I've heard other reporters chuckle when I suggest that one of the biggest priorities for job seekers with their resumes should be spell-checking and proofreading. "No duh" is the implied message. But what seems obvious is often a surprising obstacle.
No Typo Is Harmless
A recent survey by the financial staffing firm Accountemps shows that three out of four executives (76%) said just one or two typos in a resume is enough to knock applicants out of the running for hiring consideration.
Even one typo is too many for 40% of the executive surveyed.
"There is nothing worse than receiving a cover letter addressed to a different person in a different company, misspellings of my name or my company name, or obvious errors in a resume," says Lindsay Olson, partner of Paradigm Staffing. "I receive resumes and cover letters like this daily, and it is hard for a recruiter to stand by their candidate if so little precaution and attention to detail has been given prior to hitting the send button."
Olson is just one of many participants in the Yahoo! HotJobs Recruiter Roundtable who has complained about the prevalence of careless typos in resumes.
While no typo is harmless, some can be unintentionally shocking or funny. Check out "Worst Resume Bloopers" for some examples.
How's Your Credit?
Your credit score could be another stealth threat to your job search -- even if you're not applying to be an accountant.
A surprising 42% of employers, including the U.S. government, run credit checks on job candidates, according to a 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Granted, many of those checks relate to candidates for jobs that have some connection to finances or budgets.
In a recent Yahoo! HotJobs article, experts recommend:
- Don't be surprised. A company may query any one of the credit reporting bureaus -- Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion -- so it's important for you to check them all as well. (AnnualCreditReport.com)
- Be honest. As you would with gaps in your resume, be upfront and proactive about explaining dings to your credit. Address what happened, and what you're doing to fix it.
- Pay bills on time and don't use most of your available credit. These are the two areas employers would care about most, because they speak to your ability to manage money and be responsible.
For more tips, see "How Bad Credit Can Dim Your Job Prospects."