HR Strange But True!
July 22, 2009

We sent out a call for actual résumé bloopers that HR Strange but True! readers have been fortunate enough to see themselves, and we think they delivered a list of mistakes that will make even the most hardened HR professional laugh--and hopefully make more jobseekers do some proofreading (and check the dictionary) before sending a résumé to a prospective employer.

As we mentioned last week, a recent survey found that 40 percent of executives say it only takes one mistake on a résumé to rule a candidate out for a job. Another 36 percent of respondents said it takes two errors to so (see 10 Bad Résumé Bloopers).

However, there are mistakes and there are Strange but True! mistakes. As you can see, many of the strange variety are, as one reader said, PG-13 (e.g., the first sounds like a bad joke or an urban legend, but it did come from an actual reader). You've been warned.

  • “Years ago, when asking ‘sex' on an application was quite common, a young applicant answered, ‘yes, but just once in Bemidji ( Minnesota ).'"
  • “My favorite, from many years ago, was an applicant who stated they had been ‘Fried for pour typing' and then added, ‘I have imporved.'”
  • “'I'm looking for a position with long-term gevity" (I'm pretty sure longevity was the goal!). Applicant requested a ‘salary commiserate with my experience.'"
  • “‘If you are looking for a contentious, detailed-oriented customer service representative...'
  • “Manager, Whorehouse” (instead of Warehouse)
  • “An actual résumé blooper from an applicant for a receptionist position: Heavy pubic contact.”
  • “Working in a manufacturing company, I once received an application from someone who indicated they were seeking a job in ‘reproduction.' This happened shortly after a manager's poor spelling and penmanship converged in a performance review that thanked an employee for their work in moving the ‘whorehouse' rather than the warehouse. ”
  • “In 2007, when I worked in recruiting for a top ten ranked financial institution, I received a résumé for a teller position. In it, the young lady listed in bullet points her banking customer service skills, including this one: Assassinating customers. I guess that's one way to deal with your customers. Needless to say, that eliminated her from consideration.”

Source: Our Eagle-Eyed Readers

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