No, You're Supposed To Take Spelling Errors Out Of Resumes

from the not-doing-their-job dept

When we see headlines with the general structure of “(blank) sues (blank)” we’ve become pretty used to approaching the story with a high degree of skepticism. That’s too bad because there are definitely instances in which a lawsuit seems justified. A former editor of a Wisconsin newspaper is suing an agency that promised to prepare her resume and send it to likely employers for a substantial fee. The problem is that the company made a major typing error (via Romenesko), which she claims permanently damaged her chances at the 200 companies to which the resume was sent. An error in a resume is usually bad enough, but it seems particularly glaring when coming from a former newspaper editor. Either way, it’s clear that the ability to blast out hundreds of resumes makes it easier to both contact employers and damage your reputation with the press of a button.

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Comments on “No, You're Supposed To Take Spelling Errors Out Of Resumes”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Note to self (for applicants): If I am going to use an agency to send out thousands of resumes, at least check a few of the copies to make sure there are no mistakes.

Note to self (for hiring managers): If you see a resume that clearly looks like it was sent through an agency (with serious errors), drop it in the recycling bin. An applicant who does not take the time to check their own resume before sending it out is probably going to do the same when they send emails and other communications required for doing their job.

rijit (profile) says:


I worked for a headhunter and I have to say there is good money in it. Some companies will only deal with recruiters, in case some did not know that. Most company HR and hiring departments are the same and HR’s are usually to busy with dealing with present employees they do not have time for interviews. I can state, we never made any resumes. We received resumes, did a preliminary phone interview, and passed them on to the company, if they were interested, then did a follow up either setting up another interview or sending a new resume. If there was a typo, I bet it was the job applicants, not the recruiters, though I have known one or two recruiters who redo resumes for a certain format, since they want all their resumes to be seen as theirs immediately. This woman should go elsewhere to find a job, not sue, become news and then not be able to be hired because she is known nationwide =P How frickin stupid can you get.

Stella Maris says:

Re: Headhunters

I have to agree with this — some jobs are only available to the headhunted, even in the newspaper industry.

This is obviously a cautionary tale to make sure you have final control over what gets sent out for your money *before* it gets sent out. Hopefully, the message gets to the headhunter firms that they need better proofreading processes.

Spel Chekerer says:

Re: Headhunters


I hope you never actually edited resumes yourself. Your prose leaves much to be desired. The use of “frickin stupid” was the high point.

Please obtain a high school grammer book and learn a little more about how to use our language in written form.

You’re such a ‘tard.

just browsing says:

Re: Re: Headhunters

we all make mistakes….

but Spel Chekerer,maybe it’s better for you to advise rijit to buy a “grammar book” than a grammer book, don’t you think?

I surely hope that you deliberately misspelled the word grammar, the same as I am assuming that you deliberately misspelled your name/nick and deliberately made it gramatically incorrect.

Spel Checkerer says:

Re: Re: Re: Headhunters

You got me. I’m a dumbass. I thought I had misspelled grammAr and intended to check before posting the smart arse comment. I failed.

I apologize Rijit. I didn’t realize people monitored these things. I was just taking shots for no good reason. I was having a crappy day and just thought I’d pass it on.

I sincerely apologize.

Not my yob! says:


Once again stupidity is greater than what is being sued over.

Let’s see 200 potential employers + 1,000,000 techdirt readers + 1,000,000 Romenesko readers + say another 1,000,000 random readers = 3,000,200 people who know about it now, then we tell at least 1 person…so 6,000,20…awhh forget it!

She’s screwed!

Topy Tpyo (user link) says:


Perhaps your 6 million estimate is accurate. I don’t know.

But let’s backup one step. If she’s an editor, and if the eggregious resume was sent to the top 200 newspapers and/or media agencies in the US, then what other employers remain for her? Techdirt? …Because your 6 million examples sure aren’t going to be offering her a job.

bobaxos says:

Its key to note she did review the letter and resume but according to the article

“Without notifying her, Allen and Associates mailed Uebelacker’s letter July 22 to 200 potential employers, but the letter contained gibberish and a false signature intended to represent Uebelacker’s, according to the lawsuit.”

She is justified in sueing purely on the fact that they agreed (contract) to do something for a fee and didnt hold up their end but worse yet made her out to be an idiot.

John G. says:

Former Allen and Associates employee here

I am a former employee of Allen and Associates and know how that company operates. They are NOT, repeat NOT headhunters. They DO NOT have ANY connections with employers, period. Very simply put, they are an extremely expensive resume writing service. Their resume writers in Florida use standard boilerplate forms that already have much of the wording in place before they even know who the resume will be for (depending on the category the customer fits into). A little tweaking here, a little customization there, and it’s ready to go. Many of the resumes that were sent to me as “complete” were rife with errors of all kinds. I made many, many corrections before delivering them to my customers.

After only a short time working for them as a sales rep in the Atlanta office, my conscience could no longer take it and I quit. They force sales associates to memorize a little speech about how the company was founded in Appleton, Wisconsin way back when, and other meaningless verbiage. Every customer hears the same speech as soon as they walk into the sales rep’s office, anywhere in America. Reps are flown to the company headquarters in Maitland, FL for training and must recite the speech before they are placed in their future offices. The big thing they teach you to do is master the “take-away sale”: “But then, maybe this service isn’t for you. It isn’t for everyone, and frankly, not everyone who comes through our door qualifies to work with us.” That’s right — those who qualify do so with their credit cards. Every, single person who is willing to pay “qualifies” to work with Allen and Associates. Others are “declined”.

Save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars and hire a resume writer. Then go to a REAL headhunter.

Jonathan B. says:

Been there, did that...

I can fully understand where this lady is coming from. The only difference between my situation and her’s is that my resume was not sent to 100s of potential employers.

Not too long ago, I had updated my resume with current information. An executive recruiting firm contacted me when I had been recommended to them by a collegue. I interviewed with them and they reviewed my resume. Part of their service was to reformat and update the resume. They worked from my paper copy. When I received the first draft, there were a number of typos, which I had them correct. Unfortunately, I had missed one in the middle of a large piece of text (it was actually a misspelled acronym). I didn’t notice it for at least six months. I had read and re-read the resume dozens of times and never noticed. Being a programmer, I understand how this happens, but not necessarily why. If you review something, code or text, often enough, your eyes will start to edit what you are reading so that it is correct. The only real solution is a fresh set of eyes. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times I looked at something for an hour or more, where I knew there was a problem, only to have someone else look at it and within seconds point out the problem.

As far as misspellings in resumes, with the advent of spell checkers, most typos should be readily highlighted. If someone typing in a resume does not notice, then they are not paying attention. If the person the resume is about is asked to review the resume, then there is a responsibility on both parties to miss typos. If she was not asked to review the resume, then shame on her (she should have demanded it). I think there is definitely shared responsibility in this case.


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