Your resume is in Klingon, plus 11 other ways not to impress the hiring manager

Last week, released its survey and study of resume do’s and don’ts. The one I received on used toilet paper was both a do-do and a don’t. But, at least she used 12-point Times New Roman. Still, that didn’t make the list. Here’s what did…


How long should a resume be?
Two pages max; one page if you are a recent college grad.

Top 5 Most Common Resume Mistakes?

  1. Typos
  2. Too Generic
  3. Don’t list skills
  4. Mimic the job posting
  5. Inappropriate email address

Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes

  • Resume was submitted from a person the company just fired
  • Resume’s “Skills” section was spelled “Skelze”
  • Resume listed the candidate’s objective as “To work for someone who is not an alcoholic with three DUI’s like my current employer”
  • Resume included language typically seen in text messages (e.g., no capitalization and use of shortcuts like “u”)
  • Resume consisted of one sentence: “Hire me, I’m awesome”
  • Resume listed the candidate’s online video gaming experience leading warrior “clans,” suggesting this passed for leadership experience
  • Resume included pictures of the candidate from baby photos to adulthood
  • Resume was written in Klingon language from Star Trek
  • Resume was a music video
  • Resume didn’t include the candidate’s name
  • On the job application, where it asks for your job title with a previous employer, the applicant wrote “Mr.”
  • Resume included time spent in jail for assaulting a former boss

In the comments below, tell me your biggest resume pet peeve and the craziest resume item you ever read from a job applicant.

  • Colleen

    My pet peeve is the photos that sometimes accompany an emailed resume. I’ve had one where the gentleman (who was applying for a VP position) was sitting in a chair, red-faced, holding a half-full glass of frothy beer….others are: a middle-aged man wearing a superman costume; a young lady kissing her boyfriend; another flashing gang signs; another sitting on the beach in a bikini! My other pet peeve is inappropriate email addresses. I have had some that were similar to: VegasPartyGirl or drugsaregood, etc.

    • I’m sorry about the Superman costume, Colleen. I thought it would work.


      P.S. – Can I have my picture back, please?

      • Colleen

        lol…by the way, you can use my examples in any future blogs about the same subject.

  • A former coworker from a previous job once sent me his resume. I was very impressed, until I realized it was MY resume! All he did was add his name and change a few facts.

    • Now THAT’s a good one, Neal!

      • Oh, the story didn’t end there. The guy actually denied it. Some people are just idiots.

  • HRMD

    1. The throw up resume. The resume has a plethora of discombobulated, disconnected information with no rhyme or reason.

    2. Abbreviations and improper words, the word is “TELEPHONE” not “phone.”

    3. Tense issues: If you are currently working the position detail is in the current tense. If the position is a past one, use the past tense.

    3. Why do applicants use “etc.” in a resume? Answered the “phones,” took messages, “etc.” (One applicant wrote “Answered the phone, etc.” I guess there was only one “phone.”)

    4. Applicants that can disprove by the condition of their resume that they NEVER EVER TOOK A WORD PROCESSING CLASS because there are three different fonts, line/paragraph spacing is completely off, the margins are off, (hmmm etc.)

    5. Using an email address as an alter ego:,, (the Spanish version),,

  • I once received a resume that stated the applicant provided excellent customer service by “greeting and assassinating customers as they entered the bank.” We’ve all had days where that seemed like the best choice. At least she greeted them first. That is a classic, don’t-rely-on-spell-check example.

    • I take it that you weren’t hiring for security guard, were you?

      • Good one, but no. Generally risk management frowns on such extreme preventive measures unless someone is trying to withdraw a large amount of money or close their account. Teller. Maybe I should have referred her to a recruiter for one of the three-letter agencies.