Some of us love the English language and all the spelling and grammar rules that go with it. Some of us don’t. Regardless, we all need to become avid proofreaders when it comes to looking for a job. You can’t risk having a resume, online profile, website, etc. that is riddled with typos and poor punctuation. To help you in your proofreading, here are a few basic proofreading reminders:
- Don’t rely on spell check. Read every word. You may have used a correctly spelled word, but not the right (not write) one for the statement.
- Print the item(s) you need to proofread. For me, it’s much easier to find mistakes on a paper then on the screen. Your eyes get too used to seeing the same words on the screen. Look at your information in a different way to find mistakes.
- Use rested eyes. Never proofread when overtired, stressed, etc. It’s easy to miss things. Your attention to detail is usually lacking if you are tired.
- Watch out for capitalization errors. These are very easy to make. Check a dictionary when needed to make sure you are capitalizing correctly.
- Be careful with acronyms and industry jargon. Not everyone will know what they mean. Spell things out as needed.
- Watch your tenses. Make sure your current job is described in present tense and all other jobs are in past tense; don’t switch back and forth.
- Double check the basics. Is your contact information accurate? Do your dates make sense? Did you use consistent spacing and formatting? Are your abbreviations correct?
- Avoid excessive punctuation, especially exclamation points. But, be sure to include a period after each complete sentence.
- Use action words instead of passive words. Your document will have more interest when you use words that are lively.
- Find a few experts. Enlist the help of a friend, family or professional who you trust to proofread your job search materials. A second or third set of eyes is critical.
What are some of your top proofreading tips? Let us know in the comments!