Remember ASOS’s misprinting of 17,000 plastic bags, Emma Watson’s apostrophe-less “Times up” tattoo, or Trump’s State of the “Uniom” address invitations?
As they say, to err is human.
There is probably no such individual that has never made a mistake. And the bigger and more bizarre the mistake, the more embarrassing it can become.
But how about those dead serious situations of sending out a job application and inadvertently making a mistake on your resume? Is there a reason to freak out and respond with a foot-long apology letter? Or should you just do nothing and hope nobody will notice?
Well, there’s no clear-cut solution. Each case deserves consideration on its own and asks for a different approach. We’ve come to a conclusion there are several possible scenarios when it comes to a faulty resume. Read on to figure out which one best fits your situation!
Don’t fret over a minor mistake — leave the errors be.
First, it’s important to realize that — unlike humans — not all mistakes were created equal. Whereas some of them can get your resume thrown in a trash, other ones will easily go unnoticed.
So if you’ve already made a mistake, you need to assess them to decide about the action you will take. A misplaced comma, missing period or a minor typo on your resume isn’t as glaring as an egregious misspelling of the hiring manager’s name.
You definitely don’t want to call attention to a mistake that hardly stands out from your resume. If it’s not something that may spread confusion or misinformation that would be critical to the understanding of your resume, there’s no reason to point it out.
Recruiters also usually have too many resumes to review and fussing about a missing punctuation mark won’t be his primary concern. If perfect spelling isn’t one of the requirements for the job, no little typo should be able to overshadow your experience and qualifications.
Finally, learn from your own mistakes and don’t forget to save the corrected version of your resume for future use. You never know when you’ll need it again and doing this upfront will pay off.
Detected some major errors? Resend your resume with style.
There are certain situations when you need to take action and follow up with a new, fixed version of your resume. But sending out a corrected version and saying ‘Sorry, there was a typo in my resume’ is probably the worst thing you can do.
It’s not very wise to draw attention to the mistakes you made. Rather than pointing out your typos and grammatical errors, simply present it as an “updated copy” or as your most recent document to replace any prior versions.
This is a smart and elegant way to avoid losing your reputation right from the outset. Most recruiters will also focus on the content rather than the formatting, so it’s very unlikely that they will fish for mistakes in the first version of your resume.
It’s good to know that most companies use automated technology to store resumes. This means that when they receive a new file the older version is simply deleted. So chances are your errors will fade into oblivion quite easily.
Here’s an idea of how to resend your resume and save face after a major snafu:
Dear [recruiter’s name]:
Here is an updated copy of the resume I sent you last [day of the week], expressing my interest in [job title]. Please, refer to this version when you review my qualifications for the job.
Cover up your weaknesses.
To deflect the attention from your errors even further, you can also enhance the updated version with a couple of reworded or added bullet points that relate to the position. And if you are eventually invited to an interview, be sure to bring the properly formatted resume with you.
If you feel the need to be honest, however, you may as well get away with something short and light like this:
Dear [recruiter’s name]:
My perfectionist nature would not allow me to overlook the fact that the resume I submitted contained a small mistake. I’m now attaching an updated copy of my resume. Please, refer to this version when you review my qualifications for the job.
No matter what, life goes on.
If you send your seemingly perfect resume, only to notice a typo or two later, don’t panic. Be kind to yourself, it’s not the end of the world.
Many people have actually been hired for jobs despite typos in their resumes. We’re all humans and make mistakes on a daily basis. However, there are some methods that can eliminate the possibility they’ll ruin your resume.
Besides running a spell checker and proofreading it once again, engage a couple of eagle-eyed friends to scan your resume before you apply for a next job. They’ll far more likely to catch any formatting, grammar, spelling or timeline issues that you may have missed.
Last but not least, invest some time into regular maintenance. Update your resume every now and then to have an up-to-date, thoroughly proofread career document. This will help you be ready the next time an unexpected opportunity comes your way.