75 Common Spelling Errors on Resumes

Everyone makes spelling mistakes now and then; after all no one is perfect. That said, most recruiters and hiring managers don’t give job applicants a second chance if they have spelling mistakes on their resume.

Spelling errors are one of the major detractors on resumes. You may think it’s too harsh to exclude candidates who can’t spell well, but time is money. For generic vacancies like administrative assistants, office support, junior or entry-level positions, selection is often done through elimination, as this type of jobs don’t require a specific skill set. However,  having good communication skills is a must! As a result those who can’t spell will not make the first cut.

Here’s a quick test of your spelling ability. How many of the words in this chart can you spell correctly?

Correct spelling Common misspellings Correct spelling Common misspellings
accommodate, accommodation accomodate, accomodation independent independant
achieve acheive interrupt interupt
across accross irresistible irresistable
aggressive, aggression agressive, agression knowledge knowlege
a lot alot liaise, liaison liase, liason
apparently apparantly lose loose
appearance appearence necessary neccessary
argument arguement noticeable noticable
basically basicly occasion ocassion, occassion
beginning begining occurred, occurring occured, occuring
believe beleive, belive piece peice
business buisness politician politican
calendar calender preferred, preferring prefered, prefering
colleague collegue propaganda propoganda
coming comming publicly publically
committee commitee really realy
completely completly receive recieve
curiosity curiousity referred, referring refered, refering
definitely definately religious religous
dilemma dilemna remember rember, remeber
disappoint dissapoint resistance resistence
environment enviroment sense sence
existence existance separate seperate
familiar familar successful succesful
finally finaly supersede supercede
foreign foriegn surprise suprise
foreseeable forseeable tendency tendancy
forty fourty therefore therefor
forward foward threshold threshhold
further futher tomorrow tommorow, tommorrow
gist jist truly truely
government goverment unforeseen unforseen
happened happend unfortunately unfortunatly
honorary honourary until untill
humorous humourous Wednesday Wedesday
idiosyncrasy idiosyncracy wherever whereever
immediately immediatly which wich
incidentally incidently    


Sadly, within the last five years, I have seen a sharp decrease in spelling ability among job seekers. With the increase in texting as a viable form of communication, words and sentences have shrunk to symbols and acronyms. In addition, the rise in popularity of social media platforms such as Twitter, where you have a limited space to express your thoughts, has taken the fully written word and compacted it, creating a brand new form of communication.

Trilingual Career Coach & Recruiter with experience across Europe and Asia Pacific. She is also a speaker for workshops on resume writing, job searching tips, and interview techniques. She travels frequently but you can stay in touch with Eleanor via facebook.com/EleanorHoDotCom

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