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Pick Out Those Errors Like a Boss. (How to Proof Cover Letters or Résumés)

Source:Nuclear Power Yes Please
Source:Nuclear Power Yes Please

Just like your perfect suit and shoes to match for an anticipated interview, you want your applcation to do a good job of selling your skills and qualifications. The last thing you want is to be the butt of a joke for prospective employers because you have spelling and grammatical errors sprinkled all over your application.

Following my last post on common grammar gaffes, these are really easy ways to proof your work without spending a dime. Because a poorly presented application can stop you from getting so many things; a good job, a pay raise or a future spouse.

Don’t trust your default editor or spell checker: a friend once lost his chances in a competition because he exceeded his word count, something he relied on his Word Editor for. If you want a grammar and spelling error free cover letter or business proposal; pressing the F7 shortcut key won’t do the magic.  Some grammatical structures might be outdated and you may end up shooting yourself in the foot by giving your reader a hard time. The best editor you can trust is a human brain; yours or someone else’s.

Sleep on it.
Many writing experts and copy editors confirm that proofing a work the minute you are done writing steals you the opportunity to do a good job. Mostly because you’ve seen the words for too long, they’ve become so familiar and look right in your eyes.

But when you take your eyes off it for some time, you’ll see so many irrelevant words and many errors in the content the next time you read it. Many times, you are still in the mad man or carpenter mood when you are done writing, switching over to doing the work of a Judge requires ample time away from what you’ve written.

Read your words aloud.
Especially if you can’t read a printout of your supposed finished work. Change the font size and type while you read the words aloud. Read backwards if you are still not sure. You’ll notice some hidden errors while you do.

If reading aloud feels awkward, give a smart kid to do it, and check each time the kid pauses to try pronouncing a word.

Get extra help.
Give someone you believe has a better knowledge of word-formation , syntax, grammar and the like; a novel fanatic or an avid reader can help with that since she comes across new words more often. You probably only need some fresh eyes to look at your work so a friend or mentor can assist with that.

Be wary of words with double letters in between. Words like; communication, different, addition, are easily misspelt. Also bear in mind that we follow the British format for writing words like; organisation (instead of organization) – you may not get a red flag for missing this but you are better off presenting your work with all professionalism.

There’s a 6th suggestion, possibly the best option, but it goes for a few Naira notes. Give a professional to proof your work. Professional editors proof content for a living; they are skilled in crossing out unnecessary words or rewriting content as they think necessary, dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s.

There are many organisations that provide this services and prices vary on the type of content and of course, the type of organisation. It won’t hurt if you spend some change to save you from losing your dream job or getting that fund you need to start a project that might boost your career.

And I’ll strongly suggest you get a professional editor if you didn’t spot any error in this post. 🙂

Tell us in the section below; the error(s) you found in this post and how you proof your work.

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell