Résumé Tip No. 1: Proofread everything

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Not to brag, but you might have just written the greatest résumé ever. “This is it,” you think to yourself. “This is what’s going to get me in the door with that company.”

Or maybe you finished your final draft of a stellar cover letter. Your finger is hovering over the “Send” button, ready to advance your job search, when a statistic flashes in your mind: 58 percent of employers automatically disregard résumés with typos and grammatical errors.

You take an extra 60 seconds and read through your application materials, and realize you included the wrong email address and mistakenly said you have “grate attention to detail.”

Don’t send yourself to the discard pile when you submit your application materials. You only get one shot to make an impression and don’t want any distractions from just how qualified you are.

To put your best application out there, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t rely on spell-check. While it may catch some typos, it won’t necessarily know if you used the wrong word. After you’ve finished putting together your cover letter, résumé and other materials, take a break and come back later with fresh eyes.
  • Have someone else read through your materials to look for errors and unclear writing. You won’t be able to tell a hiring manager, “What I meant to say is…” when they go over your application later.
  • If you’ve been using the same résumé for a while, try reading it from bottom to top. It will trick you into analyzing each line instead of relying on the résumé as a whole to give context. You may find repeated phrases that could be written differently or a passage that no longer aligns with your career goals.
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