May 02 2012
Q: I provided an incorrect phone number on my cover letter. Should I contact all the potential employers to correct my mistake?
Q: Hi, I’m relocating in a few weeks and have been applying for jobs for the last few months. I realized today that on many of my cover letters I provided an incorrect cell phone number (I rarely use mine and so, of course, I transposed the digits) along with my home number and email address. Should I contact all the potential employers to correct my mistake or should I hope they will use the other methods to contact me? Thanks for your advice.
A: We think that you should not contact all the potential employers to correct your mistake and hope that they will use either your email or your home phone if they want to contact you. A couple of exceptions to this might be if a.) you know someone at a particular place and you could send a friendly email that explains what happened, or b.) one (or two) of these jobs epitomizes your dream job and you feel like you have a good chance at getting an interview and you won’t sleep at night thinking that they are trying to contact you but cannot reach you. If these scenarios are untrue, then don’t waste your time and energy contacting potential employers for a minor error that they probably won’t notice.
Also, keep in mind that (from our experiences) employers/search committees/hiring managers/etc. will typically contact a candidate by email, first, and if they want to setup a phone interview, they will ask you what number is the best for you — and it may not be one of the numbers you provided on your cover letter. It is common for job candidates to be in the midst of moving and phone numbers (and voicemail) can change or get disconnected or just don’t work for whatever reason, so don’t sweat this one. There are much bigger mistakes you could have made. Best of luck to you!
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