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It seems blindingly obvious: proofreading your CV/resume is key to making purposeful applications for job openings. However, according to many HR and recruitment professionals, many job seekers are failing to do so.

For example, according to one HR Manager for a Fortune 500 company, around one-fifth of the applications her organization receive for job openings go straight into the trash bin for simple errors of grammar and punctuation.

If you’re currently applying for jobs it may pay dividends to either hire a professional proofreading service or perform some careful DIY editing on your job applications.

George Wilson, Editing Manager for Cambridge Proofreading LTD says a high percentage of orders his company receive are for CV/resume and covering letter proofreading services.

“Having a trained professional go over your job applications can be very beneficial in helping spot those subtle mistakes that can so easily render your application redundant,” says George.

Whilst using a professional proofreading service is the most effective approach, you can still achieve positive results by taking time to proofread and edit your applications yourself. Here are some top tips from George to ensure your job applications are free from costly grammar and punctuation errors!

Print out your CV/resume and any accompanying letters

“Having a physical copy of your writing, as opposed to viewing on a screen, makes it easier to read closely and pick out those almost camouflaged errors”, says Julie, a freelancer for Proofreading Service UK.

When printing, don’t worry too much about formatting and use a large font size. This will make it easier to focus on each and every single individual word and punctuation mark.

Read the text aloud and read backwards

We have tendency to read our own writing as we intended to write it, as opposed to what the specific words wrote down are. By firstly reading the text aloud and then secondly reading it backwards, we can help break this habit so we can stop our mistakes.

Consider formatting and graphics

“Presentation is everything” as the old saying goes. Make sure that you pay close attention to the way you have format and laid out your writing. Does it look professional, neat and easy to read? It’s worth Googling for example CV/resumes in your industry to see what style conventions are used.

Have a friend or colleague proofread it for you

As part of the proofreading and editing process, you should always utilize a second pair of eyes. Make sure you get a friend, ideally with knowledge of your industry, to go over your writing and see if they can spot any errors that you may have missed.

Tip: Try the sfep.org.uk or findaproofreader.com for a professional.


Now use it wisely

Create or update your profile on Linked In with your error-free, shiny new resume. Also, consider searching for industry-related community forums and jobs boards to list your resume on.
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