Here’s some career advice I’m sick of reading: “Don’t have typos in your resume.”
If you need to read that advice to know you shouldn’t have typos in your resume then you are unemployable.
My friend Ben pointed out that when Colin Powell resigned, he typed his own letter at his home computer to keep the resignation a secret. But the White House sent the letter back because it had a typo. I wish the lesson here were that you always get a second chance. But no one will give your resume back to you to fix. So instead the lesson is that everyone makes typos. It’s human.
It is near impossible to not have a typo in a resume at some point because we’ve all read our resume five hundred times, and it’s ineffective to proofread something you’ve reread so much. On top of that, job hunting is often a repetitive, boring task, so it’s no surprise that people copy and paste and put the wrong employer name in the salutation all the time.
So there’s nothing you can do to fix a typo if the resume is sent. You look bad resending a resume to a hiring manager and saying “I had a typo in my resume.” Most likely the person won’t notice the typo anyway unless it is in his name. Even if you are applying for a proofreader job, it’s not going to help to resend the resume. The job of a proofreader is to catch the error before he hits send.
A lot of polls say recruiters will dump a resume in the garbage if there’s one typo. I don’t believe it. First, all typos are not equal. But also, a sales person with a typo is different than a technical writer with a typo. While 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 recruiter doesn’t notice, and try not to do it again. Move on.
But you should consider hiring a resume writing service to write your resume. You can trust a top company to not have a typo. There are a million reasons to hire someone to help you with your resume. It’s a very important document and it’s very hard to write yourself because you’re too close to the information on many levels, not just in terms of spelling.
That said, I hired a top resume writing company and then later made some changes in my resume and, of course, sent it out a couple of times with typos. Maybe it was a good thing, though. Because to be honest, if anyone ever hired me for being detail-oriented, they would be disappointed. It’s important to know your strengths. I know who to hire to compensate for my shortcomings. And now, years later, I know not to mess with what those experts come up with.