One typo can hurt your job prospects

Just one typo in a resume could cost you a job, according to a recent survey. Three out of four executives said just one or two inadvertent strokes of the keyboard would remove an applicant from consideration for a job, while 40 percent said they wouldn't hire a candidate who had a typo in their resume.

The telephone survey of 1,000 senior executives was conducted on behalf of staffing firm Accountemps, a unit of Robert Half International Inc.

"Employers view the resume as a reflection of the applicant," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of "Job Hunting for Dummies." ''If you make errors on your application materials, the assumption is you'll make mistakes on the job." Consider these real-life errors made in resumes:

  • "Hope to hear from you shorty."
  • "Dear Sir or Madman."

Messmer offers these tips to avoid an embarrassing gaffe:

  • Get help. Enlist detail-oriented family members, friends or mentors to proofread your resume and provide honest feedback.
  • Take a timeout. Before submitting your resume, take a break and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes.
  • Print a copy. It's easy to overlook typos or formatting mistakes when reading a resume on a monitor, so print it out for review. Read through it slowly and pay close attention to font styles and sizes, along with spelling and grammar.
  • Try a new perspective. Sometimes readers inadvertently skip over parts they have read previously. Review your resume backward to help avoid this problem.
  • Read it aloud. Your ears might catch errors your eyes have overlooked.

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