Q: I have a resume question and I’m not sure who to ask, so I really hope you can give me some advice…

Q:  I have a resume question and I’m not sure who to ask, so I really hope you can give me some advice.

After skimming over my resume, I just noticed that the ending date for one of my jobs is listed incorrectly. The date is listed as July of 2007 — the correct ending date is actually November of 2006. I’m not sure how I did not notice this error before, but I didn’t and have been submitting this resume with job applications for several months now. I was contacted by one of the libraries where I placed an application, and they are bringing me in for an interview next week.

This was truly an honest mistake — I think it was originally the result of a copying and pasting error — and I want to clear this mistake up quickly and be honest about it with the person with whom I am interviewing. However, I am terrified that he will think that I was lying and trying to inflate my employment date, or that I am not a detail-oriented person, and that it will cost me the job. I have gone over the rest of my resume with a fine tooth comb and have had two other people also look at it for me. This was the only mistake.

How can I fix this? Should I email him with a corrected copy before the interview — and if I do, how do I address the error in the email? Should I wait and mention it at the interview itself? Should I wait and see how the interview goes and proceed from there? Or should I do something else entirely?

TA:  People are human and–breaking news!–we make mistakes.  It’s how we correct them that demonstrates our values and professional judgment.  At the point of the interview, bring a corrected version of your resume.  Simply state that you discovered a mistake on the dates of your employment and wanted to present a corrected copy with the accurate information. Don’t dwell, don’t go on and on about making mistakes; just present the resume, apologize and proceed.  Then carry on with the interview as you’ve planned and prepared.  Good luck!

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