One of the most difficult aspects of job searching is crafting the most efficient resume. But the resume is also one of the most essential components for employers who are hiring. According to a recent survey posted on CareerBuilder’s website, all types of resumes have been sent to prospective employers – some work, others don’t.
The study, conducted by Harris Interactive from May 14 to June 4 of this year, encompassed 2,298 hiring managers from across the country. Some of the more “memorable and unusual” resumes and applications included a potential employee who designated himself a genius and invited the hiring manager to interview him at his apartment. Another candidate enclosed a photo of himself reclining in a hammock with the caption: “Hi, I’m _____ and I’m looking for a job.”
Other applicants mentioned a mob-related family in the cover letter, decorated a resume with pink rabbits, listed “gator hunting” as a skill and indicated phishing – tricking people into providing banking information – as a hobby. “To make dough” was denoted as the objective of a resume, a cover letter threw in an LOL and one resume in particular was conceived to be sung to the tune of The Brady Bunch – or so the applicant claimed. One candidate thought it pertinent to mention that he’d been the “Homecoming Prom Prince” in 1984, another claimed he was the right man for a job in Antarctica because he was fluent in “Antartican” and another specified that he was “deetail-oriented” – spelling the company’s name incorrectly for good measure.
Sometimes a quirky approach can get a job hopeful hired. A resume in the form of an oversized Rubik’s Cube – requiring the shifting of tiles for everything to be aligned – worked for one applicant. A stay-at-home mom listed her skills as nursing, housekeeping, chef, teacher, biohazard cleanup, fight referee, taxi driver, secretary, tailor, personal shopping assistant and therapist and was hired.
Other successful applicants included one who created a marketing brochure promoting herself; one who listed accomplishments, as well as lessons learned from each position, with examples of good service he’d provided and how he could have handled some situations differently; and one applying for a food and beverage management position whose resume was in the form of a fine-dining menu. A resume resembling Google search results for the “perfect candidate” didn’t get the person hired, but he was considered.
The employers who participated in the survey cited common resume mistakes that typically lead to an automatic dismissal: typos (61%), large amounts of wording copied from the job posting (41%), inappropriate email addresses (35%), no listing of skills (30%), more than two pages long (22%), printed on decorative paper (20%), noting more tasks than results for previous positions (16%), resumes with a photo (13%) and large blocks of text with little white space (13%).
“One-in-five HR managers reported that they spend less than 30 seconds reviewing applications, and around 40 percent spend less than one minute,” Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder’s VP of Human Resources, said in a press release. “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.”
Memorable Resumes Can Lead to a New Job, or Straight to the Trash Can