Employers are feeling the heat of the tight labor market as they struggle to find qualified candidates to fill their open jobs. While job seekers are getting their attention, it’s often for the wrong reasons. A new CareerBuilder survey found that among human resource managers, who are typically the ones who determine which applicants get in front of the actual hiring managers, 75 percent have caught a lie on a resume. Some resumes were just not believable at all.
The national survey was conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder by The Harris Poll between June 21 and July 15, 2018. It included a representative sample of more than 1,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes, including 1,023 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 309 HR managers in the private sector.
“The problem with lying on your resume is that the odds of getting caught are high,” said Michael Erwin, senior career advisor for CareerBuilder. “It’s human nature to be tempted to exaggerate a little on your resume and suggest that you have more skills or greater experience than you really do. However, the short term gains you might make in landing the job through deception can have long term consequences that may do serious damage to your career.”
Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes
The pressure to make a good first impression quickly is high, as 39 percent of hiring managers said they spend less than a minute looking at a resume and 23 percent spend less than 30 seconds. In their effort to get noticed, however, some candidates are making critical blunders. The HR managers surveyed shared their most notable and cringe-worthy real-life examples of gaffes found on actual resumes:
- A 22-year-old applicant claimed three different degrees.
- An applicant listed 40 different jobs in one year.
- An applicant thought they attached a resume to an email but instead sent their full credit application for an apartment.
- An applicant applied for a job for which they were vastly unqualified (e.g. grocery store shelf-stocker applying for a physician position).
- An applicant referred to having “as many marriages as jobs.”
- An applicant listed out their extensive arrest history.
- An applicant’s resume had a different font type for every sentence.
- An applicant stated at the bottom of their resume that they do not like babies or puppies.
- An applicant’s resume was only one sentence.
- An applicant had the same employment dates for every job listed.
You’re Not Hired
An implausible resume is not the only obstacle preventing job seekers from getting interviews and job offers. Hiring managers identified the seven most common resume mistakes job seekers make that are instant deal breakers:
- Typos or bad grammar: 77 percent
- Unprofessional email address: 35 percent
- Resume without quantifiable results: 34 percent
- Resume with long paragraphs of text: 25 percent
- Resume is generic, not customized to company: 18 percent
- Resume is more than two pages: 17 percent
- No cover letter with resume: 10 percent