Everyone knows you should proofread and spell check your resume. Unfortunately, a single resume document isn’t sufficient for a job search today. Many companies require job seekers to apply through lengthy online forms. Each field collects different information, and you will need to write answers to questions not covered in your resume.
The text you put in an online application needs to be professional. You can’t have a ton of spelling errors and think you are going to make a good impression. Submitting a job application isn’t like other writing activities – you will be judged very critically. Many job seekers struggle with this. They use spell check effectively but are lost as soon as they have to fill in a web form. There are solutions to help eliminate mistakes.
If you use the google toolbar, there is a spell check tool you can use. All you have to do is click the button on the toolbar and google will spell check all the text in the form fields on a web page. This tool doesn’t have a grammar check component. It also won’t identify places where you misspell a word by typing a different word. For example, I’ve found lately I continue to type “you” for “your” when writing. I can’t type as fast as I would like and end up missing a letter here and there. Spell check will never find this mistake, and a grammar checker won’t even find it a lot of the time.
Despite missing some errors, the google spell check will catch obvious misspellings. It’s easy to add and only takes a few seconds to run.
Using a Word Professor
To check your text more thoroughly, copy it over to a word processor and run the grammar checker. This is more time consuming, but will help you avoid mistakes on applications. It’s definitely worth the time.
There are other tools to help you avoid typos in your writing. I use a number of checks to try to avoid mistakes. I’ve learned the hard way. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, hopefully you have noticed a vast improvement over the last year and a half. I find it extremely difficult to see mistakes in my writing. I know what I meant to write and have trouble seeing what I actually typed. This is especially difficult when I proofread immediately after writing. For this blog, this is how I write. I usually spend less than an hour from the time I start an article until I hit publish. That doesn’t give much time to edit.
On Monday, I am going to outline the full process I use to write and edit an article quickly. It’s reasonably effective, but not perfect. Within the process, there are four different checks I do to catch errors. I’ve worked to balance the effectiveness of the editing process with the time required. Check back Monday to see if some of the checks I do can help you improve your writing on cover letters and job applications.