Even if you have the right qualifications and experience for a particular job, if your resume is filled with misspellings and grammatical errors you are potentially creating a negative impression, especially when applying for a job that requires attention to detail. Therefore, proofreading and editing your resume and/or cover letter before sending it to a prospective employee, is an important part of the application process. However, when proofreading your resume, make sure that you don’t rely entirely on your word processor’s spell check. Believe it or not, there are disadvantages of spell check.
True, running an electronic spell check allows you to quickly and easily catch many spelling errors and some minor grammatical errors on your resume. However, as many professional editors and writers will tell you, spell checks are far from perfect. A trained human eye is still far more superior to any spell checking software in existence today. Here’s why.
Spellcheck Doesn’t Correct Word Usage
Just because a word is spelt correctly doesn’t mean that it is being used in the correct context. Case in point: the word “manger.” If your resume says you were an “assistant manger” in your previous job, spell check won’t flag it as a spelling error. However, for a potential employer, it won’t really make any sense.
Then there’s also the case of words that sound the same but have different spellings. Some examples include:
- affect and effect
- there, their, and they’re
- then and than
- are and our
- too and to
- you’re and your
Always remember that just one letter can change the entire meaning of a word, so if English isn’t your strong point, find a friend or family member who can help, or seek out the services of a professional.
Spell Check Won’t Catch All Grammar Mistakes
While spell check can help correct common grammar mistakes, it is not always accurate. At times, spell check will flag your sentence as “incorrect” despite you phrasing it correctly the first time. This may cause confusion and instead of just simply leaving it alone, you might be tempted to modify the sentence in order to follow the suggestions made by the spell check, thus, making it illegible.
Also, electronic spell checks are notorious for failing to catch missing words. If you miss a simple word, such as “in” or “of,” the whole meaning of a sentence can be changed, or worse, make it completely meaningless.
There’s no doubt that modern technology has made many aspects of the job hunting and job application process faster and more convenient. However, mistakes on your resume could cost you an interview opportunity, especially when you are applying for a sought-after position. Always go over your resume manually and, ideally, get a second pair of eyes to do the same.
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