How Damaging is Typo in Thank-You Letter?


Laney writes:
My husband recently interviewed with a company and followed up with a thank-you email.
In the email he spelled The Greenley Group as The Greeney Group and left out the letter (l)
and he’s sweating bullets. I’m inquiring as to what to do with it? He used other words
describing his interview experience and how he was excited about the job etc.
How big of a mistake is it that he left the (l) out?


The Career Doctor responds:
Typos and misspellings are often the curse of job-hunting. Some employers are less bothered
by them than others but I fall into the camp that if you have any kind of major error on your
cover letter or resume then your application is done over tossed.
But yours is an interesting scenario because it’s after the first round of interviews so your
husband obviously made the initial cut and depending on his interview may even be a frontrunner
for the position.
In my mind unless he interviewed with the founder of the company misspelling the company’s name
is less of a sin than misspelling the interviewer’s name.
He has two options. Say nothing and hope that the thank-you letter made enough of an impression
that perhaps the company name’s misspelling was not even noticed. Or write a quick follow-up
saying that he was so excited about the fit between himself and the company that in his haste to
share that excitement in a thank-you note he accidentally misspelled the name of the company.
By writing such a note he shows he is one to take the blame when something is his fault — which
is a good thing. The only downside is if the interviewer never noticed the error on the original letter.
Overall I think the error is a minor one but catching it and owning it while again expressing his
interest and desire to work for the company is probably the best route to take.