As God is My Reference, You Should Hire Me

September 15, 2010 ( – A new CareerBuilder survey finds some resumes stood out for the wrong reasons.

One survey respondent said a job candidate put God down as a reference (with no phone number), and one candidate seemed to be claiming God-like past work when he put “Master of Time and Universe” under his experience. Still another candidate tapped into a higher power by sending a video trying to hypnotize the HR manager into hiring him.  

The survey found that one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make that can take them out of the running is a lack of customization, according to a press release. Seventy-nine percent of human resource managers said they pay more attention to resumes that are tailored to their open positions.  

However, claiming to be a direct descendant of the Vikings, specifically pointing out that you are not a gypsy, or declaring oneself the LeBron James of table games, as respondents said some candidates did, probably is not position-related information.  

Other resume missteps reported by human resource managers and hiring managers included: 

  • Candidate listed her hobby as alligator watching; 
  • Candidate’s email address had “lovesbeer” in it; 
  • Candidate started off the application with “Do you want a tiger?”; 
  • Candidate’s condition for accepting the position was being allowed to bring his pet monkey to the workplace; 
  • Candidate pointed out, “I’ll have your job in five years.”; 
  • Candidate sent a 24-page resume for a 5-year career; 
  • Candidate put a picture of her cat on top of her resume.  


Nearly half (48%) of human resource managers surveyed by CareerBuilder reported they typically review 25 applications or less for open positions. Thirty-eight percent said, on average, they spend less than a minute reviewing a resume; 18% spend less than 30 seconds.   

The survey was conducted among more than 2,500 employers between May 18 and June 3, 2010.