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When looking for a job, your resume is the best tool, you have to get your foot in the door. It gives an employer a first impression of you, so you've got to make sure it's a good one. That means you need to proofread it carefully, to catch the mistakes that everyone makes when they write. Here are 9 tips that will help you get the most out of your resume.
1. Read It Out Loud
Yes, you're going to feel silly reading your own resume out loud. It's a powerful proofreading technique though, and you should do this. As you read it out loud, you'll find all the stumbling blocks that a recruiter would find too. The sooner you find them, the sooner you can pick them out and correct them.
2. Print It Out
Once you've written your resume, print it out on paper. “This gives your resume in a different format, which helps you distance yourself from the writing process a little. Once you've done this, you can see the errors that you didn't find when you were writing,” says resume proofreader Karen Jones at Resume Writing Services. “You can also write on this version, marking and annotating all the changes you want to make.”
3. Read From The End To The Beginning
Reading backwards is a great way to proofread your resume. When you do this, you'll find that you'll be able to focus on the technicalities like spelling, rather than the content of your resume. Do this when you're doing the spell check on your resume.
4. Don't Rely On Spell Check
Spell check is an amazing tool, and you should use it when you write. However, don't rely on it entirely. Spell check can pick up some errors, but not all of them. For example, it can't tell if you've used the wrong word in the wrong context, such as 'peak' instead of 'peek'. Do a run through with it, then manually spell check yourself.
5. Use Online Tools
There are lots of tools online that can help you proofread. Here are a few you can try:
6. Take A Break
Once you've written your resume, take a break from it before you start proofreading it. This will give you some distance from it before you start checking it. Doing so will help you see errors that you couldn't see when you were writing it.
7. Do Several Passthroughs
Don't read your resume once and call it good. Go through it several times, looking for different errors. “For example, you can spend one go through looking for spelling errors, and another looking for factual mistakes,” says resume editor Tim Garrison at Paper Fellows. “If you do it this way, it's much easier to find the errors you're looking for.”
8. Check Your Presentation
It's not just the content of your resume that's important, it's how it's presented. When you're proofreading, check that you've used the same font and font size the whole way through. This can change if you're cutting and pasting sections in. Also, look to see that your layout is easy to read.
9. Check Your Facts
Check every fact that you use in your resume. You know your own phone number, for example, but have you typed it in correctly? You can easily make a typo without even realizing. Check your references still work at the same jobs, and that your job history is up to date.
There you have it. Use these tips to proofread, and you'll soon see that your resume is getting picked up more often by recruiters. You'll get the job of your dreams in no time.
Guest blog by Mary Walton, a proofreader at UK Top Writers.