If human beings were perfect, we wouldn't have so many opportunities to learn from our personal gaffes and goofs, as well as those of others. The job search offers more than enough examples, from the resume typo to the visible coffee stain on a crisp, white shirt that a job seeker unknowingly puts on display at an interview.
I'm not immune. About 25 years ago, before we knew what email was, I sent a resume without my phone number on it. My mailing address was there, but — dang it — they didn't write a letter to call me in for an interview.
Here are some tales of error from three career blogs that we follow regularly. Read them, enjoy them, but — most of all — learn from them:
From JobMob.com, 150 Funniest Resume Mistakes, Bloopers and Blunders Ever. You might laugh, maybe even roll on the floor, and you might even identify with some of these stories.. Here are two examples:
- "Languages: Fluent in English. Also I have been heard muttering Gibberish in my sleep."
- "Directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations."
The lesson? Proofread your resume, have someone else proofread your resume, and know that Gibberish is not a foreign language.
From Jobacle.com, 3 Candidates Submit the Same Cover Letter. For a job that drew more than 450 resumes, one hiring manager wrote: "Three candidates made my life easy. They gave me the opportunity to reject them instantly. Why? They each used the exact same cover letter!" They were apparently lifted from a book.
The lesson? Books, templates, and other advice are great to use as inspiration. Just don't adopt the wording as your own. You need to stand out and be original.
From PunkRockHR.com, Candidate Experience: UR DOIN IT WRONG. Some employers don't have their stuff together. A job seeker tells how she was informed not once, but four times that she didn't get the job: two emails that went out to all applicants (dumb), a follow-up email (dumber), and then a phone call (even dumber, since the candidate had already been rejected and re-rejected). Imagine asking someone out on a date once and getting rejected four different ways.
The lesson? Be wary of employers whose hiring practices are strange. They may be a reflection of poor leadership and management.
Have you experienced or committed any of the above sins? Tell us about it.
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