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I have worked for a large company for several years while I was a student. The company has several divisions that are called "Something Centre" or "Something else Center", with the British English "Centre" being used in European locations and the American English equivalent "Center" being used in North American locations. I mainly worked in a "Centre", but also did an internship in a "Center".

If I stay faithful to those names, two different forms of the same word occur on my resume - which looks mighty stupid and may be considered sloppy.

Is it acceptable in such a case to adapt the spelling of a company or division name to increase consistency and avoid the appearance of having a spelling mistake/typo on ones resume?

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    (or the other way around...) – Lightness Races in Orbit Jul 20 '15 at 13:48
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    Indicate the location of the "centre/center" in each entry, then it might not look so silly? – Mathias R. Jessen Jul 20 '15 at 14:03
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    It would be nice to assume that hiring managers would be aware of alternative spellings of common words but I don't think this is a safe assumption to make. Either avoid using center/centre or make it consistant to the region you are applying to. – Myles Jul 20 '15 at 14:31
  • Your company used the American version of Center in the Canadian part of North America? – DJohnM Jul 20 '15 at 21:14
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If I stay faithful to those names, two different forms of the same word occur on my resume - which looks mighty stupid and may be considered sloppy.

Is it acceptable in such a case to adapt the spelling of a company or division name to increase consistency and avoid the appearance of having a spelling mistake/typo on ones resume?

Unless these division names are known outside the company, you are free to represent them any way you like.

You certainly could call them the "Something Center" and "Something Else Center" to avoid the impression of a typo.

Or you could avoid naming the divisions entirely. There's seldom a need to indicate which division of a company you worked at - it's generally not considered important to the reader.

On the other hand, if the divisions are well-known outside of the company and you feel it necessary to name them individually, you are better off writing the name that is known by others.

Never change the spelling of a company name.

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    +1 for There's seldom a need to indicate which division of a company you worked at. – Pavel Jul 20 '15 at 13:52
  • Yup, lots of people default into thinking CV/resume writing is about describing your past jobs. It's not, it's about describing you and your qualities using your past jobs as evidence. Unless the name of the division is evidence for something relevant about you (e.g. it has a famous/elite reputation, e.g. "NASA - Apollo program"), leave it out. – user568458 Jul 21 '15 at 1:26
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    I disagree with the idea that divisions are irrelevant. If you're applying for a job in the financial industry, stating that you previously worked for GE Capital makes a lot of sense. Apply common sense: is the company you worked for already associated with the type of job you're looking for? If not, does adding the division name resolve this? – MSalters Jul 21 '15 at 9:29
  • @MSalters - the world "seldom" does mean something, you know? – Davor Jul 21 '15 at 12:03
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I would switch to the simplified American spelling. Don't assume someone understands the difference between proper English and American English. I spent a year working with the UK based offices of an American company and it never ceased to amaze how me how many of my American coworkers thought people in the UK didn't know how to spell! Then again most Americans don't understand the difference between the UK, Great Britain and England!

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    "most Americans don't understand the difference between the UK, Great Britain and England!" - a staggering amount of British people don't understand this either. – GMA Jul 21 '15 at 10:27
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You should absolutely change the spelling. Many to most large companies use filtering software to scan resumes for keywords. That software also scans for typos, which if the software is set for American English, it will register "misspelled" words as typos and discard your resume.

Likewise, a recruiter or HR professional viewing your resume you emailed him will have the auto-misspelling feature on in his word processor (the red underline thing), which again will be set to American English and register Centre as a misspelling, at which point he will delete your email and resume for being sloppy.

Many HR professionals look through hundreds of resumes a day and so filter out anything with "typos" - and they're not going to stop and take the time to think about the difference between different forms of English (they've got another 99 resumes to look at today - they're already looking at the next one). They see the red underline, they delete.

  • You should not try and second guess the software, it will catch up. In the case of school names, correcting the "error" would result in an error. – mckenzm Jul 20 '15 at 19:33
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    On the other hand, if a company is treating applicants this way, you probably don't want to work for that company, anyway. Having them discard your resume might then be an advantage, as you won't need to waste your time dealing with them. – reirab Jul 20 '15 at 20:17
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    Sounds a bit like: "Let's just throw away half of the applications without even looking at them. We don't need unlucky employees anyway". – mort Jul 20 '15 at 20:35
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    @mort yes it is optimizing the hiring process for lowest possible effort, rather than best possible result. Great endorsement of the team you'd be working with if you got the job. – Carson63000 Jul 21 '15 at 3:28
  • Most company names will be considered typo by software anyway, so if they sort out everything with a typo they will only get freshmen. I don't see why e.g. "Lupin Inc." (which is the exact name of the company) or "Network Centre" (which is the exact name of the division you worked in) should be considered sloppy in any way. Both are real, and written correctly, but both contain one red underline, as per my Chrome autocorrection. If HR discards everything with such a "typo", they effectively filter their applications down to a big list of entrants. I'd like to quote Homer here: "Haha!" – Alexander Jul 21 '15 at 6:26

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