, Gloucester, MA


November 2, 2013

Don't scare potential employers with resume typos

Halloween is the one time of year when it’s acceptable to scare people. But that shouldn’t include prospective employers. Be careful you don’t frighten off hiring managers with a resume or cover letter full of terrifying typos and other sinister slipups.

When you submit messy materials, you demonstrate a lack of attention to detail that can overshadow a stellar professional background. In addition to running your computer’s built-in spell-check function (which isn’t fail-safe), slowly read your documents out loud from beginning to end. You should also pass them by a mentor, relative or trusted friend to ensure they’re perfect.

Check out these eerie errors:

JOB DUTIES: “Managed the whole team, witch was a crew of 30.”

Let us guess, the uniform included black hats and broomsticks?

COVER LETTER: “After reading my letter, I would appreciate it if someone would mail me back.”

That will make for a hefty shipping charge.

“QUALIFICATIONS: I have many letters of recommendation, certificates and paper clips.”

We’re not attached to this applicant.

“QUALIFICATIONS: Adheres to cones of conduct.”

Code red! Typo alert! Typo alert!

COVER LETTER: “Are you looking to get your company or department fixed up? Wel, I no youve found the right person.”


“WORK HISTORY: My last employer fried me for no reason.”

That had to burn.

“JOB RESPONSIBILITIES: Perform do diligence.”

Not when it comes to proofreading.

“WORK EXPERIENCE: __________”

Looks like you drew a blank.

Here’s an example that underscores why you need to proofread your entire document. This job seeker’s cover letter was flawless up until the very last punctuation mark:

COVER LETTER: “In conclusion, I am responsible, self-motivated and capable of handling multiple ongoing projects?”

Why are you asking us?

Max Messmer is CEO of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing firm. Send examples to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International, 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Or, visit

Bytes: 25,600 Word Count: 0315

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