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Hiring Managers Share Top 10 Wackiest Resume Blunders in New Survey

TORONTO, 25 April, 2007 -- You've used all your creative juices to build a résumé that stands out in the crowd - but have you gone overboard? Hiring managers across Canada shared the most unusual résumé blunders they came across in’s latest survey:

1. Candidate included weight and all allergies.

2. Candidate stated the ability to persuade people sexually using her words.

3. Candidate wrote résumé as a play - Act 1, Act 2, etc.

4. Candidate explained that getting this job would look really neat on his résumé.

5. Candidate specified emergency contact as the hospital.

6. Candidate included naked picture of himself.

7. Candidate explained the need for multiple bathroom breaks each hour.

8. Candidate’s hobbies included long walks with fiancé and bingo.

9. Candidate included a letter from his mother.

10. Candidate explained that he works well nude.

"Hiring managers do appreciate creativity in job applicants because rooting through piles of résumés often times can be a monotonous task," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at "However, the key is to balance that creativity with professionalism. You want to stand out as someone unique but also as someone with applicable experience who can add value to the company."

Haefner offers the following tips to get you started on your road to résumé success:

Your personal life is just that - personal.
Hiring managers don't need to know personal information such as what your waistline measurement is or where you spend your summer vacations. Instead, include information on activities that are business-related such as memberships in professional organizations and community service involvement.

Simple. Bold. Professional.
Three key ideas to keep in mind when formatting your résumé are: simple, bold and professional. Instead of flashy formatting and stationary with borders or graphics, create a clean and polished document on résumé paper with consistent formatting for headings and bullet points. Additionally, to gain a hiring manager’s attention, use strong action words such as "achieved" and "managed" instead of unconventional fonts or colored text.

One size does not fit all.
If you're applying for a sales position, it wouldn't make much sense to focus on your experience in an unrelated field like education or information technology. Not only do you want to play up achievements and experience specific to each individual job to which you are applying but also be sure to provide quantifiable results. For example, it’s easy to say that you have experience in sales, but employers will take note if you say that you were responsible for a 10 percent growth in overall sales.

Two sets of eyes are better than one.
After you have proofread your résumé a few times, ask someone else to review it. A second pair of eyes may be able to catch mistakes you missed and could provide a fresh perspective on how to improve your résumé.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 422 workers (employed full-time; not self employed) and 225 hiring managers (employed full-time; not self employed; with at least some involvement in hiring decisions), ages 18 and over within Canada between November 17 and December 11, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

With a pure probability sample of 422 or 225 one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 5 and +/- 7 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from subsamples would be higher and would vary. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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