Skip to content

Sunk by a Typographical Error

I am glad that Raymond Ward of The (New) Legal Writer wrote about an Office Team survey on typos (typographical errors). The survey showed that typos do affect our job prospects.

When 150 executives were asked, “How many typos in a resume does it take for you to not consider a job candidate for a position with your company?” 47 percent responded “One typo.” Two typos were enough to turn away another 37 percent of the executives.

Why would executives place so much emphasis on perfection? My belief is that they assume job applicants are demonstrating their very best work in their job search. Therefore, if the resumes or CVs (curricula vitae) aren’t perfect, applicants’ work on the job will not be perfect either.

The moral: A resume with errors will be ineffective at least 84 percent of the time. It is worth the effort to be sure it is perfect.

Posted by Avatar photo
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.