(MoneyWatch) Hiring managers say there are few things more important for job seekers than to present a well written, solid resume. It is often their first impression of a prospective employee. But many say they regularly receive flawed resumes full of typos, glaring errors and outrageous gimmicks.
A study conducted by the market research firm Harris Interactive and published by the employment website CareerBuilder.com asked more than 2,000 hiring managers and H.R. representatives for the most common and most outrageous real-life resume mistakes they see. Their responses are in some cases amusing, some shocking.
- Resume was written entirely in the Star Trek language of Klingon
- Resume used text-speak -- the letter "u" instead of the word "you"
- Under objective the candidate wrote "To work for someone who is not an alcoholic with three DUI's like my current employer"
- Candidate neglected to include his/her name in the resume
- Resume included baby pictures of the candidate
- Resume included jail term served for assaulting former boss
Most common mistakes
- Resumes with typos
- Candidate has an inappropriate, non-professional-sounding email address
- Resumes with missing information -- no dates of employment, no list of skills
- Resumes are too generic, not tailored for the position
- Resumes that copy/paste text from the job ad
- Resumes printed on decorative paper
- Resumes that are too long or too short
How long should a resume be?
One question job seekers commonly ask is how long their resume should be. Most of the managers surveyed said for recent college grads the resume should be just one page long, but for more experienced workers they expect to see at least two pages. That does not mean workers should include every job they ever held -- a majority of the respondents were interested only in the last 10 years of job history with a focus on positions relevant to the job at hand.