One resume error can ruin your prospects

Job seekers take note: One false stroke at the keyboard could send your resume into the “circular file.”

Fifty-one per cent of executives interviewed said just one or two typos in a resume would remove applicants from consideration for a job; 23% said it takes only one typo to rule candidates out.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, a staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance.

“The resume is an applicant’s first chance to impress the hiring manager,” says Kathryn Bolt, president of Accountemps’ Canadian operations. “Mistakes on one’s application materials may prompt employers to assume there also will be mistakes made on the job.”

Unfortunately, typos and other slipups are easy to make, and spell-check won’t always catch them. Following are some real errors made in resumes, applications and cover letters.

  • “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.”
  • “Following is a grief overview of my skills.”
  • “Graphic designer seeking no-profit career.”


Accountemps offers the following tips:

  • Get help. Enlist detail-oriented family members, friends or mentors to proofread your resume and provide feedback.
  • Take a timeout. Before submitting your resume, take a break and come back to it with fresh eyes. You might catch something you missed at first.
  • Print a copy. It’s easy to overlook typos or formatting mistakes when reading a resume on a monitor. Print it out, read it slowly and pay close attention to font styles and sizes, in addition to spelling and grammar.
  • Try a new perspective. Readers can inadvertently skip over parts they have read previously. Review your resume backward to help avoid this.
  • Read it aloud. Your ears might catch errors your eyes have overlooked.