Should You Resend Your Resume if You Notice a Mistake?

It’s every job seeker’s worst nightmare. Sending in an application for your dream job and then realising that instead of attaching your CV you included a picture of renowned actor and treasure-hunting enthusiast Nicolas Cage. Well, okay – maybe you’re not too worried about that exact situation. However, the idea of making a mistake and having to fix it is. If you do make a mistake, should you resend your resume. Is it even worth it?

Do Employers Even Care if You Resend Your Resume?

Well that depends on the Hiring Manager. Like you, they’re an individual with their own likes and dislikes. However, the game of whether to resend your resume requires you to weigh the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Give the hiring manager your best quality resume and cover letter
  • Fix any mistakes that might make it hard for them to contact you
  • Shows the employer that you are responsible for your mistakes and diligent in fixing them up

Cons

  • Draw a lot of attention to something that the hiring manager might not have even noticed in the first place
  • Create more work for the hiring manager who has to re-read your resume

The bigger the problem, the more likely it is that you will need to resend your resume if you still want to get the job. If you’re not sure about the size of your individual problem then you might find the next part helpful.

Whoops… I just noticed I made a small mistake

Working out if you should resend your resume after making a small mistake can be tricky. On one hand you want to make sure that the hiring manager gets your best possible version of your application. On the other, you don’t necessarily want to draw their attention to something that they might not have even noticed otherwise.

Something small like bullet points that aren’t aligned or an extra line break after a heading are probably too small to worry about. If you can catch them before you sent your application by all means take the 30 seconds to fix it. Otherwise just let it go.

If you realise that you’ve included a typo or grammar error then you have to work out how important it is. A typo in the company name or in your job history is probably more important than accidentally typing htat instead of that.

However, not all typos and spelling errors are the same. Don’t bet on the hiring manager not noticing that you misspelled their business’ name. Fix that straight away and double check any other times you might have used the company name.

Examples

  • Typing errors in your cover letter or body of your resume
  • Formatting errors or inconsistencies 

Yikes! It’s actually a big mistake…

A big mistake is something that could actually get in the way of you getting the job. While a typo might turn off a hiring manager, it also might go unnoticed. If you have accidentally given them the wrong phone number they won’t be able to contact you.

If you make a big mistake when applying for a job, the best thing you can do is get ahead of it. You want to make sure that you apologise and send through the right version as quickly as possible.

The longer you wait to send through a correction, the greater the chance that someone will look at your “old resume” and take it as the real one. If you do send it after this point you can still change the employer’s mind but it’s harder to sell yourself when they have already made a decision on your application.

Examples

  • Using your old contact details
  • Forgetting to include an extra section

HELP! I’ve made a HUGE mistake!

Nothing will your damage your application quicker than making a huge mistake. Simply, they blow your chances of making a good first impression to smithereens. They’re something that you are almost impossible to recover from like including a NSFW link instead of your email address.

Huge mistakes go much further than simply asking yourself whether or not to resend your resume. Instead you need to ask yourself: How badly do I want this job?

That’s because you will need to speak to the employer and explain to them how something like that managed to happen and how you can still be a good employee.

If you don’t really need the job or if you don’t desperately want it – WALK AWAY.

Sure, it might be a little unprofessional to make such a glaring mistake and do nothing about it but that’s okay. There are enough jobs out there that will unfortunately end with you not hearing anything back even when you make a perfect application. Don’t waste your time worrying about this one after you’ve got off to such a terrible start.

Examples

  • Sending a cover letter that was addressed to a different employer
  • Using an application where you bad-mouthed the employer as a joke

How to Resend Your Resume

If you do decide that your mistake requires you to resend your resume to an employer, it’s important that you go about it the right way. 

That means acting professionally and treating the employer with respect. Asking for permission to resend your resume if a good idea. Also avoid lengthy excuses – they make you look like you can’t stand up for your mistakes.

All you need to say is “Sorry, I accidentally sent an old version of my resume. Would I be able to send you a more updated version? Please see my most recent resume attached.”

Learn from Your Mistakes

Some mistakes aren’t obvious ones or quick fix ones. They are harder to spot unless you know what to look for but can still damage your chances. One of those mistakes in giving in a zombie resume – this is when your application fails to make you stand out from the crowd. There is simply so many clichés and buzzwords that you look like a mindless monster – not a hardworking potential employee!

If you realise that you’ve made a mistake like that don’t resend your resume. You need to rethink your resume and cover letter and write about yourself in a totally different way. By all means apply with the same company next time around but use this opportunity to learn from your mistake and write a better resume next time.

Be Prepared for Whatever Happens

When you choose to resend your resume you are trying to make a better impression on the employer. It’s important  that you realise that this second chance might not be that successful. It’s also worthwhile to keep in mind that you definitely won’t get a third bite of the apple.

When you do resend your resume, make sure to apologise for whatever mistake you made, avoid giving excuses, and make sure your resume is a well-proofread version. Whatever you did – especially if the mistake is really that bad – you need to prepare yourself to not get this particular job.

Everybody Makes Mistakes

People make mistakes all the time. While it can be frustrating making them when applying for jobs, people make big mistakes long after they’ve been hired. Just because you stumbled a bit at the start, there is no reason why you can’t get the job. In fact, the way that you handle your mistake could be enough to make a great impression on the hiring manager.

If you do get through to the next stage however – an interview in person, or over the phone or computer – you should be prepared to answer some questions about how your particular mistake happened. 

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