Think resume typos are no big deal? Last year, Accountemps, a temporary staffing firm, interviewed 150 senior executives from some of the nation's largest companies. Forty percent of the respondents said that just one typo on a resume would cause the candidate to be eliminated. Thirty-six percent said it would take just two mistakes before the resume was put in the "no" pile. Here are some of my favorite resume bloopers I found via Job Mob, Resume Hell, and Zimbio. Obviously spell-check isn't all it's cracked up to be.
- Objective: Seeking a party-time position with room for advancement
- Professional headline: 1 year old marketing executive
- Achievement: Planned new corporate facility at $3M over budget.
- Explanation of employment gap: career break in 1999 to renovate my horse
- References: Referees available upon request
- Skills: I am a rabid typist
- Strengths: Impersonal skills
- Hobbies: Enjoy cooking Chinese and Italians
- Education: College: August 1880 to May 1984
- Cover letter: I would like to assure you that I am a hardly working person.
And just how much information on a resume is too much?
- Objective: To have my skills and ethics challenged on a regular basis
- Personal Information: Married, eight children, prefer frequent travel
- Language Skills: Exposure to German for two years-but many words are inappropriate for business
- Reason for leaving last job: the owner gave new meaning to the word paranoia
- Achievements: Nominated for prom queen
- Education: Finished eighth in a class of ten
- Interests: Gossiping
- Awards: National record for eating 45 eggs in two minutes
- References: Bill, Tom, Eric - but I don't know their phone numbers
- Salary: The higher the better
- Cover letter: Please disregard the attached resume; it's totally outdated
I've blogged about resume typos before, but here are a few more suggestions for avoiding them.
- Print out a copy of the resume to proofread. It is easier to catch mistakes on the printed page than on the computer screen.
- Set the resume aside for a few hours and come back to it later. This may help you spot new typos.
- Ask three people to read the resume. Among the three of them, one is bound to catch an error.
As for other resume bloopers -- err on the side of caution and use common sense. A resume isn't a data dump of everything you have ever done or a window into your soul. It is a succinct marketing tool that should put your best foot forward. Your resume may very well be the single most important document you ever write. Pay attention to every detail and be memorable for the right reasons.