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Avoid The Biggest Mistake on Your CV or Resume

Updated on May 8, 2014

Avoiding Spelling Mistakes

It seems obvious but spelling mistakes on this important document is a big no-no and can result in your application being rejected in the early stages.

Your resume and cover letters are your biggest opportunity to promote your skills, experience, knowledge and qualifications so ensuring you send them error free is essential.

Spell Check and Word Processing may not be enough to ensure correctness as these tools do not necessarily know the context in which your sentences are written and CVs or resumes are not generally formatted in a usual story and paragraph authoring style.

IOS users may experience further mistakes while using Auto Correct as this software may correct a word that you didn't intend to use.

Check, check and double check your CV and cover letter.

The biggest clanger is spelling mistakes of either the addressee name or company address. If you are unsure of any spellings then call the company to which you are applying and ask. If you are too shy to do that then use a search engine to find out the information. Just don’t get either wrong.

Minimise The Risk Of Rejection

A statistic that might shock you is that over 60% of CVs received have either spelling, typos or grammatical errors. It goes without saying that just by proof reading your CV to ensure there are no mistakes could in effect increase your chances and put you in the top 40%.

A common error with regard to spelling is that many computers and word processing software by default have the language settings as American English. This means that if you are a UK user, a variety of words may not be picked up as incorrect by spell checker or vice versa where you have actually typed the correct spelling but the pesky checker has you doubting your own abilities by underlining in red as though a mistake.

Having z and s mixed up is fairly common and can drive a Recruiter potty! Examples include maximize (US) vs maximise (UK), also specialize/ specialise, prioritize/ prioritise which are words found on many CVs.

Other words to check are the likes of color/ colour, favourite/ favourite.

Minimise the risk of being rejected and proof read, proof read and proof read again.


Top Tips for Proof Reading Your CV

  • Read, re-read and re-read again.
  • Get rid of potential distractions. Switch your phone off.
  • Read it out loud.
  • Print it out and read it.
  • Read it upside down to focus on the typology.
  • Read it slowly.
  • Double and triple check small words such as "of", "if", "on", "to" and "is" which spell check or auto correct can interchange.
  • Check for Homonyms (words that share the same spelling or pronunciation but have different meanings.) Did you mean except but typed accept? Complement and compliment are very different.
  • Have you mixed your apostrophes? Common errors include confusing their and they're, its and it's, your and you're.
  • Are your capital letters in all the right places?
  • Ask a friend to proof read your CV for you.
  • Read your CV backwards one word at a time.
  • Take a break, walk away then come back and read it again.

Quick Poll

Do you proof read your CV or Resume several times before sending?

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