Once More on Typos, Then I'll Be Quiet

Subject: Once More on Typos, Then I'll Be Quiet
From: Documania <dcma -at- MAIL1 -dot- NAI -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 09:38:00 -0500

Thanks to everyone on the list who has debated the subject so far. I'm
finding the multiple viewpoints to be enlightening. I am also duly humbled
by those who pointed out the typo in my own posting!

Most of the hiring managers who have chimed in have the most realistic
idea, meaning, they will overlook a typo in an otherwise well-crafted
resume that demonstrates the applicant's skills and background.

My earlier posting about dismissing resumes from writers, editors, proofers
which contain typos was a bit too harsh, but I persist in my point and will
try again to make it.

Resumes are generally short documents done on your own time. You (or you
and a helper or resume service) can write, proofread, spellcheck, print,
proofread, revise, proofread as many times as necessary, over as long a
period as you want to take. Commercial work, conversely, is usually done
against a ticking clock, with many variables to a job, often with many
people and opinions involved. Keeping errors in check on a commercial job
is extremely difficult, especially if it's a big one. As another list
member pointed out, commercial jobs sometimes have to be done alone, with
no second pair of eyes to rely on. So it seems to me that a resume,
produced under close to ideal conditions, should reasonably be expected to
come out with no errors. Yes, they get in there despite best efforts -- I
know, I've done it myself -- and I often wonder how many times my resume
was cast aside because of those errors. I'll never know, because I never
heard from those potential employers. Most potential hirers never even
notice my bloopers. So you can argue that typos are not important.

But earlier on this list we discussed the value of using resumes vs.
networking to get a job, and many people agreed that a resume is often the
only representative of your professional self that potential employers will
see until they interview you. Almost everyone agreed that a resume is what
gets you the interview, and the interview is what gets you the job. So if
you want the job, are you not obliged to present the best possible image of
yourself -- on paper as well as in appropriate clothing and with your best

Given all of the above, I maintain that resumes with typos from people who
are trying to sell you their writing, editing, and proofing services should
not be taken lightly. If all other elements are desirable, go ahead and
interview -- you might indeed have the right candidate. But if I have to
choose between three typo-free resumes and one with a typo, I'll try to
find my candidate from the first three before I'll interview the fourth.
The three who can produce clean documents under relaxed conditions have a
better chance of producing better documents under frantic conditions. If,
conversely, they have trouble operating under pressure, I would hope to
discover this during the interview phase.

Carolyn Haley
dcma -at- ct1 -dot- nai -dot- net

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