By MAX MESSMER
I often mention the importance of proofreading your resume. This week, I thought it might be helpful to dig deeper and discuss specific editing strategies that can help you catch even the trickiest mistakes. While spell-check is a great tool, it’s not foolproof. Consider adding these safeguards to your proofreading process:
— Print it out. Carefully read your resume on screen — and on paper. Many people find it easier to identify typos on a printed page than on a monitor.
— Go line by line. Proofread with a ruler in hand to focus on each line of text.
— Shift into reverse. It sounds strange, but reading your document backward will help you concentrate on individual words.
— Request backup. Ask a friend or member of your professional network to review your resume as well. Fresh eyes can often find small slipups you overlooked.
These job applicants could have used some editing assistance:
“JOB DUTIES: Collected cash receipts in ears.”
She must not have an eye for detail.
“EDUCATION: Bachelor of ants degree.”
We’re getting itchy just thinking about it.
RESUME: “I work hard but do enjoy taking log lunches.”
“Wood” you care to revise this sentence?
“HOBBIES: I love to ride my snowboard during the older months of the year.”
We haven’t warmed up to this applicant.
“RESPONSIBILITIES: Gather and input data for the cannual report.”
Hopefully, someone double-checked your work.
Proofread for clarity and consistency, too. Put simply, does your resume flow logically, and does each detail make sense? This last candidate’s contradictory comment surely left hiring managers scratching their heads:
“SOFTWARE SKILLS: I was brought up in the technology age, so I know the ins and outs of all Microsoft Office products. Except Access and Excel.”
Apparently, we have different definitions of the word “all.”
(Max Messmer is CEO of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing firm. Send examples to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International, 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Or, visit www.resumania.com.)