Proofreading is an essential skill in today’s job market. Think like a professional when editing and proofreading your job search documents. Proofreading requires time and concentration with no distractions. I have provided some basic proofreading instructions that will help you proofread like a pro!
Review consistency with standards such as capitalization, punctuation, spacing, and bullets. There are many formats for writing, but it is important to choose a format and be consistent throughout the document. Formats will change depending on the purpose of the document.
Double check words such as or, of, it, and is. These words can be interchanged and many times our brains automatically correct as we read to match the context and we do not read what is actually on the page.
Contractions and possessive tense require extra care. People often confuse there, their and they’re; you’re and your; and its and it’s, so you may choose not to use contractions.
Having a friend or mentor proofread your documents will help identify other problem areas such as unclear wording or repetitive wording. Just be sure that the person you ask for a fresh perspective is knowledgeable of grammar and spelling rules!
Print two copies of the document and have a friend take turns reading it aloud with you. As one of you reads, the other follows along and notes errors and awkward phrasing. Hearing your words out loud will help you identify areas in need of polishing.
A correction in wording or formatting during the proofreading process may result in new errors. Be sure to double-check any areas that were modified during proofreading and reread the entire document one final time.
Proofreading is a process and you probably won’t catch every error in the first attempt. Proofread multiple times; first to catch spelling errors, then to ensure verb tense consistency, and finally to confirm correct formatting such as font sizes and spacing.