Oh, No! My Resume Has a Typo! What Should I Do?

So you’ve hunted days, weeks or even months, holding out hope for the perfect job.  You’ve turned down oversized giant pains in the neck and have stepped right past teensy, tiny roles, only to find the job seeker’s equivalent of that just right fit of a position.  A little background research and some touch ups to ye olde resume, and then you hit send.

Sitting back with a smug smile, you click on that email, thinking you’ll just look it over and appreciate the job well done when out of the wild blue yonder you spot it.  An obvious, glaring and completely out of place typo is sitting there staring at you like the menace that overtook…well…your career prospects.

If this scenario sounds oh so familiar, or is frightening enough to induce cold shudders and chills when you turn off your night light, never fear.  Much like in real life, there is no takesie backsies when applying for jobs but Simply Hired has you covered with some sure-fire ways to recover from typo blunders and mistype missteps.  Read on for our best ways to handle the avoidable but inevitable question of “oh no, my resume has a typo, what should I do.”

Leave It Be: Don’t Fret Over Punctuation Errors

Put this piece of advice solidly in the “not all errors are created equal” category.  Did you miss an oxford comma? Perhaps you overused the ellipses…or “forgot to close out your quotation marks.  While these types of typos are annoying, their impact on your overall callback chances are relatively low. This is especially true if the errors in punctuation are few and far between.

Minor errors in punctuation may cause your internal OCD demon to fret, but take it from us and tell that perfection monster to take a chill pill.  Be sure to correct any errors for future resume use and move along. It’s likely the hiring manager may not even notice and certainly won’t look too askance if they do.

Major Errors?  Don’t Be Afraid of Hitting Resend.

While a minor punctuation or grammar tense issue may not be anything to fret over, the same can certainly not be said for major snafus.  Omissions in critical details such as dates of employment, job titles or other areas of your professional experience can set you up for major embarrassment when uncovered down the line.  If you catch a hiccup in one of these areas, it’s better to send a chaser email with a corrected resume and a quick note.

When sending a corrected resume, don’t be so quick to admit to a mistake in the first place.  Instead of pointing out a prior error, try phrasing your email as an “updated resume” or your most recent document to replace any prior versions.  If the position has plenty of applicants, chances are the hiring manager hasn’t had a chance to review the error-filled original.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

One of the best ways to avoid anxiety over resume mistakes is to leave errors out from the get-go.  You may be thinking this is easier said than done, but there are plenty of steps candidates can take to set themselves up for success.  

Before you hit submit for that lucrative job position, have a trusted friend or advisor give your documents a once over.  A fresh pair of eyes, or better yet two, can help catch any formatting, grammar, spelling or timeline errors that you may have missed.  There are also a host of online resume review services that charge a modest fee for a quick once over and polishing. For entry-level positions, this type of investment may seem overboard, but if you’re looking to score a higher up job title, a little bit of professional help may be just what you need.    

To sum things up, if an error does manage to work it’s way into your resume or application, it’s certainly not the end of the world.  Like most mistakes in life, you should correct and learn from the experience and then move on. If you have a mistake pointed out to you during the interview process, be sure to maintain professionalism and thank the person who caught on.  They wouldn’t have noticed your mistake after all if you hadn’t been seriously considered for the position so consider this a small silver lining in your minor career embarrassment.

Article Updated from the Original on March 28, 2018