When you are trying to portray yourself as the best possible candidate for a job, one of the worst things you can do is submit a resume with a typo. Or is it? Of course we’ve all heard that there is no faster way to land your resume in the garbage, but there is no concrete way to know for sure how a hiring manager will perceive an error on a resume.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to an error on your resume: 1) How significant the mistake is. 2) The number of mistakes. 3) The type of position. 4) The company.
If the error on your resume is relatively minor like a missing period, extra space between words, or a capitalization error you may be fine. Everyone makes mistakes and many (though not all) hiring managers realize this and will be willing to overlook it.
In addition to the type of typo, the amount of typos on your resume can make a difference. Some hiring managers have a one typo limit while others are more forgiving. However, I have yet to come across a hiring manager that will tolerate numerous and repeated errors.
If you are applying for a position that requires any kind of writing or editing, an error on your resume may be detrimental. However, if the position is not writing specific, a hiring manager may be willing to ignore a typo in favor of your qualifications.
The company that you are applying to can also make a difference in how a resume typo will be viewed. If it is a major organization chances are it uses an applicant tracking system. If the typo is trivial and a company is using an ATS these minor errors may go unnoticed. If it is a small company where a human set of eyes will most likely be viewing your resume any typo has a higher chance of being noticed.
Should you send a new resume? Depends on the typo – how noticeable is it? If the error is a major one that will eliminate any chance of landing the job your best course of action may be to submit a new resume. In this case you will want to include a cover letter that states you are resubmitting an updated version of your resume.
Some may advise that you should not call attention to the fact that you are resending it because the first one contained typos. However, others subscribe to honesty is the best policy and suggest that a short email explaining the reason for resubmitting your resume is the best way to go. If you do this, keep it short and light such as: My perfectionist nature would not allow me to overlook the fact that the resume I submitted contained a small error.
Because of your familiarity with your resume it is easy to overlook mistakes. You’ve probably read through your resume 100 times and it is a natural tendency to skim over it and miss the typos that will have you smacking your head in frustration later. Or in your eagerness to apply for a position you might not take the time you should reviewing your resume before you send or email it. You should have a fresh set of eyes read through your resume to catch any mistakes you might have missed before you send it out. Keeping your resume current and up-to-date can also help you to avoid the scramble that may occur if you are trying to put together a resume in a time crunch.
If you discover a typo after you’ve submitted your resume, don’t panic. Assess the severity of the typo and if necessary address it accordingly.
by Megan Koehler