CareerBuilder's Annual Survey Reveals The Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes Employers Have Found
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Sept. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Fact: Finding a job can be stressful. Job seekers are often up against tens, if not hundreds, of other applicants for a position. The pressure to have their resumes jump out from the stack in front of employers is high, and that can often result in getting a little too creative or perhaps outright fabricating. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, more than 3 in 4 HR managers (77 percent) report having caught a lie on a resume, and, in addition to embellishments, CareerBuilder's survey reveals other outlandish and costly mistakes candidates have made.

The national online survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between May 11 and June 7, 2016 and included more than 2,100 full-time, U.S. hiring and human resources managers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.

First Impressions Are Key

Candidates' stress isn't coming out of nowhere. Among human resource managers, who are typically on the front lines and gatekeepers of which applicants get in front of the actual hiring managers, more than 2 in 5 (43 percent) said they spend less than a minute looking at a resume. Nearly 1 in 4 (24 percent) spend less than 30 seconds.

The pressure to make a good first impression is on, and because of that, some candidates are making critical blunders in their effort to get noticed. HR managers and hiring managers shared their most notable and cringe-worthy real-life examples of gaffes found on a resume:

  • 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.

What Do Employers Really Want?

It is important to catch the eye of a human resource manager, but for the right reasons. Here are five things that HR managers say make them more likely to pay attention to an application:

  • Resume has been customized to their open position: 63 percent
  • Skill sets are listed first on the resume: 41 percent
  • A cover letter is included with the resume: 40 percent
  • Application that is addressed to the specific hiring manager: 22 percent
  • Resume that includes a link to a candidate's blog, portfolio or website: 16 percent

Survey Methodology
This nationwide survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,153 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over, including 251 HR managers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between May 11 and June 7, 2016. With a pure probability sample of 2,153, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.11 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
As the global leader in human capital solutions, CareerBuilder specializes in cutting-edge HR software as a service to help companies with every step of the recruitment process from acquire to hire. CareerBuilder works with top employers across industries, providing job distribution, sourcing, workflow, CRM, data and analytics in one pre-hire platform. It also operates leading job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

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SOURCE CareerBuilder