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The Biggest Resume Mistakes: Global Edition

Employers' resume pet peevesKim Kardashian’s Met Ball getup, Lena Dunham’s Emmys gown, pretty much everything Helena Bonham Carter wears – I’m talking, of course, about the biggest fashion gaffes of the year. You wear one wrong dress and the fashion police have tongues wagging.

It’s not terribly different in the world of recruiting, where one faux pas from even a stellar applicant has the power to turn off hiring managers instantaneously. So what are some of these hiring managers’ biggest pet peeves? We asked more than 5,000 hiring managers and HR professionals from around the world about their biggest resume fails.

Low tolerance for typos. These days — what, with spellcheck and all — there is no excuse when candidates are sloppy with typos. In fact, 2 in 3 hiring managers in France and Brazil said they would immediately disregard an applicant whose resume had typos. The U.S. and China were slightly more tolerant, with about half of hiring managers admitting to doing the same thing; and it seemed to be much less of a problem in India, where just 28 percent of hiring managers’ feathers were ruffled by typos.

Personalize, please. Cookie-cutter resumes are more likely to get candidates tossed in the “don’t bother bringing them in” pile. A whopping 71 percent of hiring managers in China said they ignore generic resumes. Those in Japan (31 percent), Russia (35 percent), the U.S. (37 percent) and Brazil (38 percent) are comparatively less strict on this front.

Copy & paste? More like waste. Hiring managers, you already know how your job posting reads, right? That’s why as many as 2 in 3 of your peers in China, more than half in Brazil and just under half in Russia get annoyed and toss resumes with a lot of wording from the job posting.

Got skills? Resumes sans a list of skills are automatically rejected by more than half of employers in India (56 percent) and Russia (55 percent). This is apparently much less of a concern for their counterparts in Japan, where just 7 percent admit to doing the same thing.

Email address check. This point isn’t so much about providing a correct, functional email address as much as it is about having an email address that isn’t inappropriate or unprofessional. This is a problem for as many as 1 in 3 employers in Brazil, China and India.

Cover letters are crucial. This doesn’t appear to be that much of a deal breaker globally; still, some employers in Germany (39 percent) and France (30 percent) will simply ignore applications without cover letters.

We want to hear from you: What is YOUR biggest deal breaker when sifting through resumes? Comment below or drop us a tweet or a Facebook post.

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.
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