Career Development The Job Search The Resume Your Brand

The Impotence of Poofreading

With criminal background checks, drug screenings, credit checks, resume scanning software, and a series of interviews all standing in the way of a job offer, why would anyone want to create their own self-imposed barrier to employment?  That’s exactly what you do when you don’t proofread the marketing materials you submit to an employer.

Don’t Rely on Spell Check
Too many people rely on spell check to edit their resumes and many others don’t even take the time to run a spell check.  When you submit marketing materials such as your resume, cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, or web portfolio, it is a representation of your brand.  Employers won’t just review these materials; they will evaluate them and make value judgments about you as a person.  For instance, if you submit a resume with poor grammar, it will definitely say you made a grammar mistake but employers may also interpret it to mean that you didn’t take the application process seriously enough to review your own materials prior to submitting, you do sloppy work, you are lazy, or you aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed.  You may have just made a stupid mistake and none of this may be true but perception is what matters.

Give Your Marketing Materials the Time They’re Worth
If writing is a particular challenge for you, then you need to spend more time reviewing your marketing collateral.  You should have several trusted people review your materials after you have reviewed them carefully at least 3 times.  The more qualified the people reviewing your materials, the more likely your materials won’t have errors.  This means, if you have access to English Instructors, ask them to check for grammar and spelling.  If you have access to career coaches, ask them to review your suite of marketing materials.  The length of time you spend on your marketing materials is indicative of how serious you are about landing a job.  How much time do you spend on your marketing materials?  How much time do you spend practicing your interview skills?  If you’re like most, you don’t spend enough time.  Given this current economy, now is the perfect time to take your personal marketing more seriously.

Here are some funny, real examples of typos I have seen in resumes, cover letters, and emails:

What They Said: Freelnace Designer
What They Meant: Freelance Designer

What They Said: God listener
What They Meant: Good listener

What They Said: I go tall three
What They Meant: I got all three

What They Said: Defiantly interested
What They Meant: Definitely interested

What They Said: Costumer service
What They Meant: Customer service

What They Said: Maturity leave
What They Meant: Maternity leave

What They Said: Unclear Physics
What They Meant: Nuclear Physics

What They Said: Interested in this poison
What They Meant: Interested in this position

What They Said: I’m so glade
What They Meant: I’m so glad

What They Said: Cover lover
What They Meant: Cover letter

Taylor Mali, one of my favorite spoken word poets, has a funny poem about proof reading.  Check it out!


What’s the funniest typo you’ve ever seen?

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