Job seekers want to stand out from the crowd, and often think attention-seeking stunts and an embellished resume will do the trick. However, a recent survey from CareerBuilder shows that 3 in 4 HR managers (75 percent) report having caught a lie on a resume, and only 12 percent of HR managers are more likely to consider calling a candidate that does something unusual or outrageous in for an interview.
Perhaps the need to stand out comes from wanting to make every second count. Among human resource managers, who are typically the gatekeepers of which applicants get in front of the actual hiring managers, 39 percent said they spend less than a minute initially looking at a resume. Nearly 1 in 5 (19 percent) spend less than 30 seconds.
"If crafted well, your resume is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "In a matter of seconds, it can make or break your chances of moving along the hiring journey with a company. That's why it's important to be proactive with your resume and avoid embellishments or mistakes. Take advantage of the tools available to you — the worst thing you can do is send a generic copy out to employers and then sit and hope for a response."
The national online survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between May 24 and June 16, 2017, and included more than 2,500 full-time, U.S. employers across industries and company sizes, including 221 HR managers in the private sector.
Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes
Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes
- An applicant claimed to have written computer code the hiring manager had actually written. Both had the same previous job, but the applicant did not know that fact.
- Applicant included a picture with all of his pets.
- Applicant said he worked for Microsoft but had no idea who Bill Gates was.
- Applicant's resume was lifted from the Internet, did not match the cover letter.
- Applicant said he studied under Nietzsche.
- Applicant stated that he had tried and failed a certification exam three times, but was planning to try again.
- Applicant claimed to be an anti-terrorist spy for the CIA at the same time period he was in elementary school.
- Applicant falsely claimed to have a PMI credential when applying for a job at PMI (the organization that grants that credential).
- Applicant included a description about his family.
- Applicant mentioned that his hobby is to watch horror movies.
How to Get the Interview
A proactive approach to your job search can improve your chances of landing interviews. Here are five things that HR managers say make them more likely to pay attention to an application:
- Resume has been customized to their open position: 60 percent
- A cover letter is included with the resume: 38 percent
- Skill sets are listed first on the resume: 37 percent
- Application is addressed to the specific hiring manager: 23 percent
- Resume includes a link to a candidate's blog, portfolio or website: 14 percent
Additionally, five factors that would make them more likely to hire one candidate over the other:
- The candidate is involved in his/her community: 35 percent
- The candidate is bilingual: 34 percent
- The candidate has a better sense of humor: 25 percent
- The candidate is better dressed: 24 percent
- The candidate has more in common with them: 13 percent
This nationwide survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,575 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, including 221 HR managers in the private sector) between May 24 and June 16, 2017. With a pure probability sample of 2,575, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.93 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is a global, end-to-end human capital solutions company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. Combining advertising, software and services, CareerBuilder leads the industry in recruiting solutions, employment screening and human capital management. It also operates top job sites around the world. CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.
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