IT Employment optimize

CareerBuilder survey reveals more goofy resume blunders

When you're applying for a tech job, it's not a great idea to have an email address with "lovesbeer" in it. Read about other resume mishaps in this blog.

CareerBuilder surveyed 2,500 employers between May 18 and June 3, 2010 and here are some of the results:

  • Forty-eight percent of human resource managers surveyed reported they typically review 25 applications or less for open positions.
  • Thirty-eight percent said, on average, they spend less than a minute reviewing a resume; 18 percent spend less than 30 seconds.

Because of stats like these, managers have almost developed a shorthand reading process that lets them cull exactly the information that is relevant and applicable from resumes they receive. And it's an unfortunate phenomenon that resume mistakes and weirdness just jump out at them.

Most of the managers in the survey said they pay more attention to resumes that are tailored for the position they're offering. That means they can spot fairly quickly the generic, one-size-fits-all resume and they don't respond favorably to it. This means if a job description asks for experience in network administration, you should lead with that experience, even if it's not a huge part of your job or actually occurred at a previous job and not the one you're in now.

The survey also revealed some more goofy blunders that the hiring managers have seen in resumes. Some of them are hard to believe but you never know--someone might benefit from seeing them. They are:

  • Candidate put God down as a reference (no phone number).
  • Candidate listed her hobby as alligator watching.
  • Candidate claimed to be a direct descendant of the Vikings.
  • Candidate's email address had "lovesbeer" in it.
  • Candidate listed "Master of Time and Universe" under his experience.
  • Candidate started off the application with "Do you want a tiger?"
  • Candidate specifically pointed out that he was not a gypsy.
  • Candidate's condition for accepting the position was being allowed to bring his pet monkey to the workplace.
  • Candidate pointed out, "I'll have your job in five years."
  • Candidate sent a 24-page resume for a 5-year career.
  • Candidate put a picture of her cat on top of her resume.
  • Candidate declared himself the LeBron James of table games.
  • Candidate sent a video trying to hypnotize the HR manager into hiring him.

CareerBuilder offers professional resume writing services for every job level at www.cbResume.com.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

23 comments
Englebert
Englebert

One candidate I came across worked in the White House in the U.S and rubbed shoulders with some powerful people. Dont doubt that, cause he had excellent writing skills. However, how was he going to fit into our small company ? Rejected, unfortunately

mjstelly
mjstelly

My monkey has all its shots. What? Is there a problem with that? hahahahaa

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

To the maximum of their ability then. Good stuff. I tailored my resume for a position not so long back. Initially I was the only candidate who could possibly fill the role. Perhaps 5 years of SLQ 2008 wasn't that critical a need? 'nuff said...... Tailor a resume , sheesh. All their stats prove is that HR are a waste of space in terms of hiring any one but school leavers and management.

desirawson
desirawson

What happened to meeting face-to-face with a resume in your hand? How do you really represent yourself and all of your abilities without someone meeting you in person? This new era of "networking" to get a job used to be scandulous. It is unbelievable that people are getting hired because they "know" someone.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If you wanted a good developer and you knew me, why would you take some twonk of a recruiter or HR numpty's opinion over mine? It would only be this person is worth an interview anyway, give my buddy a chance to look the employer over and see if they were any good for them. I'd love to get face to face with more hiring managers, the pimps and HR keep tripping me up though. Haven't got five years experienec with VS2010 you see, insurmountable obstacle... Not sure how it over there but most firms no longer adverstise positions externally except through a recruiter, so unless you want to go round knocking on doors on spec you are boogered, and they probably won't talk to you anyway.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

are not in a derogatory manner. As opposed to simply being colloquially factual...

GSG
GSG

Twonk sort of covers both sexes and anything in between or ambiguous. Even without the meaning, they just sounded like really good insults.

seanferd
seanferd

You can always use Tweepee. ;)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Twonk is a hybrid of TuWat and wanker up north and TuWat and plonker down south. (note phonetic spelling used to defeat the PCs at TR). I have a transalation of PettyC*** available if you want it. :D A numpty is someone who unwittingly demonstrates a lack of knowledge about a concept or subject by word or deed. A more fitting description of the bulk of the denizens of HR departments would be hard to find.....

santeewelding
santeewelding

So do I. We should compare lists. Mine is in crayon.

GSG
GSG

I have to write these down... "twonk" and "numpty". I've learned 2 new words. I don't know what they mean, but they just sound right.

jeweljb
jeweljb

If nothing else, these resumes got noticed. Who knows, maybe the right person will notice one of these simply because it's slightly off. The point is, someone read them and remembered them. In these times you have to have some kind of edge, although some of the examples listed were questionable.

TGGIII
TGGIII

I have hired about 200 people in my management career. I do look for creativity, not goofiness that indicates risk. The issue is that the types of creativity in the examples above signal a low emotional maturity. I have hired a few of these types in the past and learned my lesson.) I want people who can cooperate without drama and who do not need intervention. I like the comment above - let the creativity fit the position applied for and the firm. I have one friend that got hired as a copywriter at a greeting card manufacturing company by putting a caricature of himself on the top of the resume holding a sign that said "Will create for food." Tasteful, clever and, creative?just what they were looking for.

IT_Stargazer
IT_Stargazer

Actually had a candidate send me a Visio diagram of a client's network, instead of attaching his resume. Guess who didn't get a call.....

scott
scott

Those are really funny. I bet there are tons more from other sources as well that would be a blast to read. Some people are just so desperate to gain some kind of advantage that they don't realize they are coming of just creepy.

smithsh1138
smithsh1138

I worked for a year at an agency that placed highly technical people with corporations. The resume and background stuff was often highly entertaining, such as the guy who began his resume with "I was born in Plano, Texas on June 14, 1962...." and continued thusly, for many pages, on expensive, linen-type stationery. It arrived rolled up in a tube. Oh, and then there was the candidate whose name was Cynthia Lyman, who was really Charles, in the process of becoming Cynthia...a bit hard to explain to the client's HR that "she" needed 2 weeks off during the assignment in order to complete the 'healing' process. Needless to say neither was considered.

gechurch
gechurch

I've had a resumse exactly like the first one you mentioned. In fact, I think the opening line was almost identical. His was six pages, and along the way I got to learn that his uncle lives on the mainland of Australia, and why he enjoys having horses on his property. There was also results for each subject he has ever done, starting from primary school. I occasionally find myself watching pointless and obscure movies on a channel called SBS here in Australia. I watch because I can't believe a movie could exist that is so bland, uninteresting and completely devoid of a purpose. This resume was exactly the same. I read the whole thing, all the time thinking "he's got to get to the point soon". Less is always more when it comes to resumes.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Those that come after you, do not. What are you going to do about it? Throw your hands up in exasperation? Maybe, get religion, and go on the circuit. Otherwise, you piss into the wind, and get it all over yourself.

lagray53
lagray53

Some of these are stupid and/or silly, but some are an attempt to show creativity; which is sorely lacking in today's society. So... if I were in HR for an Advertising agency, I'd look at some of them, but for a accounting firm.. not so much. Context Toni, context.

seanferd
seanferd

Never mind hiring those people, I doubt I would want to meet them. Unless any particular resumé wasn't serious at all, but someone was just having one on at the expense of HR. God is my reference, I shall not want.