Survey Finds a Single Resume Typo Can Ruin Job Prospects

MENLO PARK, CA -- The adage “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” holds particular weight when it comes to resumes, a recent survey shows. Eighty-four percent of executives polled said it takes just one or two typographical errors in a resume to remove a candidate from consideration for a job opening; 47 percent said a single typo can be the deciding factor.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, “How many typos in a resume does it take for you to decide not to consider a job candidate for a position with your company?” Their responses: 

One typo   47%
Two typos   37%
Three typos   7%
Four or more typos   6%
Don't know/no answer          3%

“Resumes often are a job seeker’s first contact with prospective employers,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Candidates who submit application materials with typographical or grammatical errors may be seen as lacking professionalism and attention to detail, and thus spoil their chances for an interview or further consideration.”

Domeyer noted that in addition to running a computer spell-check, it is crucial for job seekers to proofread their resumes and ask friends and family members to do the same. “A fresh pair of eyes can help candidates spot mistakes overlooked by the spell-checking function,” said Domeyer. “I’ve often seen simple errors -- such as a job seeker applying for the position of ‘office manger’ -- derail even the most talented applicants.”

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at

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