5 Reasons to Have Someone Else Proof Your Resume

Updated on 7 November 2013

Guest Post from Brie Weiler Reynolds

It’s tempting, especially for those in writing professions, to assume you can proofread your own resume just as well as anyone else. After all, you know your work history, the message you’re trying to convey to employers, and how you want to convey yourself, right? There are, however, some very good reasons to have someone else proof your resume.

Brie headshot5) You may be too industry-centric. If your job is technical or includes lots of jargon, your resume may not make sense to general recruiters or human resource professionals who are often first-in-line to screen resumes before hiring managers will see them. Ask someone outside of your profession to read your resume and point out anything that they don’t understand. This may include abbreviations, certifications, or industry-speak.

4) You’re burying the lead. As the amazing professional you are, you probably think everything on your resume is very important, but few employers will see it this way. They expect the most important information to be at the top, just like in a news article. A Summary of Qualifications is where you should be writing your resume as an answer to the job description. Another set of eyes can help you pinpoint what’s important in that top area, and what can be shifted downward or removed.

3) Form is just as important as function. You may have a very well-written resume, but if it doesn’t look nice, you’ll lose valuable points with employers. Ask your more organized friends to help you clean up your resume. Remove unnecessary formatting, reorder information so it flows better, leave lots of white space, and wow employers with your easy-to-read, impressively simple document.

2) You just don’t know what else to cut. You may have a hard time keeping your resume to one page, and two pages can be acceptable provided all of the information is highly-relevant to the specific job for which you’re applying. But if you need to cut your resume to one page, yet you can’t choose anything to get rid of, a friend with a critical eye will help you separate the wheat from the chaff, concentrating the best parts of your resume onto one page.

1) You’ll never catch everything. It never fails–you’ve read your resume hundreds of times, but there’s always that one tiny, or sometimes not-so-tiny, mistake that falls into your blind spot. Other proofreaders will catch that one mistake you’re overlooking, saving you from countless employment rejections.

Having someone else (or many someones) proofread your resume is a valuable exercise for any professional. Make a list of your friends, family, and colleagues who can be counted on to be honest with you, and who have an excellent eye for detail and design. As with most parts of the job search, this important step is all about who you know.

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Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Online Content at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. FlexJobs lists thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home jobs and other types of flexibility like part-time positions, freelancing, and flexible schedules. Brie provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.

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