You’ve worked hard on your resume, from writing, rewriting and editing, through proofreading and a final spell-check. You’ve even had others review it and give the “OK” to send it out. Then – <gasp> -you discover a glaring typo on your resume, which you didn’t catch before sending it to recruiters and posting it several job boards!
Your biggest fear is that hiring managers will find this error and discard your resume, based on this common premise: “If you make a mistake on your résumé, you’ll probably make mistakes on the job.” Before you chastise yourself for this oversight, you may be surprised to know that minor typos aren’t always noticed or viewed as disqualifiers by hiring managers.
“You can’t avoid every mistake and recruiters do make allowances under certain circumstances,” says Kris Maher in the article “Strategies for Avoiding Common Resume Errors.” Besides this, a survey by Career Directors International revealed that only 50% of the respondents said that typos can ruin your chances [at getting the job] and the other 50% said that one or two small typos typically do not matter. Even so, the survey’s final comments stated: “Because you never know how an employer may take an error as a reflection of the candidate, it’s always best to proofread not once but two or three times!”
For an error-free resume, follow these proofreading tips: 1) Print out your resume and read it out loud; 2) Read each line backwards (right to left); 3) Scan it diagonally (like an X) from both directions. You’ll be amazed at how many mistakes you don’t catch (including words that are spelled correctly but used in a grammatically incorrect context) by simply reading it silently from left to right.
Two more critical proofreading hints: 1) Don’t rely on a spell-checker to proofread for you; 2) Be sure your contact information is 100% correct–including your email address and phone numbers!
As for resumes with errors which you’ve already sent out, use these damage control strategies to get corrected copies to hiring managers and boost your candidacy:
1) Resend a corrected version to target recipients; but don’t point out the error. If you’ve kept good records about where you’ve sent your resume, it will be easy to recall who to send it to. Include a short note that you can edit for each situation:
“Dear Recruiter: Earlier this month, I emailed you a copy of my resume in consideration of career opportunities that might be available within your client companies. Attached is an updated copy, so please discard the earlier version. Thank you.”
2) Refresh your resume on job boards, online applications and social networking sites. Besides providing the corrected resume, you’ll get higher rankings in the search engines, because they will treat the update as fresh content.
3) Reframe the situation from a “sales” standpoint. Resending or reposting your resume can work to your advantage. Salespeople know that it takes six or more attempts to reach prospects before getting an appointment. Since job searching can be likened to “selling your skills” to employers, another “ping” of your resume presents another opportunity to connect.
You should always proofread your resume carefully before sending it out. If you implement the strategies above, you’ll avoid embarrassing mistakes and keep your job search on-course.
© 2012 Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach. All Rights Reserved