Three Resume Proofreading Techniques
The Verbal Proofing Technique
When you feel confident that your resume construction is complete, take time to read it all the way through aloud at least twice. Grammatical mistakes and faulty sentence structure are often most obvious when you hear them spoken verbally. Errors such as missing words or doubled words tend to jump out when read aloud. If the sentence does not flow when spoken, it will not flow on paper. Many on the receiving end of your resume will be verbally oriented people—even to the point of quietly reading your resume "aloud" (you have probably noticed people who read aloud to themselves or at least move their lips ever so slightly—that's the verbally-oriented crowd). Write for them and for everyone else who proofreads your resume while they are reading.
Then give it to someone else to proofread. This is a good time to make another visit to your Career Center. Make sure your resume is flawless.
The Industry Proofing Technique
Just when you think you are finished with your resume, you still have some work to do. Actually, it's work required of others, although you need to solicit their input. The key to having your resume successfully reviewed is to ask someone who is actively working in your chosen field to review it. A professional in your career or industry can review your resume for the correct usage of buzzwords, keywords, and other industry terminology. If you are part of a professional organization related to your career, this is a great place to find this person. Otherwise, reach out to your network of contacts for someone close to your chosen career path.
Content critiquing is extremely important when doing an industry proofing. Try to avoid format reviews, since ten different people will have ten different formatting preferences. It's best to stick with the professional format outlined here at our site.
After the industry expert has reviewed your resume, they may also prove to be one of your first and most important network contacts. Tell them you will get back to them with the revised content. And when you do, ask them, "Based on my resume, who are the top five employers you would recommend for me to contact in my job search?" Two birds, one stone.
The Fifteen-Second Proof Technique
After you have gone through the initial resume reviews and revisions, use this technique to verify the final results. Provide your resume to a group of reviewers, ranging from professors to industry contacts to friends. Ask them to take just fifteen seconds to review the resume, hand it to them, hold them to the time limit, then ask what they remembered.
You will often be surprised what jumps off the page for them in those fifteen seconds. Keep in mind that fifteen seconds is usually the maximum amount of time an employer will give your resume in the initial review. Often, it can be as little as 2-3 seconds. So if the key facts and points do not make their impact, you may need to change the order or emphasis to ensure that they do. It is only when your resume is able to pass this fifteen-second proof that it is truly ready for prime time. Once you are ready, it is time to begin posting your resume. Start here.