On each job interview, you want to do your best and make a good first impression. You prepare answers to potential questions, carefully analyze your experience against the job description and you choose an outfit that will show your professionalism. In all this, you forget that you’ve already made the first impression because the manager has “met” you while reading your CV. Did it reflect your qualifications well? Was it easy to read? And are you sure it was free of spelling and grammar mistakes?
It may seem that typos in a CV are not that important. After all, the company is looking for someone with good qualifications and skills, not a language expert. However, for some people, that kind of mistakes is like a red rag to a bull. It discourages from further reading and they immediately form an opinion about the candidate. For example, a typo in the CV of a software tester gives the impression that they aren’t careful enough – which is exactly the opposite of what a software tester should be.
How to make sure that your CV is correct when it comes to spelling and grammar?
First of all – take your time
As it usually does, rushing through things can ruin everything. Your CV is your business card – you can’t just write it in five minutes because that will definitely cause you to make mistakes. Choosing the right words and building good sentences takes time and effort. It’s worth to give yourself at least an hour to create a high-quality CV.
Prepare a cheat sheet
If you have problems with punctuation or spelling of some words, consider preparing a separate document in which you will collect all of your issues along with their explanations and spelling rules. This will be useful not only when writing a CV or cover letter, but in all future documents you create. Instead of wasting time on searching for the correct word variations or where to put a comma, you’ll have a ready-made reference point which you can check.
Trust the spell check (but not entirely)
Spell check is a great tool which, if properly set, should be your best friend when you create any text. However, it is not an alpha and omega and it also has some drawbacks. Spell check does not recognize the context, so it may suggest words that don’t fit or underline a word that it thinks is misspelled when it is not. You need to always use your common sense, read everything again and see if spell check is really right.
Do the editing (but not right away)
You’ve written your CV and cover letter and you’ve run it through the spell check. As we’ve mentioned, you now need to read it again to check for any mistakes that might be left. However, it’s worth to wait for a while, an hour or even better – postpone it to the next day. Writing a CV requires some mental effort and may tire you a bit, which will make you less attentive. Probably there are sections that you have rewritten so many times that you know exactly what is in them and you skip them while reading. In addition, after looking at a piece of text for some time, you may no longer notice your mistakes. Take a break and do something else, and then go back to editing. Starting to read from the very end might be a good idea. The text itself won’t make sense, but thanks to that you can focus on each sentence separately and correct them easily.
Look for the advice
Ask someone to read your CV and cover letter and make corrections or suggestions. Such a person will not only notice the typos but also pay attention to stylistic errors or the flow of sentences. You may have some doubts about the spelling, miss a word, or don’t know which punctuation mark to use. An expert knowledge that you can find in dictionaries will help a lot in such cases.
Do you have other tips on how to avoid spelling and grammar errors in a CV?
We are happy to read about them in the comments.