The Words People Spell Incorrectly On Their Resumes

One context where accurate spelling absolutely matters: on your resume. If you can't be bothered using a spell checker, why even apply? Yet a list of the most common errors found on resumes suggests many people simply don't bother checking.

Keyboard picture from Shutterstock

According to US job site, these are the most common mistakes it finds in resumes uploaded to its site:

  • dianostic
  • voulunter
  • assiating
  • apllying
  • resently
  • assembeld
  • proffitts
  • childen
  • mainteance
  • efficently
  • prepration
  • distict
  • excessivly
  • judjement
  • spectrometery
  • schuele

What's shocking about this list is that none of the entries involve confusion between two similar but distinct words. They're all flat-out wrong, which any word processor or browser would tell you. Make those mistakes and the odds of you ever finding another job are low. Accuracy matters.

[via Business Insider]

Lifehacker's Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.


    Recruitment agency advertisements and websites have far worse spelling and grammar than anything I've seen on a resume. They also don't care to do anything about it if you tell them.


      When I was head hunted earlier this year the recruiter's emails were always full of spelling errors, never said anything though.

    Anyone got a guess for what "assiating" refers to?

      My first thought was it was "assisting" with a typo

      Either it's supposed to be "assisting" or something to do with someone's butt. Take your pick.

      Well, I would tell you, but I think the mods would delete my explanation of assiating for being a little to NSFW.

        Little to NSFW? As in, NSFW finds your explanation small?




    Doesn't "odds are low" mean that it's likely to happen? e.g. 2-to-1 is low odds compared to 2million-to-1 odds.

    So the sentence in the article "Make those mistakes and the odds of you ever finding another job are low" means that you are more likely to find another job if you make mistakes? I think Angus is getting odds and probability mixed up - odds and probability are inverse of each other.

    The phrase that may be more apt would be "odds are bad" or "chances are low".

    Last edited 16/12/13 4:44 pm

      Good catch i guess I'm probably guilty of that myself on the odd occasion. I think your right most people use "odds are" interchangeably with "chances are" so your suggestion of using bad/good instead of low/high is a good one that more people should use.

      depends if you're talking about odds against or odds in favour of

    Its grammar not spelling but its and it's will get me every time.

      Indeed, I always loved this meme that I found on the internet a few years back in regards to grammar:

      "The difference between good grammar and bad grammar is knowing the difference between "Helping your Uncle Jack off a horse" and "Helping your Uncle jack off a horse".

      I always loved that one. :)

      Last edited 16/12/13 4:54 pm

    "What’s shocking about this list is that none of the entries involve confusion between two similar but distinct words."

    Well, unless the software they used also understood the sentences that were written and doesn't just do a spell-check on individual words (or they have people doing this analysis and not computers), this isn't that shocking. For example, it's not going to find 'there' as a mistake if the correct word is 'their' because the word is spelled correctly; it's just the wrong word for that context.

    Edit: I agree though that spell-checking should always be done, whether by the software you use to write your resume, or through proofreading your work (which anyone writing ANYTHING should always do, regardless of the length of the piece).

    Last edited 16/12/13 4:17 pm

    What's even more shocking is that an article about shocking spelling on résumés has missed the little accent things on the top of the 'e' when spelling the word résumé. Unbelievable.

      I may resume my résumé in the new year.
      Nah - if is wasn't for copy 'n paste it'd be too hard to put the acutes in.

        Not really, on a mac you simply hold the 'e' key until the options pop up. Same on iOS. On windows it's alt + something then the 'e' key. Saying its hard to access is a pretty poor excuse.

    Focussed and focused, apparently both are correct but neither look right.

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