CareerBuilder’s latest survey invited HR Managers to submit real-life examples of resumes that stood out for the right – and wrong – reasons. We’ve listed a sampling of picks for “things not to do” – most fall in the category of “sadly funny” — but funny nonetheless.

  • Candidate applying for a management job listed “gator hunting” as a skill.
  • Candidate’s resume included phishing as a hobby.
  • Candidate specified that her resume was set up to be sung to the tune of “The Brady Bunch.”
  • Candidate highlighted the fact that he was “Homecoming Prom Prince” in 1984.
  • Candidate’s resume was decorated with pink rabbits.
  • Candidate applying for an accounting job said he was “deetail-oriented” and spelled the company’s name incorrectly.
  • Candidate’s cover letter contained “LOL.”

The examples of what worked to impress hiring managers include some very creative approaches, such as a job candidate who sent his resume in the form of an oversized Rubik’s cube in which tiles could be manipulated to align the resume or the candidate applying for a food and beverage management position who sent a resume in the form of a fine-dining menu and was hired.

CareerBuilder also offers a list of deal breakers in response to a question about pitfalls that would make them automatically dismiss a candidate from consideration. Click to see how closely your answers for the top 9 deal breakers would align with yours.

If you can’t get enough, we searched our files for more and found these from 2007:

If you’ve been working in HR for more than about a week, you have probably seen your share of blunders and “creative” statements on resumes. offers their list of the top 12 resume disasters. We’d have to agree that these represent some definite yellow flags but they make for an amusing list. We have found a few other compilations on the web that we’ve enjoyed. But if we are going to poke fun at the applicants, then turnabout is fair play. Some students compiled the top 100 most annoying questions asked in job interview – a very instructive list.


Humor aside, hiring people is one of the riskiest things that an employer does. ESI EAP offers discounted background checks and pre-employment screening to member employers. For more information, call 800-535-4841.


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