Incredibly Dumb Resume Mistakes That Hiring Managers Hate

resume mistakes

Any career expert will tell you that resume customization is key to standing out in a job search. You need to include key details that will spark the hiring manager's curiosity and make her want to take a second look. However, divulging such personal information as your ties to the mob? Not a good idea. If you think that's stating the obvious, then you obviously haven't spoken to any hiring managers lately.

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CareerBuilder did, asking hiring managers to share the most "memorable and unusual job applications" that have crossed their desk. Aside from the candidate whose cover letter discussed her family being in the mob, answers included:
  • Candidate called himself "a genius" and invited the hiring manager to interview him at his apartment.

  • Candidate applying for a management job listed "gator hunting" as a skill.

  • Candidate specified that her resume was set up to be sung to the tune of "The Brady Bunch."

  • Candidate highlighted the fact that he was "homecoming prom prince" in 1984.

  • Candidate claimed to be able to speak "Antartican" when applying for a job to work in Antarctica.

  • Candidate's resume was decorated with pink rabbits. (Really. Could we make this up?)

  • Candidate listed "to make dough" as the resume's objective.

  • Candidate applying for an accounting job said that he was "deetail-oriented" and spelled the company's name incorrectly.

When Creativity Works

Showing originality can help you stand out of the pack -- in a good way. You just have to make sure that whatever you've written directly relates to the job you're applying for, notes Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. Given today's highly competitive job market, job seekers need to clearly demonstrate how their skills and experience are relevant to the employer.

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Here are some examples of candidates that tried the creative approach, made a positive impression and were ultimately hired:
  • Candidate sent his resume in the form of an oversize Rubik's Cube, where you had to push the tiles around to align the resume. He was hired.

  • Candidate who had been a stay-at-home mom listed her skills as nursing, housekeeping, chef, teacher, bio-hazard cleanup, fight referee, taxi driver, secretary, tailor, personal shopping assistant and therapist. She was hired.

  • Candidate created a marketing brochure promoting herself as the best candidate and was hired.

  • Candidate listed accomplishments and lessons learned from each position. He gave examples of good customer service as well as situations that he wished he would have handled differently. He was hired.

  • Candidate applying for a food and beverage management position sent a resume in the form of a fine-dining menu and was hired.

Guaranteed Deal-Breakers

When asked what would make them automatically dismiss a candidate from consideration, employers' top responses included resumes with typos (61 percent), resumes that copied large amounts of wording from the job posting (41 percent) and resumes with an inappropriate email address (35 percent).

Other responses included:
  • Resumes that don't include a list of skills -- 30 percent
  • Resumes that are more than two pages long -- 22 percent
  • Resumes printed on decorative paper -- 20 percent
  • Resumes that detail more tasks than results for previous positions -- 16 percent
  • Resumes that include a photo -- 13 percent
  • Resumes that have large blocks of text with little white space -- 13 percent
What other resume mistakes do you think people should avoid?

Common Resume Writing Mistakes

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Isabella Lopez Garci

How about idiots on linked in? Check out the description of her degrees on here:

Amazing she graduated...

May 18 2014 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is it wrong to have a resume more than 2 pages? My resume is 4 pages long; because I am a contractor and work shorter term contract jobs. Some jobs go less than 6 months. I have to have 4 pages to cover the last ten years.

July 16 2012 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gone are the days of meeting someone in person, even if it was making a first impression with a receptionist. Being judged by a piece of paper has taken the " Person" out of Personnel or the "Human" out of Human Resources. These people making decisions on who they interview based on a resume have no idea who may be behind that piece of paper other than what they read. Most times they have the power to affect people's lives. How do they know????? Someone could have a perfect resume and hired could be so wrong for the job. I applied for a job that I was qualified and recommended for. I never made it past the first screening and they hired another person. Find out that he got fired before his 90-day probation period was up. He was dealing drugs out of the workplace (he often worked on his own so he easily got away with it for a while). Yeah, they received 497 applications/resumes, but what made his resume stand out over mine or anyone else's that eventually got him the job? Look how that worked out!!!

July 16 2012 at 2:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

a rubiks cube resume you have to be kidding me, thats the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

July 15 2012 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know they're going to hire their friend, anyway..................

July 15 2012 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jackie and george I agree with you completely! I am glad ot be retired and out fo the rat race and bull crap.

July 15 2012 at 8:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Every article I read says something differnt about resumes. I find it all ridiculous , In the first place everything is on line now. So first you have to get past the blooming computer that accepts your resume. My bet is that no one ever sees most of the resumes ecxcept the computer. It's all so computer driven and impersonal now.

July 15 2012 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, it just so happens that inclusion of a small, in color, head shot, photo in the upper left hand corner of the resume is OK now. Not so in the past, but now, it is fine. A one page resume is always best. There is a big reason for this. No company wants to be associated with a dirt ball employee. Strange as it may seem, but there are men that have forgotten how to shave.

July 15 2012 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mad Dog

Resume' is outdated. Print to paper: outdated. Just Text it. Make it easy for the HR person. Reduces the workload by hours for HR. They will love it but they still won't hire you!

July 15 2012 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I once received a resume whose cover letter began: "In 1972, I resigned my job in a fit of pique and left the country."

You can't make this up.

July 15 2012 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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