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The Most Annoying Resume Blunders

As a team, we’ve pretty much seen every resume blunder known to humankind.  I stupidly asked the team what they think the most annoying resume blunders are and opened up a tsunami of pent up CV angst.  So do yourself and your local friendly recruiter a favour – check to make sure you aren’t committing one of these resume blunders…


  1. Spelling your name wrong.  I know – is this even possible?  Yes it is…
  2. Extensive irrelevant personal information.  You might still be proud of winning your high school poetry competition, but I’m not sure it supports your application for the Financial Accountant role…
  3. Pretty uncool email addresses.  ‘’ doesn’t scream team player, and ‘’ doesn’t really make you seem like a loyal new hire.  Be mindful of the email address that you use!
  4. Including Referee Details.  Remember – this is personal contact information that you are sending out every time you apply on a role, so respect your referee’s privacy.
  5. Spelling mistakes seem to hold a special place in our hearts:   Charted not Chartered Accountant, atention to detail (eek), manger instead of Manager.  Need I say more?
  6. Missing dates – or not knowing specifically when you worked for a particular company.  We once had a candidate who had a year missing on their resume, when we asked him about it, he said he was “property developing” – once we did our checks we found out that it was from the comfort of his jail cell – for fraud.  Missing dates create question marks for anyone with experience recruiting and not knowing when you worked somewhere makes you look a little bit average…
  7. Photos.  Because you are either too good looking or not good looking enough (so said a particularly good looking consultant recently)
  8. Marriage Status/Parents Names/Religion/Birth Date/Height/Weight/Drivers Licence Number – you may as well throw your Credit Card number and PIN on there too?  (this consultant needed a coffee after contributing their feedback!)
  9. Waffly waffle.  Because everyone is a ‘team player who likes to contribute their best every day to the company strategy to ensure a win win culture’ – so just keep it simple and leave the waffle off your resume!
  10. Using generic resume templates.  Seriously – when you have seen 400 of the same template, it is pretty tough on the old eyeballs, let alone trying to distinguish you from the other 399 applicants…
  11. Life Mottos.  “an army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep” really impacted us, but mostly, we couldn’t work out who were the lions and who were the sheep, and are there sheep in Africa?

So after much angst and frustration – the 2018 winner for the most annoying resume blunders are:


So please, for the sake of every recruiter (and for success in your job search!) install grammarly and ban the spelling mistakes!

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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