*at least, if I’m the hiring manager.
- Spell my name wrong in your cover letter. You would have gotten bonus points for doing the research to find out that I’m the hiring manager, but you just lost them all by addressing your letter to Mrs. Lori Hover.
- Send an email “cover letter” like this one: “hi i wold like 2 apply 4 the job thx.”
- Include your picture on your resume. I don’t give a crap what you look like, as I am not hiring actors or models. The only thing your picture will do for me is make me think you’re weird.
- Include your interests, hobbies, or personal information about you or your family on your resume. In a continuing “I don’t give a crap” theme, I don’t give a crap about what church you attend, what schools your children attend, or that you like needlepoint and watersports. For one thing, your choice of the word “watersports” makes me wonder if you’re a fetishist. Although, if you were, I guess I still wouldn’t care except in a train-wreck fascination sort of way. Also: are you hoping to get a job doing needlepoint? No? Then I don’t care that you enjoy it.
- Include your personal website address on your resume. Especially if you’re a total nutjob with a tacky-ass Geocities site with that horrible blue-and-black patterned background and a bunch of animated Jesus GIFs and links to your absolutely, positively hideous short stories and screenplays. Oh, and extra bad karma for you if your stupid website has a picture of you that makes you look like a child molestor. Not that I’m still annoyed by that experience or anything.
- List every single job you’ve ever had in the history of your life, including odd jobs you had in elementary school. I don’t care, and I hate you for overloading my inbox with your stupid 20-page resume and making all of my other emails bounce.
- Send me application materials that give me no indication that you know what job you’re applying for. I can smell shotgun theory a mile away, and I know when you’ve just sent the same resume out to fifty companies. Take two minutes to add a line or two into your materials that tells me that you’re interested in this specific job and why you want it.
- If we’ve listed a job that requires, say, a bachelor’s degree, and you don’t have one, that’s not necessarily a deal breaker. But you’d better have a damn good explanation IN YOUR COVER LETTER so that I get an idea of whether or not you can do the job anyway.
- Send me a resume in all caps. I hate you now and want your fingers to break.
- Send me a resume in Comic Sans or a script font.
- Have poor spelling or grammar anywhere in your letter or resume, but especially in the paragraph where you claim to have strong attention to detail.
- Tell me, during your interview, about how you need a flexible schedule because your parents are demented and often escape the house and poop on the lawn.
- Tell me, during your interview, about how you’re really tired because your drunk-ass ex-boyfriend called you at 3 in the morning to try to get you to go over for a booty call.
- Waste our entire afternoon by coming in for an interview and then announcing at the end that you’re not interested because you’ll only take a job that pays $xx,xxx – which happens to be a good $15,000 above our budgeted salary range. We tell you the range in the phone interview for a reason – we’re bound to it. Don’t say you’re okay with it on the phone if you’re not. We’re not flexible. We can’t help it.
I’m guessing that not all hiring managers will agree with me on all points, and some people will think I’m incredibly anal. And I am, in fact, incredibly anal, which is why I’m so picky during the hiring process. Besides, when I get, literally, hundreds of resumes for a given position, I have to find a way to narrow the list down somehow. Kicking out dumbasses seems to work well. Thank goodness I haven’t had to hire anyone for a few years now.