Your resume is one of the first impressions a hiring manager will have when you apply to a new job or position. As one of the few materials a hiring manager will get when determining whether to call you for an interview, you want to ensure you’re making a good first impression.
When applying to a new job, you want your resume to accurately describe who you are as a professional. This means you’ll want to only submit resumes that are mistake-free and impeccably done. Unfortunately, careless mistakes appear on resumes every day. When you submit a resume riddled with spelling errors and grammar mistakes, you probably won’t get a call back.
To improve your chances of getting the job, here are a few tips on how to create a mistake-free resume to apply to new jobs with.
1. Use an online checker
After you’ve created the first draft of your resume, run it through an online spelling and grammar checker. You can use the majority of these programs for free if you’re only interested in a basic check, which is typically enough for your resume.
While an online grammar checker won’t be enough to sufficiently proofread your resume, it can detect some of the major issues in your writing, like whether you’ve accidentally written then instead of than. This can give you a solid foundation to get started.
2. Read it out loud
Reading any document out loud can help you identify problems in sentence structure or wording that just doesn’t sound right. Reading out loud also forces you to focus on the words and how they sound together, so you’re more likely to catch any mistakes.
If you feel weird reading your resume out loud to yourself, ask a friend or family member to listen. They can help you identify any problems and provide you with a second opinion.
3. Get a second set of eyes
It’s difficult to catch mistakes if you understand what you’re trying to say or you’ve been looking at the document for too long. In this case, you may need another set of eyes to scan over your resume and pick out any mistakes.
Send your resume to at least one friend or family member to look over. If you have a few friends or family members willing to check it out, don’t hesitate to send it to three or four. The more opinions you can get, the more likely you are to identify a problem before you send the resume in.
4. Hire a professional editor
While you may not need professional editing services each and every time you send in a resume, hiring an editor to comb through your resume before you hit the job market hard is a good idea. Because it is an editor’s job to look for mistakes and make suggestions, they can ensure you’re sending in the best version of your resume possible. In addition to your resume, they can also proof your application, cover letter, portfolio and other crucial correspondences.
Consider hiring an editor with experience editing resumes. The writing you use in a resume is typically much more direct than someone would use in sales copy or in a novel. Using an editor who specializes in editing job search documents can give you a leg up on the competition.
5. Double check contact information
When you’re worried about submitting a resume with a spelling or grammatical error, you may not even notice the contact information is incorrect. If you’ve recently moved, you’re using a resume template or you made a mistake when entering your phone number or address, it can mean prospective employers will have a challenging time finding you. Be sure to fix any incorrect information before you submit the document.
Check even the smallest of details, such as the abbreviations for states. While they may seem unimportant, using the wrong information on your resume can make you seem unprofessional and careless. Even something as silly as abbreviating a state the wrong way could cost you the job.
6. Come back to it later
Once you believe you’ve caught all the errors on your resume, set it aside and come back to it later. Although there may not be any additional mistakes, coming back to it with a clear mindset can help you feel confident when it’s time to send it off.
Related: 5 Steps to Finding Your Next Job
Give yourself at least an hour or two between edits. If you’re able, give yourself a full day or two. Be sure to plan for this break when you’re applying to a job. Don’t wait until the last minute to create a resume.
Whenever you send someone a resume, you are sending a representation of yourself — be sure it’s a good one. While it may be time-consuming to go through your resume with a fine-tooth comb, you’ll be happy you spent the extra time proofreading and editing when you get a call for an interview. Don’t jeopardize your shot at getting your dream job because you didn’t proofread.