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Resume Mistakes That Will Make You Go ‘WHOA!’

Shocking resume mistakesCreativity is typically perceived to be a positive trait among job seekers – that is, until someone takes the liberty of submitting a music video in lieu of a resume. For those looking to choose this route, might we at least suggest you don’t use a wrecking ball as a prop – or lick a sledgehammer or tool of any kind. And not being naked probably goes without saying. You may break a record by getting 12.3 million views in 24 hours, but chances are you won’t be getting a call back from an employer anytime soon.

According to CareerBuilder’s latest study outlining outrageous as well as common resume gaffes that can cost candidates the job, someone actually did use a music video as a resume. On the bright side, the candidate made the cut for our hall-of-shame list.

The U.S.-based study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive, surveyed 2,000-plus hiring managers and HR professionals as well as nearly 3,000 workers across industries.

Resumes: The blooper reel

A universal resume no-no, which a poor soul missed the memo about, is to not re-apply to a job for which you just got fired. It is probably also safe to assume that if your resume is decorated with the phrase “spent time in jail for assaulting a former boss,” chances of you making it to the top of the resume pile are slim to none.

Sometimes vocabulary can be a snare to landing the job of one’s dreams. Exhibit A: Writing one’s entire resume in Klingon. (To be fair, would writing even part of the resume in Klingon have made a difference? We’ll have to ask Captain Kirk. Stay tuned.) Another individual had trouble distinguishing his online gaming life for reality by listing “leading warrior clans” as leadership experience. Yet another language blunder is using text message slang on one’s resume, which is 2 bad :(

Resume etiquette also involves not being too terribly self-involved – as in, writing something along the lines of, “Hire me, I’m awesome” and nothing else. Also, unless it’s for your wedding day video montage, it’s not a good idea to display photos of yourself as a baby all the way up to adulthood.

Regular resume red flags

These resume blunders may be a little more tame, but unfortunately may still result in the same outcome for job seekers.

Resumes that contain typos cause 58 percent of employers to automatically dismiss candidates, while 36 percent reject applicants who fail to personalize it.

Also, resumes missing a list of skills (35 percent) and exact dates of employment (27 percent) may be sent to the bottom of the pile.

And finally, Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde” is obviously off her game outside of the courtroom, because 22 percent of employers do not want resumes printed on decorative paper. In fact, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, more than a quarter of all respondents say they don’t pay any attention to hard copies at all – instead accepting only digital submissions.

#WreckTheResume: Tell us your craziest stories

Now that you’ve heard about some job seekers’ crazy antics, we want to hear from you. Tell us: What’s the biggest resume blunder you’ve come across? Or just tell us your favorite mistake from the list above.

Since Miley Cyrus promoted her record on Twitter using the hashtag #WreckTheRecord, it’s only fair we mirror her promotion strategy by using hashtag #WreckTheResume. So join the conversation below, or come find us on Twitter (@CBforEmployers) and Facebook (CareerBuilder for Employers), and share this with your friends and peers.

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.
8 comments
Adam Smith
Adam Smith

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Adam Smith
Adam Smith

Very efficiently written information. It will be priceless to anybody who uses it, together with myself. Sustain the good work – for positive i will try extra posts.

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  9. […] colors normal and sticking to conventional font choice and paper forms are ideal, and the article, Resume Mistakes that make you go ‘WHOA!‘, also provides tips for what to make sure you include. Also be sure to be providing skills […]

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