Making a spelling mistake on a cover letter or resume can be costly.

It could cost you a job, for example, according to a new survey that found that 76% of 150 executives in a telephone survey wouldn't hire someone with one or two mistakes. Forty percent said a single typo could cost a potential employee a job.

"The resume is an applicant's first chance to impress the hiring manager," said Kathryn Bolt, president of Accountemps' Canadian operations, in a Reuters story. "Mistakes on one's application materials may prompt employers to assume there also will be mistakes on the job."

The survey was published Tuesday by Accountemps, an online job search firm.

Applicants with four or more typos on their resume get a break from the executives in the survey, with 7% saying they'd still consider the applicants with that many errors.

Unfortunately, using Spellcheck on a computer won't catch all of the potential errors, as proven through the bloopers on the Resumania Web site.

Here's a sample of some of the spelling errors:

  • "Hope to hear from you, shorty."
  • "Have a keen eye for derail."
  • Dear Sir or Madman."
  • "I'm attacking my resume for you to review."
  • "I'm 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."
Beyond using Spellcheck and reading your resume and cover letter again and again, be sure to ask someone else to proofread it. Everyone needs an editor.

You should also print it out and read through it slowly and aloud, and get up and take a break before reading it again. A fresh set of eyes can help find errors.

Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reach him at www.AaronCrowe.net

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