Applying with the Wrong Version of Your Resume … Now What?!

It’s one of the core dangers of online applications. Your clicking-finger gets itchy and you submit your job application too fast. Suddenly, you realize that you’ve uploaded the wrong version of your resume. Uh-oh. Now you’re worried you’ve blown your chance.

Searching for work can become a slog. The process can get repetitive, causing you to lose your focus. Or you can become so revved up about a potential opportunity that your enthusiasm gets away from you.

Either way, applying the wrong resume is an easy mistake to make. But don’t worry, you haven’t ruined your best chance at landing the position. Here are a few steps you can take to correct the situation:


Stay Calm

There’s no reason to panic. Applying the wrong resume doesn’t fall into the same “cyber-danger” category as texting your ex at 3 AM or tweeting something snarky about your boss. It’s a relatively low-grade problem that you can easily recover from.

Check for an Edit Function

The “submit” button doesn’t always represent the end of the process. Many application systems have editing features that allow you to make changes.

See if this particular job has one of those functions. If so, you’re golden. Just update the file with the right resume.

In this way, the process becomes a routine part of the application procedure. Even if the company gets an update letting them know about the change, no one will think anything about it.

Review the Resume You Sent

If the application doesn’t have an edit function, your decision-making gets more complicated. You still shouldn’t panic…but the situation will require a little more finesse.

Start by checking the version of the resume you sent. While it might not represent the ideal description of your skills, it might come close enough. After all, most of your basic work history and education should apply across the board.

To Reapply or Not to Reapply…

In some cases, you might consider reapplying for the position with the correct resume. To do so, you might need to alter some details, to avoid getting locked out as a repeat. For instance, you can apply using your middle initial instead of your full middle name.

If the system is highly automated, there should be little downside to the approach. An algorithm will do the heavy lifting and the repeated application won’t matter.

However, for smaller organizations, where your application is reviewed by actual humans, the reapplication could send up a red flag. So, judge the wisdom of reapplying on a case-by-case basis, and don’t go that route unless you feel it is necessary.

Supplement Rather Than Replace

If it’s not possible to update or replace the resume, you can still inform the company about the additional information you feel got left out of the resume you uploaded. There’s no guarantee that anyone will read the message, but it allows you to provide a fuller picture of your skills.

Email the company’s HR department and provide your additional details. Instead of admitting you made a mistake by uploading the wrong resume, send the note as a piece of supplemental information. Treat it like a secondary cover letter, using it as an excuse to highlight the skills that got a short shrift in the resume you ultimately uploaded.


The job search process is full of pitfalls. It gets easier when you have help. Partnering with a top-notch staffing firm, like Qualified Staffing, provides the support you need to take your career to the next level.

Contact Qualified Staffing today to learn more.

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