Is a typo on a paper-based resume worse than a typo on the web?
I'm active on LinkedIn. I like it. Occasionally, while reading someone’s profile, I'll notice a typo. Common ones I see are “employement” and “developement.” I generally drop a quick note to the profile owner and mention it. I usually receive a nice thank you in return.
I think I'm more forgiving when I see these web-based profile typos than when I see the typo committed to paper.
Yesterday however, I was reading a web-based news story from a major news outlet and shuddered when I read the word "suspisions" in the body of the story.
While I understand the web-typo - we move fast, type directly into a CMS, read something so many times it looks correct - there are certain instances where I feel it's unacceptable, and that's for the job seeker (and for the major news outlet, but that's another blog post).
As I've said before, during a job search, every piece of information you put out for public view is the first example of your work product.
For me, a typo shows a lack of thoroughness, and I'm not alone in that point of view.
It only takes a moment to type your information into Word or some other application that allows spell-checking and review. Dictionaries, both web-based and old-school, are readily available. I personally use Firefox as my browser, and have selected Check Spelling as I type (under “Options,” I love this feature).
So I was wondering: What are other people’s tolerances for the dreaded typo? I created a poll on LinkedIn to find out, and frankly, I was surprised at how forgiving certain demographics of responders are. Tips to avoid typos are at the end:
The Poll: 63 Responders
By OCCUPATION: HR folks were more forgiving than I would have assumed, but just barely. The most forgiving group were Operations folks, the most unforgiving Product:
By COMPANY SIZE: Small and Enterprise-level companies were the most flexible, Medium-size the least:
BY JOB TITLE: If you're interviewing with the Owner or C-Suite level of a company, you are more likely to be forgiven than if you are speaking to Management. The C-Suite is also more likely to let you know you have an error:
By GENDER: There ya' go. Pretty straightforward with men being a little bit more flexible (but not much):
Last, the OVERALL: DON'T have a typo; you may still receive contact; about a 25% chance you may be notified, and people do appreciate being told they have a typo, but if such a small percentage is telling, how do you know?
That's the point, don't wait to be told.
How to Avoid the dreaded typo whether you are job searching or not:
- Start your document, blog post, VisualCV, Google profile etc. in Word or a like application. Check your Document Review settings - make sure you do not have options set to ignore words in Caps or other terms. Spell- and Grammar-check.
- Do not automatically accept word processor suggestions: Somewhere, out there today, is a major proposal that has the word "seamy" where "seamlessly" should have been. Really changed the meaning of the paragraph.
- Copy your text into Notepad to strip underlying formatting & HTML that may create issues if you are pasting into a CMS.
- Copy and paste using a Browser that has a spell-check option.
- Used web-based resources if you are in doubt of spelling or meaning of a word. http://www.wordcentral.com/ from Miriam-Webster is a good, free tool. There are many others.
- Have an objective party review whenever possible, or set the work aside for at least a couple of hours so you may review it with "fresh" eyes.
Did you find a typo in this post? Let me know, would ya'? OPCGal on Twitter