Funny and Unusual CV Mistakes recently surveyed a number of employers in order to get a better understanding into how long they spend looking at the average CV. With nearly one third of recruiters revealing that they never spend more than one minute reviewing any CV, it appears as though candidates who want to make an impression need to do so within a matter of seconds.

It comes as an even bigger surprise to find that those who are spared anything up to one minute are actually the lucky ones. Shockingly, 14% of survey respondents disclosed that they spend less than 30 seconds looking at a CV. Unsurprisingly, this had led to some interesting tactics being employed by candidates to try and capture the attention of the company they want to work for.

Below are some of the strangest and most unusual CVs employers have come across. Whilst admittedly, they did successfully capture the attention of many, we reveal why these may not be the best tactics to use to try and get your foot in the door.


One employer recalled receiving a CV that simply had the candidate’s name, phone number and the phrase “I want a job”.

Aside from the fact that this is going to come across as desperate, it doesn’t actually tell the employer anything about you. Without knowing your skills, qualifications and capabilities it is highly unlikely that any employer will ever call you in for an interview.


Unsurprisingly, one candidate who applied for a job with an email address containing “lovesbeer” in it was never contacted.

16 per cent of UK employers listed CVs with an unprofessional email address as a turn-off. If you want to impress somebody, maintaining professionalism at all times is a must. Another candidate wrote their CV on a torn out page of an exercise book and needless to say, he was never contacted.

Keeping Secrets

When listing her experience, one candidate included her time as a mystery shopper but wouldn’t reveal the name of the employer because “it’s a secret”.

If you can’t reveal the name of your previous employers then don’t expect to ever get called up for an interview. Not only does this tell a potential employer that you are probably unlikely to be able to provide references, it is also going to look a bit suspicious so may cause others to question how much truth there is in your claim.

Joking Around

From candidates putting down God as a reference, writing their CV out as a poem and even listing hobbies that include “lion tamer”, employers certainly have had a few giggles over the years. 

Your CV is not the place to be making jokes. You may give a few people a laugh but chances are that you will never be invited to attend any interviews because chances are that you won’t be taken seriously. A CV is a professional document and should only include your skills, qualifications, work experience and genuine hobbies.

If you need any help or advice when it comes to writing the perfect CV, please click here.

Do you have any funny CV stories to share with us? Feel free to share with us below.

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