Job App. Miscue: 'Dear Sir or Madman'

July 16, 2009 ( - Submitting a cover letter to a prospective employer that starts "Dear Sir or Madman," is probably not best when seeking a new job, a new survey suggests.

A telephone survey found that 40% of respondents would disqualify a candidate because of a single resume or cover letter typo, Reuters reported. The poll, by the Canadian unit of online job search firm Accountemps, covered 150 senior Canadian executives.

Meanwhile, some 36% of the hiring managers, said they would ignore an application with two mistakes.

“The resume is an applicant’s first chance to impress the hiring manager,” said Kathryn Bolt, president of Accountemps’ Canadian operations, according to the news report. “Mistakes on one’s application materials may prompt employers to assume there also will be mistakes made on the job.”

Seven percent of the executives were more forgiving: they would still consider an applicant with four or more typos on their resume.

According to Accountemps, common resume/cover letter mistakes include:

  • "Dear Sir or Madman",
  • "I'm attacking my resume for you to review",
  • "Following is a grief overview of my skills" ,
  • "Have a keen eye for derail",
  • "Hope to hear from you, shorty",
  • "I am a rabid typist",

  • "My work ethics are impeachable",

  • "Nervous of steel",

  • "GPA: 34.0"; and

  • "Graphic designer seeking no-profit career."