No résumé is 100% flawless.
Many include minor errors — a missing digit on your zip code, or 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 always be forgotten are things like blatant lies, dumb typos, or weird skills. 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 an effort to stand out and grab the hiring manager’s attention,” Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder’s chief human resources officer, previously told Business Insider. “These efforts may also likely be misguided attempts to compensate for lacking 100% of the qualifications specified in the job posting.”
But job seekers should try to stand out for the right reasons, she said. 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 explained.
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.
In what may have been an effort to get noticed, here are nine of the most ridiculous things job candidates have said or done on their résumés:
1. An applicant listed smoking under hobbies.
2. An applicant’s name was auto-corrected from “Flin” to “Flintstone.” His name was Freddie.
3. An applicant stated they pay great attention to detail, but “attention” was misspelled.
4. An applicant claimed they worked at a federal prison. A background check determined he was actually incarcerated at the prison during that time.
5. An applicant listed a skill as “taking long walks.”
6. An applicant used direct quotes from “Star Wars” in their résumé.
7. An applicant claimed he would work harder if paid more.
8. An applicant wrote the following at the end of their résumé: “I didn’t really fill this out, someone did it for me.”
9. An applicant used a resume template with cats in the corners.
Sure, some of those may have just been stupid mistakes, but given that 43% of hiring managers spend less than a minute looking at a résumé, and a quarter (24%) spend less than 30 seconds on it, it’s imperative that you catch their eye by giving them what they’re looking for.
Here are five things that HR managers say make them more likely to pay attention to an application:
1. A résumé that has been customised to their open position
2. Skill sets listed first on the résumé
3. A cover letter is included with the résumé
4. An application that is addressed to the specific hiring manager
5. A résumé that includes a link to a candidate’s blog, portfolio, or website
Read the full CareerBuilder survey results here.
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