- BLOG -

Writing on Candidates’ Resumes: What Not to Say

By Hireology Contributor


Asking an illegal interview question isn’t the only way misinformed hiring practices can get in you in trouble: according to experts, you might want to watch what you absentmindedly scribble on the side of a candidate’s resume.


While there are no laws outright banning the practice, there are several ways in which a note taken the wrong way can translate into legal problems. For example, while you might think your comment on a candidate’s appearance is simply a way to jog your memory later on, in court it looks more like support for a discrimination claim. Notes on a resume or application also make it difficult for future eyes to look at the document objectively, and can be made out as an attempt to decrease the candidate’s chances.

To help you avoid this gray area, we’ve put together a list of topics to steer absolutely clear of when taking notes during an interview.

  1. Age, race, gender, and place of origin
  2. Pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital/family status and disability
  3. Financial status, political views and religion

Here’s a great rule of thumb: just like interview questions, comments should be job-related only. If you still think this might slip your mind in an interview, you might want to nix resume note-taking all together. Try taking notes on a separate pad of paper instead, or utilize Hireology’s “notes” feature to attach notes to specific applicants online. For more great interviewing tips, check out our guide on phone interviews.


About the Author

This is a blog post from the Hireology team. Our goal is to share our learnings to help all businesses build their employer brand, put a hiring process in place and find great team members to fill their open roles.

Additional Resources

Hireology Hosts Insp(H)ireology Career Training Event

On December 5, Hireology welcomed participants from three local Chicago organizations to our first Insp(H)ireology event. …

Product Update: See What We Released in November

With the end of the year just around the corner, we wanted to share what we’ve …

5 Key Elements to Look for in a Payroll Platform

Payroll and related costs can make up 50 percent – or more – of total business …

Scroll to Top