Sweat the Small Stuff

Job seekers should sweat the small stuff when creating their résumés, a new survey shows. One-third of advertising and marketing executives polled said typos and grammatical errors are the most common mistake creative professionals make on their résumés. Providing too much information was the second most prevalent error, cited by 23% of respondents.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service that provides marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes 250 responses—125 from advertising executives with the nation’s 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In your experience, what is the most common résumé mistake made by creative professionals?”

Their responses were:

“Employers often disqualify candidates when they spot even a single typo on a résumé or cover letter,” says Dave Willmer, Executive Director of The Creative Group. “Job applicants shouldn’t rely on their computers to catch these types of errors. The spell-check function often offers a false sense of security—it won’t spot problems such as misused words.”

Following are some light-hearted examples, from www.resumania.com, of résumé gaffes that might have slipped by a spell-checker:

  • Languages: “Speak English and Spinach.”
  • Cover Letter: “I prefer a fast-paste work environment.”
  • Cover Letter: “I’m attacking my resume for you to review.”
  • Duties: “I was the company’s liaison with the sock exchange.”
  • Cover Letter: “My work ethics are impeachable.”

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