Industry News

More than Six in Every 10 U.S. Resumes Contain Spelling Mistakes

By eLearning Inside
February 20, 2022

Indianapolis – February 9, 2022 – Over 6 in 10 resumes in the U.S. contain at least one spelling mistake, according to new research from smarter job search engine Adzuna, with more than 1 in 10 resumes containing 5 or more errors.

Adzuna analyzed over 90,000 U.S. resumes uploaded to ValueMyResume in 2021 to highlight the most common errors made in job applications. Each resume was parsed using semantic text-mining technology to extract full work history, years of work experience, contact details, and key skills. Location data and keyword analysis highlighted trends in resumes uploaded by applicants in different regions.

Only 33,881 of the 92,989 resumes analyzed were spelling error-free, meaning almost two-thirds (63.6%) of resumes contained at least one mistake.

13.5% of the resumes analyzed (12,525 resumes) contained five or more errors, while 1.5% (1,378 resumes) were truly error-riddled containing 20 or more spelling slip ups. Among the most commonly misspelt words on resumes are “judgment” and “inquiries.” Another frequent fail noticed in the data is that U.S. job seekers are using British English spellings, such as “organisation,” “behaviour,” and “programme,” in place of American spellings.

Beyond spelling errors, the most common resume mistake job seekers are making is forgetting to include a personal summary outlining their career ambitions. Nearly half (48%) lacked this level of detail. Another common job seeker mistake is leaving gaps in their employment history. Over a quarter of resumes (30%) contained unexplained gaps of two months or more, which can easily raise red flags to recruiters and employers. If a job seeker has a gap of more than a month on their resume, they should provide context for the reason behind it in order to help their potential or future employer better understand their situation.

Meanwhile, 19% of job seekers filed their resumes under an inappropriate file name.

This means that they included words such as “draft,” “V2,” “untitled” or “document” in the file name, which leaves a thoughtless and unprofessional impression. An ideal resume should have a filename that includes the applicant’s surname and the word “resume,” for example “John Smith Resume,” so that a recruiter or hiring manager can locate the document quickly and easily. A resume should also be saved as a PDF to ensure that its formatting is maintained and not distorted in any way by resume-reading software that HR teams and recruiters’ use. In addition, 13% of job seekers submitted resumes that were either too brief or too lengthy. The perfect length will vary depending on years of experience. Resumes need to give enough information to give a complete picture of a candidate’s work history but should also be clear and concise.

A surprisingly high proportion of job seekers (5%) included an invalid email address or no email address at all on their resume, a mistake likely to lead to immediate disqualification from the hiring process.

Texans Have the Most Errors on Their Resumes

Adzuna data reveals that in the U.S., Texans are the most prone to making mistakes on their resume followed by job seekers in California, New York and Florida. By contrast, job seekers in Alaska and North Dakota make the fewest mistakes.

Lily Valentin, Head of North America Operations for Adzuna, comments: “In the changing world of work, your resume is still the first impression that your potential new employer has of you, and I can’t emphasize enough how important it still is to have a well-organized and precise resume. Spelling mistakes, inconsistent work histories, and missing information are all red flags for potential employers, telling them that you did not take the application process seriously and aren’t fully committed to learning about the open role. Even amid the Great Resignation, candidates need to put their best foot forward with hiring managers to be competitive and land a lucrative role. Take the time to outline your professional achievements and career ambitions throughout your resume. A succinct cover letter or personal statement within your resume is a great place to do this. Further, don’t shy from indicating your employment preferences, such as remote or hybrid, in order to set expectations and ensure any next steps are aligned with the career path that you really want. Job applicants looking to perfect their applications can use Adzuna’s resume tool, ValueMyResume, which automatically checks for common mistakes so job seekers can get their resumes battle-ready and secure more interviews.”

graphs of mispelling
Table 1, The Most Commonly Misspelled Words in U.S. Resumes, Table 2, Top 10 Most Common Resume Errors in the U.S., Table 3, Top 5 States for Resume Spelling Errors.

Adzuna is a smarter, more transparent job search engine. We help tens of millions of U.S. job seekers access more than four million U.S. jobs each month, so they can cut through the noise, zero in on the right role faster and land the right job.

Adzuna gives job seekers access to every available online job listing on a single site — without giving anyone else access to their personal data — and our unique tools and salary stats help job seekers pinpoint the perfect role so they can earn what they’re actually worth. We love using the power of our technology to match people to better, more fulfilling jobs and keep Americans working.

Founded in 2011 by Andrew Hunter and Doug Monro, Adzuna is a privately held company backed by Index Ventures, Passion, LocalGlobe and Smedvig Capital. Follow Adzuna on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Featured image: João Ferrão, Unsplash.