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How to: Recover from a typo

You’ve heard it again and again, “whatever you do, don’t let there be a typo on your resume.“ It seems obvious, and easy enough. With technology like spell check, typos are becoming less and less of a concern. However, while the possibility of having a typo may seem slim, there’s still the possibility to use the wrong form of a word (“their” versus “there”) or leaving out a small, yet vital word. While you may think you’re a grammatical genius, mistakes happen, and here’s how to recover from one.

Here are four things to consider if you make a typo:

1) Accept the fact that you may not get the job.

Some may say that if you can’t even take the time to perfect your cover letter or resume, then you more than likely aren’t the detail-oriented person many hiring managers are looking for. There are two types of people in this world: the ones that automatically judge you for having a typo, or the ones who are more accepting of the fact that everyone makes mistakes. In this case, the latter type of person may be what you should be hoping for. Fingers crossed!

2) Hope that the recruiter scans over it and doesn’t notice.

Many hiring managers are reading several resumes a day, and probably aren’t taking the time to closely read every single detail of your cover letter. In fact, many of them just scan looking for keywords. If your resume is filled with typos, it may catch their attention, but a minuscule typo is likely to be scanned over.

3) Follow up with an e-mail saying that you’ve updated your resume or cover letter.

This could be helpful if you find more than one typo, or if your typo is glaringly obvious. However, it’s probably best to leave out that you updated it due to a typo and just simply say

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name]:

Here is an updated copy of the resume I sent you last [day of week], expressing my interest in [job title]. Please refer to this version when you review my qualifications for the job.

Thank you, [Your Name]

4) Admit to the typo.

If you feel confident enough in knowing that your typo will not be missed or ignored, it may be best to just own up to it. Send an apologetic e-mail explaining your mistake. However, admitting your mistake does not always mean it will be forgotten. Hopefully the hiring manager will be understanding, but if not, at least you were able to back track and clear everything up instead of wondering what could have been.

While there is unfortunately no easy way to figure out how to fix a typo mistake, always do what you would feel the most comfortable with. In order to avoid putting yourself in the situation, be sure to have someone review your resume or cover letter with a fresh pair of eyes. If you need a resume reviewed, stop by the CCO during drop in hours, Monday-Friday between 10 AM and 4 PM.

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