When times are tough, the tough get… spellchecked.
Your resume/CV is your ONE chance to make a positive first impression. Make it count! The spelling and grammar in your resume reflect your attention to detail, professional attitude, and ambition for the position.
For many employers and recruiters, spelling and grammar mistakes are a stumbling block no matter how qualified you are. Therefore, it is essential to proofread after you write your CV. Check twice, even thrice, to ensure it is perfect.
However, if you have a hard time catching your mistakes and typos, worry not. In this article, the team of EFL Academy offers you 5 useful tips that will help you improve the content and type of resume template that fits your profile and thus boost your chances of getting the job.
1. Ask a Friend to Proofread
When you read your own work, your brain fills in gaps or typos, which makes it difficult for you to see the woods for the trees. Because of this, it is good to get a unique perspective and find “a fresh pair of eyes”.
Ask a sibling or a friend to check your work. When they read your CV for the first time, they’ll instantly spot typos or other resume mistakes if there are any. Or take a break from your resume and come back to it after a few hours of rest.
2. Use Grammar Check Editors
One of the best tools to use when writing is Grammarly. Use it to check your resume for spelling and grammar errors or to get an insight into whether your sentences are too long and confusing to read.
Another brilliant tool to try is the Hemingway App. It won’t correct your typos, but it will tell you the grade level of writing, whether you implement the passive voice, how many adverbs you use and which sentences are difficult to understand.
3. Avoid Pronouns
The key to a compelling resume is to get rid of pronouns entirely. They are redundant and won’t change the overall tone of your CV. Also, pronouns clutter your resume and leave no space for verbs and adjectives.
It is essential to use active voice as it gives a direct, strong, and to the point message. Because of this, it is important to remove pronouns and better yet, use action words instead. This way you’ll impress hiring managers with your confidence and professional attitude.
4. Use Appropriate Abbreviations
It is often alluring to abbreviate and use acronyms as much as possible, especially as resumes shouldn’t be longer than 2 pages. And then comes the question: Why shouldn’t I shorten as many words as possible?
But keep in mind, even though you might be familiar with TPS reports, your recruiter might not be. The good news is that it’s okay to abbreviate and use common acronyms where appropriate.
However, you need to be careful about what you shorten and keep your resume as clear as possible for the reader.
Some recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems that search for candidates using the abbreviated form of a resume keyword, while others use the complete phrase. To tip the scales in your favour, add both the full phrase and the abbreviated form.
5. Eliminate These Common Mistakes
When you use commas incorrectly, the meaning of the sentence changes. Grammar checkers often miss such errors. Because of this, it is good to use serial commas, or the Oxford comma (before the final “and” in a series) when you write your CV. This way you will clarify your sentences and leave no room for confusion for the reader.
Also, place commas between clauses when needed. Even though these are not grammar rules explicitly made for resumes, they are helpful for quality proofreading of your resume.
A great tip to understand where to put commas is to read sentences out loud and focus on the natural pauses in speech. If you naturally pause when speaking, it’s likely you need a comma there.
When a sentence comprises different parts in a series, each component must parallel to the grammatical structure of the other parts. When this isn’t the case, faulty parallelism takes place.
“Brian gathered his pens, pencil, and put his books in his backpack.”
The verb “put” breaks up the flow of the sentence and makes it confusing. (We expect everything that follows the main verb to have been ‘gathered’.) Such a mistake makes your sentence structure inconsistent and doesn’t bode well in the eyes of recruiters.
When you talk about previous experience, use the past tense. When you write about your current position and activities, use the present tense. Obvious, right? While this seems simple to manage, it’s a common mistake among job seekers. Therefore, pay close attention to the tense you write in. Consistency is key, so focus on it!
When you put in caps a lot of words and phrases in your resume, it gives the impression that you yell at the reader. Let your skills and qualifications shine on their own. Don’t include special fonts or capitalisation to get your point across.
A modifier is a word or phrase that serves to provide additional information about a noun, adjective, verb, or adverb. When a modifier is dangling, it’s inappropriately placed and qualifies the wrong word. Or it is ambiguously placed and it’s unclear which word it modifies.
“In hope to excuse my lateness, the note was written and given to my teacher.”
It appears there is a subject: “my lateness.” However, it is part of the modifier, rather than being part of the subject itself.
Misuse and Misspelling of Homophones
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meaning and spelling. It’s common to miss such similar words in a spell check. Most of the errors occur not because of the spelling but because of the misuse of the word.
Always proofread your resume with the intention to catch mistakes. Like mentioned above, it bodes well to have a friend throw a quick glance over your writing. You don’t want recruiters to think you are undereducated or that you lack attention to detail.
Keep a close eye on these five tips and you’ll undoubtedly improve your resume grammar and spelling, and thus its overall quality. Because of your attention and hard work, you’ll have an outstanding CV which will impress hiring managers and tip the scales in your favour.