Dear Canadian Hiring Managers:

It’s ok. Unclench. You might like it.

“A telephone survey of 100 senior Canadian executives showed that more than a fifth of executives said a single typo on a resume or cover letter could cost a potential employee a job, while 28 percent said two mistakes would kill their chances.”

Wow, really? I’m a hiring manager. I went through a two year period where I was constantly hiring. I’ve probably looked at over a thousand resumes. All were done to greater and lesser degree. Yes, some were so sloppy it wasn’t worth taking a look, but a minor error here or there, especially if it’s a common typo, teh for the, for instance, is certainly acceptable.

I agree that job seekers need to put a best foot forward all of the time. I agree with polishing the resume, having someone else read it, making it clean and crisp. This is your sales pitch and you need to get it right.

But for me and for the hiring managers I know, one typo doesn’t kill anyone’s chances. Unless this is a job for the typing pool where accuracy matters, it’s more about the qualities of the person, not their keyboarding skills. I think if that’s the view the company takes of minor human error, then who would want to work there anyway?


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  • Ken

    My favorite was the individual who included experience for a proofreading job by typing proffreader.

  • Lucky

    Oh, I don't know. When I was a hiring manager (before I discovered the joys of teaching), I would literally get thousands of resumes for one opening. Typos were as good a way to weed down to something manageable as any.

  • Andrew

    Nice to see this..

    Thank you very much…

    #1 Satellite Television Service Provider

  • Anonymous

    As an employee / job hunter until recently I have no sympathy with spell check laziness.

    Now to get my goat how about a job ad for direct employment that clearly states they don't want to do any training whatsoever.

    "We use Doors, if you don't have Doors experience, don't call"

    That is a half-day of training.


  • Karen Fayeth

    Emmett – I've talked to a lot of friends who are hiring managers since posting this, and am finding that given the wacky times, any job that gets posted receives a deluge of resumes, many not even related to or appropriate for the job as posted.

    So a lot of hiring managers are putting things in their job posting (as your example) to try to weed down the resumes.

    Interesting stuff.

    On the flip side, my own organization has a job posted out there to the world right now. I know the job, I know the guy who used to do it (left for greener pastures) and I know that the job requisition posted is an UTTER fabrication of what the job really is.

    So we'll lure these fairly high end people in here, thinking they will be strategic, and they will discover about a month in that they are tactical report runners.

    I find this dishonesty a bit disheartening.

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