I know manually checking your resume for accuracy isn’t the most entertaining material.
There’s not going to be any scandal, sex, lies, and murder in this one (wait, none of my articles have those?).
Though this point does need to be written. Because a dumb mistake like a spelling error, grammar error, or another inaccuracy could mean game over for your job search.
Although they don’t want you to win, I want you to win!
So if all this blog post accomplishes is to get you to do another manual read through from top to bottom of your resume (and cover letter), I’ll say it did it’s job.
Here’s exactly why you need to slowly read through your resume from top to bottom and not rely on a computer spell check program.
Spell Check Isn’t Your Friend
Your resume need to be silky smooth. It needs to be clean. And it needs to shine like gold (aka like my book title suggests The Golden Resume).
Well, that’s assuming you want to win interviews and job offers.
If you do, leaving the fate of your job search to the Microsoft Word or Google Docs spell check program isn’t the solution you want—especially with a dream job on the line!
Why aren’t spell checks reliable? It’s partly how they’re designed and partly the complexity of the English language.
Although they’ve gotten better, many spell check programs are focused on checking if words are spelled correctly, but they struggle to tell if they’re used properly.
A great example of this is “there” and “their”, where the programs can’t tell if the word is grammatically correct with the rest of the sentence.
And the English language has weird usage rules, so spell check programs have many times marked incorrect writing as correct and correct writing as having errors.
The worst part is often times doing a spell check will trick you to think you’re resume is error-free, when it isn’t. This gives you fake assurance that you don’t need to manually review it with your own eyes, when you do.
Whether you start with a computer spell check program is up to you. This convenient tool can help to get started and I will use it occasionally.
Though computer programs can only go so far and aren’t to be trusted to complete the job.
No matter what, before you submit, you need to manually review your resume for accuracy if you’re committed to having a winning resume.
Best Way To Manually Review Your Resume
Everyone has their own preference to how they read a document.
Though I’d recommend you do it this old-school way because it’s the single most reliable review process I’ve discovered.
From editing my English papers back in college to the final drafts of my published books, I trust this reading process.
Here’s what you do:
- Print your resume so you have a physical paper.
- Move a pen under each word as you read from top left to bottom right.
- Read each word out loud.
- Look up the spelling of any unfamiliar words, technical words, or pronouns.
I like to do an initial read through, and then set it aside for at least an hour (ideally you can set it aside until the next day). Then I’ll come back to it with a rested mind and do the same review process.
If you’re not confident in your writing skills, then I’d recommend you take this a step farther and have a respected peer check your resume.
They’ll have fresh eyes to confirm whether it’s good to submit or you’re missing something.
Once you do these few steps, you can submit your resume with confidence that you’re giving yourself the best chance to move forward in the interview process.
And you can eliminate the possibility of beating yourself up over a spelling error or inaccuracy.
Go The Extra Mile
While this requires extra time to review your resume that you could spend elsewhere, I encourage you to always go the extra mile in everything you do.
Want to know why? Most people aren’t willing to do it, so there’s less competition and more reward.
For example, there may be thousands of candidates who want to be a vice president of marketing one day. But only an extremely few group of ambitious individuals want to eventually be CEO because of all the extra work and pressure.
At least in my life, I want to go the extra mile and create a game plan to be CEO of a company because there’s more reward at the end of the journey.
Now reviewing your resume is a tiny example of this idea, but it does start the habit of doing more than you feel like doing. And that’s a powerful habit to build up for the rest of your professional career and in your family life.
So practice the little things. Leave no stone unturned. Give it your all.
In this case, manually review your resume twice before moving forward.
It very well could be the reason you advance to the next interview instead of getting a cold rejection. That’s easily worth it!