Top Ten Resume ‘Oops’

Feb 11th, 2010 by Kfrancis in Job Search & Resume

oops a daisy 300x225 Top Ten Resume Oops

Here are some of the more humorous resume moments I’ve experienced recently. Any identifying information has been changed not just to protect the innocent but also to prevent other HR professionals from poaching my talent pool! simple smile Top Ten Resume Oops

This post is intended as light-hearted humor and not what I’ve heard described as “HR Tone“.  Sometimes we all just need to laugh at the silly mistakes we all make.  Here’s a story to show I can laugh at myself. Years ago I applied for an human resources position at the Nature Conservancy. Later as I reviewed my materials I saw  I’d mistyped the organization name as Conservatory. D’oh! No wonder I never heard back. You can be sure I was more careful the next time.

My top Ten This Year

1. Stretch. I was looking for a HR Coordinator. One resume didn’t include any human resources experience or the requested degree. But he was a certified lifeguard!  You never know when that might come in handy, e.g. for all those company picnics people seem convinced HR should plan!

2. Say what? One cover letter said, “Please check my profile (encl herewith) for more details, although I’ve presented a crux herewith in this introductory note.”

Plain English is fine.

3. TMI. One young lady included “pole dancing” in her interests.

Not appropriate unless you’re applying to work at a ‘gentleman’s club.’  Double oops: My organization is church-affiliated.

4. Brevity is king.

“Short Resume for Joan Cannon

I am a mature person, very responsible, and very reliable. I completed many courses such as [lists eleven].  Please e-mail me using or call me at [number].”

This approach, while free-thinking, really doesn’t tell me anything I need to know except that Joan is a woman of few words and is known to cut corners.

5. Wanted. “As shown in the attached resume.I have,extensive (3years) experence working with people.I am very hard working,conviction and drug free.”

He won’t stay conviction-free for long; he’s obviously wanted by the Punctuation and Spelling Police!

6. Love, love love. “I love art, music, theatre and working with people. I am industrious and a very good cook! Alos, I love everyone!”

Love the youthful enthusiasm, just wish it extended to use of the spell checker.  simple smile Top Ten Resume Oops (Typically we would not suggest including hobby information on a resume. In this case, it was not inappropriate since she was applying for a position that included both cooking and recreation.)

7. No she didn’t! “I am a very determined and hardworking individual whom pays extraordinary attention to detial as well as multi-tasks well.”

Suggestion:  Don’t claim to be detail-oriented because it only makes any mistakes all the more glaring. Let your attention to detail speak for itself.

8. Gmail is free mail.

“From: Michelle [mailto:]

My background, experience and knowledge would be a benefit to your orgainzation.”

Michelle, thanks, but I’m actually not so sure your experience and knowledge is a good fit for this job. First, log into Gmail and set up a plain old boring account for MichelleSmith.  Then spell check. Good luck!

9. Oh yeah? “Extra-circular Activities: throwing parties in clubs.”

My first thought was, now here’s a well-rounded person. simple smile Top Ten Resume Oops Spell check wouldn’t catch this kind of error, so it’s always useful to have someone else proof your resume. Also, if you coordinate and plan amazing parties and it’s a lucrative business, by all means expand on these accomplishments. But if you just like to party, you might want to omit this little tidbit.

10. And number ten?

“Experience includes: Night Stalker, Whole Foods Market.”

I don’t think this is what he really meant. At least, I sure hope not!

What funny resume “oops” do you have, either your own or others’?

Photo by duncan

If you liked that post, then try these...

No Rules, Just Write by Kfrancis on December 18th, 2009

Finding a Job in Nonprofits: Cover Letter by Kfrancis on March 18th, 2009


  • This is really cute, Krista! I don’t have access to any of my resumes from my former job so I can’t add anything fun. Most of my positions were unskilled, low-wage positions, so errors of all kinds on the resume was pretty much the norm.

    I did hire meat trimmers, which was a skilled position. I required two years of experience hand-trimming in a meat processing or retail operation. I can’t tell you the number of resumes I received where the applicant had NO experience, but said “I know how to cook, how hard can it be” or words to that effect, including the “it isn’t hard part”.
    .-= Joan Ginsberg´s last blog ..Broadway Musicals and Al Gore =-.

  • Thanks for your comment and your retweet of the post, Joan. I’m hoping more people will write in; I’m sure there are some humorous stories out there!

  • Really enjoyed your post. I was laughing out loud.

  • Hi Trish, I’m glad you liked the post! Some of those gems really make my day, although perhaps not in the way the sender had hoped…

  • I don’t handle resumes, but some of the business e-letters
    I receive have frequent errors. Not ones that
    Spell Check would catch but ones a good editor
    would; typically they are homophones of the intended words.
    Someone should come up with a program that would help with this. I often wonder if the writers even re-read their own

  • LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Krista, this was great! I too have seen a few Resume oops! Love it. What continues to make me laugh, is that the oops just keep coming and getting er..better or worse for that matter.

  • Dad (Howard), thanks for your comment! I am honored that you dropped by to visit!

  • Shennee, thanks for your comment, as always!

  • Here are a few of my favs:

    Spotted on a resume under QUALITIES:

    “Excellent memory; strong math aptitude; excellent memory; effective management skills; and very good at math”


    Spotted on another resume under EDUCATION

    “Graduated in the top 70% of my class”


    Spotted under LANGUAGES

    “Fluid in French”


    Spotted under EDUCATION

    “MBA, Havrad University”

  • Todd, thanks for making me laugh out loud! Those are great.

  • Using the wrong kind of resume can kill your chance of getting hired. Why be held back by your resume any longer? Turn those missed opportunities into job opportunities! It’s not hard to write a great resume, you just have to know what you’re doing…

  • I Really loved the post. this deserves a tweet !
    Ashley´s last [type] ..Long Reach Hedge Trimmers Buying Guide

  • This post made my day and made me smile… i gota share this : ) Thank you
    Josh´s last [type] ..Kids Pottery Wheel Encourage Artistic Development

  • This one should be really easy. I often change phone numbers but forgot to change the phone number on my resume so I couldn’t get calls back after handing resumes out! :(
    Adam – Ditto Effect´s last [type] ..9 Types of Useless Texts Everyone Hates to Receive But Send Anyway

  • How dare you publish my email on your website.

  • Given today’s date, I’ll assume this is a joke. Good one, Ben!

  • I loved this post, i have been in HR 6 years now and I have put all the strangest, funniest and quirkiest cvs aside for reference’s on my new ebook what not to do on your new resume

    6. Love, love love. “I love art, music, theatre and working with people. I am industrious and a very good cook! Alos, I love everyone!”

    ah you got to love this one :)

  • I own a business and have reviewed hundreds, if not a thousand or more resumes. Typos of any kind send the resume in the garbage can. I treat a resume review the same as a job interview. I assume that the person is showing themselves at their very best, even if it’s just a show. In other words, anything they do on the job (if hired) will never exceed their resume or interview performance.

  • Travis, good point, but I think it can depend a lot on the kind of position. When I am hiring for an entry-level hourly position that requires a HS diploma, I am more forgiving than with a professional position.

  • Vero, thanks for stopping by. I’ll track down your e-book!

  • Love this post. A few years back, I was in charge of hiring for a startup that provided back office CS for gambling websites – it was fairly entry level stuff. The job posting required 1 year previous CS experience and a basic understanding of Windows, which should have acted as obvious foreshadowing for the caliber of resumes that would soon flood my inbox.

    Of course every item on your list made an appearance in the “discard” pile of CVs, but my favorite was a more work-safe variation on TMI – Under his accomplishments, the candidate listed that he could bench press 120 lbs – Funny both because it’s a paltry amount to press and because it was absolutely irrelevant to the posting. We actually considered calling him in for an interview just to ask him about it… Heh.

  • funny article. when I first interviewed for receptionist a few years back. one of the apps actually had a nude pic in the envelope which to this day could not understand what was the objective.


    Dr Lum
    Safe Botox Injections in Redondo Beach

  • This is great
    “Experience includes: Night Stalker, Whole Foods Market.”

    It makes me think of those emails that go around with picture taken of funny business signs, or the jokes about how cell phone spell check software makes amusing mistakes :-)

  • Hi Dr Lum,

    “when I first interviewed for receptionist a few years back. one of the apps actually had a nude pic in the envelope ”

    lol just wondering did you keep the pic, :)

    my sister went for an interview and misread the the yearly salary, so when they mentioned the salary in the interview , she just burst out laughing :)

  • haha. funny and lovely post. maybe i can use some tips next time I submit a resume. :)

    new jersey podiatist

  • Just this week a friend asked for my help because she is screening some writers, there was this guy who sent a “sample article” which was actually a live article posted on Ezines. FAIL!!

  • @karen, it was a “sample article.” Of someone else’s work!

  • @Daniel, you could incorporate all the tips and submit your resume on April 1.

  • @Tony, speaking of misreading the salary, once while advertising a job, I accidentally put an additional decimal place in the salary. Oops!

  • John Sacristan

    LOL, really LOL :))
    It is really strange how people make so many mistakes in our digital times… Spell checkers are built in MS Word, e-mail clients, browser and even mobile phones… If you still have nothing you can us one of the online spell checkers. There are plenty of them in the internet, for example this one:

  • Possibly people have a natural tendency to spell “alot” in a single word because the brain processes it as a single word. At any rate, with its use for quantification, it clearly has some “special” properties. Notice the difference in verb agreement between:

    A lot of the problems are due to bad planning.

    A lot from the auctions is missing.

    This taken with the fact that “a lot” can be used adverbially (“he got a lot further”) probably make it “feel” like a single item in terms of how the brain processes it. The perceived “obligation” to spell it as two words, like any spelling, is just an arbitrary convention.

    A five-year-old child learning to write may not have even come across the word “lot” outside the phrase “a lot of”, and occasional phrases such as “a whole lot of” which split “a” and “lot” are rare compared to the basic phrase.

  • […] week, I wrote about ten funny resume mistakes. This week, I wanted to do the same with interviews, but as I look back, I have to admit that […]

  • […] […]


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