Hiring managers have seen it all, from the inappropriate to the downright bizarre. Among the most outrageous resume mistakes reported to CareerBuilder were a resume written in the Klingon language from Star Trek and a resume that included a full range of photos of the candidate from baby pictures to adulthood. The real-life interview stories get even sillier, with reports like an applicant who arrived in a jogging suit because he was going running after the interview, a candidate who popped out his teeth when discussing dental benefits, and one who acted out a Star Trek role during the interview. Was this the same, aforementioned Trekkie applicant? We may never know.
Even if you are wise enough not to make these ill-advised, albeit humorous, choices, you might be surprised at what HR professionals consider the biggest no-nos. CareerBuilder released two reports, one covering the biggest resume mistakes job seekers make and one on the worst interview mistakes. Based on national surveys conducted online by Harris Interactive, the reports reveal what hiring managers and HR professionals consider the biggest blunders. One survey found that 49% of employers know within the first five minutes of an interview whether a candidate is a good or bad fit for the position. Of the more than 2,000 people surveyed, 87% claimed to know for sure within the first 15 minutes.
In today’s job market, applicants face enough challenges without worrying something as subtle as body language will hurt their chances. To truly understand which errors can cost you the job, you need to hear from the ones doing the vetting, and ultimately, the hiring. In the CareerBuilder surveys, HR managers and other hiring professionals revealed the most common and costly mistakes. We list the the top five blunders in each category. According to employers, here are the biggest resume, interview, and body language mistakes current job seekers are making.
- Typos: 58%
- Generic resume not personalized for the position: 36%
- Missing a list of skills: 35%
- Chunks of text copied from the job posting: 32%
- Inappropriate email address: 31%
- Appearing disinterested: 55%
- Dressing inappropriately: 53%
- Appearing arrogant: 53%
- Talking negatively about current or previous employers: 50%
- Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview: 49%
Body language mistakes
- Failure to make eye contact: 70%
- Failure to smile: 44%
- Bad posture: 35%
- Fidgeting too much in one’s seat: 35%
- Playing with something on the table: 29%