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The truth about lying on resumes

CareerBuilder | August 24, 2018

Resume mistakes

7 resume mistakes you need to stop making. In our survey, hiring managers talk about the worst lies and biggest resume mistakes job seekers can make.

Found a job you’d love to have, but don’t meet all the requirements? It might be tempting to exaggerate your skills or take some liberties on your achievements, but don’t think employers won’t notice.

A CareerBuilder survey found that 75 percent of human resource managers (those who typically review resumes before passing on to a hiring manager) have caught a lie on a resume.

While lying can ultimately come back to bite you, it’s easy to understand why some job seekers are willing to take that risk. They have very little time to grab the attention of the people reviewing their resumes. According to the survey, 2 in 5 hiring managers spend less than a minute looking at a resume, and 1 in 4 spend less than 30 seconds.

But it’s not only lies that are holding job seekers back. When asked to recall the most memorable blunders job applicants have made, one HR manager said to have gotten a resume that was only one sentence. Another one had an applicant who listed the same employment dates for every job listed, and yet another had an applicant who listed their extensive arrest history.

Are you sabotaging yourself? 7 resume mistakes you need to stop making

Hiring managers were also asked about the most common mistakes they see applicants make on their resumes, and which ones are instant deal breakers.

  1. You don’t proofread. The overwhelming majority (77 percent) of hiring managers say they instantly disqualify resumes with typos or bad grammar. Give your resume a once-over or ask a peer to review it before sending it in.
  2. Your email address is An unprofessional email address is a turnoff for 35 percent of employers. For the sake of your job search, it’s probably time to retire that email address you’ve had since 7th grade.
  3. Your resume lacks results. Thirty-four percent of hiring managers want to see quantifiable results on a resume. For example, did your efforts help increase sales revenue? Win over new clients? Increase page views or open rates? Consider your various professional achievements and think of ways you can attach numbers to them.
  4. Your resume is an eyesore. 25 percent of hiring managers won’t even bother with your resume if it’s just long paragraphs of text. Make your resume easier to read by breaking it into sections with bold headlines (education, work history, etc.) and use bullets to break up the text.
  5. You don’t customize your resume. A generic resume is an immediate contender for the no pile for 18 percent of hiring managers. If you want to be seen, customize your resume to the specific job for which you’re applying.
  6. You include TMI. A resume that’s more than two pages is far too long in the eyes of 17 percent of hiring managers. Try to keep your resume to one page by including only the information that pertains to the job at hand (see above).
  7. You don’t include a cover letter. If your resume doesn’t come with a cover letter, 1 in 10 hiring managers won’t even bother to read it.

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