This Year’s Most Cringe-Worthy Resume Mistakes
Jobseekers want to stand out from the crowd, and often think attention-seeking stunts and an embellished resume will do the trick.
However, a recent survey from CareerBuilder shows that three in four HR managers (75%) report having caught a lie on a resume, and only 12% of HR managers are more likely to consider calling a candidate that does something unusual or outrageous in an interview.
Perhaps the need to stand out comes from wanting to make every second count.
Among human resource managers, who are typically the gatekeepers of which applicants get in front of the actual hiring managers, 39% said they spend less than a minute initially looking at a resume. Nearly one in five (19%) spend less than 30 seconds.
The national online survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between May 24 and June 16, 2017, and included more than 2,500 full-time, U.S. employers across industries and company sizes, including 221 HR managers in the private sector.
Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes
In the survey, HR managers and hiring managers shared their most notable and cringe-worthy real-life examples of resume gaffes.
- An applicant claimed to have written computer code the hiring manager had actually written. Both had the same previous job, but the applicant did not know that fact.
- Applicant included a picture with all of his pets.
- Applicant said he worked for Microsoft but had no idea who Bill Gates was.
- Applicant’s resume was lifted from the Internet and did not match the cover letter.
- Applicant said he studied under Nietzsche.
- Applicant stated that he had tried and failed a certification exam three times, but was planning to try again.
- Applicant claimed to be an anti-terrorist spy for the CIA at the same time period he was in elementary school.
- Applicant falsely claimed to have a PMI credential when applying for a job at PMI (the organization that grants that credential).
- Applicant included a description about his family.
- Applicant mentioned that his hobby is to watch horror movies.
What Managers Want in a Resume
Here are five things that HR managers say make them more likely to pay attention to an application:
- Resume has been customized to their open position: 60%
- A cover letter is included with the resume: 38%
- Skill sets are listed first on the resume: 37%
- Application is addressed to the specific hiring manager: 23%
- Resume includes a link to a candidate’s blog, portfolio or website: 14%
Additionally, five factors that would make them more likely to hire one candidate over the other:
- The candidate is involved in his/her community: 35%
- The candidate is bilingual: 34%
- The candidate has a better sense of humor: 25%
- The candidate is better dressed: 24%
- The candidate has more in common with them: 13%
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