Today’s question is inspired by a reader who made a formatting blunder on his resume:
Last week I applied for a job and this week noticed a formatting error on the document I sent. Bullet points in one section were not aligned with previous sections, and there was a spacing difference in the bulleted lines. Should I send a new resume with an apology recognizing my mistake or let it go?
My recommendation to him:
Let the errors go. While they may be noticeable and cause the recruiter or hiring manager to take your application out of the running, they could also very well ignore the errors, so why bring attention to them? Take it as a learning experience and move on to your next application rather than giving any more concern to this one. Surely, none of us are without error but in my experience it’s best not to point out mistakes this early in the game. While an employer might interpret the mistake as a lack of attention to detail, their opinion may not change even if you point out and correct the mistake yourself.
Understanding that there may be differences of opinion among hiring managers in the sector, I started asking some fellow staff members and colleagues who work at other organizations, and the comments varied! Some thought it wise to resend the resume but rather than include an apology, simply label it an “updated copy.” Another said they would not even look at the updated version but still consider the original, and that they focus more on the content rather than the formatting.
So now I open the question for a community discussion:
What would you do if you noticed an error on your resume? What do you think employers do when they see a formatting error—ignore the error or toss the resume? If you were a hiring manager, what would you do if you noticed an error?
The floor is open—please discuss!