When it comes to your resume, grammar and spelling matter. You may have outstanding qualifications, but if your resume is littered with errors, you run the risk of being overlooked. If you couldn’t take the time or effort to check for mistakes before applying, what does this indicate about the quality of your work should you get hired? It can raise a red flag about your attention to detail, especially in a position where accuracy matters.
Although you may have run your resume through spell check, this should not be the only proofreading that you do. While spell check can catch many spelling errors and some grammatical mistakes, it is not perfect.
Just because a word is spelled correctly, does not mean it is the word you intended to use. Spell check will catch misspellings, but it won’t necessarily tell you if the word makes sense in the sentence. If your resume says that you were the “assistant manger,” it may cause an employer to take a second glance, but not for the right reasons. And while you may have been great at business development, saying your work led to “the addiction of three new offices” is not the same as “the addition of three new offices.” Just one letter can change the whole meaning of a word.
Grammar can be tricky.
While spell check usually does a pretty good job of picking up grammar gaffes, it is not always accurate. Sometimes the sentence was correct the way you had it in the first place. And if you leave out a word or two, the program does not always pick this up. A missing keyword could mean the sentence no longer holds as much meaning or demonstrates your abilities as well. Even just skipping over a small word such as “in” or “of” can make a difference and cause employers to question your attention to detail and the thoroughness of your work. They want to ensure that you are going to reflect the business in a positive way and that your communication is professional.
Take extra steps to check your spelling and grammar.
Don’t rely on spell check alone. Having additional pairs of eyes reading through your resume can catch errors you may have missed. Let a friend or colleague read through things to see if they make sense and the meanings are clear. Here are some other strategies:
- Read your resume backward. This forces you to look at each word separately. When reading forward, your brain fills in gaps and may read misspelled words as what you intended them to be. Looking at each word individually, you can catch more errors.
- Go through section by section. Take your time and read one section at a time. Focus on grammar and spelling. This also allows you to tighten up your wording and refine sentences to be more clear and concise.
- Come back to it. Give your brain a break. Staring at your resume for too long can cause you to skip over things because you know what you think it should say. Take a break and come back with a fresh approach.