A resume is an important step in the job-seeking process, but sometimes unexpected incidents may occur after you submit your application. For instance, you may notice that you misspelled a word or transposed part of the phone number in your contact information. These occurrences are often fixable, and there are some actions you can take to amend them. In this article, we answer some FAQs about addressing typos in your resumes.
What is a typo on a resume?
A typo, or typographical error, on a resume is a mistake made in the text of your document. Typos can include mistakes involving spelling and punctuation or even mistyping important information involving you, your education or your jobs. For example, you may have typed "MFA" instead of "MBA," which can give hiring managers an inaccurate view of your education. Some other examples of typos include writing the wrong years for a job in your work experience section or mistyping your name in your header.
Do typos on a resume matter?
There's no clear answer to whether typos really matter because the reaction to typos on a resume usually varies from employer to employer. Sometimes it depends on the size of the typo and if there's more than one. Some employers may be forgiving when they see a typo if it's a minimal misspelling of a word or one missing comma. Other employers may see any number of typos as a reason to disregard your resume.
The importance of a typo may even rely on the type of job to which you are applying. If you're applying to be a park ranger, a hiring manager may overlook small spelling mistakes because writing may not be a major element of that job. If you're applying to be a technical writer, recruiters may view any typo as unacceptable. No matter what job you created your application for, there are actions you can take to address these incidents.
What can I do if I have a typo on my resume?
There are a few options you can consider if you notice a typo on your resume after you submit an application. Here are a few courses of action appropriate for different situations:
What can I do if I notice a large error in my resume?
If you notice an error in your resume, such as an incorrect employment date or a wrong address, you may be able to correct the error yourself. After you have fixed the error, you can send a follow-up email to the hiring manager with your updated resume and a brief message. A good subject line in this email might be "Resending" or "Updated resume" to let the hiring manager know immediately about the issue. Your brief message might say something like "Please review my updated resume and disregard the previous version I sent." This message is simple and straightforward.
You may also find it useful to enhance your updated resume to draw attention away from any previous mistakes. You can add extra bullet points to your skills or experience sections or reword some phrases. This is a second opportunity to send an outstanding resume, so you can take time to double-check your work and edit or reformat some sections to your liking.
Related: Guide To Updating Your Resume
What can I do if there's a small error on my resume?
If there's a small error on your resume, it may be best to do nothing. A small typo may not sway the hiring manager's opinion of you or your resume. Recruiters or hiring managers look over many resumes a day, so they might skim over each resume to get through their queue efficiently. This means it's possible they may entirely miss the typo. It depends on the hiring manager and their standards while picking candidates to fill job openings.
When should I resend my resume?
Resend your resume as soon as you notice the errors. There's a better chance of the hiring manager looking at the updated resume instead of the old resume when you catch mistakes early. As for the number of errors, you can resend your resume when you notice large mistakes after submission, but it depends on what makes you the most comfortable. If you would feel more confident by correcting a single spelling mistake, then correct the mistake and resend the resume to the hiring manager. Be sure to include a brief message explaining that this is the updated resume.
Do typos in my resume affect my chance of being hired?
Typos can affect your chance of getting hired. There are outside factors that determine whether the typo affects how or if you're hired. The hiring manager's standards, the position and the company to which you're applying can have an impact. If you're wondering if a typo on your resume might affect you, you can look at company reviews online and determine whether the company seems to be strict about its candidate choices. In these cases, it may be best to send a corrected resume even if you had a minor typo.
What are some tips I can use for encountering resume typos?
Bring copies of the updated resume with you to the interview. This ensures that your interviewer has the correct version of the resume. Bringing the updated resume can also help you during the interview when discussing certain information with the interviewer.
Proofread your current and future resumes. Proofreading your resumes can prevent typos from occurring again. Proofreading can also help you check your grammar, formatting and phrasing before submitting your resume.
Use a resume-checking website to catch any mistakes before you submit. Some resources online offer free services to check grammar, spelling, punctuation and formatting issues. These resources can be helpful even after you've proofread your work.
Ask your current supervisor or coworkers to look over your resume. You can ask your peers or supervisors to look over your resume as an extra precaution. It may be helpful to get another professional's opinion so you can submit your best work to a potential employer.
Learn from your mistakes. Learning from bad experiences often prevents you from making similar mistakes in the future. You can also pass on this knowledge to others who may be applying for jobs or crafting their own resumes.