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Your résumé must be typo-free

'I worked as a chew chief'

By Karen Datko Sep 10, 2009 1:31PM

When you're selling yourself in a résumé, there are definitely things you should not do.


A typo? Fuhgeddaboudit. A recent survey by Accountemps, owned by Robert Half International, found that 40% of the 150 senior executive who were questioned will toss a résumé after finding one single solitary typo. Another 30% said the magic number is two, writes Color of Money columnist Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post


So, make sure you read and reread and reread your résumé, and then have someone proofread it after you.


How damaging can a typo be? For more on that, we turned to Resumania (and thanks to Michelle for pointing out this hilarious site).


Resumania is a collection of real-life résumé and cover letter errors collected and updated by Robert Half, whose founder first began publishing them in a newsletter in 1966. It includes typos and other mistakes that don't quite communicate what the job seeker had in mind. The most hysterical are voted into a Hall of Fame.


Some examples:

  • Typos: "COVER LETTER: I'm attacking my résumé for you to review." "DUTIES: Worked at this upscale restaurant as a chew chief." (We could handle that job.)
  • Misspellings: "COVER LETTER: To creeat creeactions that satisfy both my customers and my creeactivity."
  • Nonsense: "OBJECTIVE: "I want to play a major part in watching a company advance." "COVER LETTER: I am not at liberty to disclose details of my work due to its sensible nature."

Resumania also provides clever comments about the mistakes: "COVER LETTER: ‘I prefer a fast-paste work environment.'" "For life's stickiest situations," the site's commentator says.


Other items you'll find at this site:

  • Question of the Month: The current one is: "When you were a child, what job did you want to have when you grew up?"
  • Fun Factoids about job-related stuff. For instance, 76% of senior executives say they don't accept video résumés.
  • Shop Talk. This contains solid and detailed advice, like how to write a good cover letter. (And, please, reread that letter and have someone else proof it too.) You'll find even more information about how to find a job in a section called Career Tips.

What do you think? Is the zero-typo standard too high? We don't think so. If you don't care enough to get your résumé right, what kind of employee would you be?


Related reading:



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