In the headline of this blog, I meant to type “to make changes on your resume.” I typed “tomake” by mistake (leaving out the space), and the spell checker did not recognize “tomake.” It substituted “tomato” instead—an interesting guess, but the wrong one.
I often caution job seekers to not rely on online grammar checkers for their resume because grammar checkers truly do not understand grammar. But spell checkers—although more reliable—may still make embarrassing mistakes on a resume.
Spell checkers often overlook the problem when a single letter is missing (finance, fiancé), exchanged (weekly, weakly), or added (through, thorough). They have no way to detect a miss-used word (prescribe, proscribe; compliment, complement). No spell checker in the world can figure out if you transposed a date or forgot to include your zip code or spelled a company name wrong.
One resource’s list of the most frequent proofreading mistakes included words that sound alike (by, buy), inconsistencies, apostrophe problems (there is no such word as its’), and repetition (and and). To that list of frequent errors, I would add missing lower case i and l, because the eye skips over narrow letters. Prepositions are also easy to overlook because the mind supplies the missing preposition. Finally, punctuation errors—a missing period or an extra comma—are hard to detect because punctuation is small.
How can you avoid these problems?
- Do not rely only on the spell checker. It is good but not perfect—and this is your resume. Hiring managers and recruiters reject resumes for errors all the time.
- Read everything you write out loud at least once. Your ear will catch what your eye misses.
- Read the printed copy as well as the online copy. Small problems like a missing or double period are more obvious in print than online.
- Wait 24 hours and read a second time before sending it. A fresh eye is the most valuable proofreading tool you have.
- Use a dictionary. Especially use a dictionary for words you “know.” Sometimes it is the smallest, most common word in the entire resume that will trip you up.
- Triple check numbers, dates, and dollar amounts. By the way, “$100 dollars” is wrong; the dollar sign eliminates the need for the word “dollars.”
Robin’s Resumes® understands best proofreading policies to make sure that your resume is ready to impress hiring managers and recruiters. Contact us today.