Resume Review Help and Proofing Parameters


Resume proofing: A critical task

Anyone who has ever written a resume will agree that writing, formatting and completing such an important document is a time consuming process; and in order to ensure that a resume achieves the goal for which it was prepared, there is one important step which must be taken before it is sent to designated recipients – potential employers. However, a surprisingly high number of professionals make the mistake of not reviewing their final resume document with fresh eyes before sending it out, thereby relegating it to the recycling bin.

That having been said, it might seem redundant to emphasize the importance of proofreading what you may believe to be a well-written resume document before forwarding it to potential employers; but reviewing, editing and perfecting such a document is a routine (or even a habit) that you – if you are a job applicant writing your own resume – should adopt, since failing to do so can have an undesired result on your chances of securing the job in which you are really interested.

With that in mind, you are encouraged to take a look at the following concepts which we hope will help you with the final stages of perfecting your well-written resume and making sure the document is in top shape before it reaches any of the potential employers to whom you intend to send it.

Check for grammar and spelling errors

Proofreading your resume document is one of the most critical steps in your resume review process, because it is often hard to catch composition errors after you’ve spent hours writing and re-writing all parts of it, or any other important document; but it is something which must be done and there are two workable methods you can use to effectively catch resume errors

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One method is to ask someone else to proofread your resume, or give yourself time between writing and reviewing it; and if you ask a friend or a family member for help, make sure that their strengths include spelling and grammar; but they should also be able to edit your resume for content and consistency in style. Asking others to review your resume, however, should be done with parameters. For example, let your friend know what you are struggling with, so that they can help you address those concerns.

Because personal preferences can come into play when you are discussing resumes, make sure the changes you make are the kind with which you are comfortable in terms of content. Another method you can utilize in proofreading, which should be thought of as a must, is to step away from the document for a day or two, and then revisit it for a final review. This gives you some space from the content, and will allow you to review for grammatical and spelling errors with fresh eyes.

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Printing out and emailing your resume

So that you know what your potential employers will receive after you submit your resume, just print out the document and take a look at its appearance, or email it to yourself (if you have more than one email address), or email it to a friend or family member where you will have immediate access to the digital version. However, you must make sure to print your resume from the file in which you are emailing it to your employer; and make sure that the margins are set properly and are not cutting off any content.

Look for spaces and adjust the text in case of any large gaps on the paper. In addition, if you email your resume to some of your friends, have them open the file and let you know how it appears on their screen, as well as how it prints out. Addressing any formatting issues before your resume reaches a potential employer is ideal, so doing a couple of test runs will only assist you in developing an error-free final resume.


The resume-to-job requirements comparison

When you do a comparison of your resume to a particular job’s requirements, it is important to make sure that all requirements are addressed, either in your resume or your cover letter; and a major part of such comparison is to review exactly what the employer is looking for and make sure that your resume addresses all of their needs. Keep in mind that when potential employers receive your resume, they will look for key terms from their job description in order to match your qualifications to their available position.

If possible, use some of the same terminology on your resume as the employer used on the job description, as this will let the employer know that you are in sync with their needs, thereby making them more interested in you as the ideal candidate for the job. Ask one of your friends to review the job description and your resume as well, and give you their impression on how well the two match.

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Probably the most important thing you should take away from this article, is the fact that a poorly written and/or formatted resume will – in effect – let most of your potential employers know that you don’t pay any attention to detail; but on the other hand, taking whatever extra time that is necessary to do a final review of your resume document is one of the most important things you can do in getting an employer’s attention, thereby ensuring that you get the job you really want.

The Inclusion of References on a Resume


The references catchall phrase

When the subject pertains to references on your resume, you would not be surprised to know that the most frequently used phrase is that old reliable standard: “References available upon request.” But whether or not this catchall phrase will continue be the acceptable stand-in for an actual list of references on your resume remains to be seen. In fact there is an ongoing debate among professionals about the inclusion of references on a resume, while some individuals still strongly encourage job applicants to include the aforementioned phrase at the bottom of their resumes.

In a way the catchall phrase lets potential employers know that, if asked, the job applicant can name at least a couple of people who think s/he is a great asset to any company. However, the opposing side will argue the validity of this line as it doesn’t provide any information with a call to action; and therefore suggests that potential employers and other job search professionals should operate under the assumption that every professional with a resume will be able to provide references from his previous employers.

Yet another group of professionals will urge you, the job applicant, to not only include the “references available upon request” phrase in your resume references section, but to list anywhere from three to five references, along with their titles, contact numbers and a description of your relationship to them, along with a notation that “more references will be provided if needed.” So, how do you know who to listen to?

A prudent use of references

In answer to the above question, a good rule of thumb will be to mention references regardless of any other phrase or statement being employed, as it is considered proper resume etiquette to include a section for references at the bottom of your resume. This lets your potential employer know that you not only have professional references, but you understand that checking references is an important part of your interview process. Additionally, you will want to have an employer request references from you so that you can let your references know they can expect to be contacted.

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Listing someone as a reference on your resume without letting that person know, even if s/he has previously provided a reference for you, is not a good practice; because since you don’t want any job you of your reference list to be caught by surprise when they are contacted, it is important that you let each of them know about the job you’re applying for, and any special circumstances – if any – under which you’ve made application so that they know which qualifications they should highlight when they are contacted.

If you are posting your resume on job search web sites such as monster.com, or you’re working with a head hunter to find the best opportunities for you, it is best that you simply use the line, “References available upon request” at the end of your well-written resume; and as indicated above, you will want to let your references know ahead of time if they will be contacted by a potential employer or other entity associated with your application.

Resume blast vs targeted position

Listing references on your resume and making it available to multiple employers for review may result in calls to your references by employers you may not have even been in touch with directly. Obviously, you’ll want to avoid this kind of annoyance to people you are using as references, since you don’t want to abuse your relationship with them. If you intend to “blast” your resume to multiple employers, head hunters and other such parties, it may be prudent not to include a full listing of references on your resume.

However, if you’re sending the resume to a specific employer after you have been in touch with the hiring manager or someone at the company that will refer you for the job you are interested in, it is suggested that you include references on the resume. This allows your potential employer to have all the information necessary to consider you as a serious candidate for the job. The reference list should include the reference’s name, his/her title and the company s/he’s working for, the person’s relationship to you and a day-time telephone number.

In fact, the best practice might be to let your references know about a particular job opportunity before you submit the resume, while letting them know that you are passing along their contact information to the potential employer, or better yet, request their permission to do so. And if you have already submitted a resume without references, but expect to meet with the employer for an interview, bring a printed copy of the well-written resume you prepared and make sure it includes a list of references.


One stop shop to a good job

Following a good interview, employers typically check references as a best practice, so you will want to provide the hiring manager with a one-stop-shop (so to speak) of your qualifications and your references, therefore you should always bring a printed copy of your cover letter, your resume and references with you to an interview. Vigilance is sure to make a great impression and bring you one step closer to getting that sought after job you really want. Learn more about resumes, cover letters and interviews!