Spelling Mistakes on Resumes Hurt You!

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A recent survey conducted by Accountemps reports that 76% of executives interviewed said that just one or two typing errors in a resume would remove applicants from consideration for a job; 40% said it only takes one typing error to rule candidates out.

With today’s spell checking technology, you are probably wondering if these errors even still occur.  Speaking as someone who reviews resumes daily, I can say absolutely they still occur!  In fact, not a day goes by when I don’t receive a resume with a spelling mistake on it, and some of these are from Vice Presidents!  Obviously, relying on just your spell checker is not enough.

The problem is when a word is spelled correctly, but it is the wrong word to use in the first place.  For example, “fore and four”, “two and too” and “your and you’re” are not interchangeable.  Spell checkers however will not catch these types of errors so you must find them the old fashioned way with proof reading.

Some other real life examples from Resumania are listed below.  Although you may find these are humourous, making similar mistakes could cost you your future.

  • “Hope to hear from you, shorty.”
  • “Have a keen eye for derail.”
  • “Dear Sir or Madman.”
  • “I’m attacking my resume for you to review.”
  • “I am a rabid typist.”
  • “My work ethics are impeachable.”
  • “Nervous of steel.”
  • “Following is a grief overview of my skills.”
  • “GPA: 34.0”
  • “Graphic designer seeking no-profit career.”

To avoid these mistakes, you must manually proof read your resume.  Have someone else also proof read it as well.  Print it, and then read it aloud.  Just when you think you are ready to submit it, take a break and then come back and read it again.  Not only are some of these mistakes easy to make, and they are easy to miss when you have read the same thing over and over. 

Remember, some executives will not give you a second chance so put your best foot forward and proof read.  It is time well invested. 

Aim Higher!

To download a free copy of our white paper How To Write An Effective B2B Sales Resume, visit our Sales Download Centre.

Do you need some sales career advice? Are you looking to make a career change but you are unsure in which direction you should head? Do you need some honest feedback on your resume? For less than an average dinner out, you can consult with the B2B Sales Coach every day and receive the personal direction you need.

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections

www.b2bsalesconnections.com, www.linkedin.com/in/SusanEnns, or www.twitter.com/SusanEnns

P.S.  For my friends south of the border who think I spelled “humourous” wrong, that is actually how we spell it in Canada.

3 thoughts on “Spelling Mistakes on Resumes Hurt You!

  1. Good post. Folks do forget and your examples are quite effective. I would caution that perfect emails are also critical. They may be informal communications, but the rules of grammar are not suspended.

    You make another point, which is the regional spelling issue. If you are applying for a US job, probably best to use US spelling.

    Keep up the good work. I will RT your post.

    PS: In the US, this phrase [one typing error to rule candidates out] would be [rule out candidates]

    Rita Ashley, Job Search Coach
    Author: Job Search Debugged

  2. I agree perfect emails are critical. Taken a step further, what is acceptable in a text message between friends is certainly not acceptable in a resume, cover letter or business email.

    To all the “texters” out there:
    – If you type my name, it should be capitalized
    – If we have never met before, I am not your “bff”
    – Receiving email that is addressed to another company does not make me “lol”

    Thanks for the feedback, Rita.

  3. Brilliant article and a powerful reminder that in any economy poor spelling and sentence structure always give the wrong impression.

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