October 10, 2014

You sent your CV with a typo– don’t sweat it!

resumeI have read many job hunting articles where one of the key pieces of advice is: “Don’t have typos in your CV.”

My friend Michael pointed out that when Colin Powell resigned in the US, he typed his own letter at his home computer to keep it a secret. But the White House sent the letter back because it had a mistake. I wish the lesson here was that you pretty much should always get a second chance. But no one will give your CV back to you to fix. So instead the lesson is that everyone makes typos. It’s human.

It is practically impossible to not have a typo in a resume at some point because we’ve all read our resume a thousand times, and it’s not effective to proofread something you’ve read so much. On top of that, job hunting is often a repetitive, boring task, so it’s not surprising that candidates copy and paste and often put the wrong employer name in the salutation or refer to the wrong position at times.

So there’s nothing you can do to fix a typo if the resume is sent. You feel stupid resending a CV to a Recruitment Consultant or Employer and saying “I had a typo in my CV.” And guess what – most likely the person won’t notice the typo anyway unless it is in their name. Even if you are applying for a proofreader job, it won’t help to resend it. The job of a proofreader is to catch the error before they hit send.

A lot of articles say that Recruitment Consultants will ditch a CV if there’s one typo. I don’t necessarily agree with that. First, all typos are not equal. But also, a sales person with a typo is not the same as a technical writer with a typo. Whilst a technical writer should be detail-oriented, the skills that make a good sales person don’t necessarily make a good proofreader!

So if you send a resume with a typo, hope the Recruitment Consultant doesn’t notice, and endeavor not to do it again. Move on.

Good luck with your job search!

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