5 Tips To Avoid Resume and Cover Letter Typos
Do typos in a cover letter or resume really matter? The simplest answer—we’re sorry to say—is yes.
While producing and sending numerous pristine (and hopefully, customized for the job you’re applying to) cover letters and resumes are no easy tasks, the truth is, hiring managers have very high expectations. They’re looking at hundreds, if not thousands, of job applications, so a typo can quickly cause you to be eliminated from the candidate pool.
The quality of the documents that append your application is, in essence, the first impression you make on an employer. What you have to say (and how you write) will be most important, but formatting, spelling, and grammar are equally important. After all, almost all jobs require strong communication skills and a sharp attention-to-detail, so hiring managers will be looking to see these skills play out in your resume and cover letter.
When might typos not matter? Some hiring managers will tell you they always matter, but there are always exceptions to a rule. For example, a typo in a writer, copyeditor or email marketer’s cover letter or resume may have much more drastic ramifications than a typo in an application for a cashier or retail job.
If written communication is a major component of the job you’re applying for, then you need to be especially diligent about ensuring that your job application is free of typos, misspellings or grammatical mistakes.
5 Tips to Avoid Typos in Your Cover Letter and Resume
So, the consensus is that typos do matter in a cover letter or resume. There will always be variables, but you definitely don’t want a pesky typo to knock you out of the running for your dream job. Fortunately, there are tactics you can use to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Here are five of them:
1. Print to proofread.
After staring at a screen, you will be less likely to catch a mistake in a digital document than in a printed one. This is because your brain has become so familiar with your own work (in the same environment) that it is not primed to catch errors. It can help to print the document and edit with a pen in hand.
Don’t have a printer? Simply changing the font type or color can also “de-familiarize” your brain with the document, making you more likely to see it with new eyes (and thus catch mistakes you didn’t see before).
2. Read the document out loud.
It’s easy to gloss over words when you read silently. However, when you read aloud, you’re forced to pronounce (and thus look at) every single word on the page. Not only can help you catch typos and misspellings, but it can also help ensure your sentences read smoothly and make sense.
3. Enlist the help of family and friends, and colleagues or professional peers.
If possible, ask a family or friend to read over your cover letter or resume to look for errors. You might be surprised by what another pair of eyes can catch! If you have a colleague who is familiar with your job search, or if you are in a networking group, consider asking a trusted peer to read over your documents.
Ask them to look for content, not just copy—for example, do the concepts you’re discussing actually make sense? Are they relevant and timely for your industry? Have you presented your qualifications in a way that is persuasive, but not arrogant? As mentioned before, what you say and how you say it are equally (if not more) important than getting it down on paper without any mistakes.
4. Hire a professional copyeditor.
Does this sound crazy? In this day and age, it’s actually super affordable—and easy! Editorr is an awesome online platform that connects you to copyeditors who are available 24 hours per day, 7 per days a week. (Need a cover letter proofread on a Sunday at midnight? They’ve got you.)
Editorr’s professional copyeditors will not only check for mistakes but will provide expert suggestions on how to drastically enhance the quality of your writing.
5. Use an online editing tool.
Grammarly is an online tool that scans your writing not only for typos but also for grammar mistakes. It will check for missing articles, repetitive words, misspelled words, comma usage, weak adjectives, and much more.
The premium version will also offer advanced checks (including context and sentence structure), suggest vocabulary enhancements, run your work through a plagiarism detector, and much more.
Read More: Resume Basics: Writing and Formatting Your Resume | Cover Letter Basics: Writing and Formatting Your Cover Letter