Importance of Proofreading Your Résumé

Not many of us realise how submitting an excellent résumé really matters. It should not only contain our exemplary achievements such as educational background, our impressive career progression and job history.

According to Grammarly, recruiters only spend an average of SIX seconds reviewing applicant’s résumé.

Surprising, right? Now I know you feel the pressure of “first impressions last”!
  • Due to this, applicants only have a very small window to get a recruiter’s attention let alone impress him/her.

Grammarly conducted a review of 50 active resumes from and found these surprising facts:

  • There are 5 potential errors on a typical job seeker’s résumé, and most of these issues (nearly 60 percent) are grammatical.
  • Female job seekers make an average of 4 grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes in their résumé, while male job seekers average more than 6 mistakes.
  • The average job seeker makes more than 1.5 punctuation errors, but very few spelling mistakes (less than one per résumé).

Which is why, and I can’t emphasise this enough – YOU SHOULD PROOFREAD YOUR RESUME.

Grammarly provided 3 ASPECTS OF PROOFREADING.

1. Spelling

Well, spelling isn’t really a major problem in resumes. Just be careful with automatically typed words that might mistakenly entry the wrong word different from the one you intended to write.

Some common spelling mistakes are:

  • Wrong use of hyphens. If a compound adjective (two words that together describe something else) comes before the word it modifies, it should be hyphenated, as in “entry-level position.” However, if it comes after, it should not be hyphenated, as in “the work was entry level.” 
  • Typographical errors. Although not technically a spelling mistake, typographical errors are common in resumes. Be careful to check that you have types everything correctly. Small mistakes such as spelling and typographical error may say so much about one’s work or output. Recruiters may feel that if you may be careless or not mindful enough.
2. Grammar

Some common grammar errors are:

  • Use of passive voice. Although not technically an error, it is considered incorrect. For example: “The documents were filed.” is a sentence using passive voice. Active voice is “I filed the documents”. SO use active voice.
  • Wrong capitalisations. This is very basic but applicants usually overlook this grammar mistake. Proper nouns such as companies, managers and schools should be capitalised.
  • Wrong verb tenses. If you are still currently employed at a position use present tense. If you are no longer employed by a company, use past tense.
3. Consistency

After you check spelling and grammar errors, make sure that your résumé’s format consistency is observed. This makes your resume look more professional and sharper.

Things to check for consistency:

  • Date formatting
  • Other formatting: bolded and italicised letters, font and text colour
  • Extra spaces

Now that you finally proofread your resume, go and nail that application or interview!


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