So you’re wondering: Why should I have my resume and cover letter proofread or edited?
Put simply, it’s important to do this because resume editing can greatly improve your odds of getting hired.
The ultimate goal of having your resume edited, reviewed, or (re)written by a professional resume editor is to improve your chances of getting hired as quickly as possible into your target position.
A professional resume editor will do the following five things to help you achieve this goal:
Below, we explain each of these points in more detail.
Did you know that 75% of job applications are rejected before they’re seen by the hiring team?
This troubling statistic is the result of the heavy global utilization of applicant-tracking system (ATS) software. In fact, up to 99% of Fortune 500 companies utilize ATS software in their recruitment practices.
These ATS programs are designed to screen applications and weed out those that are the least relevant or suitable to a given position. They’re also infamously picky about resume formatting; an improperly formatted resume can easily become garbled and unreadable to this software, potentially leading to otherwise qualified applicants being excluded from the recruitment process.
A professional resume editor can help ensure that your resume and cover letter are formatted in an ATS-friendly way, substantially improving your chances of getting hired.
However, formatting still matters once your resume makes it past the machines and ends up in the hands of a discerning recruiter or hiring manager.
Studies have shown that recruiters dedicate, on average, only 7.4 seconds per resume. That’s it—you have just under 10 seconds to catch the recruiter’s eye, make a positive impression, and get them interested in learning more about you.
For this reason, formatting is incredibly important; the right resume format will be recruiter friendly, ensuring that they can easily scan your document for the information they are looking for. It will also help ensure that your most impressive and relevant qualifications stand out in a positive way.
In short, a professional resume editor will review your resume and revise it to:
Put simply, poor grammar and bad writing generally leave a negative impression—one that can make the author appear unprofessional, untrustworthy, and unqualified for their target position.
In general, people tend to find poor grammar off-putting and concerning. For example, Colour Works conducted a study of 1,700 daters and found that 43% of them found poor grammar to be unattractive, while a survey of 1,003 web users revealed that 42.5% of the respondents were most influenced by spelling and grammar blunders in the social media realm.
In the business context, a small-sample study conducted by Grammarly found that making fewer grammatical errors was correlated with more promotions, that individuals who achieved director-level positions within 10 years of starting their careers made 2.5 times fewer mistakes than those who did not, and that “professionals with one to four promotions over their 10-year careers made 45% more grammar errors than those with six to nine promotions in the same time frame” (CXL, 2020).
All of this suggests that excellent spelling and grammar are important in both our personal and professional lives. But there are a few reasons spelling and grammar are particularly important in business contexts.
First, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors erode the author’s credibility. These mistakes correspond to a type of credibility known as “earned credibility”—credibility based on personal experience.
Poor writing and communication skills can give professional contacts the impression that we are insufficiently educated or incapable of communicating well enough to meet their expectations. Indeed, one study found that writers of a message were found to be “be less conscientious, intelligent, and trustworthy when the message contained many grammatical errors” (as cited in Entrepreneur.com, 2016).
Second, because most business-related communication now occurs through email, with 72% of respondents in one study reporting that they prefer email-based communication, companies are increasingly concerned about how well applicants can communicate in writing.
Because companies don’t want their employees to represent the company poorly or confuse clients and customers with their writing, they try to weed out applicants who are prone to errors.
In summary, a professional resume writer will help ensure that you present to recruiters and hiring managers as someone who is professional, credible, and appropriately educated.
In general, our writing skills are understood to reflect our reasoning capabilities. Put simply, “clear writing means clear thinking,” and companies want to hire employees who think clearly, rationally, and smartly.
Thus, employers have begun to actively exclude poor writers from the hiring process, with approximately 50% of hiring managers considering writing when hiring staff and approximately 80% of growing corporations assessing writing during the recruitment process.
A professional resume editor knows exactly what should be included in your resume and how it should be presented.
For example, going back to the ATS software we mentioned earlier, professional editors can help ensure that your resume is written and formatted using the right language—the language that will improve your odds of making it past that first stage of screening. This can include mentioning specific keywords and using other industry-specific language.
A resume editor will ensure that the tone and verbiage of your writing are aligned with your target position and that the right keywords have been used a sufficient number of times.
A good editor will also help ensure that your writing is clear and concise. While using the right keywords can help you pass the ATS stage, your resume will need to be written in a way that is also easy for a human recruiter or hiring manager to understand.
Overly verbose or complicated writing can obscure your qualifications and make you come across as an inappropriate or unqualified candidate.
Keeping in mind that the average hiring manager spends less than 10 seconds looking at each resume that comes across their desk, you’ll want to make sure that your resume is easy to scan and that all the most important points about you jump out at the reader.
Almost as important as ensuring that your resume includes all the important details is ensuring that it doesn’t include distracting, irrelevant, and/or unprofessional content.
By reviewing your resume from the perspective of a potential employer, a professional editor will help ensure that your resume contains only the most relevant critical information that paints you in a positive light and demonstrates your suitability for your target position.
Because of how little time recruiters and hiring managers spend reviewing each resume, it is critical that your application package is as concise as possible. Unnecessary information or content that raises concerns can distract from all of the exciting and impressive information you’re sharing about yourself.
Including irrelevant information can also make you appear unprofessional, ill prepared, and unfamiliar with the professional job market.
Put simply, professional resume editing can help save you from the embarrassment of coming across as a poor candidate or presenting as someone with little professional experience.
Finally, having your resume and cover letter professionally edited can save you time and money.
Doing extensive research into industry best practices and cutting-edge job application tips is no easy task, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to immediately apply everything you learn.
In addition, the process of refining your resume and cover letter to perfection can take hours and hours of your time, and again, you’ll never really be able to see your document in the way that an employer would.
By hiring a professional resume editor to improve your resume and cover letter, you’ll be freeing up hours of your time to focus on other important tasks.
Furthermore, because resume editing is designed to help you maximize your chances of being hired into your target position quickly, you’re likely to save money in the long run by regaining or increasing your income sooner.
Keep in mind that in addition to their unique industry know-how and well-refined skill sets, resume editors have usually seen hundreds or even thousands of resumes. They have accumulated detailed knowledge of real-world practices and are aware of what the competition (i.e., other job seekers) is doing.
In conclusion, working with a professional editor to improve your resume and cover letter can help you:
If you’re in need of professional resume editing services, you can get in touch with us here for a free, no-obligation quote.
Thanks for reading and happy hunting!