Recruiters and human resources departments won't hesitate to toss resumes and cover letters with spelling and grammatical errors. Don't let yours end up in the trash.
According to a 2014 poll from staffing firm Accountemps, sixty-three percent of senior hiring managers said they would not grant an interview to an applicant who let even just one or two mistakes slip through.
Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Job Hunting For Dummies®, 2nd Edition, commented on the poll in a news release, "Job seekers should take great care in crafting, proofreading and submitting their resumes." Messmer added, "Attention to detail is required for most jobs, and a resume should showcase this skill – not detract from it."
According to a 2016 survey by online employment website CareerBuilder, forty-three percent of human resource personnel (first set of eyes on your resume) said they spend less than one minute looking at a resume.
If they see an error within those first precious seconds, the likelihood of your resume landing in the garbage increases exponentially.
“Errors in grammar and spelling, along with typos, are one of the easiest ways to get rejected from an opportunity,” says Joy Jones, M.Ed., assistant director with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Career and Professional Development Services.
First impressions count!
Here are some real-life resume blunders, collected by Robert Half, parent company of Accountemps:
- "My last employer fried me for no reason."
- "I am graduating this Maybe."
- "I am looking for my big brake."
- "Referees available upon request."
- "My talent will be very a parent when you see me work."
- "Objective: To secure a challenging position and accell in the accounting industry."
- "My three biggest hobbies are cars, racquetball, golf, and reading."
- "Work experience: academic tudor."
- "Earned a diploma from a very repudiated college."
- "Looking for a bass salary of $40,000 ."
Showing up in person with a hard copy resume and tailored cover letter is an obvious opportunity to stand out among the throng of impersonal, faceless emails the HR department is inundated with. It's unlikely you'll end up meeting the person you had in mind (the hiring manager, the person to whom you addressed your cover letter) at that initial visit, but don't be disappointed: you'll be remembered as "that person" who showed up. And somewhere in the office a copy of your physical resume is floating around. Win!
That said, I also recommend including a link to an online resume (LinkedIn) to demonstrate your ability to navigate the digital world with ease, which is an asset for many jobs. Depending on your skill set and which job you're applying for, an infographic resume will be memorable and could be your golden ticket. If you're unsure where to start, that's what I'm here for.