Job hunting is not anyone’s favorite thing to do. Neither is writing a resume either, unless you do it for a living. So when you find errors on your resume after you’ve sent it, how important are they? This just happened to a friend of mine. No sooner had her finger hit ‘send’, did she realize there was a typo in the career summary at the top of page 1. Are those mistakes really going to cause you serious problems?
Well, the answer to that is that it depends. There are many different types of errors that you might find on a resume, and while some of them are ridiculous, others are so inconsequential that no one will notice.
For example, formatting errors are more noticeable than anything else, and will leave an impression that the person who is submitting the resume doesn’t know what they’re doing. If the resume wasn’t created by you, it will still be the impression given to the employer. Ensure that your resume is properly formatted. In other words, all the edges match up, because looks do count. Pay attention to whether or not bullet points are used in appropriate places, if you have chosen to use them. Make sure everything is consistent. If you are going to capitalize your job title, make sure ALL job titles are capitalized, etc.
How important are errors on a resume? Is your contact info correct? There is a difference between the town names Brookfield and Brookville! Let’s say Person X living at 123 Main in Brookfield lands a job—but their resume says Brookville. When the job offer is mailed to the wrong address and comes back as returned mail, that’s a big problem.
Incorrect information on a resume is also a major resume no-no. Lying about previous experience or schooling is a huge problem. How important are these errors on a resume? More than likely, at some point in time, you will get caught, and your credibility could be ruined. Oh, and you’ll probably be fired, too.
When creating your resume be truthful about where you went to school, what your ranking was, and when you graduated. If you took longer to graduate, you can explain that in an interview. Past experiences are listed on your resume with the most recent on top and a description of what the job was, using as few words as possible. Many people are too wordy, which is a turn-off to employers looking for potential workers. Keep it straightforward and simple. Cut the fluff words and stick to the point.
Spelling counts for a lot and the spell-check function on your computer can be a valuable tool. Be aware of how to spell the names of personal references properly. When potential employers call to check the references with these people, they don’t wish to be embarrassed by asking for the wrong person due to the name being misspelled. You should always spell-check and proof your work obsessively, or at least 2-3 times. Beware: spell-check doesn’t catch everything. I used to always automatically type “manger” for “manager”. I don’t know why, but I did. Manger is a word so spell-check never caught it. I did though. Luckily there is a cool tool in MS Word (auto correct options) where you add the words you misspell the most and it will automatically correct them (whew!).
Really, how important are errors on a resume? It all depends on the position you are applying for. If you are looking at a small spelling mistake in a sentence, and you are applying at an auto parts store for a cashier position, then it’s probably not a big deal. However, if you are applying as a newspaper editor with that same resume, it is a big deal. In the end, your resume should still be perfect anyway.