Blooper therapy for job-hunters


At some point, every one of us has clicked send — and then caught the typo.

You’re not alone if you’ve ever walked out of an interview and asked yourself during the elevator ride down if you should run back into the interviewer’s office and change an answer to a question you blew?  (By the way,don’t do it. See below.)

People everywhere have secretly cringed in meetings because they feel they said something dumb — in front of their boss, and worse, in front of that smug colleague.

At The Bagg Group, we know about bloopers.  

Of course we do.

Between our five busy divisions, we interview hundreds of people all the time to find the right match for our clients’ full-time, contract and/or temporary openings. And we have 60,000 happy placements to our credit, over 46 years.  That gives you an idea of just how many people we meet … and how many bloopers we’ve come across.

That said, we’re experts in the business of people so we can easily tell the difference between a gaffe and a problem.

We don’t share the bloopers we witnessed.  We wouldn’t embarrass our job candidates — even anonymously. (After all, they’ll know who they are.)

So the bloopers below not from The Bagg Group.  But first …

Blooper therapy:   Fast ways to recover

Everyone bloops.  Don’t beat yourself up for it.  And don’t hide under a blanket for weeks because of a mistake you made.  The wisdom holds that it’s not falling that counts, it’s how you bounce back.

Ask yourself,  “Can I fix it without drawing more attention to the mistake? A typo that seems blaring to you might not get noticed, until you call attention to it. Do a survey. Ask others to look at your document and see how many people catch the typo.

 If it’s significant gaffe, or there are lots of typos, and the mistake(s) will likely take you out of the running for the job, resend a corrected version. You have nothing to lose. But don’t waste the reader’s time discussing your errors!  Don’t explain, don’t point out, etc.  Instead, consider saying in the subject line something like, “Please see this version instead

If you said the wrong thing in an interview:  Clear it up in your follow-up email. Again, don’t justify.  Instead, after thanking the interviewer, add that in regard to their interest /question/concern about xyz, you would like to clarify that … .Or, if you gave the wrong information, correct it.

If you misspoke at a meeting and can’t course-correct at the time:  Reach out to the key person after and say that you further investigated xyz, or that your had been mistaken about xyz. People don’t hold it against you when you admit you made a mistake and you fix it.

Turn the blooper into a funny story because one day someone will need it:  Your blooper is a role-modeling occasion.  A friend or family member will come to you in time, mortified about their own blooper.  Relating to them and sharing own mis-step can really help someone else.   That’s why we’re sharing these…

Some of our favourite bloopers from actual resumes and cover letters.  

Don’t read and weep, read and smile. 

From Fortune Magazine

  •  “I am loyal to my employer at all costs. Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail.”
  • “Finished eighth in my class of ten.”
  • “Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.”
  • You will want me to be Head Honcho in no time.”
  • “Let’s meet, so you can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over my experience.”
  • “Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.”
  • “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.”
  • “Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.”

From Resuming

  • References: “Bill, Tom, Eric. But I don’t know their phone numbers.”
  • Experience: “I’m a hard worker, etc.”
  • Interests: “Gossiping.”
  • Accomplishments: “Brought in a balloon artist to entertain the team.”
  • Experience: “Any interruption in employment is due to being unemployed.”
  • Skills: “I have integrity so I will not steal office supplies and take them home.”
  • Qualifications: “I have extensive experience with foreign accents.”
  • “Worked in a consulting office where I carried out my own accountant.”
  • “I have a bachelorette degree in computers.”
  • Objective: “I would like to work for a company that is very lax when it comes to tardiness.”
  • Objective: “So one of the main things for me is, as the movie ‘Jerry McGuire’ puts it, ‘Show me the money!’”
  • Work experience: “Maintained files and reports, did data processing, cashed employees’ paychecks.”
  • Application: Why should an employer hire you? “I bring doughnuts on Friday.”


  • Planned new corporate facility at $3 million over budget.”
  • “Experienced supervisor, defective with both rookies and seasoned professionals.”
  • “Consistently tanked as top sales producer for new accounts.”
  • “Directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations.”

From HR Daily Advisor  

  • ” Tried and failed a certification exam three times, but I’m planning to try again.”
  • Hobbies: “I watch horror movies.”
  • Interview:  Candidate said he worked at Microsoft but didn’t have a clue who Bill Gates is.
  • Interview:  Candidate claimed to have written computer code which the hiring manager had actually written.  (They had both worked at the same company, but the candidate didn’t know that.)
  • Applicant falsely claimed to have a Project Management Institute (PMI) credential, when applying for a job at PMI –which gives out the credentials.
  • An applicant said he he worked for the CIA in anti-terrorism for years –the same years he would have been in elementary school.

Now don’t you feel just a little bit better about your blunders?

Honesty, and proofreading, are key, say recruiters at Bagg Pro, Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg@Your Service, Bagg Managed Resources, and Turn Key Staffing Solutions. Keep it real when applying to opportunities on our  job board.


Gene Hayden, author of The Follow-Through Factor: Getting from Doubt to Done (Random House), is a career coach and writer-in-residence for The Bagg Group



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