March 16, 2014

Why Every Job Seeker Needs To Proofread

It’s easy to make mistakes. We made lots of them while typing up this blog post. Mistakes aren’t a bad thing. As long as you fix them when you proofread. Proofreading your work takes a few extra minutes, but it can make a world of difference.

Everyone needs to proofread. Resumes, cover letters, and emails all require an acute attention to detail. Even a small typo can cost you a job opportunity. Imagine typing a Mrs. instead of a Mr., or writing it’s instead of its, or adding a .com instead of a .edu. Simple mistakes can cause big problems.

Mistakes happen. Unfortunately you’re the only one to fault for making one. Grammar mistakes, spelling error, or informational oversight can cause major problems in your job search. The only way to fix mistakes is to read your work and proofread.

Simple mistakes can be costly. One Canadian utility company misplaced a comma that cost them $2.13 million. New York City’s Department of Education mistyped a word that cost them $2.8 million. The list of major and costly typos goes on. You can explore more of them here and here. You certainly don’t want to be the person that makes one of those errors. It might cost you your job!

Unfortunately, auto-correct on smartphones and spelling and grammar check on word processors can quickly cause issues. Some are funny mistakes like chat vs cat, or fat vs mat, or ship vs… well you get the idea! The point of proofreading is to make your work error free. Proofreading is required for all mediums and purposes – text messages, emails, resumes, cover letters, scratch tickets, billboards, books, reports, and so much more. Mistakes can happen anywhere.

Here are a few tips to make you a proofreading pro:

  • Read your work out loud
  • Use auto-correct and spell check
  • Print your work and look at a hard copy
  • Set your work aside for some time and then go back and reread it
  • Let your friends read your work and offer constructive criticism
  • Read your document backwards, sentence by sentence to see if there are simple mistakes
  • Try a different font. A font can make errors stand out.
  • Check your facts, numbers, URLs, etc.

The key is to proofread. Ensure that your work is error free. Take the time to do it right. Then when your work is perfect, it’s time to apply for jobs.

PS – Did you know that some people even make a living as doing proofreading work?

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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