Reddit user u/cityoftress recently asked employers for “the funniest, craziest or weirdest thing you’ve seen on a resume.” We found a few doozies, but even the worst resumes can be fixed.
#1 – Orienting Details
A 3×4 table under the header of Soft Skills. The bottom right cell read:
with “detailed” being centered and “orientated” right-justified. – u/lavidalibre
Always ask a few friends or family members to glance over your resume to pick up on any formatting, spelling, or other errors you might have missed. It’s not good enough to rely on spell-check, as this example demonstrates. Learn more about how to handle soft skill sections.
#2 – The Underwater Ceramics Expert
Underwater ceramics and glass cleaner for a multi-million dollar company meant dishwasher at chili’s – u/suicidalsilkworm
Props for the creativity, but you’ll eventually have to explain in an interview that your family restaurant franchise job didn’t require scuba certification. You can put almost any experience on your resume without over-exaggerating, you just need to know how to write it the right way.
#3 – Call My Mom
Listing their mother for a reference, and her not picking up or returning the call. – u/118ave
Many employers will ask for non-family references, so don’t bother with all those cousins, aunts, or grand uncles. Make sure you’re carefully choosing your job references and touch base with them before you send references out to make sure they still have the same contact information…and that they’ll actually return a call.
#4 – A Sunny Resume
Entire CV in bright yellow. I could not read a word against the white paper. Made me wonder how many jobs she missed out on by doing this. – u/stuartiscool
Ouch. This is one of the worst resume mistakes you can make, but it might not have been on purpose. Canary yellow text could have been because her printer ran out of ink or due to a software error. Now if the applicant just loves the idea of a colorful resume, she should know that colorful fonts are only good for physical resumes, and even then, it should be dark, professional, and legible.
#5 – The Boss Baby
One lady had put a headshot of her baby on her resume. 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. – u/Alwin_
Employers have to be very careful of not appearing discriminatory in their hiring practices, which is why they can’t ask you if you have kids. Putting a photo on your resume (especially of a baby) is a great way for an employer to reject your resume outright so they don’t even have to deal with the possibility of impropriety.
#6 – The Head Liar
My uncle was on the recruitment panel for his law firm. One day he received a pretty strong application. The applicant looked great and they fully intended to ask her to interview until a lie in her application came to light.
One of the achievements that the applicant listed was that she had been head girl at her school. It didn’t really make much difference to her application, but it stood out because by sheer chance it was a local school and my aunt taught at it.
“Hey guess what” my uncle asked when he got home that night “you’ll never guess who has applied to us. It’s [whoever], one of your head girls.”
“I don’t think so,” replied my aunt, “We don’t have head girls.” – u/Patnet
Now that’s some karma – and maybe the worst resume mistake so far. Obviously the fix here would have been for the applicant not to lie. But you can elaborate on your resume without being untruthful.
#7 – Head of the Household
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. – u/redemption_songs
This is a great story of ingenuity and hustle. It’s also one of luck – this kind of comedy won’t fly with a lot of hiring companies or for all roles. There’s more dependable ways to write a stay-at-home parent resume, but having creative solutions ready to go is an excellent job skill (and mom skill!).