CVs should always be checked before they are sent. However, thousands of poorly formatted resumes are submitted every day with obvious language and typos. And those same CVs end up in the trash every day with recruiters.
Congratulations! You wrote your resume. It is time for the most important step: adapt your resume and proofread so that you are invited for an interview.
In this manual process and the post-task of How to write a CV. It requires attention to refine and perfect your CV:
- How can you completely eliminate typos?
- The best methods to organize your CV
- How can you prevent important information from missing in your CV?
- Methods you can use to check your resume
Check your resume for typos
Typing errors in your CV can be decisive when applying. Recruiters can choose from an average of 200 candidates per vacancy. Candidates are quickly and rightly rejected based on typos.
There are recruiters who overlook one typing error, but multiple typing and language errors are unacceptable. After all, how can they recommend a resume with typos to their colleagues? What impression does that give of their own ability to spell correctly and detect typos?
For some recruiters, every typo is one too many. Recruiters are interested in candidates who go the extra mile and who have an eye for detail.
Here are some ways to avoid typos in your resume:
- Use online spell-checking tools such as Grammarly for English-language resumes.
- Read your CV on a device other than the one on which you wrote the CV. For example, read it on your phone or on a friend’s computer
- Print your CV and read your text with a pen or pencil in hand
- Read your CV aloud
- Read your resume sentence by sentence from the end to the beginning
Check your resume for formatting errors
Formatting errors in your CV are immediately noticeable. Visual design and design are important.
You can, of course, create your own CV or change layouts. However, if you are not a professional designer it is better to opt for a modern resume template.
Check your CV for deviations and for the use of spacing. Make sure the formatting is consistent. Indents and margins should be perfectly aligned and sections should have page breaks in the right place.
Also, check all links. You can add links to your home page, LinkedIn, GitHub or other professional social networks that you are a member of. Do not include complete URLs, but add a hyperlink to texts. Download your CV and check if links are working correctly.
There are two ways to use capital letters in headers: all-important words start with a capital letter or only the first word. Make a choice and be consistent. This is an example of a header where all-important words start with a capital letter: ‘How to Write a CV’. Or you choose: ‘How to write a CV’. Both options are fine, provided you apply them consistently.
Download and print your resume if you use a resume maker or write your own resume and check that the print matches the screen. Modern companies also print out CVs to use during job interviews or to show them to a colleague.
Finally, also check the spacing. Rules with just one word do not look very nice and take up valuable space in your CV. Try to reformulate sentences to avoid single-word lines.
We often see that information is missing in poorly written resumes. Important information such as dates, location and sometimes even job descriptions are missing.
Each section of your resume should include the following: title, company, location, and brief job description. You do not have to explain courses if courses or courses speak for themselves. Is your resume shorter than a page? Then add optional sections on hobbies, volunteering and/or internships.
Quantitative figures are also often missing from CVs. Resumes are usually very general and a lot of unnecessary information is provided. Recruiters need measurable figures to determine what you can do for their organization. So also include those figures.
For example, ‘increasing sales by applying new social marketing techniques’ is far too general. Recruiters are stimulated by ‘Increase sales within 2 months by 23% via advertisements on Instagram and Facebook’.
Vacancies sometimes have specific requirements – submit via an online form, add a portfolio, send an email to a specific address, etc. Read the vacancy again before submitting the application. This will prevent you from overlooking things in your cover letter or CV.
Proofreading a CV
You have checked your resume for typos and double spaces, you have used a template and you have checked three times that no information is missing. Now read your CV again, so that you can be sure that everything is perfectly cared for and correct. Here are some methods you can use for proofreading.
Proofreading method 1: Read your CV aloud
This may seem a little strange. But reading something out loud can help you formulate sentences and ideas you’re trying to convey. You will be amazed at how many errors, snippets and typos you discover by reading your resume aloud.
Proofreading method 2: Ask someone else to read your CV
Find someone within your network who has the same position or who works in the industry where you want to apply. Have lunch together and ask him or her to read your CV. Preferably always have everything you write read by someone else. Especially if a future job is at stake!
Proofreading method 3: Read your CV the next day (resting, sleeping, reading)
Emptying your head and resting for a while does wonder for your brain. Stop dabbling and take a fresh look at your resume the next day. Preferably do this for several days in a row. Check your CV carefully and submit your application only if you are completely satisfied.
Proofreading method 4: Hire someone
There are several companies that can check your CV. It can be worth the investment if you want to make sure that recruiters get an optimal end result. There are several proven methods used by these companies to check your resume.
Proofreading method 5: Read your CV backwards
This is less strange than it may sound. Take the time to read your resume line by line. Start with the last stretch and work your way up. Your brain is thus forced to think differently about what is being read. Fragments and ambiguities are spotted even faster.
Proofreading method 6: Print and read
This last proofreading method is simple: printing and reading. Yes, print. With that old device under your desk that’s collecting dust there. Use your own printer or print your CV at the local office supply store. Reading something on paper is very different from reading something from a screen. Just like reading backwards, your brain is forced to think differently about the content.
Final points about proofreading and correcting your CV
In your CV, all attention should go to your qualities and talents. This is impossible if your text contains grammatical errors, typos, missing information or incoherent texts. Use the above methods to prevent this.
Read your resume again, preferably a day later. Then have your CV checked by a friend, read the file backwards or print it and read it on paper. There are simple methods to prevent recruiters from putting a big cross in your resume. Be careful and check your CV, after all, this could just become your new job.