Today’s question is inspired by a reader who made a formatting blunder on his resume:
Last week I applied for a job and this week noticed a formatting error on the document I sent. Bullet points in one section were not aligned with previous sections, and there was a spacing difference in the bulleted lines. Should I send a new resume with an apology recognizing my mistake or let it go?
My recommendation to him:
Let the errors go. While they may be noticeable and cause the recruiter or hiring manager to take your application out of the running, they could also very well ignore the errors, so why bring attention to them? Take it as a learning experience and move on to your next application rather than giving any more concern to this one. Surely, none of us are without error but in my experience it’s best not to point out mistakes this early in the game. While an employer might interpret the mistake as a lack of attention to detail, their opinion may not change even if you point out and correct the mistake yourself.
Understanding that there may be differences of opinion among hiring managers in the sector, I started asking some fellow staff members and colleagues who work at other organizations, and the comments varied! Some thought it wise to resend the resume but rather than include an apology, simply label it an “updated copy.” Another said they would not even look at the updated version but still consider the original, and that they focus more on the content rather than the formatting.
So now I open the question for a community discussion:
What would you do if you noticed an error on your resume? What do you think employers do when they see a formatting error—ignore the error or toss the resume? If you were a hiring manager, what would you do if you noticed an error?
The floor is open—please discuss!
Tags: ask victoria, open thread
I became acquainted with Idealist in late 2000 while working in the career development office at a private liberal arts college in NYC. I used it almost daily to help students and alumni find meaningful careers. After a 12-year stint in higher education, I worked as a career coach for professionals in various industries (and still used Idealist). During one of those many searches, a listing really caught my eye- the one for the newly-created position, Careers Program Coordinator. So... I jumped at the opportunity. Since then, I took on the role of Manager of Career Content for Idealist Careers, creating career content for job seekers, leaders, and other nonprofit professionals. Understanding the roles that a positive outlook and holistic self-care play in career success, I've shared with our readers time-honored methods for improving confidence and productivity. Now, as Manager of College and Professional Development, my focus is on lifting the advice from Idealist Careers "off the page". Drawing from my experience in career development, I propel job seekers and career changers towards taking control of their searches with confidence and removing fear, uncertainty, and other blocks to success via in-person workshops and seminars, webinars, and conference programming. My great loves are cooking (preferably without a recipe, otherwise I doctor it up), dancing, live cultural performances, identifying the tasting notes in a good cup of coffee, exploring neighborhoods for hidden gems, and anything else that sparks the senses and allows me to experience all the beauty, dynamism, and intrigue that vivaciously living in a remarkable world offers.
Ok, so I was reviewing my upcoming interviews, and looking over what I sent them to make sure I have everything they could ask me covered. So I look at the cover letter I sent to Citigroup. First thing I see, its dated January 2006! Next, I see that I actually sent the WRONG cover letter to them, namely I sent the cover letter that I was supposed to send to UBS. So the name of the company/internship postion that I refer to throughout the cover letter are for the wrong company.
Yet I got the interview for Citigroup. Is this a sick joke on their part to fuck with me for half an hour, or do they simply not read cover letters, even though they were the ones that requested a cover letter?
Also, do you think this is going to bite me in the ass later, and if so, how serious? For example, lets say that they just didn't read my cover letter. And I interview, do ok, and get second rounds. Now the guy who does second rounds reads my cover letter. Is he going to cancel the interview right then and there for such a retarded mistake? How serious is fucking up your cover letters?