Having a great resume is the first step towards your desired job. It’s the first impression that your future employer will make about you and as you know – the first impression is the most important and it’s impossible to change it. Thus nobody wants their resume thrown away or to lose the opportunity just because of it.
Well, creating an impeccable resume is not an easy job, but simplicity, proofreading, personalization and clear information are some of the main points with which you can never go wrong for any position. But let’s see what hiring managers have to say about that – one Reddit user started a discussion online asking hiring managers online what were the things that they have spotted in resumes and immediately had to throw them away. Well, take notes and make sure to not do these things.
More info: Reddit
On a more lightweight tone than most of the other comments:
I once received an application from a man in in 60s. Solid CV, lots of experience.
In his covering letter he wrote “I’m applying because the Job Centre asked me to. Please note that I intend to retire in 6 months time”.
We had a good laugh, then sent him a very polite rejection letter and wished him a great retirement.
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Mentioning Jesus (in a cover letter). You might think I’m kidding, but it happened. The applicant was telling a bit about herself (fine) and mentioned how she was involved in her church (fine). But then she said how Jesus is her lord and savior. I’m fine with someone having strong religious convictions, but when you’re applying for a non-religious job, it’s not appropriate to put it in your cover letter. To me, it tells me that you’re not able to separate religion from work. It also makes me wonder if this will be the gal at the water cooler preaching to others. Also, and maybe I’m biased, it immediately makes me think that you think you’re better than others, especially us lowly heathens.
Image credits: MoonieNine
It’s been a long time but I used to do hiring for a cinema. Staff were often young, for many it was a first job, making popcorn and selling tickets type of gig.
I would not pursue anything where parents came in with a CV for their teenager or if parents were contacting me on behalf of their teen. Big red flag. Either their kid didn’t want he job in the first place or they’re incapable of taking initiative and it doesn’t bode well for how they’d be as an employee.
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Bored Panda got in touch with Charnay Horton, who is the CEO of Resume Addict and she kindly agreed to share her professional insights and tips that everyone must know when creating their resumes!
“The ultimate goal is to match what keywords and qualifications are in the job description,” she notes. “The hiring manager is looking to solve a problem in their department. The goal of the resume is to showcase how you can solve their problem.”
Former hiring manager here. I tossed MULTIPLE resumes that used text message abbreviations throughout the resume and cover letter and one that included emojis. While you can do pretty much anything from your phone- it doesn’t mean you should.
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Typos, especially with homophones which don’t usually get flagged by Microsoft Word. I’d love to be forgiving with the English language because it’s hard to be perfect even for native speakers.
However, I hire for library positions. When librarians catalog materials, switched letters or numbers may lose a book in the system entirely. Mixing up homophones may mean a patron can’t find the book they need. Librarians proofread manual catalog categories to catch errors and then catch more errors in practice. “Pobody’s nerfect” and all, but the résumé shows me how a person pays attention to these details at their very best with all the time they could possibly need. If there are mistakes, and that’s their absolute best, it’s probably not a fit.
That said, if I can excuse an error in a cover letter I will. Cover letters are annoying and time-consuming to write.
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When they just copy and paste a whole phrase from the company website.
I have to hire cafe cashiers regularly and have read too many resumes saying how they are good at ‘creating exceptional dining experiences, driving profitability for our franchises, and leading the industry through innovative concepts and proven strategies.’
I would prefer someone who says ‘I’m punctual, I live close to the store and can carry heavy stuff’
Image credits: if_notme_thenwho
Also, Charnay shares that hiring managers will discard a resume if it has irrelevant work experience, lacks keywords aligned with the role or has a lot of typos. You also want to make sure your resume isn’t too long.
“Employers tend to be most interested in your last 3 positions, or last 7-10 years of work experience,” she emphasizes. It’s important that your contact information is up to date, formatting is easy to read and consistent.
Speaking about traditional industries such as healthcare or education, Charnay notes that employment timeframes are important. “If a traditional hiring manager sees that you have had a new job every year, they may consider you a job hopper and decide not to move forward with you.”
Misspelling the name of the company they are applying to. I can stomach a common typo elsewhere but that’s one to get right.
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« Very meticulous and attentive to detials. »
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In 2012 I got a resume for a potential intern that I will never forget. I received a pack of about 80 resumes for intern candidates from a certain university. One resume stood out. The entire resume was MyLittlePony themed. There were MLP pictures plastered all over. There was a bar graph of skill proficiency and things like “friendship” and “caring” were listed. The candidate had a picture of himself with MLP characters photoshopped in around him. The worst part was that a lot of the verbiage had cringy baby-babble such as “wike” instead of like.
We didn’t call that guy in for an interview.
Image credits: anon
Now, the CEO of Resume Addict emphasizes that while colors and fancy layouts can be aesthetically pleasing, employers just want to know if you can do the job. “Content will always conquer fancy layouts and colors. Keep it simple with a black-and-white layout, with maybe a pop of color, and focus on your impact in each position,” she added.
We also asked Charnay if there are specific elements in a resume that should always be tailored to the job in question. “Yes, each area of the resume should align with the requirements of the role in some way,” she notes.
“For example, you should have a skills section that has 10-15 position-specific keywords. You’ll want to quantify your achievements as much as possible,” she elaborates. “Use metrics, numbers, and percentages to demonstrate your impact. If you have a summary statement, it shouldn’t be generic. Think of it as a mini cover letter. What makes you different? What can you do for them?”
Pronouns other than he/she/they etc… A department I work with hired someone with some exotic pronoun they put on their resume and they ended up being the weirdest person and very difficult to work with. Every little thing was a personal attack on this person.
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An email address like DankMeister420@
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Finally, Charnay notes that resumes are meant to tell your story. They should be deliberate about what the job description requests. Rejections will result from casting a net too wide, and it can be quite distressing. Be as explicit as possible about the positions you wish to attract, and try your best to meet their requests!
Not me, but my prior construction superintendent threw away three immigrant’s applications for supposedly all using the same social security number.
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Not a hiring manager but I help decide who should/shouldn’t get the job.
We’ve had a lot of essays. The record was I think 10 pages long as to why we should hire them.
It was very disorganized, hard to read with spelling/grammatical errors. It was hard to understand.
I understand occasional but no, there were a ton. It’s for a waiter position.
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The only time I have ever had to throw out a resume was because someone possibly had it in a bag with their lunch and the paper was soaking wet and dissolving as I tried to unfold it. It was just unacceptable to process. The application was left in a drop box so I don’t know if it was a prank or an actual applicant.
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For more professional insights, Bored Panda got in touch with Farah Sharghi, who is a career coach.
“I once had a hiring manager at Google completely discard a resume due to a spelling mistake,” she shared. “He said ‘There is a spelling mistake which means they don’t pay attention to detail.’” So don’t submit a resume where you have written that you pay attention to details and have spelling mistakes in it – because you have just contradicted yourself.
One more point to keep in mind according to Farah is resume length versus resume context. “Your ability to edit your work history is a reflection of what type of work you will present at your job,” she notes. “For example, if you have 5 years of work experience and your resume is 3 pages long, then that can demonstrate that you will be long-winded when explaining your work and don’t understand what’s important.”
I’ll usually still interview unless there is no relevant experience, but I’ve seen some atrocious resumes. I’ve seen people use crutchwords like “uh” in writing for a job description. I’ve also seen a sentence 4 lines long with zero punctuation. The same resume will have “attention to detail” as a skill set. I’ve interviewed for one of those resumes, and the applicant said “I dunno” to about 80% of my questions, and it turned out he didn’t even know what job he applied for.
It’s not that I’m overly picky, but if someone can’t spend the 20 minutes or less that it takes to proof read their resume, are they going to put alot of effort into their job? Maybe, but it’s hard to know.
Image credits: ChristyM4ck
Not me, but a friend who checks resumes/CVs had a belter. Candidate had a conviction for “common asslot” and his reference was his friend “Baz”.
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Reference to drama such as “my previous boss was a bully” or “I didnt get the chance I deserved”.
No time for drama, there’s more than enough of that.
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Speaking about formatting, Farah emphasizes that using Canva, clip art and icons is not the best idea. “I call these ‘Cheesecake Factory Resumes’ because they look like Cheesecake Factory menus. Your resume is a business document, not a marketing pamphlet.”
She highlights that your resume needs to be easy to read and easy for the Applicant Tracking System to be able to extract text from the resume. “Recruiters are scanning hundreds of resumes per day and if it’s too hard to read, it will be rejected.”
One time I had someone upload how to upload their resume from Dropbox instead of their resume.
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I once had someone list their “MENSA IQ” – immediate red flag that they will be absolutely insufferable, probably insecure and (perhaps ironically) more likely to be an idiot.
…also where I work we strip out all details that could bias an application. When reviewing your answers I don’t know your name, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or where you went to school (though I do know your grades) and we make it clear when you apply that this is the case and that you shouldn’t put that information in the written portions of your application that I will see. The amount of people who went to prestigious universities who then quite obviously (sometimes repeatedly) work the name of the school into the text of their applications because they feel it will give them greater cachet is remarkable. I won’t throw the application away if you shamelessly do that but it definitely doesn’t help.
Image credits: MagicBez
No relevant education or experience. Big wall of text that isn’t organized in an easy to read way
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Finally, Farah says that when creating a resume, think of a job description as a cheat sheet – it’s literally telling you what they need in a candidate. “Go through your resume and go by each job description bullet point and make sure that your resume outlines very clearly that you have that experience.
”She adds that customizing your resume isn’t lying about your experience, it’s about making it obvious that you have the experience that they need. “Recruiters and hiring managers don’t have time to play the guessing game and read between the lines. Make it easy for them to hire you.”
R/antiwork will hate a lot of this…
-large gaps of no employment without any explanation.
-numerous upon numerous jobs within a short period of time
Those are just some very basic reasons
People hate this, but when a business hires you it’s an investment, they need to use payroll, time, and employees to bring you in, interview you, train you, and hope to retain you… now there’s a ton of s****y businesses out there, and this doesn’t excuse any of their terrible practices. But just bc a company wants a little peace of mind when they bring you in isn’t a bad thing.
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This doesn’t matter 100% of the time but bad formatting. If it’s hard to read I probably won’t read it.
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Too many jobs in too short a time.
Says they’re either getting canned a lot, can’t work effectively on a team, or they are chasing tiny raises the second they’re trained.
Pass on all 3.
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I used to work in video games doing art. So the brought me in to do portfolio reviews. If they could not draw well, regardless of education, I rejected them. It also showed me that San Francisco Art Institute was nearly worthless.
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I had one cross my desk that misspelt his own name, in big bold font on the front page no less.
The other time was a guy getting his resume put forward to me, for an ITsec role. Same guy that I ripped a new one a few weeks prior when he decided to automate a server hardening via scripts and did zero checks on the work afterwards.
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I had a really nice guy bring one in on pencil. It was pretty good, too, but not a fit.
Another said he didn’t have one because he was dating the HR Manager’s daughter. Got the job and later was let go.
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The state here has a norm on how to format your resumee and application, if you want a job with the government.
The website of the company I work at say in fat letters we follow the same standard format used by the government, which everyone can look up on the internet.
If you are unable to find and format your resumee according to the norms, it usually lands in the trash. The one exception being entry level positions and people straight out of school, since their experience is probably lacking.
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I know it’s pretty specific but If your looking for a scheduling job make sure you know how to use Excel and clearly state it on your resume. It will probably get thrown out otherwise.
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