Employers Share The Craziest Things They've Seen On A Resume
Why would you think this could get you a job? What were you thinking?
Your resume is essential to getting you in the door for an interview. You have to work really hard to get hired one time and when you do, you're adding to that resume! But not everyone has the skill to make their resume look good.
Here were some of the answers.
The Only ChoiceGiphy
I interviewed a guy that brought a resume that covered 30+ years of employment. The crazy thing was he never worked at a place longer than four months, he had a ten page resume single spaced with every job he's had for 30 years and not a single one was longer than four months, and he only had maybe one or two years in that span where he wasn't employed.
The crazier thing was that we hired him, he was the only one who applied.
College driving job where you technically report to the campus police. There's a section in the application that says you can write down any questions you have so we can make sure to address them in the interview.
Applicant's question: Does Officer [name] still work there? She arrested me for pot last semester but she fine as hell.
Weirdly, didn't bother with the interview.
I had an applicant list super basic "I am able to exist in society" skills on a resume. Including
- Able to work in warm or cool temperatures
- Able to take an early or late lunch
- Proficient in English (this was in a 99% english speaking area)
- Able to hold bladder for extended periods.
- Able to operate computer and telephone.
Not an employer, but the employee. I was applying for my first adult job after graduating college. Where it asks if you've ever been convicted of a crime, I came clean and put "Yes. Fined $40 for walking through a park after dark. 2014."
My bosses (whom I ended up becoming good friends with) told me about a year into that job that you don't actually have to put those things on resumes and that they were almost in tears laughing about it.
Money For Being CuteGiphy
Was going trough a stack of resumes of people who applied for the job of Hotel Manager. I worked at the headquarters of a large hotel chain and had the mundane job of sorting resumes that looked nice. Literally, just that. I was not to judge the content, which would be done by better trained monkeys than myself, who had the habit of not wanting to look at resumes they didn't consider nice looking.
One lady had put a headshot of her baby on her resume (over here its common to include a picture, or atleast back then it was). I asked my supervisor to give the lady a call, just to find out why she had put a baby picture on her resume. My supervisor was interested in the story too, so gave her a call and did a bogus phone interview all so he could just end with "oh and by the way... why the baby picture?"
Turned out it was not her baby, it was her, as a baby. She thought it was a cute picture and used it on a resume, applying for a job paying north of 100k a year.
My manager was laughing uncontrollably one day. I asked him what was up and he just held up a resume, unable to speak through the laughter. First comment on the resume said "please do not drug test me"
We were hiring for an entry level, overnight analyst position in the QA lab I worked for. Guy applies, then calls immediately after to ask if we got his resume. We told him yes we did and we would be making calls later in the week. My boss and I (I helped with hiring at night because I was overnight supervisor) reviewed his resume, and it looked okay. About an hour later he calls back, and asks my boss if he can give her his "elevator speech". He then proceeded to brag about himself for fifteen minutes, and managed to condescend most of us by saying he was a mature adult unlike most recent grads (all of us were under 30 at the time and most recently graduated). She again thanked him and said she would be making calls later in the week.
The next day (yes just one day later), he showed up on site at the facility we worked at. The facility has 24 hour security at the gate. He was held up and then security called us asking if we knew who he was. My boss went to the guard shack to meet him, and he again gave her his elevator speech and a paper copy of his resume. On this resume, he put in the cover letter that he was only interested in laboratory supervisor or the VP position for plant QA (usually requires at least a Masters). He also changed a lot of the info in the resume.
When he called AGAIN on day three, my boss told him she was considering going with other applicants but thanked him for his time. He called her a B**** on the phone, and that was the end of that (for the time being). Fast forward six months and I no longer work there. I'm in graduate school and I'm talking to a couple people who are undergrads about to graduate looking for job opportunities. I mentioned where I used to work, and one of them says they heard that place was a scam and not a real place to work. Apparently the crazy guy who applied there told some people at the college we were a scam and had scammed him when he tried to apply.
Have shared this before but used to edit college students' resumes to help them find jobs. One senior had organized a charity beer pong event to raise money and he listed that under his Volunteer experience. The issue was the only bullet he had for that was that his team came in 1st place in a charity beer pong tournament that he put together. I had him delete that, asked how much $ he raised for the charity, and put that on there instead. Also removed the 'beer pong' part and just said - organized a charity event with my fraternity that raised $ X amount of money for (whatever the cause he was promoting was)...
Was running a resume critique for students. Got one that was two pieces of paper of single words center aligned on a page. The words were not organized in any meaningful way, and weren't even the same parts of speech. It would be like "AutoCAD" then the next line would say something like "Motivated" and the next line would be like "Education".
I just told him he ought to go take a look at literally anyone's resume, and until he understood what a resume looks like, I couldn't help.
I worked as a recruiter for office jobs in inner-city Philadelphia. One young man had a resume that was co-created by his high school's counselor. The career objective was "To be an honest, hardworking young black man that is an asset to any organization."
I wanted to pick up the phone and scream at that counselor. Instead, I very diplomatically asked the young man to remove all mention of race from his objective statement as we were legally unable to submit his resume for jobs with a clear race identifier on it. We even blocked out home addresses so potential employers couldn't judge them by their neighborhood. I wonder how many potential employers trashed this kid's resume just to avoid any liability issues. I'm sure his counselor thought she was doing him a favor, but she was hurting him and anyone else she coached with that nonsense.
Get It Together, TonyGiphy
In engineering. Guy (I'll call him Tony) applies with a bit of unconventional resume and experience, but seemed interesting. He didn't have an an engineering degree, but he'd worked his way up from machinist and had 20+ years experience. He brought in a ton of portfolio work and explained how he'd set up these complex processes and improved several product designs. We ended up hiring him as a junior engineer and he was assigned to work with a few different engineers to help on their projects.
After working for a bit, Tony was a little difficult to explain things to, but would get things done after spending the time making sure he understood. However, he had this thing where he would never do it the same day. He would always be busy with something for someone else right then and would get to your stuff by tomorrow.
One day an engineer needed a very simple change to a design and asked him to make the change in our CAD software (in which he'd claimed to have years of experience and it is a ubiquitous minimum skill for the job.) Tony pulled his "I'll get that to you tomorrow" routine but engineer needing the change said he needs it now, and will just wait for Tony to do it while he watched. Tony fumbled for a while, couldn't even figure out how to open the file, obviously pretended to take a phone call, then just left for the day.
After investigating a bit, we found out Tony didnt have any of the experience he'd claimed, just took the portfolio work from former engineer colleagues and passed it off as his own. Best part, he had convinced a local college student that he had an unpaid internship and Tony would have this kid do his work after hours and bring it in the next day. Despite the admiration for Tony's ability to run several simultaneous con jobs involving several people, we felt it appropriate to let him go.
About two years later, we're hiring for another similar position and Tony's resume shows up on my desk. This time he lists 2 years of "Principal Engineer" experience at my company (where he is still employed) with super embellished job duties and fully made-up accomplishments.
Apparently Tony was looking for work again and had sent his resume to one of the recruiters we work with not knowing he was applying to the same company from which he'd been fired 2 years earlier and was falsely claiming as his current employer.
For Real, RetireGiphy
I'm pretty late here.
My dad was in recruitment for about 30 years, so he's had heaps, the best though....
Alchemy. Turning metal in to gold. Legit had it on the hobbies part of his resume.
My dad's first question. "So why are you applying for a job?"
There's no feeling quite like reviewing a resume for a software QA position that not only claims the applicant has high "attention to detail", but also has blatant typos on it.
This Is AwesomeGiphy
Interviewing for a call-center position. Got an application where the cover letter said something like this:
Ever since I was a young girl, when people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up I replied "Darth Vader". Since galactic evil icon is not available at the moment, I decided to settle for less and apply for your company. it then went on with the normal explanation of why she wanted to work for our company (well written) but then in the end she finished this way "If they ever take me for Darth Vader I will go as that is my dream job but be assured, your company will be the last one I destroy with my Death Star".
We hired her.
No More ChessGiphy
Not me, but a friend. She told me that once she saw on a resume (not sure what kind of job), in the "Hobbies" section: "I used to play chess, but I don't any more."
I always read that in my head in the most deadpan, serial killer type of voice....
I had been back in the workforce for about a year- before that I was a stay at home mom. The online application system would not let me submit the application with gaps in my work history, so I said that during that 6 year timeframe I was the CEO of the household and listed duties and qualifications. I got the interview and was hired with no experience in that industry. It was an inside sales position, so I think they appreciated the hustle.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.