Fatal errors in job applications

By Amy Beth Miller

One candidate lost a job before I even opened the envelope. I was hiring a copy editor, and that person had a typo in the return address.

A female manager I knew would toss any cover letter that began “Dear Sir.”

Executive recruiter Leslie Ayres has a series of posts about amusing résumé bloopers here. She cites an example of an executive who boasted about leading “the Day-to-Day Execution of 450 People and all Their Associated Work.”

That’s even worse than the mistake I saved a friend from making. By relying on a computer spell-check program, he had a line that said he participated in “mergers and accusations.”

When my sister worked in a printing shop, her attention to detail helped many job seekers avoid embarrassment. She once asked a customer “How do you expect an employer to call you when you don’t have your phone number on your résumé?”

What’s the worst mistake you’ve seen on a résumé?

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