Typos in Your Resume: Two Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe
Everybody knows that typos in a resume can be a deal breaker. Or at least, we’ve all been told this. But many candidates just don’t seem to believe it or don’t think it applies to them. As you tighten and polish your application materials, watch out for these two thoughts. They’re alluring, but they simply aren’t true:
- My resume is typo free! And so is my cover letter. I’ve checked them and re-checked them. I am one hundred percent sure they’re clean.
- Even if I made one mistake (which I didn’t), the reviewers will forgive me. After all, I’m only human, and they’re looking for a professional (middle manager/paralegal/accountant/museum curator), not a professional resume writer.
No matter who you are, or what position you’re applying for, these statements are false. Both of them. As for item 1: No matter how many times you’ve looked at your document, there is a typo in there. At least one. Your job is to find it.
As for item 2: You may think that hiring managers will forgive you for your mistakes, and that your qualifications will speak for themselves. Here’s an image to scare you straight: A group of managers are looking to staff a position previously occupied by a close friend who they miss very much. They’re already a little resentful of the new candidate, plus they’re bored, the lunch delivery is late, the stack of resumes is enormous, and they know that none of the candidates in the reject pile will ever overhear their laugher. You may be surprised by how little mercy they show for your incorrect use of the semi-colon.
Here are a few quick areas to re-check and double re-check:
- You’re vs Your
- It’s vs Its
- Capitalize your school, your degree, and your major.
- Bulleted items should only end with a period if they are complete sentences.
- Never trust the spell check. Actually look at every word. Then do it again.