8 things on your resume that annoy hiring managers

Avoid these resume techniques and phrases that annoy hiring managers.

When it comes to writing your resume there is a plethora of advice that is readily available for you to use at any time. When it comes down to the actual writing, however, you decide what does and does not go on your resume. This is where the mistakes can come in. While it can be hard to look inside the mind of a hiring manager to know exactly what he wants, there are still steps you can take to avoid causing irritation or anger with your resume.

Don’t Lie

This may seem like a given, yet it still happens. Hiring managers check up on what you say in your resume, including references. Lying will only waste the hiring manager’s time and get your resume thrown out. In the case that your lie is not caught the first time around, there are still more checks to go through the farther you get in the hiring process.

Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!

Don’t use buzzwords

You want to make yourself sound like a great candidate for the position. However, you don’t want to throw around actiony, showy phrases to try to stand out from the crowd. Some of these are: “best of breed”, “synergy”, “detail-oriented”, and “results-driven”. These types of words will only make a hiring manager roll their eyes. Instead of talking about personality, talk about the things you did. More appropriate phrases are: “I managed”, “I negotiated”, “I launched”, etc.

Don’t be generic

There are job-seekers out there who copy and paste a resume for each job for which they apply with no variation. Do not be one of these job-seekers. Personalize your resume for each position. It’s okay to compare tasks from your current position to the tasks you’d perform at this new position. You can talk about how your future goals align with the company. Do anything to show that you put extra effort into making your resume.

Research names

One thing that will genuinely annoy hiring managers is if you get their name or the company name wrong. This is very simple research, as well as a quick, double-check before sending your resume and cover letter off. If you get one of these wrong, it could show that you were in a rush, that you were careless, or you just didn’t bother to do a simple spell-check.

Include references

It’s been a point of advice to simply include “references available upon request” at the bottom of a resume — however, this is outdated advice. It is a waste of time for both you and the hiring manager. Cut out that extra step by including your references right in the resume or on a second page.

Include links for reference

If you mention any type of work in your resume, such as a portfolio, a website, an online project, etc., then you want to include a link to that work in the resume itself. It is frustrating for hiring managers to read these achievements without actually being able to see and evaluate them. They are not going to take the time out of their schedules to seek out the information you didn’t provide.

Keep skills up-to-date

When you are listing the skills you have that makes you an asset in the workplace, keep everything with the times. You don’t have to list your proficiency in Microsoft Word or social media. These are skills that nearly every job seeker has today. Instead, use that very valuable space to talk about the skills you have that make you stand out.


Any types of spelling or grammar mistakes in your resume are going to be a mark against you. A resume is a representation of what you can bring to the table — does that include careless mistakes? You want to make sure that you double-check your resume for any mistakes before sending it to a hiring manager. It wouldn’t hurt to have a pair of fresh eyes take a look at your resume just to check for any mistakes that you may have missed.

This article was first published on February 12, 2016.

You might also enjoy…