Proofing Your Resume: More Than Just Spell Check

While it’s true you can’t judge a book by its cover… you may, however, be able to judge an applicant by his/her resume. Well written, polished and clean looking resume’s naturally get more attention than sloppy, poorly written and mistake filled ones do. Resume’s get interviews and for most hiring managers/recruiters, reading a poorly written resume with typos, wrong words, errors and visual appearance issues is a significant “deal killer,” while reading a well written resume likely inspires them to take a closer look.

Peter Vogt, Monster Senior Contributing Writer, when talking about typos and grammatical errors said “your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn’t, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like: “This person can’t write,” or “This person obviously doesn’t care.” So, it logically stands to reason that well written resume’s get more interviews while poorly written resume’s get less interviews.

So, the question is… what constitutes a well written resume? A well written resume involves more than just a great description of your education, training and experience but since aesthetics and first impressions are critically important…applicant’s should be concerned about the resume’s overall appearance ensuring that the resume looks clean and uses a standard business margin, spacing, font and size since readability is key!

In addition to formatting…at Professional Development Strategies, we find that many applicant’s usually don’t spend as much time as they should actually proofing their resume. Proofing a resume is more than just hitting “spell check.” Proofing a resume involves sitting down and reviewing the resume manually looking for things that spell check didn’t pick up. After you’ve gone through it a couple times then give it to someone you trust and solicit their feedback as well. Others may quickly see things you missed.

As an example, spell check is not intent check. It’s doesn’t know the difference between words like: two, too, to… or their, there, they’re. A word may be correctly spelled in your resume but used in the wrong context and spell check doesn’t necessarily tell you that’s an error. But a hiring manager that’s reading your resume and paying attention likely will notice the error and that’s a turn off.

In this extremely competitive job environment mistakes are magnified and often the slightest things are the difference between getting an interview or not. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting should be a consideration in every resume and while that seems like common sense… you’d probably be surprised.


Dan Draz