I think we can all agree that the last few months have been a time of immense uncertainty for everyone, not least regarding job security. Now more than ever people are thinking about their careers and taking this opportunity to revamp (or completely rewrite) their CVs. There are plenty of other professionals out there far more qualified than me to advise you on what content you should be putting in your CV. However, when it comes to proofreading − carrying out those final, yet essential, quality checks to make sure your CV is error-free – now that is something I can help you with!
Here are my top 10 tips for proofreading your own CV:
1. Run a spelling and grammar check. Yes, it sounds obvious, but don’t miss out this step as it really is the first line of defence.
2. Print it out. Typos, superfluous spaces and discrepancies in the typeface and alignment are almost always easier to spot on a printed page than on screen. So, if you have access to a printer, definitely use it.
3. Read through each line slowly and out loud to make sure your sentences make sense and flow well.
4. Check for rogue apostrophes. Remember you don’t need an apostrophe for plural acronyms (CVs not CV’s!).
5. Check there is a full stop at the end of each complete sentence. Again, this might sound obvious but it’s the kind of fine detail that often gets missed and is especially important if you have cut and pasted sections into your final document.
6. Scan for any homophones. These are words that sound the same but are spelled differently, e.g. you’re/ your, their/there and check/cheque. This is the sort of thing your computer’s spell check won’t pick up.
7. Check any bullet points. Make sure these are uniform. Have you introduced each line with a colon or a dash? If so, make sure they are all the same.
8. Carefully look over your subheadings. Ensure that these are aligned correctly and that you have used the same font and typeface throughout your CV.
9. Check the line spacing between each section, and make sure it is consistent. One line is usually enough – double check it is the same throughout.
10. Ask a friend. Before you finally submit your finished product, ask a friend (someone you trust) to read through it for you. It’s much easier to spot someone else’s mistakes than your own, so always seek a fresh pair of eyes for a final sanity check.