Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Register for our daily updates!

Featured Advisor

Asset Preservation Advisors


State: GA

APA’s philosophy is to work closely with our clients to develop an in-depth understanding of their unique needs and objectives. We then customize a municipal bond portfolio that best meets their specific goals and needs. APA manages high quality municipal bond portfolios in four strategies: Short-Term, Intermediate-Term, High Income, and Taxable.

Click to see the full profile

Share |

Job Hunting Strategies: Don't List "Gator Hunting" on Your Resume

Hiring managers cite common and uncommon mistakes when applying for a job

| BY Donald Liebenson

In a fiercely competitive job market, sweating the job-hunting details should be job one. That means rigorously spell-checking a resume. That means not inviting the hiring manager to your apartment for an interview. That means not mentioning in your cover letter that your family is associated with the mob.

Incredibly, these are some of the actual ill-conceived job hunting mistakes applicants have made, according to a CareerBuilder survey of nearly 2,300 hiring managers nationwide. In a fiercely competitive job market in which more than half of the Class of 2012 is either looking for a job or underemployed in positions that don’t maximize their potential, it’s the little things that can trip you up.

Common mistakes, according to the survey include:

  • Resumes with typos (61 percent)
  • Resumes that repeated large amounts of wording from the job posting  (41 percent)
  • Resumes with an inappropriate email address  (35 percent)
  • Resumes that don't include a list of skills (30 percent)
  • Resumes that are more than two pages long (22 percent)
  • Resumes printed on decorative paper (20 percent)
  • Resumes that don’t highlight results for previous positions (16 percent)
  • Resumes that include a photo (13 percent)
  • Resumes with large blocks of text with little white space (13 percent)

Uncommon (albeit memorable) mistakes include:

·         A resume created to be sung to the tune of “The Brady Bunch”

·         Referencing the fact a candidate was “Homecoming Prom Prince” in 1984

·         Submission of a photo with the applicant reclining in a hammock under the headline, “I’m looking for a job.”

·         A resume decorated with pink rabbits

·         Listing “to make dough” as a job objective

"One-in-five HR managers reported that they spend less than 30 seconds reviewing applications and around 40 percent spend less than one minute," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, in a statement.  "It's a highly competitive job market and you have to clearly demonstrate how your unique skills and experience are relevant and beneficial to that particular employer.”

Creativity, according to the survey, is one way in which job applicants stand out and make a positive impression. Infographics, QR codes and visual resumes have gotten hiring managers’ attention. Here, according to CareerBuiler, are others examples of what kept a resume from the dreaded trash bin:

  • A hired candidate sent his resume in the form of an oversized Rubik's Cube, where you had to manipulate the tiles to align the resume. 
  • A hired candidate who had been a stay-at-home mom listed her skills as nursing, housekeeping, chef, teacher, bio-hazard cleanup, fight referee, taxi driver, secretary, tailor, personal shopping assistant and therapist.   
  • A hired candidate listed accomplishments and lessons learned from each position, giving examples of good customer service he provided as well as situations he wished he would have handled differently.   
  • A hired candidate applying for a food and beverage management position sent a resume in the form of a fine-dining menu.
  • A candidate received strong consideration after crafting his resume to look like Google search results for the "perfect candidate."

About the Author

Donald Liebenson


Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.