Are You On Maturity Leave?

question_markI once worked with a woman who was pregnant and was rapidly approaching her due date. In an effort to prepare clients for her absence she sent out a mass email detailing who would be handling their accounts while she was gone on maturity leave. Yes, you read that right. She sent out an email to many, many clients telling them that she would be taking maturity leave. Apparently in twelve weeks she would return more mature than when she left. Yikes!

She quickly realized her mistake and sent out another mass email letting them know that she didn’t think she was in need of maturity leave but that maternity leave might be in order after she had her baby. Except for a bit of embarrassment over her mistake there was no damage done. On a cover letter or resume however, the damage will be your resume ending up in the garbage can of many, many recruiters and hiring managers.

I cannot stress how imperative it is to send out a flawless resume. One little mistake can speak volumes to a hiring manager. It tells them: you’re lazy, you rush through things, you don’t value quality, the end product is not important to you and on and on! None of those things may be true but your resume is the first impression prospective employers have of you and like it or not they will judge you!

If spelling and grammar are not your strongest skills, ask someone else to take a look at your resume before you send it out. Ask two people. The more eyes on it the better. Don’t rely on spell check to catch all mistakes. If you used ‘there’ instead of ‘their’ or if you meant to type increased sales but instead typed increased ales, spell check won’t flag it. (If you’re still not convinced refer back to the first paragraph.)

If you don’t think you’re up to the task of creating an error-free, results-producing resume you may want to consider a professional resume writing company. It’s worth the investment for a resume that will make a great first impression. Receive your free resume analysis at

  1. Thomas Bertin
    October 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Jessica –

    I couldn’t agree with you more; in the professional world spelling and grammar are far too important for a job seeker to over look. Regardless of the position one may be applying for, keep in mind that the recruiter, human resources assistant or hire manager may only have the 15-30 seconds it takes to scan a cover letter and resume. If you haven’t taken time to proofread your correspondence prior to printing and mailing it or if you are inclined to type and pushing the send button prior to sending an e-mail, shame on you.

    As you stated in your article, if you are not strong or comfortable with written forms of communication, it is in your best interest to allow others to review what you wish to send; perhaps collaborate with someone you trust to put your words down in a clear and concise manner.

    Most importantly, be sure that all names are spelled correctly in the very least. If you are unsure of someone’s name when speaking to them, either ask them to repeat and spell it if necessary, or contact the company they work for prior to sending anything until you’ve been able to verify the correct spelling of their name. And by all means, do not mis-spell the name of the company where you are applying.

    One sure way of being successful in communicating without spelling and grammatical errors is to create a draft of what you intend to send as a Word Document that can be cut and pasted once all necessary corrections have been made.

  2. Jobseeker
    October 17, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I have hired and paid a high price of $400 for a resume re-write. I have had NO hits on it, zip, nadda, nothing. I honestly don’t believe that employers really read these resumes or cover letters. I think they are just throwing darts at them and seeing which ones get a hit and are calling those people for interviews,but only if you are in the right age category–young. If you have a mistake in your resume and you catch it after you have sent it out. I wouldn’t sweat it out. And you can send another letter and say that your are sending an updated resume. It gets your name out there twice and maybe the dart will hit the second one.

    • JSmith
      October 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm

      I agree with Jobseeker. Even when employers look at the resume they are interested in the experience you have and if it does not match exactly their requirements they won’t even consider you. I always receive compliments on my resume, but when it come to being considered for a job interview not having the exact years of experience in one specific area becomes a problem regardless of the powerful action words on my resume.

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