Top Resume Blunders: How Not To Get Hired

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — You thought writing your resume in crayon would show your creativity, sense of independence and spontaneity. Oh yeah, it probably did. It just didn't land you the job. Ask a hiring manager what they've seen cross their desk or computer screen and you may be surprised by the results. Job seekers, beware. Here's how not to get a job, according to 475 hiring managers, HR professionals and 471 workers across various industries in a study for CareerBuilder.ca.

These are real-life resume blunders:

  • A four-page resume detailing every position and volunteer job a person has ever had since he was 12
  • A resume etched into a wooden cutting board
  • Resume delivered in a balloon
  • Each line had one bold word that formed a "hidden" message about how great the applicant would be for the position
  • Resume came in the form of a candy-gram
  • Many small teddy bears and daisies adorned the edges of the pink paper
  • An application made online by an employee that had been fired
  • Scrawled in pencil on butcher's paper
  • Singing telegram
  • Candidate revealed that he spent time in jail for assaulting a prior boss
  • Listed "Have flown on a corporate jet" as a notable achievement
  • Listed "Worked with my dad building things. Worked with my mum cleaning the house," as past experience

There are some blunders that can automatically send your resume on an express ride to the round file. The most common mistakes include:

  • Resumes that have typos - 54%
  • Resumes that don't include a list of skills - 43%
  • Resumes that are generic and don't seem personalized for the position - 35%
  • Resumes that have an inappropriate email address - 35%
  • Resumes that copied a large amount of wording from the job posting - 31%
  • Resumes that don't include exact dates of employment - 29%
  • Resumes printed on decorative paper - 25%
  • Resumes that have large blocks of text with little white space - 22%
  • Resumes that are more than two pages long - 19%
  • Resumes submitted without cover letters – 17%
  • Resumes that include a photo - 16%
  • "Your resume is the primary deciding factor for whether you will land a job interview," says Rosemary Haefner of CareerBuilder. "It's important to project a professional image. Keep it succinct, personalize it to feature only skills and experience relevant to the position you're applying for, and always include specific, quantifiable results that showcase the value you can bring to an organization."