10 Weird Things We Can’t Believe People Actually Put on Their Resumes

Updated October 25, 2016
by Dana Sitar
Staff Writer
Resume mistakes

Have you ever straight-up lied on your resume?

Well, you’re not alone, at least according to a recent CareerBuilder survey of 2,153 hiring and human resource managers.

The poll found 77% of respondents have caught a lie on a resume. But how many lies went unnoticed?

Your need to catch a potential employer’s eye to get a job is understandable. More than 2 in 5 of those surveyed said they spend less than a minute looking at a resume. And nearly 1 in 4 spend less than 30 seconds!

They sure make their minds up quickly.

Regardless of your credentials, a notable gaffe can be enough to get your resume tossed aside. And you might not ever know why.

10 Ridiculous Things People Have Put on Resumes to Get a Job

You might not think people could mess up this royally, but the report highlighted 10 absurd things HR and hiring managers said actual applicants have included on real resumes.

According to the survey, managers report applicants have:

1. Auto-corrected their surname from “Flin” to “Flintstone.”

True story: His name was Freddie.

2. Stated they had great attention to detail…

… but “attention” was misspelled.

3. Claimed they worked at a federal prison, but…

A background check determined the applicant was actually incarcerated at the prison during that time.

4. Stated they had been a prince in another life.

Can we call your references?

5. Listed “taking long walks” as a skill

Is that a measure of endurance, or…? Sounds more like something that should go in your dating profile.

6. Used direct quotes from “Star Wars” in their resume.

Not sure why anyone’s complaining about this one…

7. Claimed he would work harder if paid more.

Listen, we’re all thinking it, but maybe you shouldn’t spend precious resume space on it.

8. Wrote this at the end of their resume:

“I didn’t really fill this out, someone did it for me.”

9. Used a resume template with cats in the corners.

That’s probably only effective if you’re applying to these cat cafe jobs.

10. Listed “smoking” under hobbies.

Unless it’s because your sales numbers are on fire, you can probably leave this one off the list.

What Employers Want

If you’re going to leave off superfluous hobbies and the obvious fudging of your work history, what should you include on your resume?

Here are five things HR managers say will catch their attention — in a good way:

  • Customize your resume to their open position (63%)
  • List your skills first (41%)
  • Include a cover letter (40%)
  • Address your application specifically to the hiring manager (22%)
  • Include a link to your blog, portfolio or website on the resume (16%)

And if that polished resume gets you called in for an interview, use this checklist to prepare for the 20 most common job interview questions.

Your Turn: Have you ever made a ridiculous blunder on a resume while trying to get a job?

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).

by Dana Sitar
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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