You've been out of work for a while now and you really need a job. You've compiled a written list (aka, your resume) of your skills, education and previous work experience that you feel would be useful to a potential employer. You consider your resume a fair (possibly stellar) representation of yourself as a hard worker.
You've submitted it to all the possible employers you'd love to get a chance to interview with. But you don't get a call back, and you can't figure out why.
Here's one VERY common reason you don't get a response:
It's full of typos. You're what I call a "TLC" or a "Typo Laden Candidate".
I've been a recruiter for many years now and I will tell you very candidly that when I get a resume, cover letter, or even a short email from a job candidate full of typos?
I get mad
It may sound harsh – but truthfully, my first instinct is to shred it. This is my first knee jerk reaction when I am presented with pages full of nightmarish boo-boos. However, because I am what I would consider to be a "fair" recruiter, I will actually stop and take some time to try and see past all the mistakes so that I can determine if there's a viable candidate somewhere underneath the mess I've been presented with. It's quite frankly extremely rare that I can manage to see past this obvious, glaringly blatant problem. And you have to trust me; I am not the only recruiter that operates like this.
We all do it
I can hear some of you out there getting upset as you're reading this. You're probably saying:
"Well that's hardly fair. I wasn't an English or Journalism major in college! Heck, I wasn't even lucky enough to go to college. How dare those snooty recruiter and HR types judge me because of a few typos! That's not really who I am! I've got a lot of valuable skills to bring to the table. Any company would be downright lucky to have me as their employee!"
Hmmmm, is that so?
Well just hang on there buckaroo. I'd like to explain some basic things so that you'll have a better picture of WHY typos are so incredibly offensive to us and WHY they will ultimately land your resume in the Shredded Bin of Resume Purgatory.
Checking your spelling is simple and easy
First of all, I feel I need to point out for the sake of fairness, just in case somebody out there truly isn't familiar with this concept, there's this little ditty of a button that was invented a while back called "Spell Check". It usually appears in the form of the letters "ABC" accompanied by a check mark underneath. It's in any and all of the programs you chose to create your resume… Or cover letter… Or even your short email.
Pressing this glorious button is really rather effortless, and delightfully critiques your document in seconds. Yes, you will have to go through and click on the yellow highlighted words the little Spell Check button has told you are possibly incorrect, but this takes like what... All of three minutes of your time?
Pffft. That's hardly anything considering the damage that leaving typos all over your resume can do.
It takes a lot of time to hire someone
In contrast to the three minutes of your time it will take to complete this final task before submission to a potential employer, there are many steps recruiters must take to even get you in the door for an interview. It takes me a lot of time to go through those steps. Possibly hours depending on the particular candidate. My company had to pay me to go through those steps when you, oh Typo Laden Resume Candidate purposefully chose not to press the "Spell Check" button on your documents before you submitted them.
Are you kidding me? Do you see how lazy that makes you look? Why would we want to hire somebody that's lazy, and obviously can't pay attention to detail?
Employers are ultimately looking for one thing- they want people that are willing to step up and represent their company in a way that will be fruitful, not damaging. When a resume crosses our desk that's a hot typographical mess, we simply don't feel inclined to take the risk with you. We already know that you're going to make a fool not only of yourself (because you've already accomplished that), but ultimately our company.
We can't depend on you to represent us
Plain and simple.
Envision this if you will...for us to entrust a Typo Laden Candidate with the reputation of our company, it essentially feels like we're handing the keys of the brand new family Cadillac over to a twelve year old kid and then telling the kid "Okay! Go ahead and drive! And be sure not to hit anything!"
Sure...that'll go well.
Don't be a TLC. Stop and take a few minutes to do the extra step of checking for typos. And then hand it to somebody you trust to read over as well, just for a double check.
Take the time to make a good resume. Because what will initially take you mere minutes can ultimately save you MONTHS of unemployment.
Happy job hunting!