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Hiring Managers Divulge The Biggest Resume Mistakes That Cost Someone The Job

Making career moves can be anxiety-inducing.

You’re never really sure what to put on your resume, what to say about why you left your last position or how to really answer the inevitable question about why you want to work there without pointing out the obvious desire for a paycheck.

This would be so much easier if you could just get a peek inside the minds of hiring managers, wouldn’t it?

Wouldn’t you love to know the things they’re actually hoping to see? And the things that they hate so much it makes them automatically disqualify a candidate?

Enter reddit user “ThanosIsMyRealFather” who asked:

“Hiring managers of Reddit, what was something on someone’s CV/resume that made you either immediately want to hire them or immediately reject them?” 

So go ahead and make a new folder in your phone for the screenshots you take. We’re going to start with learning what NOT to do.

Too Much Information

“His resume was 14 pages.”

“Granted, it was for a finance position with 5-10 years experience, but there’s only so many different ways you can describe finance responsibilities – and summarizing is a valuable skill.”

“Dude never pitched for the interview.”

– zenaide1

“We had a resume for an internship come through that was double-digit pages long and included his karate accomplishments in 6th grade.”

– mcarneybsa

“24 pages; this mans IT management profile.”

“5 pages was his CV.”

“The other 19 pages was meticulously explaining every project he had done in his 40 years of experience. All the way back to before I was born.”

– magaruis

“I got a 26-page resume once. A lot of it was about his ex-wife.”

“We, uh, didn’t call him.”

– bokodasu

It’s Happened To The Best Of Us

“Their resume included the sentence: ‘I have incredible attention to dealtail.’ ”

– 4sOfCors

“I said that once, in the email body.”

“I then proceeded to forget to attach the CV. So awkward.” 

– _ae_

“I had something similar on a resume.”

“I wrote ‘I have great attention to detail’ and then right after I sent it I noticed my name was misspelled.” 

– squanchiest-

“Right out of law school I put a ton of emphasis on my attention to detail on my resume.”

“After about six months, one kind soul called me to let me know that I had misspelled ‘lawyer’ in my opening sentence. He was not interested in an interview.”

– AmnesiaCane

Assassination Attempts

“I had a funny typo on a resume I once reviewed. It read:

” ‘Assassinated the lead florist on site’ “

“Obviously it was meant to say assisted.”

– snailtopus

“Screw up a bride’s centerpieces and pay with your life. Florists know this when they sign on for the job.”

– Jackandahalfass

“It was a Sith florist. The only way to progress through the ranks is to kill the master.”

– Bloodcloud079

But Do You Even Lift?

“A guy put his bench, squat and deadlift numbers in his personal skills section for a bar job.”

“It spawned a long tradition of asking bartenders what they could bench when they applied for a job.”

– MoveToStrike

“This one hits close to home haha.”

“When I was in high school I won a few bench press/strength competitions and had that listed in my interests section at the bottom.”

“When I got my first job out of college my boss used to occasionally make jokes about it, so I decided it was time to retire that.”

– Fair-University

“We had a candidate who was clearly into weightlifting ask if our work uniforms came in stretchy materials, ‘you know, for my physique’ as he pointed to his biceps.”

– ballinthrowaway

A Very “Niche” Portfolio

“I was working for a small digital agency and we were looking for designers and illustrators – general multi skilled creative types.”

“The boss wanders in with a sly grin and a big folder. It was from a guy who wanted the job.”

“I came over and he started flicking through it. Page after page of sexy cartoons.”

“Lots of them furry type stuff. Boob, butts, lips, figures intertwined, lots of detailed musculature.”

“So I was like ‘Well it’s quite good for what it is… but what else is there? Is there another section?’ “

“Nope. Nothing else.”

“Just a folder completely full of semi-pornographic cartoon people and sexy anthropomorphised animals.”

“He was not hired. It wasn’t because of the cartoons, it was because it was all just those cartoons.”

“Would have liked to see some commercial applications of illustration, or something showing he could work to requirements, or a variety of work showing different styles. Also this was 15ish years ago.”

– torn-ainbow

It’s not all doom and gloom, though.

We like to end on a positive note around here, so let’s take a minute to talk about the things that catch a hiring manager’s attention in the right way.

That Wording Is Everything

“Had a kid applying to work at a Sam Goody as a stock boy write that he was a petroleum transference engineer for Exxon at his last job.”

“His job was pumping gas, I hired him on the spot.”

– Canadian_Neckbears

Playing Games

“I work at an Escape Room.”

“We once received a resume that consisted in a webpage address protected by a password, and three well-crafted riddles that we had to solve to get the password.”

“We spent an hour doing it with two colleagues, and it included decrypting a code from a specific frame of Zodiac by David Fincher. It was simply amazing.”

“Sadly, we weren’t hiring at the time, and she had found another job we we started hiring again.”

“We would have loved to hire her, but we were fully staffed and not in a position to just create a job for her. Believe me we wanted to.” 

– Maximelene

World Of Warcraft

“Once I received a resume that had ‘Raid leader for WOW in top guild of a server.’ “

“The other hiring managers laughed their asses off and said this guy was a joke. They all dismissed him.”

“Me, I asked the guy to come in for an interview. He did pretty well and I hired him.”

“The reason I brought the guy in for interview was because I’m an avid Warcraft player and I know the sh*t raid leaders go through.”

“Trying to get a large number of people together, coordinate resources and rewards, getting guides together and telling people to up their healing/dps and not stand in fire. All done virtually via vent and forum postings (meaning you never met these guild members in person.)”

“You need some great leadership skills and project management. Also at that time I was dealing with a lot of people offsite so I thought this guy would be a good fit.”

“9 years later (I’ve since left the company), the WOW guy I hired turned out to be great!”

“He’s particularly shined in recent years when corporations decide that working from home doing virtual meetings is the way to go to cut cost. His skill set as a raid leader translated very well with remote project management!”

“Oh, and is now the manager of those same hiring managers that laughed at his resume.”

“This was at a Fortune 500 financial company.”

– evonebo

So let’s go over what we’ve learned today, shall we?

  • Keep things brief.
  • It’s important to spell-check.
  • How much you can bench press probably isn’t relevant enough to go on your resume.

Oh, and make sure there’s more than just furry semi-porn in your portfolio.

Written by Erica Diaz

Have you ever read something where you just KNOW the writer talks with their hands, does the sound effects, and would bust out a little dance if it suited the story?

That's Erica.

She's a colorful storyteller whose sense of humor and fearless honesty make a big impact. Her rants might go for the emotional jugular, hit your funny bone, or shock you and your mama out of your fajas. Usually it's all three.

Often chronicling her life in Florida, her stories are full of characters like "Bikini Rifle Lady", "Mariachi Neighbor," and "Barbara The NextDoor Evangelist." There's almost always a message in the madness, and that's what people connect with most.

Also her deep and undying love for Tevin Campbell.

You can find more of her work at www.EricaFazio.com