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Since your resume represents your skills and abilities to potential employers, ensuring it is error-free is a crucial part of the writing process. Even if you utilize proper resume writing strategies, such as tailoring your resume to the job and highlighting your achievements, one small mistake can immediately get your resume discarded. Because of this, proofreading your resume is essential. Below are a few tips and tricks to help catch mistakes before sending your resume to potential employers:

1) Use spell-check. This is a quite obvious suggestion, but it should be the first step in your proofreading process due to its simplicity and quickness. Most, if not all, word processing programs have a built-in spell-check functionality, so at the press of a button you can find any major mistakes within seconds. Spell check does not catch 100% of mistakes, however. Some programs will auto-correct words incorrectly, so keep an eye out for that. In addition, sometimes the wrong word is used, but it is spelled correctly. For instance, using the word “it’s” instead of “its.” Both are spelled correctly, but the two words have totally different meanings. Spell check will not catch this.

2) Wait. Consider waiting an hour or more before proofreading your resume. If the information on your resume is still fresh in your mind, you may read what your brain wants you to say rather than what you actually wrote. Step away for a moment and come back to your resume with a fresh mind.

3) Read your resume out loud. It’s easy to quickly skim through your resume on your computer screen, and read it silently, but reading your words out loud might help you discover some errors. Read your document out loud, slowly, and your chances of finding previously unnoticed mistakes will increase.

4) Print a copy. Printing a copy of your resume gives you the ability to use another item, such as a blank piece of paper, to cover up the sentences you are not reading. This will keep your eyes from wandering and help you concentrate on each line individually. Accidentally skipping a line out of haste can cause you to overlook crucial mistakes.

5) Read your resume backward. As awkward as it sounds, reading documents backward can help you spot errors. Rather than reading normally, and getting into a groove where you are likely to skip over words unintentionally, try reading your resume from the end to the beginning. This will allow you to focus on each word individually.

6) Let someone else read it. Perhaps one of the best proofreading methods is to let someone else look at your resume. Your mind knows what you said, or meant to say, in your resume. This can cloud your judgment and cause you to overlook errors. A fresh set of eyes can often point out mistakes that you were unable to locate yourself due to their unfamiliarity with the content.

By Drew Roark