How to Proofread Your Resume
Before you send in your resume, take a moment to double-check these
- Is the pertinent personal data correct - phone number, address,
- Is your highest educational attainment shown first?
- Does your objective briefly state your employment goals without
getting too specific to rule you out of consideration for other
- Does your objective focus on what you can bring to the employer
rather than what you want from the employer?
- Have you included professional courses that support your
- Have you avoided listing irrelevant job responsibilities or job
- Does each position history list your most important job
- Does your resume emphasize the contributions, achievements and
problems you have successfully solved during your career?
- Have you made information prominent by underlining, bolding,
italicizing, using bullets and paying attention to the organization
and layout of the page?
- Have you included any volunteer or community service activities
that can lend strength to your candidacy?
- Is the resume long enough to present yourself in a good fashion
but short enough to make the employer bring you in for more
- Do your phrases begin, wherever possible, with powerful action
verbs and phrases?
Resume Proofreading Checklist
Print a copy and mark it up to help you gauge your progress.
- Spelling Mistakes
- To avoid spelling mistakes:
- __ Don't use words with which you aren't familiar.
- __ Use a dictionary as you write.
- __ Perform a spell check on your finished resume.
- __ Carefully read every word in your resume. If you write "from"
instead of "form," your spell check will be unable to detect your
- __ Have a friend or two proofread your resume for you.
- Punctuation Mistakes
- Things to look for:
- __ Periods at the end of all full sentences.
- __ Be consistent in your use of punctuation.
- __ Always put periods and commas within quotation marks. (i.e.,
Won awards including the "John H. Malcom Memorial Service Award.")
- __ Avoid using exclamation points.
- Grammatical Mistakes
- Grammar hang-ups to watch for:
- __ Do not switch tenses within your resume. The duties you
currently perform should be in present tense (i.e., write reports),
but ones you may have performed at past jobs should be in past tense
(i.e., wrote reports).
- __ Capitalize all proper nouns.
- __ When expressing numbers, write out all numbers between one
and nine (i.e., one, five, seven), but use numerals for all numbers
above 10 (i.e., 11, 25, 108).
- __ If you begin a sentence with a numeral, spell out that
numeral (i.e., Eleven service awards won while employed.).
- __ Make sure your date formats are consistent (i.e., 11/22/96 or
November 22, 1996, or 11.22.96. Choose one and stick with it.).
- Choose Your Words Carefully
- Phrase yourself well:
- __ Be on the lookout for the following easily confused words:
accept (to receive), except (to exclude) all right (correct),
alright (this is not a word) affect (to bring about change), effect
(result) personal (private), personnel (staff members) role (a
character assigned or a function), roll (to revolve)
- __ Use action words (i.e., wrote reports, increased revenues,
- Other Potential Mistakes
- Don't forget to check:
- __ Dates of all prior employment.
- __ Your address and phone number -- are they still current and
- __ The number of returns separating your categories: are they
- __ Abbreviation of state names. All state abbreviations are two
letters -- no periods. For example, New York is abbreviated NY,
California is CA, and Florida is FL. Look up other state
- Design Is Important
- Keep the following tips in mind:
- __ Don't overcrowd your resume; Allow for plenty of white space.
- __ Keep your resume to one page whenever possible.
- __ Keep the number of fonts you use to a minimum -- two at the
- __ Use a font that is easy to read. Times Roman works well.
- __ Do not justify the lines of type on your resume. Allow the
right side of the page to "rag."
- __ Do not over use capitalization, italics, underlines, or other
- __ Make sure your name, address, and a phone number appear on
your resume and all correspondence, preferably at the top of the
- __ Print your resume on white or cream paper using a
good-quality printer. Second and third-generation photocopies are a
- __ Print on one side of the paper only.
- What To Omit
- Do not put any of the following on your resume:
- __ Salary history.
- __ Sex, age, race, marital status, or other similar personal
Next: Final Resume Checklist