So You Made a Typo on Your Resume. Now What?
It’s one of the first items on any list of resume tips: Whatever you do, don’t make any typos or spelling mistakes. If you do, the experts usually suggest, your prospective employer will read your CV aloud in a Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel voice before throwing it into the bin while the HR department jeers and applauds. But what if, despite your best efforts, you do make a mistake? Should you resend a corrected resume? Should you grovel and apologize? Or should you just pretend it never happened?
The answer, of course, is that it depends, both on which expert you ask and how bad your mistake was. Here are a few takes on the issue:
1. It’s too late — and they might not have noticed anyway.
“You look bad resending a resume to a hiring manager and saying ‘I had a typo in my resume,'” writes Penelope Trunk, founder of Brazen Careerist. “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.”
2. Resend — but only if it’s a major mistake.
“If the error is relatively minor (e.g., a misplaced comma or a missing period), it’s probably not necessary to resend your document (but do save a corrected version for the next time),” writes Karen Hofferber, a professional resume writer who works with ResumePower.com.
On the other hand, if there are lots of errors, egregious misspellings, or misrepresentations, Hofferber advises resending a corrected version, together with a “brief cover letter explaining that you’ve recently updated your resume, and due to your strong interest in the company’s opportunity, you want to make available the most current version of your materials.”
3. No matter what, don’t over-apologize.
As tempting as it might be to scream “mea culpa!” and smash your face into the keyboard, don’t go bananas apologizing about the error. If possible, characterize your new CV as an “updated resume,” not a fixed one.
Most of all, try to be kind to yourself. Into every life, typos, like rain, must fall. Make the corrections, save the document, and engage a couple eagle-eyed friends to scan your materials the next time you apply for a job.
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