Previously, I shared the reason I possibly ended up in the rejection pile for a job I applied for.
I’d been doing everything I could to land a job but didn’t stop to care for myself like I should have. Instead, I worked at searching for a job constantly—even when I was burned out from my search.
I’d overloaded myself but still kept up my job search activities. Then, something happened:
Sent Off Resume With a Mistake
I submitted a targeted resume with a mistake. I typed, edited, and proofread it before sending it off.
Still, I messed up.
I typed the wrong company name on the right resume (in the summary section). After submitting the resume, I noticed the mistake.
I was alarmed.
I felt bad.
I wondered how I let this happen.
You know what happened next, right? I received a rejection letter.
Did this resume mistake ruin my chance to interview?
“Nothing will get your cover letter thrown in the recycling bin faster than giving the wrong company name.”
She’s talking about a cover letter in this article, but it applies to my resume disaster too.
Before reading this article, I believed the error affected my interview possibility. After reading it, I believed this all the more.
I’m no lazy professional by any means, and my mistake wasn’t intentional. But, the hiring manager had no way of knowing this.
I didn’t want to look worse by resending an updated resume, so I counted it as a loss. And, I understood things from a hiring manager’s point of view.
Your resume and cover letter (or job application) is your first contact with an employer. And, you already know first impressions matter when looking for a job.
Let’s say this organization was a professional contact I’d reached out to. If I was meeting her for the first time, then I would’ve remembered her name to address her correctly.
This is how you master your first impression. When I sent off my resume with the wrong name, however, I failed to make a good one.
My resume screamed unprofessional, and I didn’t present myself as the best candidate for this particular job.
I thought about it several times, and it was a wake-up call.
Not only did I give myself the break I needed, I learned from this mistake. I triple check before submitting any type of information now.
Maybe your resume mistake is different from mine.
Maybe you submitted a resume with a typo and noticed your mistake too late.
You were really interested in the position. But, your mistake ruined your chance at interviewing—and possibly landing the job.
2 Strategies for Preventing Mistakes on Your Resume
Repairing a resume mistake isn’t easy even when you submit well-prepared application materials. So, it’s important prevent them to the best of your ability.
Here are two ways to prevent resume mistakes in your future submissions.
#1. Triple Review Your Documents Before Submission.
I’m sure we’ll agree on something: proofreading is our friend!
You should triple review your resume for consistency, typos, and facts separately.
In An Editor’s Guide to Perfecting Your Resume on the Muse, Adrian Granzella Larssen, the publication’s Editor-In-Chief, offers the following suggestion:
“When proofreading, it’s helpful to temporarily change the font, or to read your resume from the bottom up—your eyes get used to reading a page one way, and can often catch new errors when you mix the format up.”
But, I also take it a step further now.
Before (I mean right before) sending my documents out, I take one last look at the company’s information for correct names and accuracy.
#2. Step Away from Your Document—Then Review It Again.
If you find yourself with even one resume mistake, then you should step away from your job search tasks when you need to.
Now, if you’re like I was in the initial stages of my job hunt, you dread the idea of taking a break. You feel it’s a counterproductive activity.
This isn’t true.
No, you shouldn’t be lazy while looking for a job. Yes, job searching requires diligence.
But, if you overwork yourself without recognition or acknowledgement, your effectiveness declines. This is what I experienced and resulted in me submitting a resume with an error.
As noted above, after this awful mistake, I began paying attention to my health and well-being. I take breaks when I honestly need them and encourage you to do the same.
“The path to gratifying work can be frustrating at times, so it’s important to take occasional breaks from the search and refresh yourself.”
Breaks are beneficial, so don’t hesitate to step away from tasks in your job search.
If you need productive break ideas, a few include:
- Reading inspirational material
- Taking a walk around your home or outside of it
- Engaging in an interesting hobby
- Hanging out with family
Warning: Don’t forget to stick to the amount of time you schedule for your break, so it doesn’t turn into procrastination.
After stepping away, you can return to your resume and review it again. By doing this, you’ll spot an error or mistake, if any, you hadn’t seen before.
This will assist you in the submission of a mistake-free resume and lessen the chance of a hiring manager—a hiring decision-maker or a recruiter—throwing it out in a matter of seconds.
Submit Your Resume Without Mistake or Error
When preparing your resume and cover letter for a specific job, you seek to land an interview—and a job offer. But, when you submit your resume with an error, you ruin your chance at interviewing.
If you’ve noticed a mistake after your resume submission, do what you can to prevent future occurrences. Triple checking your documents and stepping away from them when needed are two ways to do this.
These prevention strategies are important because you make impressions with your application materials. I know you’ve heard it several times before but it’s worth repeating here: details matter and give you an edge in the job search process.
I hope you find my resume mistake experience and prevention tips helpful. Thanks for reading!
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Disclaimer: I am not a Human Resources, Employment, or Career Professional by training. When I write on job search topics, I write from the perspective of a job seeker with job search experience in today’s market.