HR Strange But True!
September 15, 2011

In its annual survey, CareerBuilder gathered readers’ most unusual résumé and interview mistakes. Here are a few of our favorites.

Canine references—Here at HR Strange but True! we love animals, but in general, they should be kept off résumés. However, one woman thought differently and listed her dog as a reference.

Michael Jackson fans unite—One candidate listed one of MJ’s signature moves, the moonwalk, under special skills.

Couple co-writes poetry—Roses are red, violets are blue. Why have one when you can have two? One entry said a husband and wife submitted a co-written poem in their application to job share.

Superstar status—One candidate used a first name only. Unless the name is Cher, Bono, or Madonna, most of us can’t get by on a one-name basis.

Energetic (inappropriate) e-mail—The problem with applicants listing inappropriate e-mail addresses persists and continues to surprise (and amuse) HR professionals. Such was the case for one candidate, who gave an e-mail address that had “shakinmybootie” in it.

Fashion-forward applicant—One candidate said he just wanted an opportunity to show off his new tie. While dressing the part is an important aspect of the hiring process, an applicant being more interested in what he or she is wearing rather than the interview itself makes a bad first impression.

Swear by spell-check—A candidate said that he would be a “good asset to the company” in his application. Only problem, he failed to include the “et” in the word “asset.”

You get what you pay for—Keeping your workforce productive is an important part of a successful business, especially in rough economic times. So you can imagine how one hiring manager felt when a candidate said the more you paid him, the harder he worked.

Survived dangerous waters—One candidate included that she survived a bite from a deadly aquatic animal in her application.


Have you heard about a résumé mistake that deserves to be on this list? Tell us about it!

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