Friday Forum – Submitted a Resume With a Typo?!

Are you looking for a position because of a bad boss?

Welcome to the Friday Forum!

Every Friday, we take a question submitted by one of our readers and have our professionals field it and provide advice.  We then encourage members of the Need a New Gig community to comment below and give their take!

Here is This Week’s Question:

Diane asks:

“I haven’t been actively looking for a new position, but a friend of mine passed along the details on an opportunity that I am very interested in. I decided that I wanted to move forward, so I dusted off my resume, updated it with my new responsibilities, and submitted it for the position.  Since I was excited about the opportunity, I wanted to get my resume over as soon as I could.  After I submitted my application I was reading back over my resume and I noticed that it had an error on it!  Now I am freaking out!  I am really interested in this job and I don’t want to be passed on because of a typo.  Should I resend a corrected resume or leave it be?  What should I do?

In today’s world many Recruiters and Hiring Managers will tell you that the fastest way to end up in the “no” pile is to have a typo on your resume.  Im not sure that I fully agree with that statement, as I believe it really depends on the situation.  In my experience I have seen it go both ways.

The Reality of Typos

First off, the most important thing to remember that we are all human.  Mistakes happen.  We live in a technology driven world where things like mobile devices and autocorrect can cause a typo without us even knowing.  The crazy thing is that it actually happens more often then you may think.  Every day millions of resumes are submitted to job applications.  The reality is that there are just as many resumes with typos as there are ones that are error-free.

So What Should You Do?

Depending on your situation you have a few options:

Nothing

In all honesty sometimes the best thing to do in this situation nothing at all.  Your resume has been submitted and it is now out of your hands.  While there is a chance that the employer may notice the error, there is also a pretty good chance they may not.  Even if they do catch a typo, it might not be a big deal to them and they may still look to bring you in for an interview.  Stay positive and don’t assume the worse!

Send an Updated Resume

If you are in this position you may ask yourself if you should submit a corrected resume.  In some situations this may be ok, but you have to approach it with caution.  There are times when submitting a “fixed” resume could potentially hurt you.  For example, the employer may not have noticed the mistake and by re-sending your resume it may raise a concern.

With that being said, there are times when it may be worth a shot.  If you are applying for a position that relies heavily on grammar and spelling, it is in your interest to send a “fixed” resume.  This is another area where you need to tread lightly.  When you send over the new version of your resume, keep your correspondence short and to the point.  Simply let them know that you are providing them with an updated resume and ask them to use this version moving forward.

Another thing to consider when thinking about sending an updated resume is that their decision may already be made.  There is a chance that the employer may have already ruled you out.  If it has been a few weeks since you have heard anything it may not be worth sending.

If you can’t decide what to do and you are on the fence there is no real harm in sending an updated resume.  My only recommendation is that you should not call attention to the fact that the previous version had an error in it.  As mentioned above, the best method is to simply send over your resume and inform them that this is the most updated version.

Talk to Your Recruiter

If you are working with a Recruiter on this position they may be able to assist you.  Reach out and explain the situation to them.  There is a chance that they may be able to cover for you and tell the employer that they sent over the wrong version of your resume.  If not, they may be able to sell your experience/background  to help get the employer past the typo.  Worst case scenario they should be able to help you calm down and not worry about it!

Bring an Updated Copy to Your Interview

Regardless of how you handle the situation, I always recommend bringing a few “fixed” copies of your resume to your interview.  You can let the interviewer(s) know that you brought your “most up to date resume” to ensure that they had your most current information for the meeting.

Can You Still Get the Job?

The bottom line is that you can definitely still land the job.  Use your best judgement and decide if it is really a noticeable error, or if you think you will be ok.  If you get lucky and get called in for an interview, be sure to bring a few error-free copies of your resume to hand out.  If you end up in the “no” pile, don’t sweat it!  Make the necessary changes on your resume, do a fresh search, and move on!

What are Your Thoughts? Comment Below!

Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!

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