A disclaimer before you start reading this: None of the following resume and cover letter mistakes and hilarities comes from anything we have ever received.
However, our recruiters and hiring managers would agree that resume and cover letter mistakes make them think twice about interviewing or hiring a candidate. So after you have a chuckle at the 20 resume and cover letter mistakes below, proofread your own resume – and maybe have someone else proof it, too – to ensure you never make similar spelling, grammar or completely bizarre mistakes on your own list of professional accomplishments.
- Candidate wrote résumé as a play – Act 1, Act 2, etc.
- Woman who sent her résumé and cover letter without deleting someone else’s editing, including such comments as “I don’t think you want to say this about yourself here.”
- One applicant used colored paper and drew glitter designs around the border on her résumé.
- One of a candidate’s achievements: “Nominated for prom queen.”
- The candidate mentioned winning a contest for building toothpick bridges in middle school.
- Candidate’s cover letter talked about her family being in the mob.
- Candidate specified that her résumé was set up to be sung to the tune of “The Brady Bunch.”
- Candidate claimed to be able to speak “Antarctican” when applying for a job to work in Antarctica.
- Candidate addressed cover letter to “Dear Sir or Madman.”
- Sales candidate wrote, ““I consistently tanked as top sales producer for new accounts.”
- Email from a candidate said, “I’m attacking my resume for you to review.”
- Applicant listed “Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse.”
- Languages listed on one résumé: “Speak English and Spinach.”
- On the application, one person answered “Why are you interested in this position?” with “To keep my parole officer from putting me back in jail.”
- Candidate explained an arrest by stating “We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig.”
- Applicant’s résumé was written in Klingon language from Star Trek.
- On one résumé, the “Skills” section was spelled “Skelze.”
- One résumé listed the candidate's online video gaming experience leading warrior "clans," suggesting this passed for leadership experience.
- One candidate bragged he “received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
- Candidate’s résumé included time spent in jail for assaulting a former boss.
What should you include on your resume and cover letter? Make your resume stand out by updating it with these 20 power words.