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CareerBuilder study lists top résumé missteps

September 11 2013

No name, time spent in jail for assaulting a former boss, video game "leadership experience" — these are some of the résumé missteps uncovered in a study by CareerBuilder.

Here are the most outrageous résumé mistakes:

  • Résumé was submitted from a person the company just fired.
  • Résumé “Skills” section was spelled “Skelze.”
  • Résumé listed the candidate’s objective as “To work for someone who is not an alcoholic with three DUI’s like my current employer.”
  • Résumé included language typically seen in text messages (e.g., no capitalization and use of shortcuts like "u").
  • Résumé consisted of one sentence: “Hire me, I’m awesome."
  • Résumé listed the candidate’s online video gaming experience leading warrior “clans,” suggesting this passed for leadership experience.
  • Résumé included pictures of the candidate from baby photos to adulthood.
  • Résumé was written in Klingon language from Star Trek.
  • Résumé was a music video.
  • Résumé didn’t include the candidate’s name.
  • On the job application, where it asks for your job title with a previous employer, the applicant wrote “Mr.”
  • Résumé included time spent in jail for assaulting a former boss.

Survey respondents were asked to identify the most common résumé mistakes that may lead them to automatically dismiss a candidate. Responses included:

  • Typos: 58 percent
  • Resumes that are generic and don’t seem personalized for the position: 36 percent
  • No list of skills: 35 percent
  • A large amount of wording copied from the job posting: 32 percent
  • Inappropriate email address: 31 percent
  • Resumes that don’t include exact dates of employment: 27 percent
  • Printed on decorative paper: 22 percent
  • Photo included: 13 percent

The nationwide study was conducted online by Harris Interactive from May 14 to June 5, 2013, among 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 2,999 workers across industries.


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