Job seekers take note: One false stroke at the keyboard could send your resumé into the “circular file.”

Three out of four (76 per cent) executives interviewed said just one or two typos in a resumé would remove applicants from consideration for a job; 40 per cent said it takes only one typo to rule candidates out.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with senior executives from 1,000 companies.

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

Their responses:
• One 40 per cent
• Two 36 per cent
• Three 14 per cent
• Four-plus 7 per cent
• Don’t know/no answer 3 per cent.
“Employers view the resumé as a reflection of the applicant,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “If you make errors on your application materials, the assumption is you’ll make mistakes on the job.”
Unfortunately, typos and other slip-ups are easy to make, and spell-check won’t always catch them.
To illustrate the point, following are some real-life errors made in resumés, applications and cover letters.

• “Hope to hear from you, shorty.”
• “Have a keen eye for derail.”
• “Dear Sir or Madman.”
• “I’m attacking my resumé for you to review.”
• “I am a rabid typist.”
• “My work ethics are impeachable.”
• “Nervous of steel.”
• “Following is a grief overview of my skills.”
• “GPA: 34.0”
• “Graphic designer seeking no-profit career.”

Error-free tips
Accountemps offers the following tips for creating error-free resumes:

• Get help:
Enlist detail-oriented family members, friends or mentors to proofread your resumé and provide honest feedback.

• Take a timeout:
Before submitting your resumé, take a break and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. You might catch something you missed the first time.

• Print a copy:
It’s easy to overlook typos or formatting mistakes when reading a resumé on a monitor, so print it out for review. Read through it slowly and pay close attention to font styles and sizes, in addition to spelling and grammar.

• Try a new perspective:
Sometimes readers inadvertently skip over parts they have read previously. Review your resumé backward to help avoid this problem.

• Read it aloud:
Your ears might catch errors your eyes have overlooked.

Metro News Services