IMAGINE THIS: YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE of the application process for your dream job. You spent hours scouring your résumé and cover letter, scrubbing away any errors or grammatical missteps. It appears your hard work is paying off as you correspond with hiring managers over email to figure out your next step.
Then you see it: that conspicuous mistake on something you just sent. Should you send a quick, follow-up email correcting it? Or ignore it in hopes that the hiring manager will do the same? Don’t panic: We’ve all been there. But the steps you take after discovering a major typo in a job application email could be the difference between getting the position or having the hiring managers move forward with a different candidate. It’s a tricky quandary, but career experts say it’s best to respond with a correction in most cases.
WHEN TO ADDRESS THE MISTAKE
Glaring typos in the recipient’s name, the name of the company you’re applying to, or the title of the position you’re vying for “absolutely” deserve a correction, says Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster and a corporate recruiter. It’s embarrassing to make a big error like that, but sending a follow-up email quickly with the correction could also prove that you’re willing to own up to your goof.
Sending a correction could “show that you are accountable and are able to recognize—and fix—mistakes as they occur,” says Blair Decembrele, a career expert at LinkedIn. It can get a little more complicated when it comes to smaller slipups. Sarah Stoddard, community expert at job recruiting site Glassdoor, says you should ask yourself if sending a follow-up note would draw more attention to the error. “You don’t want to be the candidate that floods a hiring manager’s inbox with emails,” she adds. Some workplaces aren’t so forgiving, however. As a corporate recruiter, Salemi says she has seen circumstances in which an applicant made an error in her thank-you note after an interview and failed to get the position. “If she’d corrected it, would she have gotten the job? Who knows,” says Salemi. An appropriate follow-up email should be concise, sweet, and to the point, says Salemi. “Keep it short,” she adds. “Don’t belabor it.”