If you’re applying for jobs, you might be tempted to write and send resumes as fast as possible. After all, the more jobs you apply to, the better your chances of landing a new role. But hold up: if you don’t take the time to proofread your resume, you could doom your chances of landing that position of your dreams… even if you have the necessary skills and experience for the role.
Here's why manual proofreading is so critical:
First Impressions Matter: A resume riddled with typos and grammatical errors suggests the writer lacks attention to detail. If you’re applying for a detail-oriented role in tech (and which ones aren’t?), you’re hobbling your chances from the start.
Spellcheck Isn’t Foolproof: While helpful, it won't catch everything—especially punctuation errors, awkward phrasing, or inconsistencies.
You’ll Find Things to Tweak: Looking over a resume might prompt additional ideas of how to improve it even more.
Why Proofreading Your Tech Resume is Non-Negotiable
Your resume is the first impression you make on potential employers, and you only have one shot to get it right. In fact, it’s so critical that you’d do well to ask a friend or family member to give your document a read-through; a fresh pair of eyes can catch things you missed. Here are some other tips:
- Distance Yourself: Take a break after writing your resume. Fresh eyes catch errors more easily. Print it out or switch devices for a different perspective.
- Slow and Steady: Resist the urge to skim. Read each word and sentence meticulously, one line at a time. Focus on specific areas like dates, contact information, and technical jargon.
- Grammar is Good: Punctuation, subject-verb agreement, and complete sentences are crucial. Double-check for common errors like misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, and comma splices.
- Consistency is Key: Ensure formatting, capitalization, and bullet points are uniform throughout. Pay attention to margins, fonts, and spacing for a polished look.
- Beyond Spell Check: It’s worth saying this again: while your computer's built-in tool is helpful, it can miss context-specific errors. Look for repeated words, awkward phrasing, and unnecessary jargon.
- Do the Out-Loud Thing: Read your resume aloud. This method often reveals clunky sentences and unnatural flow that silent reading might miss.
- The Power of Two: Another point that bears mentioning yet again: enlist a trusted friend, colleague, or career counselor to review your resume. Their objective perspective can uncover hidden mistakes and suggest improvements. If you don’t have someone available, consider an online service such as Grammarly or Scribbr.
- Professional Polish: Consider hiring a professional proofreader with experience in tech resumes. They offer expertise in catching subtle errors and ensuring your resume stands out.
You Can Do It
It’s tough to write a resume! But it’s also essential if you want to land new jobs. Even as you pay attention to your resume’s customization and impact, keep the most basic elements—spelling and grammar—at the top of your mind. A perfect resume says you’re a professional who minds the smallest details, which is exactly what companies need.