The Big Resume Mistakes That Can Kill a Good Job Opportunity

resume-mistakes

There is a line in the novel “Anna Karenina,” that says, “be bad, but at least don’t be a liar, a deceiver.”

Tolstoy most likely didn’t intend for that to be applied to the working world, but it does. And it’s something more people should probably take note of. In fact, a recent survey conducted for CareerBuilder, an online job board, found that 77% of human resources (HR) managers reported discovering a lie on a resume.

While many outright lies were spotted, those surveyed also noted that they discovered several errors on resumes they received. These were two of the most notable.

  • An applicant’s name was auto-corrected from “Flin” to “Flintstone.” His name was Freddie.
  • An applicant stated they had great attention to detail, but “attention” was misspelled.

Some other resume cringe-worthy blunders reported in the survey included:

  • An applicant listed a skill as “taking long walks.”
  • An applicant claimed he would work harder if paid more.
  • An applicant wrote the following at the end of their resume: “I didn’t really fill this out, someone did it for me.”
  • An applicant used a resume template with cats in the corners.
  • An applicant listed smoking under hobbies.

Methodology

To gather this information, CareerBuilder used Harris Poll to survey 2,153 hiring and HR managers ages 18 and older. All those surveyed were full-time employees who are not self-employed and do not work for the government. The survey, which was conducted from May 11 to June 7, 2016, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.11 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, according to the press release.

What Employers Really Want to See

The survey reported that more than two in five hiring managers spend less than a minute looking at a resume, with nearly one in four saying they spend less than 30 seconds. To stand out, 63% of those surveyed said they are more likely to pay attention to a resume that is customized to the role they’re applying for, while 41% said they look at those with skill sets listed first. Other items that caught their eye is when a cover letter is included, an application is addressed to the specific hiring manager and a resume includes a link to a candidate’s blog, portfolio or website.

It’s also important to remember that many employers look at a version of your credit report as part of the application process and your credit is certainly something you can’t fib your way around. So, it’s a good idea to take a look at your credit reports and get an idea of what’s on there — and to dispute any errors that may be weighing you down. You can see a free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

Image: shironosov

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