Licensee BadgeTraining Badge
Submitted by williamelledgepe on


Should I reject a resume with a typo?
I was reviewing resumes this week and I rejected one because of a typo - the individual said, "preform field tests" instead of "perform field tests." The resume was otherwise ok/good. The individual is 3 years out of school. I am of the opinion that a resume is such a poignant, critical document - that is reviewed with so much effort - it should be perfect - or at least free from mistakes like typos. I rejected it. Without that typo I probably would have interviewed the person.
Should I bring the resume with a typo back to my interview/shortlist?

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

FWIW - I agree with your reasoning. I do likewise when I have plenty of resumes.

acao162's picture

I reject for typos all the time. However, given my pool of quality candidates being shallow, I may allow 'one' error. Depends on the position as much also. For a job requiring little education, I don't worry about errors. For a job where accuracy is a major component, I allow zero errors.

You have your own standards, if the candidate can't meet them before hiring, what makes you think they will meet them after?

Gk26's picture

With the case presented in the first post, if that was the only error, I would let it slide.I have made errors such as that, and as many times as I reviewed, I could not see the error as my brain filled in the gap. Personally,I try to be flexible with errors where I think someone reviewed but as she or he wrote it, it was not detected. One or two of these is my limit though.

I reject most candidates for spelling errors/grammatical errors and mispellings or improper casing of trademarked words. Let me repeat - I reject most resumes sent to me by my recruiting staff due to spelling and grammar issues - how sad is that?  I cancelled an interview set up by my team because I reviewed the resume and it did not meet my expectations. I work in IT and most resumes are junk. They are 6-11 pages of every task candidates have done, or what the candidate thinks you want him or her to have done. Candidates note they used TestDirector in one job, Test Director in another, and testdirector in a third. I found a resume with a grammatical error in a sentence, pasted it into Google and found a whole page of other resumes with the same exact sentence with the spelling error. Recruiters are modifying resumes too, inflating the content and the candidates may not even know.

My department is about 135 people. I have 10 open roles and may need to fill an additional 20 next year. We have some location and salary challenges,but also still need to get the job done. It would be different if I had 100s of qualified local candidates applying, but I don't. This is not to say I am lowering by standards, but I also have been known to make mistakes. I make several a day. 

VPfreedude's picture

When I am recruiting, I use typos as an potential eliminator (engineering positions that require attention to detail) but only if my candidate pool is deep and very strong.

If the resume is just "ok/good" and you have 3-5 "Good/Great" resumes then I would get rid of it.  If the resume without the typo would be a definite interview, then ignore it and bring the person in because we all make typos and mistakes.  I'd also possibly ask about it in the interview just to see how they react because to me, humility/humblness is a key attribute in a team member.  If they get argumentative or too defensive, I would be concerned about their attitude when on staff and real mistakes get made.

Best of luck!


Tressie William's picture

No , there is no need to bring that resume back. Resumes are important and the candidate must go through it many times before submitting. There are many online interview training classes that provide classes to make your resume look professional, but I guess somepeople don't even bother to take a look at them.

Gk26's picture

One thing to consider is the speed in which one needs to hire. I realize hiring is probably my most important jobs but my job is also to support the company. Sometimes, a company experiences a hyper-growth phase and staff is needed to stay up with other departments who are delivering to others. I received some pretty-strong feedback from the CIO and the SVPs to get my 16 roles filled in the short-term. One of the SVPs used to run the department and claimed she had never had a problem getting staff. My standards are higher, the market has changed, we have location and salary pressure - all of which contribute to difficulties. I will get it done, at my own pace though.

obrienjay's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Once I rejected a resume and emailed the recruiter, "Rejecting candidate X. Typos." I got a call from the recruiter who explained that they had scanned and OCR'd the candidate's resume. So the typos were the recruiter's fault in that particular case. I interviewed and later hired the candidate.

I was hiring for a data entry job so, yes, I always kicked out resumes with typos. But in this case, I was glad that I also always told the recruiter why I was rejecting a resume.