Back To Career News

The 7 Worst Resume Mistakes Hiring Managers Have Ever Seen

Topics: Career Advice
resume mistakes
beer5020/Getty Images

Have you ever made a mistake on your resume? It happens. Humans make mistakes, especially under pressure.

But no matter how egregious your error, we’re betting that you’ve never made a resume mistake that can compare with these. From obvious lies to job histories that reach all the way back to first grade to leadership experience that consists of playing video games, these stories cover everything you shouldn’t do.

1. That’s what you call experience?

Hiring for a staff writer position. One guy put down 15-plus years of writing experience, so we invited him in. He was much younger than we expected. Dude was counting all of his “writing” experience from kindergarten through high school. He responded to every question with a cringe-worthy laugh and requested to answer most questions via an email the next day. All we got was a generic follow-up about how he’s confident he would be a great asset to our team. – semantic_satiation, Reddit

2. The forgotten edit

I actually listed that I was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2006 and that I won as many Tour de France titles as Lance Armstrong. I did it as a joke during a re-write and forgot to take them off my resume before I submitted it. They were intrigued enough to give me an interview. – cs435, Reddit

3. And you are…?

We received a resume from an engineer with an impressive background. Unfortunately, both the applicant’s name and contact info were missing. Plus, the name of their current employer was stated as “Confidential.” Initially, I suspected that this was a prank.

Took some sourcing skills to track the person down, and of course he was embarrassed about the resume. On a positive note, we had an advantage since none of the other firms he submitted his resume to could locate him. Candidate was interviewed but not hired. The carelessness he committed on his resume was indicative of his sloppy technical skills, including lack of attention to details. – Bill Lee, Quora

4. Leadership, just not IRL

Resume listed the candidate’s online video gaming experience leading warrior clans, suggesting this passed for leadership experience. – CareerBuilder

5. The generalist

Working at a job placement agency, I have seen every terrible resume ever. But my favorite resume of all had just one line in his skills summary: “I am relatively good at most things.” That’s all I needed to know, kid. – JuniperBeans, Reddit

6. Copy-cat

In our first start-up, Gaboli, we posted a job posting and three guys applied with the same exact resume, with just the name changed. This was the funniest resume experience that I have ever had. – Ashok Hariharan, Quora

7. Going WAY back

I’ve had a guy attach a two-page list of everything he had accomplished since the first grade. Examples include, but are not limited to: 2nd place in fourth grade spelling bee, 3rd place in fifth grade math-a-thon, honorable mention in eighth grade charity drive. – cooliem, Reddit

Stories have been lightly edited for clarity and style.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the worst resume mistake you’ve ever seen? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.