No résumé is 100% flawless.
Many include minor errors — a misspelled word, a missing digit on your zip code, a few too many buzzwords — and while these aren’t favourable in the eyes of the hiring manager, they can easily be forgiven if the candidate is otherwise impressive and qualified for the job.
But what can’t be forgiven (and certainly not forgotten) are blatant lies, inappropriate email addresses, or links to, ahem, adult websites. And yet, real job seekers have included all of these ridiculous things, among others, on their résumés, according to hiring managers who participated in a recent CareerBuilder survey.
“Job seekers understand that there is a lot of competition for jobs today; therefore, they are trying more unconventional methods in effort to stand out and grab the hiring manager’s attention,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “
These efforts may also likely be misguided attempts to compensate for lacking 10o% of the qualifications specified in the job posting.”
But job seekers should try to stand out for the right reasons, she says. Instead of making outrageous claims or lies, focus on what you are good at and what you have accomplished.
“Hiring managers are more forgiving than job seekers may think,” Haefner explains. “About 42% of employers surveyed said they would consider a candidate who met only three out of five key qualifications for a specific role.”
For its survey, CareerBuilder asked more than 2,000 hiring managers in the US to share some of the most memorable things they have seen on résumés. Here are 14 that really stood out:
- Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.
- Applicant claimed to be fluent in two languages — one of which was pig Latin.
- Applicant wrote “whorehouse” instead of “warehouse” when listing work history.
- Applicant’s personal website linked to a porn site.
- Applicant vying for a customer service position gave “didn’t like dealing with angry customers” as the reason for leaving her last job.
- User name of applicant’s email address was “2poopy4mypants.”
- Applicant claimed to be a Nobel Prize winner.
- Applicant claimed to have worked in a jail when they were really in there serving time.
- Applicant who claimed to be HVAC certified later asked the hiring manager what “HVAC” meant.
- Applicant said to have gotten fired “on accident.”
- Applicant claimed to have attended a college that didn’t exist.
- Applicant for a driver position claimed to have 10 years of experience but had only had a driver’s licence for four years.
- Applicant listed as a reference an employer from whom they had embezzled money and had an arrest warrant out for the applicant.
- Applicant’s stated job history had him in three different companies and three different cities simultaneously.
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