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One Resume Error Can Ruin Employment Prospects, Executive Survey Shows

HAVE A KEEN EYE FOR DERAILTORONTO, July 14 /CNW/ – Job seekers take note: One false stroke at the
keyboard could send your resume into the “circular file.” Fifty-one per cent of executives interviewed said just one or two typos in a resume would remove applicants from consideration for a job; 23 per cent said it takes only one typo to rule candidates out.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 100 senior executives in Canada.

Executives were asked, “How many typos in a resume does it take for you to decide not to consider a job candidate for a position with your company?”

Their responses:
Two……………………………… 28%
Three……………………………. 22%
Four or more……………………… 19%
Don’t know/no answer……………….  8%

“The resume is an applicant’s first chance to impress the hiring manager,” said Kathryn Bolt, president of Accountemps’ Canadian operations. “Mistakes on one’s application materials may prompt employers to assume there also will be mistakes made on the job.”

Unfortunately, typos and other slipups are easy to make, and spell-check won’t always catch them. To illustrate the point, following are some real-life errors made in resumes, applications and cover letters. (Additional examples of resume bloopers can be found at

  • “Hope to hear from you, shorty.”
  • “Have a keen eye for derail.”
  • “Dear Sir or Madman.”
  • “I’m attacking my resume for you to review.”
  • “I am a rabid typist.”
  • “My work ethics are impeachable.”
  • “Nervous of steel.”
  • “Following is a grief overview of my skills.”
  • “GPA: 34.0”
  • “Graphic designer seeking no-profit career.”

Accountemps offers the following tips for creating error-free resumes:

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. You might catch something you missed the first time.

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,  in addition to 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.

Accountemps has more than 360 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at
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