Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 13 2016

10 Resume Gaffes You Won’t Believe Actually Happened

Angela Campiere


Job hunting can be a tedious and arduous task. You are competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of job seekers with each application. The need for your resume to stand out in an ocean of online submissions has never been greater. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 43 percent of human resource managers say they spend less than one minute looking at each resume, and 24 percent say that spend only 30 seconds reviewing each one. That pressure can lead to some unfortunate blunders — like these 10 real-life examples of resume gaffes that had hiring managers cringing. 

  • 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.

  • An applicant claimed they worked at a federal prison. A background check determined he was actually incarcerated at the prison during that time.

  • An applicant stated they had been a prince in another life.

  • An applicant listed a skill as “taking long walks.”

  • An applicant used direct quotes from Star Wars in their resume.

  • 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.

While these resume techniques might not have worked out in the applicant’s favor, there are some things that you can do to catch the eye of the HR manager. Most importantly, you should tailor your resume to the open position you are applying for each and every time. Make sure that you include a custom cover letter addressed to the specific hiring manager as well. These three simple acts let the hiring manager know that you are interested and invested in the position, which will make them more likely to pay attention to your application. Just be sure to fact-check your own application first.

Now that you know some line items to omit from your resume, find out what you can do to make your LinkedIn profile work for you.

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