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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2006 @ 2:09pm

    I assume the error occured during the transfer of the resume from the orginal format (probably paper) to a digital format. Sucks to be her. But wont this lausuit create the impression that she was too lazy to check her own work before it went out? isnt that was editors do?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2006 @ 2:16pm

    What's worse? The typo or having the world know that you were stupid enough to pay a headhunter almost $2K to email your resume out for you? I thought that scam was usually focused on recent college grads?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2006 @ 2:19pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rijit (profile), 20 Jun 2006 @ 2:49pm

    Headhunters

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Stella Maris, 20 Jun 2006 @ 4:33pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Stella Maris, 20 Jun 2006 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re: Headhunters

        PS: If you actually read the article, you'll see it's not just a simple typo. It was printer's space-holding gobbledygook, and markings clearly labeling it "proofread." Ouch. ANYONE looking at the resume should have been able to see something wrong.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Spel Chekerer, 20 Jun 2006 @ 4:55pm

      Re: Headhunters

      Rijit,
      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        just browsing, 20 Jun 2006 @ 5:44pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Spel Checkerer, 21 Jun 2006 @ 5:29am

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Not my yob!, 20 Jun 2006 @ 3:21pm

    WORKER

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Topy Tpyo, 20 Jun 2006 @ 3:44pm

      Re: WORKER

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2006 @ 3:34pm

    She'll get a job

    She'll probably end up working in some law office

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2006 @ 3:51pm

    Lazy...

    If she was applying to be an editor, why did she not write her own freaking reseme?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Topy Tpyo, 20 Jun 2006 @ 4:20pm

      Re: Lazy...

      Um... because outplacement was included as part of her severance package?

      Hey, I don't know, and I'm not suggesting that Ms. Editor-thang is blameless.

      I am suggesting that the publishing world just might be small enough that 200 'bad' resumes could do irrepairable (sp?) damage to the editor in question.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wifezilla, 20 Jun 2006 @ 4:28pm

    Who proofed it?

    Most typesetters, graphic designers, etc... who do resumes always have the customer proof any jobs before printing. I am betting she proofed it, signed off on the resume, and did not catch the mistake.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobaxos, 20 Jun 2006 @ 4:32pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rijit (profile), 20 Jun 2006 @ 4:59pm

    Weee!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rijit (profile), 20 Jun 2006 @ 5:02pm

    RE: Re: Headhunters by Spel Chekerer

    No, that was the point of the post, at the place I worked, we just forwarded the resumes on.

    As for the personal attack, I will ignore it since only malicious stupid frickin morons would think their personal attack is justified for showing color in a post.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rijit (profile), 20 Jun 2006 @ 5:03pm

    Oh...

    and I did mean that =P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Spel Chic, 20 Jun 2006 @ 5:06pm

    Point to rijit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2006 @ 5:23pm

    so none of you flawless individuals have ever made a mistake? jesus, give the woman a break.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    just browsing, 20 Jun 2006 @ 5:49pm

    p.s. the word "gramatically" on my previous post should be "grammatically"

    see...I made a mistake there as well....and I am a web editor! Well...this isn't my resume. :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John G., 20 Jun 2006 @ 7:30pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Julie Lewis, 9 Jan 2007 @ 9:18am

      Re: Former Allen and Associates employee here

      I am the lawyer who is representing this editor. I am very interested in talking with Joe G. or any other former employee of Allen and Associates or Workstream. Please send me an EMail if you are willing to talk with me.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2006 @ 7:48pm

    I'm going to sue you

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rijit (profile), 20 Jun 2006 @ 11:50pm

    RE: John G.

    Amen brother ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David G., 21 Jun 2006 @ 1:26pm

    Possible corruption?

    Its possible that there was a software corruption of some sort somewhere along the way. A spot on a hard disk, a difference between word processor filters, whatever. But it IS inexcusable for resume blasting service to not proofread a client's resume.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jonathan B., 25 Jun 2006 @ 5:54am

    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.

    JonathanB

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2007 @ 11:59am

    Here's the contact info for and Allen and Associates employee named Emily Lopez who evidently got my info (that is not to be shared...) from CareerBuilder. If her pitch was important enough to interrupt my workday, perhaps your thoughts can interrupt hers...

    866-475-3813 x107
    emily.lopez@allenandassociates.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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