Tech & Work

Never underestimate the power of a resume typo

Hiring executives apparently have a low threshold for resume bloopers. A recent study claims that one out of four executives will toss a resume into the wastebasket if they spot a typo. Here's what to do to lessen the chances of that happening to you.

Hiring executives apparently have a low threshold for resume bloopers. A recent study claims that one out of four executives will toss a resume into the wastebasket if they spot a typo. Here's what to do to lessen the chances of that happening to you.

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Last week I talked about 10 boring phrases that could derail your resume. For further evidence that resume blunders can cause negative knee-jerk reactions in prospective employers, take a look at these stats.

Staffing company Accountemps released research last week on this topic. When hiring executives were asked about resume typos:

  • 23% of those surveyed said just one typo is enough to send the resume to the trash heap.
  • Two typos and 28% of them are pulling the trigger.

A piece on the site Working.com gives some examples of bloopers from real-life resumes:

  • "I am attacking my resume for you to review."
  • "I have a keen eye for derail."
  • "Hope to hear from you, shorty."

Spell-check will most likely not catch these bloopers because the words are spelled correctly, but the words are not in the right context.

So what can you do to avoid these embarrassing blunders? Accountemps recommends:

  • Enlist detail-oriented family members, friends, or mentors to proofread your resume and provide honest feedback.
  • Take a timeout. Before submitting your resume, take a break and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. You might catch something you missed the first time.
  • Print a copy. It's easy to overlook typos or formatting mistakes when reading a resume on a monitor, so print it out for review. Read through it slowly and pay close attention to font styles and sizes, in addition to spelling and grammar.
  • Try a new perspective. Sometimes readers inadvertently skip over parts they have read previously. Review your resume backward to help avoid this problem.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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