Recruiters can be very picky during the hiring process, therefore, ask yourself, “How confident am I with my resume and cover letter?” Sadly, even simple mistakes such as a typo or grammatical error can cost you a job interview. The second question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I 100% sure that my resume and cover letter will successfully be sorted and scanned by the infamous Applicant Tracking System?”
Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression therefore, don’t forget the last step before hitting that “send” button on your computer! Proofread your resume and cover letter!
Why is it important to proofread your cover letter and resume?
It is important to have a well-done resume and cover letter
Employers use resumes and cover letters to gain a deeper understanding of applicants' skills, strengths, and experiences. This allows them to move forward with the best candidate so it is important that you have a strong profile from the start. A well-structured resume and cover letter clearly highlight your most attractive skills and experience to potential employers.
Make sure your resume and cover letter can pass the ATS
Many job seekers don’t realise that 75% of job applications are rejected by the Applicant Tracking System before they even reach the hands of hiring managers. They are quick to reject the least-qualified candidates, rather than identify the applicants who are the best fit so if your resume and cover letter are not written and formatted with the ATS in mind, yours will probably be one of those that will be tossed out.
Eliminate typos, grammatical, and spelling errors
This is the primary reason why proofreading is very important. You want to make sure that your work has no errors at all. Luckily, you can use a spell check or grammar tools to catch any mistakes in your resume and cover letters. However, don’t depend on it too much. It is still more reliable to thoroughly edit each document yourself. If you are not that confident, you can just opt for a resume writing services such as The Perfect Resume to do that for you.
Remember, your resume is a reflection of your personality. Employers can tell if you are good at what you are doing just by looking at it so make sure, it’s error-free!
Remove any information that is unnecessary
While proofreading your resume or CV, don’t forget to check if you have carefully included your important skills and experiences, otherwise you might have created an overwhelming resume and cover letter for the reader. It is said that recruiters do not take more than 6 seconds to go through a resume, therefore, you want to focus on the relevant skills and important details that speak to your talents, capabilities, and experience. Hence, you might want to eliminate all that sounds unnecessary and redundant.
Tailor your resume and cover letter to the role
It is important to ensure that your resume and cover letter are customised specifically for the job. Not only do you need to pass the ATS by using the keywords correctly in your resume, but you also need a convincing cover letter to tell that you are suited for the job. Doing so will tell a recruiter or hiring manager that you are focused on the qualities that make you stand out for a specific job. For further information and other job search tip, also read our other blog Job Search Tip: How To Tailor A Cover Letter Using Keywords.
Look at your resume from the hiring manager’s perspective
The hiring manager is looking for the best candidate who will be the best fit for the team. When you are proofreading your resume or CV and cover letter, ask yourself, “Would I hire me?”. If you are not confident, it might be a good idea to ask someone to proofread your resume and cover letter for you to give you some suggestions on where you can improve your application.
How to proofread a resume and cover letter?
We listed a few effective ways to proofread your resume and cover letter.
1. Prepare for your proofread
Set a good time and a good place when you proofread. Don’t edit or proofread your resume and cover letter immediately after writing them. It is important to have a refreshed mind, like after a good night’s sleep. This will help you establish a critical eye for detail.
Also, if possible, print out your resume, cover letter, and selection criteria as well if you needed one. It is easy to check the consistency and detect errors when you have that one sheet (or two) of paper at your hands. Use a colored pen to mark your changes.
2. Have a proofreading checklist
Write down a list of common resume mistakes (like the samples below) and review them. This will ensure you don’t miss anything to look out for.
- Spelling mistakes
- Punctuation mistakes
- Grammatical mistakes
- Check for consistency of fonts, bullets, etc.
- Check dates, contact information, abbreviation, and spacing
- Verify links such as your LinkedIn profile, emails, and other contact information
3. Read it out loud – and backward
It is easier to catch errors when you hear the words that you’re reading. This will allow you to understand how your resume will “sound” to a recruiter when they read them. Also, reading from the bottom up is another good technique you can use to easily find spelling and capitalization errors. That is because it will force your brain to slow down and see each word on its own.
4. Ask someone else to proofread it
Having someone else to be a second set of eyes on your resume can be particularly helpful. Without having read your resume before, they can more easily spot errors your eyes may have glazed over.
5. Use a professional resume-writing services
Seeking out professional services will get your resume in front of a professional proofreader. Many resume-writing services such as The Perfect Resume provide a resume review and all you have to do is submit your documents to them for free objective feedback.
If you're not a natural writer, or you're struggling to craft the right resume, it does not hurt to seek help from a professional resume writer.
Find out if your resume is grammatically and digitally correct to increase your chances of being shortlisted. Send your resume to email@example.com for a free review.
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