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Reflections of an Executive Resume Writer
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Could One Little Typo on My Executive Resume Torpedo My Chances?

TyposThe answer to that question is unfortunately, “Yes,” Especially in an “employer’s job market” where there are hundreds if not thousands of applicants for every available spot, recruiters and employers can be extremely picky. That little typo on your executive resume, cover letter, or application can mean you don’t get that interview–impressive as your documentation may have been otherwise.

So says a recent article on About.com’s About Careers by Alison Doyle, and I have to agree with Ms. Doyle.

As she says, this makes it paramount that you thoroughly proofread every piece of information that you provide to a potential employer, and importantly: DO NOT TRUST YOUR SPELLCHECKER.

These automated proofing tools are great as far as they go, but they will not miss many common mispellings where there are two versions of a word with differing meanings, or where a misspelled word is actually still a word (just not the right one). An example of this that I see frequently on resumes that prospective clients send to me for evaluation is the word ‘manger’ where the word should actually be ‘manager’. This is an easy typo to make, and is not caught by spellcheckers.

So you want to proofread your materials at least two or three times, slowly and thoughtfully. Ms. Doyle also points out some strategies that may help, such as taking a break and revisiting the document a couple of hours later, printing it out instead of just reviewing it on your screen, and editing for grammar and spelling separately. It can also be valuable to have a spouse, friend, or associate proofread for you.

Typos are very easy to make, and can sometimes even draw a chuckle from a recruiter or hiring manager (probably not the response you were looking for). Some real-life bloopers documented by www.resumania.com include:
— “Hope to hear from you, shorty.”
— “Have a keen eye for derail.”
— “Dear Sir or Madman.”
— “I’m attacking my resume for you to review.”
— “I am a rabid typist.”
— “My work ethics are impeachable.”

Laughter aside, what is the single most important section of your executive resume to proof with great attention? Your personal information! It doesn’t happen terribly often, but I do receive resumes from prospective clients that have their email address or phone number listed incorrectly. I can recall a few instances of trying to call a prospect to no avail. Needless to say, this will torpedo your chances for sure! One prospect was bemoaning the fact that he was getting little response and I had to point out that both his email address and phone number were out of date or typed incorrectly. Sure, there was plenty of room to improve his resume, but he was being knocked out of the running at the starting gate.

For more of Ms. Doyle’s tips, see the full article at:
Proofreading Tips.

You’ll also find there links to more detailed articles on proofreading and editing your documents.

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