Ask a Hiring Manager: Memorable Resumes

This week,LiveCareer reached out to some of the hiring managers in our network of professional connections. We contacted decision makers and supervisors in hospitality, healthcare, IT, and manufacturing industries and asked them about their hiring process—specifically their resume reviews. We invited them to share their stories and describe the most memorable resumes they’ve ever seen, both good and bad. Here are a few of the responses we received.



“I’m told that hiring is a subjective process, and that no matter how many HR studies are published on the subject, resume reviews and successful hiring will always be a dice roll. I completely disagree with this.

Time and time again, the resume says it all. Great resumes are usually submitted by great candidates, and these candidates usually become great employees. In my experience, there’s an almost perfect correlation between neat, thoughtful resumes and conscientious, trustworthy employees. Just follow the rules and keep your resume short, grammatically flawless, and clearly written. Ten minutes of extra time, attention and tailoring will tell employers all they need to know about you.”


“I once had an employee submit a resume that was actually directed to our closest competitor. The applicant had been using a template and he simply forgot to switch out the name of our company with the company he had appealed to just before us. The cover letter greeting was also addressed to our competitor. Oops.” 


“I once received a resume from an applicant who exaggerated his accomplishments in a way that was painfully transparent. The worst part: he overstated his leadership role in a large project completed by his previous employer…and as it happens, I was working for that company during the year this project was completed.

Since I was actually part of that team, I can see the full extent of this exaggeration. He embarrassed himself with his fib, but since he didn’t know me, he had no idea how poorly this move went over.” 


“I received a resume from a contractor who—so it seemed—had been burned or taken advantage of by previous clients/employers. She was so aggressive and preemptive about her rates, the limits of the service she provided, and her own vetting process for potential employers that I was turned off. I felt like I was on trial.”


“My favorite resumes are the ones that address specific projects and challenges faced by our company at that specific time. Just a small amount of research—the kind an applicant can easily complete with a 15-minute internet search—really impresses me. Especially at the entry level, where my expectations are the lowest.” 


“I frequently receive terribly written resumes from applicants, and I’m not sure why. I think these applicants believe that IT managers don’t care about grammar, spelling, or written language skills. I don’t know where they picked up this idea, or why they think it’s okay to send me a confusing, typo-ridden resume that looks like it was written by a second grader…but it isn’t. 

If I see more than one misspelled or repeated word in the summary, the resume goes in the recycle bin. And if I can’t understand what the applicant is trying to say, I don’t spend more than 10 seconds trying to decode.”

Keep Your Resume In the Winners Circle

Don’t let your resume fall through the cracks—or into the circular file. Visit LiveCareer for the resources and guidance your need to stay at the top of the list until the day you’re hired. 

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