Resume Proofreading Checklist

No matter how detail-focused a writer you are, you should always have other people proofread your resume for typos, grammar mistakes, and formatting issues. But do not assume that, because other people are checking your work, you can send them a sloppy resume full of mistakes. This not only shows a lack of respect for your proofreaders' time, it also makes them less focused on hard-to-catch mistakes, because they'll be "tired out" from identifying obvious errors.

Print your resume out and take the time to proofread it at least twice (with time in between) before sending it to your proofreaders. The checklist below will help you catch the most common errors.

Writing, Grammar & Spelling

Content & Other

Display & Formatting

Plain Text (ASCII) Version


Writing, Grammar & Spelling

  1. Run spell-check and grammar-check in MS Word and make appropriate changes
  2. Ensure consistent article usage ("a", "an", "the") throughout resume (recommended: eliminate all articles)
  3. Use 1st person (minus the "I"), not 3rd person, for all verbs in job descriptions and bullets (e.g. direct projects ...)
  4. Use Google to find official company websites to verify accuracy of company names (pay attention to Inc., Corp., etc.)
  5. Use Google to find authoritative sites to verify names of products and technologies (e.g. JavaScript vs. Javascript)
  6. Ensure hypen usage is correct (e.g. on-time projects, 20-year period)
  7. Use state abbreviations (NY, not New York) for address and company locations

Content & Other

  1. Email address and phone number are accurate on both resume and cover letter
  2. MS Word and PDF document properties (author, title) match the name on the resume or are left blank
  3. Achievement bullet and other language in cover letter is not identical to language in resume

Display & Formatting

  1. Font size is easy-to-read on a monitor — at least 11pt for Times New Roman or equivalent
  2. Page margins are at least .75 inches on left, right, top, and bottom (recommended: 1 inch)
  3. All paragraphs and bullets are left-aligned, not justified
  4. Spacing after periods is consistent, i.e. 2 spaces throughout or 1 space throughout
  5. Include header with full name and page number at top or bottom of all pages after first page
  6. Repeat name of company (or job title) followed by "(cont.)" at top of page when positions wrap from previous page
  7. Font sizes, types, and weights are consistent throughout the resume (e.g. company name fonts match)
  8. Paragraph spacing, line spacing, and linebreak sizes are consistent throughout resume
  9. Font spacing is Normal, not Expanded
  10. Use "before and after" paragraph spacing, not line breaks, for small spaces within sections (recommended)
  11. Use line breaks, not "before and after" paragraph spacing, for large spaces between sections (recommended)

Plain Text (ASCII) Version

  1. Remove and replace any bullets, boxes, etc. with dashes (-) or astericks (*)
  2. Manually copy and paste any sections that were lost in the conversion (e.g. text within boxes or other shapes)
  3. Spacing between and within sections is consistent
  4. Remove page headers and footers