Resumes can be scary to create, but just as horrifying to read. Recruiters and hiring managers are subjected to comic sans, puke green font, typos, inappropriate headshots, and other terrors!
Before you submit your resume, really contemplate how you’re presenting yourself. Go a step further and get a second opinion from a friend or upload it to Jobscan to check for best practices, red flags, and opportunities to improve.
Here are three of the spookiest resumes we found for Halloween!
1. A ghostly resume design
This job seeker’s resume design is appropriate considering he’s looking to get his foot in the door in a role that utilizes his animation, design, and illustration skills. In fact, it’s expected. For the rest of us, getting too creative with our resume can do more harm than good.
If artistic ability isn’t part of the job description, the hiring manager might wonder how serious you are about the job. And for all you know, they might just not share the same sensibilities. Even worse, applicant tracking systems (ATS) would immediately bury a resume like this.
When you apply through an ATS, recruiters can run searches for specific skills. For example, a recruiter might search for “Photoshop.” Nigel has the right resume keywords, but he might not come up as a match for a number of reasons. The ATS could have trouble processing this obscure resume font. ATS are also known to struggle with tables and columns, which are used throughout the resume. The information in these fields might not be properly parsed and considered for the search.
2. Would you invite this monster to an interview?
When do you take a chance with an over-the-top resume design? Drawing this kind of attention can work!
“Every time I sent that [resume] out, I got an interview without fail,” Joe Kelso told Business Insider. “If I really wanted an interview somewhere, that’s the one I would use.”
If you’re physically handing out your resumes or emailing them directly to someone as part of your application, your resume is less likely to get hung up in an ATS. You can take more design liberties in these instances, especially if you’re in a creative field.
But 99% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS and even if you are able to network and deliver your resume directly to someone, you might still need to formally apply through the ATS. Make sure you have an ATS-friendly resume ready to go as a companion to your creative resume.
3. The horror of the wrong attachment
This applicant meant to attach “a zip file titled with a bunch of numbers,” but instead attached a similarly titled image of actor Nicolas Cage doing his thing. This is a great example of why your resume file name matters! Not only will it keep embarrassing mistakes (or hilarious viral content) from happening, it’s an opportunity to appear professional and organized. The file name will be visible, so take the extra second to rename your file to something like NicolasCageResume.docx or NicolasCageActor.docx.