Post-Mortem on Spelling Error on Submitted Applications

Anonymous writes:
I have applied several times to a particular company and just discovered
much to my horror that I had been spelling the city’s name wrong (at least
three applications so far). It’s a two-word name and I made it one word.
Worse it’s a company I do business with regularly and that’s one of my “ins”
into the company my “knowledge” of them and yet I didn’t know such a
small thing. How embarrassing but worse how damaging to my credibility.
I just applied for THE position I had been waiting for and it was after I mailed
that letter that I realized the mistake I had been making. I was hoping so
much to finally get an interview with this company and now this. Is there any
way to recover from this error? Should I follow up with an “at least I’m
consistent” light-hearted letter or hope they didn’t notice as it was going to
a different department?

The Career Doctor responds:
If the job you are applying for is that of an editor or proofreader then perhaps
it’s a major blunder but otherwise I think you can just let this error be. In the
great scheme of cover letters it is MUCH more important to get the name of
the hiring manager and name of the company spelled correctly — and I am
assuming you did that.
I once lived in a city named DeLand. Most of the mailed correspondence I got
spelled it as Deland and don’t even get me started about how people pronounced
it. Regardless while I would of course recommend all job-seekers have perfect
spelling and grammar in your cover letters I would not make a big deal of your
I might be concerned however about someone who has applied for three
different positions within the company. Are the positions similar? Do you
have any sense why you were not interviewed for the previous positions? If you
do have a few contacts within the company I would ask them whether there is
any “word” on your reputation from the people within the departments you are
applying to.
And speaking of cover letters wanted to share this comment from a job-seeker
who had asked me how to make a bigger impact with his cover letter for an
internship — and I told him to deliver it to the manager personally but when
doing so to be prepared for an on-the-spot interview which is just what happened:
“Just writing to thank you again for your advice with my cover letter for an
internship and how to deliver it. I found the manager’s name and went to
deliver my letter to her today. She was so impressed with my initiative of
actually delivering the letter by hand that she interviewed me on the spot
and wants to set up a more formal interview in the near future. Thanks so
much your edits and advice about actually hand-delivering the letter were
invaluable and I really appreciate your time.”


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