Study Reveals Common and Not-So-Common Resume Mistakes

Toronto — Sept. 11

In a recent study, CareerBuilder discovered some of the most bizarre missteps job seekers have made with their resumes. The nationwide study was conducted online by Harris Interactive from May 14 to June 5 among 475 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 471 workers across industries.

Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes
When asked to share the most memorable and unusual applications they’ve been sent, hiring managers gave the following real-life examples:

• Four-page resume detailing every position and volunteer job they had ever had since they were 12 years old.
• Resume etched into a wooden cutting board.
• Resume delivered in a balloon.
• Resume written in crayon.
• Each line had one bold word that formed a “hidden” message about how great the applicant would be for the position.
• Resume came in the form of a candy-gram.
• Many small teddy bears and daisies adorned the edges of the pink paper.
• Online by an employee we had fired.
• Scrawled in pencil on butcher’s paper.
• Singing telegram.
• Candidate revealed that he spent time in jail for assaulting a prior boss.
• Listed “Have flown on a corporate jet” as a notable achievement.
• Listed “Worked with my dad building things. Worked with my mum cleaning the house,” as past experience.

Common Problems
When asked to identify the most common resume mistakes that may lead them to automatically dismiss a candidate, employers pointed to the following:

• Resumes that have typos — 54 percent.
• Resumes that don’t include a list of skills — 43 percent.
• Resumes that are generic and don’t seem personalized for the position — 35 percent.
• Resumes that have inappropriate email address — 35 percent.
• Resumes that copied a large amount of wording from the job posting — 31 percent.
• Resumes that don’t include exact dates of employment — 29 percent.
• Resumes printed on decorative paper — 25 percent.
• Resumes that have large blocks of text with little white space — 22 percent.
• Resumes that are more than two pages long — 19 percent.
• Resumes submitted without cover letters — 17 percent.
• Resumes that include a photo — 16 percent.

Source: CareerBuilder