Stupid things that job candidates do

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Those of you who are old enough might remember the quote from the movie "Top Gun" in which Goose says to Maverick, "We regret to inform you that your sons are dead because they were stupid." I couldn't help but think about that line as I was writing this article:

"We regret to inform you that you are not hired -- because you are stupid."

Stupid things that job candidates do

The genesis of this article came from a piece I wrote a few months ago on "Stupid (but common) resume mistakes." For that piece, I tapped my super-savvy professional network for anecdotes and advice and quoted them throughout the article. (You need only go to my Facebook and LinkedIn pages to join this conversation or future ones.) The resulting article was well received. So, as a follow-up, let's focus less on the resume itself and more on the other reasons people don't get hired.

Some of these reasons are specific to digital, some are common-sense faux pas you should avoid, and some are just plain -- stupid. But almost all of them are really entertaining. Let's get started.



Tom Pick
Tom Pick October 18, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Julie - overall, a great piece, but...

Okay, actions like faking references, obvious resume typos and "Dear Sir or Madam" are inexcusable, and getting mom or dad involved is funny.

But a few of these come off as just plain mean. A person's qualifications, work ethic, and personal integrity should count for more than whether they had bad breath from a rushed fast-food lunch or didn't have time to polish their shoes as they hurried the kids off to school.

So entertaining, yes, but unfortunately part of the humor is that some of these complaints simply reinforce the Catbert image of HR directors.

Adam Kleinberg
Adam Kleinberg October 17, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Great piece, Julie!

I recently had someone send me a resume with "The Grateful Dead" listed under "Skills and Interests." Seriously. Add that to the what-not-to-do list.