An author wouldn't publish a book without involving an editor, and a job seeker shouldn't publish their resume without involving a proofreader – or four. You have no excuse for submitting an error-filled resume to potential employers when you can so easily get others to check it first.
Here are a few ways to get feedback from others:
- Send an email
- Convert your resume to a web page
- Print and distribute
Send an email. If the people you trust to review your resume and cover letter are all accessible by email, then this is a good way to send your documents. Give them a heads up that you'll be sending an email with attachments, and find out which format (Word, Text or PDF) they'd prefer to open. While you're at it, send a copy to yourself to see what it looks like to an email recipient.
Another great alternative is to...
Convert your resume to a web page. No, you don't have to have any special skills to do this. It's actually one of the easiest ways to let friends see your resume, though many don't think of it as an option. Of course, you have to know where and how to create a free web page out of your document. If you have a Pongo Resume membership, you can just open the resume and click the Web button. Yahoo! HotJobs also gives you the ability to turn your resume into a standalone web page, if you have an account and use the site to apply to jobs online. Once you have a web resume, all you have to do is send the link to your friends for them to view on their own time.
Or, you could always go the old-fashioned route and...
Print and distribute by hand. When your ideal proofreaders are nearby, you need do nothing more than print your documents and hand them over. This option is also a good fallback for those who aren't so good with computers (and when you're not in a rush to get feedback).
If you're not 100% confident in one person's ability to spot errors, send your resume and letter to a few different people. Unlike applying to jobs, this "shotgun" method is very effective for getting your documents successfully proofread. And while they're searching for typos, you might as well ask if they'll examine the content for ultimate impact, too.
Have you ever had a potential employer point out mistakes on your resume that could have been caught by a proofreader? How'd that work out?