Hiring managers are less picky than they used to be, but misspellings and typos can still count against you. So can “creative” job titles.
It was bound to happen, now that millions of us are merrily texting and tweeting away. Job interviewers have become more tolerant of spelling mistakes and other errors on resumes than they used to be.
Consider: Only about 17% of hiring managers say they would toss a resume in the circular file if it had a single snafu in it, according to a new poll from staffing firm Accountemps. That’s a sharp drop from 40% who said they would five years ago, and 47% who said so in 2006. Some managers really don’t care whether you can spell or not. More than a quarter (27%) said they’d overlook three mistakes, up from just 7% five years ago.
Even so, it’s smart to proofread your CV carefully, or have a friend who’s a stickler for spelling take a look at it. Almost two-thirds (64%) of the hiring managers polled said they’d look askance at a candidate who let even a single mistake slip through.
“Attention to detail is required for most jobs, and a resume should showcase this skill, not detract from it,” notes Accountemps Chairman Max Messmer. He blames “the quick and casual nature of communication today” for the recent rise in resume blunders like these:
“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 accell in the accounting industry.”
“My 3 biggest hobbies are cars, golf, racquetball, and reading.”
“Work experience: Academic tudor.”
“Earned a diploma from a very repudiated college.”
“Looking for a bass salary of $40,000.”
“Studied public rations.”
“No professional experience, but I have paid my do’s.”
“Bare me in mind for in-depth research projects.”
Ouch. While you’re double-checking for spelling, another recent Accountemps poll suggests that you rethink any “creative” job titles listed on your resume. Here’s a sampling of some that have made hiring managers cringe:
Certified Zen Master of Web Programming
Account manager/Steady Eddie of the office
Technological Teddy Bear
The Idea Wizard
Energetic Agent of Change
Customer Service Magician
High-level bean counter
These come across as “more amateurish than clever,” the study says, but there’s an even more compelling reason to avoid them. Non-traditional titles usually can’t be recognized by searchable databases or by software that screens candidates and matches them to job openings. So a “creative” title, intended to grab employers’ attention, is likely to make you invisible instead.