Category: Career Experts, Recruitment, Tips, vacancies, CV writing, cv
The average recruiter allows one spelling or grammar mistake on a candidate’s CV before it gets thrown in the bin. That isn’t much leeway, and with an average of 250 applications per vacancy, there’s a lot of competition that you’re up against. So if proofreading doesn’t come naturally to you, or you want to be extra sure, here are some failsafe tips.
You may read your CV twenty times and not spot a mistake that someone else spots straight off the bat. This could be because you don’t realise something is incorrect, or because you’re too familiar with your CV to really be able to spot anything. Using a friend or family member with good language skills is all you need. As well as checking for mistakes, ask them how your CV flows, whether the layout is clear and get their overall impression of it. An extra pair of eyes is invaluable.
Come back with fresh eyes
Don’t proofread your CV just after you’ve written/amended it – especially if you spent a long time working on it. You might put up on a few errors but there could easily be things you miss. Do a second proofread the morning after. You’ll be amazed at what a difference leaving something and coming back to it later can make. It helps you separate yourself from your CV and view it objectively – as if it were someone else’s.
Print it out
There’s rarely a reason to need a physical copy of your CV these days, where the majority of job applications are done online. However, a lot of people find it easier to spot errors when reading from paper, compared to when reading on screen. This may not apply to you, but it’s worth a try. Dig out a different coloured pen and move away from your computer to help yourself focus.
Use a template
A good way to minimise errors on your CV is to prevent making any in the first place. One way of doing this is to use a ready-made template. It helps reduce issues with format and layout, as well as allowing you to build your CV section by section. You can then proofread each part at a time which helps minimise the risk of errors throughout.
Don’t rely on spell check
While spellcheck will pick up on obvious typos and errors, it won’t pick up on certain mistakes. You could write tie instead of time, for example and for or all it knows, you meant to write tie in the first instance. So don’t assume that no red or green wiggly lines mean your CV is fine. Also, make sure your spellcheck is set to UK spellings so that it doesn’t try to make you spell organise as organize and so on.
Ensure everything adds up
It’s all well and good checking for spelling and grammar mistakes, but there’s a lot more to your CV than that. Double check that all dates add up and your employment history is accurate, all your qualifications are included and that the dates of your education are correct too. Also don’t forget to double check your contact details. If you are deemed suitable for the role, it would be a pity if something as small as a correct phone number held you back.
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