Most recruiters automatically dismiss candidates who submit applications with typos. But psychology research says this might be the wrong approach.
Would you ever hire someone who submitted a resume or cover letter with a typo? If you’re like most recruiters, probably not. Instead, when you’re overwhelmed with applications, you’re looking for any excuse to move a candidate to the “no” pile.
But this may be the wrong approach.
In a recent article in Inc, Suzanne Lucas argues that — unless you’re hiring a proofreader or copy editor — typos aren’t a big deal.
Why typos mihgt be a good tihng
To back up her claims, Lucas shares a psychologist’s explanation of what makes us overlook our own typos: “When we’re proofreading our own work, we know the meaning we want to convey. Because we expect that meaning to be there, it’s easier for us to miss when parts (or all) of it are absent.”
So, Lucas says that typos “in no way indicate a lack of intelligence or even attention to detail.” Rather, they might “indicate a person who is very interested in getting concepts and ideas down on paper.”
And a person who is very interested in getting their concepts down on paper is probably a person who is very excited about the position they’re applying for. It’s a valid point: If you’re hiring a new salesperson, wouldn’t you prefer to hire someone passionate about their work — even if they include an incorrect “your/you’re” in their application?
To sum up, Lucas says:
“When we’re hiring, we should be focused on the meaning conveyed in the résumé, and not on how we can reject as many people as possible. A typo doesn’t mean someone is going to be a bad employee. In fact, it can mean that he or she is so focused on conveying meaning that you should bring that person on board as soon as possible.”
What do you think? Would you ever hire someone who made a typo?
Susan Shain (@TravlJunkette) is a travel blogger who loves helping people discover adventure through international travel or alternative careers.