Hiring Managers Reveal 12 Worst Resume Mistakes


By Debra Auerbach

In the movie "Legally Blonde," the main character Elle Woods does some pretty memorable things to secure an internship at a law firm. One such stand-out tactic she uses is writing her résumé on pink scented paper. While her maneuvers worked to land her the job in the movie, in the real world, unusual résumés can quickly go from being memorable to a misstep.

CareerBuilder recently surveyed hiring managers, asking them to share the most memorable and unusual applications they've received. They gave the following real-life examples:

  1. Résumé was written in Klingon language from Star Trek

  2. Résumé was submitted from a person the company just fired

  3. Résumé's "Skills" section was spelled "Skelze"

  4. Résumé listed the candidate's objective as "To work for someone who is not an alcoholic with three DUI's like my current employer"

  5. Résumé included language typically seen in text messages (e.g., no capitalization and use of shortcuts like "u")

  6. Résumé consisted of one sentence: "Hire me, I'm awesome"

  7. Résumé listed the candidate's online video gaming experience leading warrior "clans," suggesting this passed for leadership experience

  8. Résumé included pictures of the candidate from baby photos to adulthood

  9. Résumé was a music video

  10. Résumé didn't include the candidate's name

  11. On the job application, where it asks for your job title with a previous employer, the applicant wrote "Mr."

  12. Résumé included time spent in jail for assaulting a former boss