of every 10 resumes that are submitted to me for review contain obvious errors. From a recruiter's standpoint, those resumes immediately end up in the "no" pile. Follow the tips below and you just may find yourself one-step closer to gaining that interview.

  1. Take a break between writing and proofreading.

    Give your eyes a rest and let your information sit overnight. This will give you a fresh perspective on your work.

  2. Print your resume.

    When you print your resume, you will be able to determine if the formatting is consistent. You can also double check for potential capitalization and punctuation errors that may be less noticeable on your monitor.

  3. Proofread more than once.

    Each time you proofread your resume, look for something different. For instance, the first time you look at it, search for misspelled words. For the second review, look for grammatical foul ups.

  4. Proofread aloud.

    By reading your resume aloud, you will slow down and be more likely to catch errors you may not see when just looking. This will also give you a better idea of how the information flows from one section to another.

  5. Take it apart.

    Look at each word individually and not how they combine with the others. When you look at the document as a whole, your mind will naturally focus on what you meant to say, instead of what you actually typed. To stay focused, you can use two pieces of blank paper to cover everything except for the line you are reading.

  6. Read it backwards.

    By reading your resume backwards, you are forced to slow down and see each word individually.

  7. Get help.

    Ask someone else to proofread with you. An extra pair of eyes is always helpful when you are proofreading, especially if you have been working on it for a long time.

  8. Avoid distractions.

    Each time your proofreading efforts are interrupted, you are more prone to skip errors. If you are an e-mail addict, take your proofreading somewhere other than your desk to help keep those computer distractions from taking over.

Proofreading is an essential skill that should be used each time you apply for a position. If you take the time to carefully proofread your resume, your resume might just end up in an employee file, instead of the deep, dark depths of the trash can.

- Jennifer Anthony, Resume Expert
Online Resume Service
Voicemail/Fax 1-877-681-5105
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