How To Proofread Your Resume Like A Professional In 8 Simple Steps

Expert Author Lorraine E. Wright
Finally, your resume is finished. All the hard work is done, and your resume and cover letter are complete and ready to submit. You've run them through Spell-check and looked them over twice...so why do you have a nagging feeling you're missing something, that they don't quite look professional?
If you're lucky, you hand the resume to your personal executive secretary to proof read. (Of course, if you have a personal executive secretary, why are you looking for work?) If you're like the rest of us, you have to do it yourself. Here's how:
1. Look over the whole document from beginning to end, without reading anything. Check it for its overall balance, and to see how the layout looks and if everything seems to line up. Make sure there is enough white space and space between headings to make it easy to skim.
2. Still without reading, turn on Reveal Codes and go line by line looking for consistent spacing. Make sure there is only one space between each word and each sentence. Delete any unnecessary spaces or tabs for a 'clean' document. Make sure there isn't an extra space that creates a blank page at the end. If a line is centred in the document, make sure there are no extra spaces at the beginning or the end that would throw it off-centre.
3. Again without reading, check all the fonts. If more than one font is used in the document, make sure the type and size are consistent in headings, etc.
4. Go back through the document and make sure the correct words are capitalized. Pay special attention to headings where small caps are used and make sure the capitalization is right.
5. Start reading the document, making sure to read each word. Check for consistency in spelling of words like email (e-mail, Email) and make sure all the telephone numbers and names and abbreviations are correct. In a resume, if a term or title is also used in the cover letter, make sure they match exactly in both the resume and the letter. Make sure Canadian spelling is used for Canadian documents, U.S. spelling for American documents, etc.
6. As you read, make sure that each section uses punctuation consistently. If items in a bulleted list end with no punctuation, make sure it's consistent throughout.
7. Check all the bulleted sections to be sure 1) that the right-left justification isn't set, unless you want it to be; 2) that the bullets are all the same type and size; and 3) that all the bullets line up.
8. If the document refers to an addendum, make sure the final draft uses the correct addendum number and that the two sections match up.
Once you've completed these 8 steps, you may want to take one optional step: print out the resume and see how it looks on paper. Does it look good to you? Balanced? Too much white space? Not enough? There are certain things that are easier to see in hard copy than on your computer screen.
There - you're done! That wasn't so hard, was it? Following these simple steps will help make sure your job search documents represent you as the professional you really are.

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