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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spelling errors may cost you that dream job. Double-check your resume!

Remember when your teacher told you how important it was that you check - and double-check - your work? Well, it turns out that this advice was incredibly wise. When we write too quickly and are in a rush to finish something, it is easy to make mistakes. The trouble is that this very often sends a message to the reader. The reader gets the sense that we don't care enough about our work to spend the time to check it.

When we are talking about a resume, there are no excuses for spelling errors. The resume is not written on the spot or under a tight deadline, like a test or a class assignment might be. There is plenty of time to check it over and ask others to check it as well.

I recently read an article on this topic in the Central Valley Business Times. Here is an excerpt:

Ever wonder why you never got that job interview? Could be your resume was tossed as soon as the hiring manager saw the first typo. The adage "it's not what you say, but how you say it" holds particular weight when it comes to resumes, a recent survey shows.

Eighty-four percent of executives polled said it takes just one or two typographical errors in a resume to remove a candidate from consideration for a job opening; 47 percent said a single typo could be the deciding factor.

Executives were asked, "How many typos in a resume does it take for you to decide not to consider a job candidate for a position with your company?"

Nearly half (47 percent) said it takes just a single typo to toss the resume. Another 37 percent said the resume headed to the rejection pile after two typos.

Only 7 percent would forgive three typos and just 6 percent had no problem with four or more typos.

"Resumes often are a job seeker's first contact with prospective employers," says Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam, the company that paid for the survey. "Candidates who submit application materials with typographical or grammatical errors may be seen as lacking professionalism and attention to detail, and thus spoil their chances for an interview or further consideration."

To echo the survey results detailed above, I can tell you that I have absolutely passed over resumes which contained spelling and grammatical errors. Remember, take the time to get it right. It would be a shame to have your resume tossed in the pile of rejected resumes because it seemed sloppily done.

A good spell-check program and an extra set of eyes reading it over are your two best friends. Be sure to use them to your advantage.

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