How a typo can kill your resume

How a typo can kill your resume

Submitting any type of document that is riddled with spelling errors and typos is a bad reflection on your professionalism – but when it’s your resume, it can be the ultimate mistake. This is not new information. Everyone knows that your resume should be perfect without any spelling or grammatical errors, but most resumes out there are not perfect.

You’re in luck. If you only have one small typo in your resume, chances are that a hiring manager will let it slide. You’re human after all – you make mistakes. However, three misspelled words later… and your resume is on its way to the “NO” pile.

Yes, you might’ve been the perfect person for the position, but the multiple errors on your resume are telling a different story. They are telling the hiring manager that you are not detail-oriented and that you don’t take the time to double check your documents before you send them out. In almost any career, these are not ideal qualities.

Ask Yourself – What am I doing wrong?

  • You are using spellcheck

You thought using spellcheck was a great idea – most of you do. However, it depends on how you use spellcheck. If you type up the document, hit the spellcheck button at the end, and either click Accept or Ignore to the errors that it finds – you are using spellcheck the wrong way.

Spellcheck is an automated program. It does not understand what you are trying to say in each sentence of your resume. You understand what you are trying to say. So you should be checking the spelling in the document yourself.

Once you’ve got all of your information typed in, take a break and then return to your resume. Sit down with a clear mind and read the resume aloud to yourself. If you stumble over your words, there is probably something wrong with the wording or the grammar. If you catch a typo or spelling mistake, correct it immediately. If you don’t know the correct spelling, this is the right time to refer to spellcheck.

  • You are the only person proofreading your resume

You plan to send your resume out to dozens (or hundreds) of hiring managers. Why don’t you also send it to a friend or colleague, so they can proofread it first? No matter how many times you read your resume, it is likely that you will constantly skip over the same typos over and over again. Your brain already knows what each line of the resume should say, and therefore you are not catching the errors that are in front of you.

Getting a friend or colleague to proofread your resume will guarantee that a fresh set of eyes is reviewing the document. This is also a great way to find out what impression your resume will give to a hiring manager. If it looks crowded to your friend, it will likely look crowded to a hiring manager. If the wording is difficult to understand for your friend, it will likely be difficult to understand for a hiring manager.

Take this as a test run. Once your resume is perceived well by a friend and no errors were found, then you know that you are ready to send it off to potential employers.

Understandably, you want to get yourself into the job market as fast as possible. However, taking these extra steps will make all the difference. If you are being turned down for roles, you want it to be because they somehow found a better candidate. You don’t want the reason to be that your resume was weak, or full of errors.

Read your resume aloud to yourself and see how many errors you find. Then send it off to a friend and see if they can help you improve it any further. Don’t have any friends? Submit your resume for a free review and we’ll give you our feedback!

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Comments (3)

  • Typos—everyone hates them, especially possible employers | Always Be Job Hunting Reply

    […] Typos in a resume can kill your chances for a job interview faster than almost anything else you can imagine. That fact was brought home in a recent piece I read on […]

    July 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm
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