what are the strangest things you’ve ever seen on a resume?

I want to hear about the weirdest things you’ve seen on resumes.

To kick us off, some highlights from past commenters:

“The person whose description included only their entire astrological profile. I mean, sun sign, moon sign, rising sign, and midheaven sign. AND NOTHING ELSE.”

“I received a resume for an IT Help Desk Technician position who put his current employer as ‘Confidential’ and description of accomplishments ‘Unable to disclose.'”

“One applicant mentioned that she had a large collection of dolls for which she would sew intricate costumes. It was … not helpful.”

“My office is currently hiring and we had a candidate apply with a MENU. He had formatted his resume like a menu with skills under Appetizers (and some had peppers next to them … I guess to indicate hot skills?) Not only did was the format weird, but his descriptions were incredibly informal and condescending, like ‘I managed 10 coworkers and if they got out of line, tough.'”

So, please share the comments the oddest thing you’ve seen on resumes!

{ 1,715 comments… read them below }

  1. Snarkus Aurelius*

    One recent college grad listed that she was Time magazine’s Person of the Year 2006.

    No, I’m not kidding.

    Although it was technically true, she did not get an interview.

    1. Amber T*

      My (otherwise decently competent) college career counseling center advised to put that on our resumes or cover letters as an interesting fact.

        1. Jane*

          Is anyone doing/publishing research on what actually works on resumes? Everything I read seems to be opinions rather than evidence-based, and full of contradictions. Be quirky. Be professional. Use “I”. Write in the passive voice. It seems like luck as to whether you matchwith the employer’s idea of a good resume, but are there any solid studies out there?

          1. selena81*

            not sure how helpfull it’ll be it: there are tons of studies on dating but in the end you either ‘feel it’ or you don’t, and most of what science has to say about is is either ‘yeah duh, common sense’ or ‘pfft, you only used 5 test-subject, how is that proof of anything’.
            f.e. Allison isn’t a big fan of gimmicks, and i agree with her, but i’m sure there’s lot of research that proves how wrong she is: sociology has proof of *anything* and just as much proof of *the reverse of anything*.

            It seems like luck as to whether you match with the employer’s idea of a good resume..
            I think that in the end that is pretty much the harsh truth (aside from aforementioned common sense: make your resume look neat and impressive): employers are people and you’ll always click better with one then the other.

          2. Eve Sundquist Sande, Ph.D.*

            Do not be too old.
            Do not be too female.
            dDo not be “over-educated.”
            Become the “diversity candidate” they are required to interview.
            Do not get the job.
            Rinse and repeat.

      1. Dame Edna*

        “For seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, Time’s Person of the Year for 2006 is you.”

        Considering what just happened with Facebook, I think I’ll leave this particular achievement off my resume.

      1. Indisch Blau*

        So did I! The second item Google suggests after “time person of the year 2017” is “time person of the year 2006”.

      2. Ian*

        If that ever comes up in an interview, my response will now be: “Impossible! *I* was Time’s Person of the Year for 2006” and look at them with quiet disdain.

        1. selena81*

          if i were to do that i’d use a more obscure fact (but still easily googlable of course: don’t want to make it come of like i’m just lying).
          And definitely not something that happened 10 years ago.

      1. SarahJ*

        Not that creative! I’ve seen this on a few college student resumes. They all got interviews because we screen resumes solely on technical skills. They all turned out to be very odd.

    2. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      I think that David Letterman received thousands of cover letters listing “The Top Ten Reasons to Hire Me” for the same reason. It seemed clever at the time. And maybe the first three were, but it tires quickly.

      1. Specialk9*

        Yeah. Famous comedians surely value people with the ability to realize this funny thing you just thought of is NOT the first time they’ve heard it.

    3. Darrow*

      This was something commonly joked about among my friends in college while we were applying for our first jobs. I am not too surprised that someone actually did it…

    4. Goosela*

      I get sick of seeing that on Tinder profiles (first time I saw it and looked it up…it was a little funny, fifteenth time? Not so much)….I can’t imagine seeing it on a resume.

    5. Elmyra Duff*

      I almost always used that as my answer to the “In 200 charcaters or less, tell us something interesting about you!” question that makes me want to scream. I just gave you my resume (and probably had to fill out a form with the same information) and my cover letter. I’m not going to dance, too.

      1. LeisureSuitLarry*

        I hate that crap. I usually put something ridiculous like “I was the Queen of England in a former life” in that box. Unsurprisingly, I’ve never gotten an interview or phone call from one of the places that asks for this stupidity.

        1. RVA Cat*

          Come on, don’t you know everybody was Queen of France (Marie-Antoinette) or Egypt (Cleopatra) in their former life?

          1. Specialk9*

            Was it Dr Who where someone was walked through all their prior lives – slave, died in childbirth; serf; serf; peasant – instead of the Marie Antoinette they had imagined?

            1. Rachel Paterson*

              I don’t remember it from DW, but in Red Dwarf, it’s revealed that one character was, in a past life, Alexander the Great…’s chief eunuch :)

              1. Hornswoggler*

                Read Mary Renault’s The Persian Boy and you may feel differently about whether this is funny/bad/embarrassing or not!

      2. PSB*

        Ooh, that’d make a great truth the next time somebody insists on playing Two Truths and a Lie!


    6. Cute Li'l UFO*

      That is absolutely hilarious! I will cop to putting that on my old dating profile and I got a fair number of responses indicating that the reader had to google it. I always did wonder if someone either had the jokesterness or gumption to put it on a resume…

    7. Oxford Coma*

      This would have been good if she was applying to be a writer of Dad Jokes, but I’m guessing that’s not a real thing.

      1. Totally Minnie*

        One of my coworkers is a writer of dad jokes. But I don’t think anyone’s ever paid him for that service.

      1. Stormfeather*

        I’d argue it’s probably not technically true because if she just graduated, she wouldn’t have been old enough 12 years ago to likely be part of that target audience/group that Time magazine was talking about.

    8. BetterOffNow*

      I think that’s clever. In a creative role, that may have gotten her an interview.

      1. The Opening Act*

        Nah, it’s so cliched and done to death it’s ridiculous. It’s not clever or original.

    9. Feline Fine*

      I have that on my LinkedIn profile. Obviously if I were searching for a job I’d take it down. For now it’s kind of fun to see who notices it.

    10. E.*

      Yes! I saw this on a resume too! The truly shocking thing was that my coworkers didn’t think it was weird…

    1. Damn it, Hardison!*

      All my afternoon meetings got canceled. It’s like the universe wants me to be here!

  2. First time buyer*

    I’m sure there was a commenter who posted a long time ago about someone listing the fact they had birthed 5 kids vaginally on their resume

      1. Snargulfuss*

        Ding, ding, ding! Ask a Manager board game/computer game idea! (I guess it would probably be an app now, but I’m old fashioned that way.)

        1. As Close As Breakfast*

          Okay, I’m pretty much dashing off to make my own AAM Bingo board right now!

          – Wild animal is somehow involved
          – Someone breaks a bone
          – Letter is picked up by Buzzfeed
          – Secret club/society

          I’m going to let my imagination run freaking wild and then sit back and wait…

          1. Anonicat*

            Wildly inappropriate

            Your boss sucks and isn’t going to change

            What the actual F


          2. Pebbles*

            – Hanukkah balls
            – It’s not as bad as having cancer

            You know, this would make an awesome drinking game, but it’d be difficult to get through a single letter taking shots on some of these…

          3. Mel R*

            – I injured a colleague and now I’m in trouble, how do I blame them?
            – A colleague injured me and now I’M in trouble, how do I fix this?

      2. Book Lady*

        Speaking of… I did once see a resume on which the candidate wrote that she had been on Jeopardy.

      3. AMT*

        Now I’m imagining a gynecologist trying to avoid that word on their resume. “Performed examinations, uh…down there. Diagnosed diseases of…the lady parts.”

        1. Julia*

          To be fair, gynecologists would be the only people who could use that word on their resumé – they might have fancier words for it, though.
          And now I remembered how Grey’s Anatomy censored out the word “vagina” – on a medical show. Geez.

        2. The OG Anonsie*

          Physicians don’t really list out stuff like that on a CV, though, so even then it would be pretty weird.

    1. Geneva*

      Any mention of one’s genitalia and what it accomplished should NEVER be on a resume. *clutches pearls*

    2. CoveredInBees*

      Nooooo! No No No. I thought the person who wrote something along the lines of “Daddy to Apple (age 7) and Bagel (age 5) who are on the best team in t-ball!” was bad.

      There almost no situation where reference to one’s vagina appropriate on a resume.

        1. Detective Amy Santiago*

          I am hoping that CoveredinBees changed the names to protect the children.

          Like, really REALLY hoping.

          1. Sack of Benevolent Trash Marsupials*

            Reminds me of Baby Mama: “Banjo! Wingspan! Time for your playdates!”

            1. Natalie*

              Or 30 Rock: “I was thinking of Bookcase, or maybe Hat. But Hat’s more of a girl’s name.”

              1. SavannahMiranda*

                So that’s where “Bookcase” came from!

                People where joking with me while I was pregnant about NOT naming my kid Bookcase. I was…perplexed.


                Thank you for explaining pop culture to me. (sigh) Not the first time this has happened and won’t be the last.

          2. Landshark*

            I’m 50/50. I’m a teacher, and I’ve seen some truly uncommon names between my teaching and substitute teaching experiences, such as numbers, the names of fish (think along the lines of Salmon, not Mr. Floaty), abstract concepts (along the lines of Equality), and what I can only describe as letter salad (usually by unnecessarily expanding a phonetic name, like Maereigh instead of Mary, but on a much larger scale). (Note: to protect privacy, none of these names are actual names of students I’ve had, but similar ones to give you the sense of what I mean)

            1. Bryce*

              Some kids I grew up with were twins, and the parents tried to be cute. One had a reasonable A-name and for whatever reason they didn’t like Zach and couldn’t think of another Z-name so they named the other kid just Z. Last I heard he was going by Zed, which aint bad.

              1. Specialk9*

                Zane, Zebulon, Zebediah, Zeus, Zade, Zander (though it should be Xander, but meh), Zeke.

                Not that YOU really need this list, and actually Zed ain’t bad, but man.

                1. Lissa*

                  My girlfriend’s dog is Zander, and when I expressed irritation over the fact that it should be an X, she admitted that she agrees with me but he was adopted with a Z and so a Z it shall remain. I grudgingly accepted this.

                  But if you’re gonna name something Xander, take the opportunity to use the X!

                2. Hornswoggler*

                  Zander is a type of fish – the pike-perch, if I’m not mistaken. Back to fish names.

                3. Shamy*

                  My son is a Xander with an X! We call him X man for his nickname and he loves having a name that starts wuth X,

            2. blily*

              Oh God I love imagining the fish name. Mahi Mahi? Dover Sole? But I bet it was actually Trout. Because it sounds like Scout but there are already too many Scouts out there. Or its an homage to Kilgore Trout. Or something like that.

              1. Troutwaxer*

                I am not an homage. I am the spiritual descendant of the Mongolian Monks who kept The Khan’s fish shiny.

              2. Another Software Engineer*

                I knew a guy in college named Shad – not terrible for a fish name.

            3. Specialk9*

              My sister delivered a child, and the mom named her Chlamydia.

              And you thought that was just an urban legend. Sigh. Nope.

              Iceland might be on to something with regulated cultural names. (No they’re not, that’s so xenophobic!)

              1. Julia*

                Germany only allows certain names (so Pepsi Cola was out, but Pepsi Carola was apparently accepted), and one thing that irks me is that the sex needs (needed?) to be apparent. So, if you’re Japanese and want to name your daughter Maho, but Germans think all names ending in -o are male, you have to attach a second name, let’s say Maho Jessica.

                1. attie*

                  In theory, if you’re actually Japanese (not just a German person wanting to give your kid a Japanese name) then it’s enough that the name is generally recognized as female in Japan. (For Japanese names in particular, that could get tricky…) You shouldn’t have to add a (to a Japanese person) “foreign” name just to pander to German sensibilities.

                  No idea how that’s actually handled in practice, though.

                2. Julia*

                  Really? Even if the kid has German citizenship? I’m German, but my husband is Japanese, and most double citizens I know who grew up in Germany have two first names.

                3. GermanCoffeegirl*

                  @Julia: You have to prove that it’s part of your (in this case your husband’s) cultural background and that that name exists in Japan. Additionally, it helps if the child’s surname is Japanese as well. But it also often depends on the registrar (although you can contest their decision).
                  For example, if you and your husband were German with standard German surnames (think Schmidt and Müller), you wouldn’t be allowed to name your child Jesus. But Jesús is a standard first name in Hispanic countries, so if let’s say your last name was Hernandez or Medina, then it would be allowed.

        2. RVA Cat*

          Me too. It’s got to be awkward enough for Apple Martin, esp. now that she’s 13 (!). Plus the whole thing of being Gwyneth Paltrow’s spawn….

          1. Spooky*

            Strangely enough, we’ve got Gwyneth’s Christmas card on our fridge. My roommate briefly worked for Gwyneth’s company Goop– not directly with her, of course, just for the company–back when they still had a major New York base of operations, which was apparently enough to get us on her annual Christmas card list. It’s got a very nice picture of her and the kids, including Apple. I see it every time I’m rummaging for a midnight snack.

            It’s weird.

            1. RVA Cat*

              That’s kind of cool, actually. Plus I empathize with the kids going through the divorce – that’s never easy no matter how rich or famous you are.

      1. Is pumpkin a vegetable?*

        And what’s worse, like a vaginal delivery is some kind of badge of honor! “Well at least I didn’t have a C-SECTION and prove myself a failure!” Sheesh.

        1. The New Wanderer*

          I believe the corresponding brag would be: “I survived major abdominal surgery and the attendant risks twice to ensure a safe passage for my beloved children!”

        2. Solidus Pilcrow*

          Read somewhere that in Brazil (?) a C-section scar was a mark of wealth – you could afford pay to avoid natural childbirth.

          1. Really Rosie*

            The childbirth conditions are terrible in Brazil. They’re c/s rate has been about 90% for many years. Some theories is that the men don’t want the women “ruining” their vaginas.

            1. Mela*

              Not quite…
              “Eighty-five per cent of all births in private hospitals are Caesareans, while in public hospitals the figure stands at 45%.”

              And there are about a dozen more prominent reasons other than men not wanting “ruined” vaginas…

      2. Jady*

        Not sure if it counts but it dumbfounded me at the time. I have no idea how common this is.

        Had a guy with a great looking resume. The position was working in software. Listed the had experience with a lot of the commonly used programs and (coding) languages – a core part of the job. Everything on his resume looked A+ for the position.

        He was brought into for an interview and I questioned about said programs, as there are many different ways to use them. His answers were vague and dodgy, so I asked more questions, then questions expanding to basic UI elements, and eventually why it’s listed on his resume.

        Eventually, give gives in and says:

        “Well, they used [the program] at that company.”

        He was immediately escorted out.

          1. Irene Adler*

            Geez, I can’t even get a job interview and this clown gets one by totally lying on the resume. My task is clear.

        1. selena81*

          I have to admit i may have overrated my knowledge of some programs on my resume. But i’d only overdo it a little: such that i’d still feel comfortable that i could explain away deficiencies as ‘i am just nervous, it has been a few months since i used this program, etc’.
          Outright lying seems dumb: if programming is a core part of the job then you can expect some basic questions about it (if only to establish how complex your self-written programs used to be)

        2. SavannahMiranda*

          My partner works in your field. From time to time he skype interviews people and gives them coding tests and suchnot.

          I was appalled by one candidate, a women (I was rooting for her, I was so rooting for her) who it turned out was simply *GOOGLING* the questions he was asking her, and *reading off the answers* from the top two or three sites.

          Her voice and verbiage sounded fishy, and there were lots of ummmmms with typing. He couldn’t figure out what was going on until he googled his questions as he asked them, and watched as she read non-sensical, non-sequitur, weirdly phrased non-answers back at him.

          It was bizarre. To say the least. And she was not the most bizarre candidate he has had to interview.

          The experience gave me a lot more perspective into the hiring process. And why warm bodies with a modicum of common sense can end up hired.

      3. Casuan*

        Apple & Bagel are the kids of the Menu Résumé author. He wrongly listed them under “Condiments”* which meant he got rejected in the first round because as everyone knows children should be listed as “Add-ons”… “Side Dishes” is also acceptable.
        I gotta admit that I think the Menu résumé is funny, although it should be funny in the write-it-as-a-joke-and-never-actually-send-it sense of funny. Unless the job in question was to create menus…? Even then…

        Hmmm. I need to get out more. “Midheaven” is a new term for me.
        Busy day today & I can’t wait to read this post later to decompress!

        1. A tester, not a developer*

          I thought one used a condiment to *prevent* having children?

          …I’ll see myself out.

        2. LW No More Novels*

          Honestly, a midheaven sign is an Astrological deep cut. I only knew about it because I had a friend in highschool who was super into astrology and would make full charts for everything.

        3. selena81*

          maybe it could work if he applied as a cook at a not-too-posh place

          but in general i’d say funny resumees are only advisable in the creative sector (and even there only in jobs that specifically ask for ‘original-thinking’ candidates)

        1. selena81*

          those movies of girls pushing out baseballs need to get their actresses somewhere…

      4. Artemesia*

        People used to put a lot of personal info on resumes. I had a boss who listed his wife’s name (he was like ‘John Smith’ and he listed her as ‘Shirley Johnson’. He also listed his six kids. I assumed that she had kept her name although it would have been unusual for her generation (it was unusual for mine but I did it.). So when I addressed an invitation to them, I sent it to Dr. John Smith and Ms. Shirley Johnson.

        Turns out, that was her maiden name. She was amused; he was not the sort of person who would express insult or anything negative, but I did feel like an idiot.

        1. Specialk9*

          That was 1000% on him. I didn’t take my husband’s name, and while I wouldn’t put it on a resume, that’s exactly how I get the point across in other settings.

        2. selena81*

          you were not an idiot, the fault is with that weirdo and his inability to write his wife’s proper name

    3. Oxford Coma*

      Times when you should mention method of birth on your resume: when applying to murder Macbeth.

      Other times you should mention method of birth on your resume: none.

      1. Forking Great Username*

        Ahhhhh comment of the day right here! For me, anyways. But I’m teaching Macbeth right now, so I have some obvious bias.

    4. Totally Minnie*

      I got my first resume listing “Wife and Mother” as a job title this year. And I get it. Raising kids is a lot of work. But it’s not really relevant to the clerical position you’re applying for.

      1. Bryce*

        I think part of that may be the stress of “how do I list an employment gap?” I know it’s causing me quite a headache.

    5. Shamy*

      I once made mention of my breasts and struggles I had to overcome to breastfeed my children in my cover letter. The interview was full of tales of mastitis and poor milk supply due to hemorrhaging from a retained placenta…

      In my defense, the position was for a breastfeeding peer counselor that asked that counselors have personal experience breastfeeding and be able to recognize danger signs of complications in the mothers as this was an extremely low income area with poor access to prenatal care. Meeting with the peer counselors could be one of the only times some issues came up that would allow them to be urged to seek medical intervention.

      My interviewer and I actually laughed that we were talking about these things saying it was the one time you could ever imagine saying the words nipple and placenta in an interview.

      1. Landshark*

        I was so ready to cringe until I read the position title. I’m glad you and the interviewer were able to laugh about the unusual nature of the situation!

        1. Pomona Sprout*

          Yeah, at first I wondered “Why would somebody admit this at AAM?” Then I saw the job title, and, well…..

          1. Shamy*

            I figured people would be amused at the whole situation because I know I felt so weird mentioning it at all, but it was all definitely legitimate.

  3. Odyssea*

    Her name, degrees, marital status, religion, her husband’s names and degrees and her parents’ names and degrees. She didn’t have any experience in the field we were looking for (neither did her husband or parents).

    1. Future Homesteader*

      Hmmm. I know some of those things are common in other countries, but is there *any* place where parents’ degrees are common?

      1. Rhababerbabara*

        Yes, actually! Here in Germany, it was (and sometimes still is) a common question, especially for young candidates. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone listed their parents occupation and/or degrees on their resumes – although this question is, thank God, less and less common nowadays (and, if you ask me, kind of discriminatory, so I hope people get out of the habit of asking it. Also, it doesn’t tell you anything about the applicant or their qualifications, so why ask it anyways?)

        1. pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

          Would this be a hold over from a time when children were expected to follow their parents professions…like, father was a mason, his father was a mason, and so forth going back several more generations…so there might be trade secrets that only the Braun family might know? I’m just trying to come up with a logical train of thought on this.

          1. Indoor Cat*

            Er, basically, imo, the prejudice is kind of intentional? Like, having well-educated parents as well as being well-educated yourself means you’re intrinsically smart / intelligent as opposed to “just” good at studying and passing exams. I’m not sure what kind of “-ism” you’d call it; I haven’t really come across it in the United States, I think, because there is such a high value of individualism here (which has its downsides too, but not being judged based on your parents’ careers is a definite upside).

            It is also common in South Korea, and has become controversial; South Korean president Moon Jae-in wants to ban discrimination based on family / ancestry like they ban discrimination based on race & gender, and make it unlawful to ask about parents’ education and careers in interviews. It has ignited a big debate. Which I appreciate, for what it’s worth; I do not believe smartness / intelligence is hereditary so much, and I think it’s just as good to work hard and study as it is to be naturally smart. But, that may be a very American viewpoint.

            1. Jules the 3rd*

              Well, my dad taught college biology, and used to have me take his tests to check if they were good or too hard. I know a lot more about haploids / diploids, genetics, latin, and multi-species anatomy than shows on any transcript. I have, however, forgotten how to breed the half-female / half-male fruitfly with different colored eyes and wing shapes.

              It has been useful sometimes, when talking to science-types. Was very useful when I was manager of a book store.

              1. Jules the 3rd*

                It should not, of course, ever be used to determine whether I’d be any good at a *job*.

              2. nonymous*

                My boss regularly sends my coworker home with work questions for her in-laws (they’re statistics professors, we’re a statistics group). I’m pretty sure in his mind that’s part of her skill set, access to Prof XYZ for consulting.

              3. BenAdminGeek*

                ” I have, however, forgotten how to breed the half-female / half-male fruitfly with different colored eyes and wing shapes.”

                First, you set the mood….

              4. Lone Rhino*

                “I have, however, forgotten how to breed the half-female / half-male fruitfly with different colored eyes and wing shapes.”

                You can honestly say that you have forgotten more about fruitflies that I will ever know.

            2. Adult Ed Professor*

              I agree this doesn’t provide any real information in how to evaluate a job candidate. However, intelligence is actually inheritable although there is regression to the mean. Intelligence does not equate to hard working

                1. Ali*

                  Truly, only a genius would be able to parlay something as fantastic as cheese buying into paid employment.

              1. Julia*

                But just because my parents never had the chance to go to university (after the war etc.), the interviewer shouldn’t get to extrapolate that I’m uneducated and dumb. This is classism.

                1. Ali*

                  Yep. My father has no formal qualifications and is an amateur astronomer and worked in aeronautics for decades. My mother went back to university and got a teaching degree in her early 30’s after topping all her highschool classes including the highest level maths class her school had. It’s 100% prejudiced to assume people are stupid because they don’t have a formal education and pretty creepy to be honest, given how much persecution is based on “who your people are”.

            3. Annabelle*

              I think the -ism you’re looking for is “classism.” We definitely have some of the “Jane’s parents are high school drop outs so she’ll probably drop out too” type stuff in the States, but it tends to manifest in a bunch of different ways.

            4. Djuna*

              I work with dude who spent 10 minutes filling me in on his family’s accomplishments during our first conversation, and sputtered when I asked him what I was supposed to take from that. I was hoping he’d twig that I found his “my superior genes” spiel fatuous, but no such luck.

              Spoiler: He’s not half as clever as he thinks he is. But boy howdy is he not shy about claiming to be brilliant.

            5. MM*

              That would be classism (selecting for longer-term family money and “accomplishment”), and we absolutely do have it here in the US; we just communicate it in a more informal/less paper-trailed way. Like if I were to apply for a job and, in the interview, upon hearing that one of my interviewers went to Wharton, mention that so did my father (he didn’t, I’m just creating an example). Or just even having gone to certain colleges or high schools (Andover, Hotchkiss, etc.), much like the Eton set in the UK, is often seen as a class indicator. Obviously the latter isn’t 100% certain, but people find other ways to figure it out (clothes, speech, swapping stories about ski trips, what have you).

              My mom works with a nonprofit that helps get kids stuck in bad school districts into scholarships at these prestige secondary schools in an effort to offer them access to a different trajectory, and over the years they’ve been running this program they’ve found they have to do more and more cultural support to help their alums succeed. Just getting yourself into an Andover isn’t necessarily enough if you don’t know how to navigate that environment, or you’re uncomfortable in environments your classmates will take for granted. At this point they offer support all the way into college for these kids because otherwise they end up really struggling.

          2. John*

            I always assumed that it’s a proxy for candidates’ work ethic and maybe cultural fit, not inherited intelligence per se. But either way, it’s discriminatory.

        2. John*

          Yup, I was taught in school how to write a resume, and it included parent’s profession. This was Germany ca. 2001. I believe you can leave this information off your resume today without a problem. On the other hand, HR still wants your CV to include a head shot, DOB and nationality.

          1. Jules the 3rd*

            I can sorta see ‘citizen or not’ because of work visa requirements, but the rest – no. Just no.

            1. HRH the Emperor Kuzco*

              It’s very common in the EU to include a head shot on your CV. Certainly took me aback when I was applying for a position in Europe. Most of my friends/coworkers who have done work there have mentioned it’s something that’s not even commented on.

          2. nonymous*

            When I was cleaning out Dad’s old paperwork, his CV included headshot, DOB, nationality (including heritage) and marital status! US ca. 1960

          3. mooocow*

            I live in Germany and have never heard this advice. If someone applied to our team and put their parents’ education in their resume, that would give us serious doubts. Not sure if it would be an insta-reject, but I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind doing that.
            I’ve also never included my birth date, but that is standard in Germany.

            I do include the head shot and people would find it very odd if you didn’t. I think that could cost you the job.

            1. She's One Crazy Diamond*

              Just curious, why is so important to include a photo and a red flag if you don’t? Does it make it seem like the person is hiding their identity if it’s a norm and they don’t follow it? I am glad that I know this now though, because if I was a hiring manager and had no idea including a headshot was normal in other countries I would probably have been judgmental towards the candidate.

              1. Julia*

                I always just thought it’s to put a face to the applicant and maybe see if they can dress professionally. And of course, to discriminate against people who the hiring manager deems too old or too un-German, but since that information is included in the resume anyway (name, date of birth), I’m not sure that’s it.

              2. MM*

                One of my old Spanish teachers, who’s from Venezuela, said that there a head shot was expected and it was pretty much meant to make it easy for employers to discriminate racially. I’m not sure if it was a super explicit thing, but the way she talked about it it seemed like if it wasn’t explicit, it was an open secret–something everyone knows and nobody says.

                1. attie*

                  Yeah, the cynic in me immediately went to “how else would you weed out the people who wear headscarves.” Since the courts have confirmed that that is perfectly legal to do and all…

            2. GermanCoffeegirl*

              Listing your parents’ professions on a CV used to be a thing you did when applying for an apprenticeship. After finishing your apprenticeship/job training (and applying for your first “real” job), you could omit that information. When I applied for apprenticeships in 1998, this was still normal, but as far as I know this is not supposed to be done anymore.

          4. Ace*

            I’ve been gainfully employed in Germany as a job counsellor since 2010 and can verify that you absolutely DO NOT include that information and it would be weird to do so.

            Yes to the photo, DOB, and nationality though!

          5. nay*

            Well, what they teach you in school is not always real life! I habe NEVER seen a CV that listed the parents’ professions. Maybe if you are in 9th grade applying for a 2 week internship but even if you apply for an apprenticeship after 10th grade, you wouldn’t list your parents names etc. Who does that?? (I live in Germany too… and yes, I remember that from school as well but that was, well, many years ago, it is NOT a thing anymore. I need to say that so the American readers don’t think we are loons!)

        3. Typhon Worker Bee*

          I mentioned that both my parents are high school teachers in my interview for my current job, which does a lot of work with educators and the school system in general – but it was in context, came up organically, and was NOT on any of my application materials!

          1. Mallory*

            Yes, I brought up the fact that my parents met at the school I now work at during my interview, but just as a friendly aside before I gave a serious answer to the question (“What do you know about X school?”).
            In my case it was the reverse of the prestige game mentioned in other replies… I have degrees from much fancier schools, and was worried that the interviewers would think I didn’t care about the less prestigious local school I was applying to work for.

      2. Bagpuss*

        Interesting. It’n not done here, although when I applied for a job where positive vetting was required I had to provide the names and dates and places of birth of my parents and grandparents and their nationalities. I can’t now remember (it was a long time ago) whether having a parent or grandparent who had not been a UK citizen from birth would have excluded me for consideration or simply resulted in more in-depth vetting. But even then they didn’t want their occupations, just where they came from.
        It also had fun questions about whether I had ever been a member of any terrorist organisation or been involved in trying to overthrow the government .
        I didn’t get the job, although not, as far as I know, because of the vetting!

        1. Angie*

          It sounds like that job had some sort of security clearance requirements. Those are typical questions when vetting someone for a background check.

          1. One of the Sarahs*

            Yeah, it’s standard background check things. Having parents born in a different country doesn’t rule someone out, but it might make the process a bit longer.

        2. Julia*

          Does anyone ever truthfully answer “sure, I’ve been a member of X and Y terror organisation”?

          1. Wintermute*

            in the U.K. it’s slightly different because some of the partied to the Troubles in Ireland are tied to legitimate political parties and there’s been a limited amnesty in other ways as I understand it and a lot of “supporter, but not fighter” types as well wh0 probably have either willingly or unwittingly supported or held nominal membership in a terrorist organization. It would probably disqualify you from holding a security clearance, but it’s not as unthinkable as other places.

    2. rosiebyanyothername*

      I read a resume recently that had the candidate’s religion listed… still very unsure as to why.

      1. Ella*

        Maybe they’re trying to tell you which holidays they’ll be unable to work on? (Not saying that makes it better, but hey, it’s a theory.)

      2. Angela B.*

        I’ve seen this a lot on older resumes from the south, usually in the context of the person saying they’re a member of such and such church. Also not uncommon for men to list the names of their wives and kids to prove they’re “family men.” Not sure if this is still common practice though.

        1. Anonymoosetracks*

          Yeah, I got one a few years ago from an older Mormon man- all facts I know because he listed his church affiliations, his wife’s name, the names of all of his children and their spouses, and the names and ages of all his grandchildren. It made me so, so uncomfortable.

        2. Ella*

          Can you imagine the letters to Alison if this was common practice? “Alison, I’ve been in the workplace a few years, but my lack of status as a ‘family man’ has been holding me back. After much effort, my wife is pregnant, with the baby due in September! Yay! Can I put the baby on my resume now, or must I wait until it is born?” I suppose you format it the same way you would a forthcoming degree.

            1. General Ginger*

              And if you don’t have names picked out yet, that clearly shows your lack of commitment to family man status.

        3. Kelly L.*

          I remember my dad’s resume from a job search in about 1989 or so. It had his height, weight, marital status and wife’s name, and number of children. I’m not sure if this was still a thing in the 80s, or if he was just stuck in the 60s still.

            1. Kelly L.*

              Well, my dad is nothing if not super super conservative (in the small-c sense, though also politically).

            2. Irene Adler*

              My Dad’s resumes from the ’60s had this stuff. He even included his parents info and the fact that both were deceased. AND, he included a rundown of bodily scars, marks, hair color, eye color, etc.

              1. Specialk9*

                What the even.

                I mean, people are still ALIVE from then, but it’s like an episode of Outlander where she has to snuggle antibiotics in her hem when she goes way back in time.

        4. Geillis D*

          I attended a talk by a self-proclaimed HR specialist who opened her talk with “Hi, I’m Petunia, wife of Vernon and mother to my darling Dudley and Prunella”, then went on to warn us of not including personal tidbits on your job interview. That was cringe-worthy in ways I haven’t thought possible.

          1. Lance*

            So she was basically saying ‘don’t do what I just did’? That’s… impressive, in its own way.

          2. wendelenn*

            I’m Geillis, widow of Arthur Duncan and widow of Mr. Abernathy and widow of Greg Edgars (Hmm, imagine that, widowed THREE times). . . and mother of Dougal MacKenzie’s child, though I’ve no idea where or when he is.

            (Hope I have your reference right, Ms D!)

            1. Annie Moose*

              Coincidentally just been rereading that particular series… (although I’m in the second book, where she’s either presumed dead or still Gillian depending on your timeframe!)

        5. PSB*

          One of the Protestant denominations common in the south used to have (might still have?) a rule that only men who had multiple children could serve in a particular lay leadership position in their local church- elder, deacon, something like that. My wife’s grandfather was permanently ineligible because my father-in-law was an only child, despite being a loyal, active member for decades.

          Might be irrelevant but that tidbit popped into my head when I wondered why someone would put that on their resume, so I thought I’d share.

          1. Plague of frogs*

            “Sorry, Jesus, you can’t be a leader in our church. You’re not a family man.”

            1. She's One Crazy Diamond*

              Actually, a lot of people who believe that Jesus had a wife and children point out that if he didn’t have a wife and children he probably wouldn’t have been allowed to be a rabbi and definitely would’ve been considered a weirdo.

              1. Specialk9*

                I mean, he would have ended up slaughtered by the Romans when they destroyed the 2nd Temple, or a slave in Babylon, anyway. Assuming his health held.

              2. Chinook*

                And that without children of hidden, people would have given him the side eye for encouraging the children to come to him (because some sins are both timeless and cross cultures).

          2. SadieMae*

            I know a guy who was the head of the local Promise Keepers chapter. (For those who may not have heard of PK, it’s an evangelical men’s support group where men encourage each other to be faithful husbands.) He’d been head of it for several years. Then it came out that he had also been cheating on his wife for several years. He and the wife divorced when she found out, and almost immediately afterward, he married the mistress (who was also a member of their church!).

            And the guy *stayed on* as head of the church’s Promise Keepers chapter. I kid you not. I always wondered how that worked. Did he tell the other members, “I do devoutly believe a husband should be faithful to his wife! And I stumbled, but now I’ve renewed my commitment to be a faithful husband. To my new wife. OK?”

            1. Julia*

              > an evangelical men’s support group where men encourage each other to be faithful husbands

              What the what? They need support groups for that??

            2. All. Is. On.*

              That’s exactly what he told the other members. And it’s exactly what he’ll tell them next time it happens.

            3. She's One Crazy Diamond*

              Christianity is a great religion for hypocrites and liars because if you get caught, you can just tell Jesus you’re sorry and everything is fine.

              Yes I know that’s not how it’s really supposed to work and that most Christians are not like that, but it does seem that a lot of people misuse their faith that way.

      3. ThatGirl*

        I played up my church connections once, when applying for a church-published magazine job. Seemed relevant then, but nowhere else.

        1. CoveredInBees*

          Seriously. It needs to be directly relevant. For a company that catered to parents of children the same age as my son, I mentioned that (after discussing all of my other qualifications) in a cover letter. In another application, you needed a strong working knowledge of Jewish theology and practices so I referenced active participation in my synagogue. Again, after listing other qualifications.

          1. MistressFluffybutt*

            I didn’t list it on my resume but when I applied to work for a yarn store I did mention that I have been knitting since I was 8, and that I also crochet and embroider. But I often field pattern help questions and I wanted to ask if there was a discount lol.

          1. ThatGirl*

            Thanks! I’m not really that religious, but happy Easter to you too! (Or Pesach if you are Jewish…)

            1. Specialk9*

              Thanks for saying this. My coworker wished us all a happy Easter, which is awkward because a third of us are Jewish. I wished him back a happy Passover, but it just made it weird and he clearly took it as a rebuke. There’s no good response I’ve found to default Christian holiday greetings that doesn’t sound either churlish or erasing.

              1. ThatGirl*

                I tend not to wish people happy Easter or anything because I don’t know your life, you know! Unless someone brings it up first. I’ve had customers wish me a happy Easter and I’ll say “you too”… I did wish one customer happy Passover, but only after she asked if a product was kosher with no leaveners!

                1. Kelsi*

                  “Have a great holiday!” seems to work better this time of year…I think because conservative Christians forget there ARE any other potential holidays right now, and so assume you mean Easter. I certainly have never gotten the huffy pushback that I get for saying Happy Holidays in December.

        2. PSB*

          I once had to hurriedly become a formal member of a church I’d attended for several years so I could apply for a job at a university affiliated with the church’s denomination.

      4. Hedgehog*

        In Indonesia, your religion is listed on your national identity card, and it’s asked on every single type of form you ever have to fill in. (There are only six legal religions in Indonesia; you’re required by law to belong to one of them, though it’s generally fine not to practice it.) Maybe the person was from somewhere like that?

        Or maybe the candidate had been previously applying for a job at a religiously-affiliated institution and forgot to take that line off?

        1. Observer*

          I think that the religion bit is the least weird, though the most inappropriate. The weirdest is the parent information, I think.

        2. No Green No Haze*

          That’s what I love about AAM: learning fascinating facts about cultural norms and unfamiliar business practices is almost as much fun as hearing horror stories about the fish microwavers and graveside-note-leavers.

          1. SometimesALurker*

            Agreed! And ideas that it seem completely bizarre become a little less bizarre in context, but even more interesting.

        3. Specialk9*

          My mouth is agape at the 6 mandatory religion options being on every ID. It’s like they’re trying to organize and encourage religious tensions.

          1. MM*

            A lot of Arab countries are like this too. I dunno if you’d have to list it on a job application, but it’d be on your ID. I think Pakistan is the same. Lebanon still doesn’t even have the option of a civil, non-religious marriage, which means if you’re marrying someone of a different religion you have to go to Cyprus or something to get it done. But in a lot of such places you can kind of guess anyway by the name, in a lot of cases (though it’s definitely not a sure thing–I met a Lebanese Christian who had the most Shi’a Muslim sounding name imaginable once, and he told me a lot of stories about misunderstandings due to his name).

            1. Chinook*

              That happens in Ireland too if you know the surnames. Turns out my mom and I were the oddball Catholics sporting a Protestant name when we would visit my dad’s family back home. I could see that causing confusion the first time we visited in the 70’s if my mom had turned down the offer to go to mass in Belfast.

        4. Cornflower Blue*

          Same in Sri Lanka. You have to give the office your religious affiliation and that’ll determine which holidays you are allowed to take off. I’m an atheist but had to put down ‘Buddhist’ just because atheist is not an option and I was at least raised Buddhist.

          1. Jules the 3rd*

            Yeah, this is kinda normal in the US South.

            It is Kinda Weird to run at the state level in, say, North Carolina, and not mention religion, except in some liberal pockets. It is also generally noteworthy when non-Christians run or win even at lower levels. I can think of some Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Hindi who have won locally, but never an atheist, and very very few non-Christians at the state level.

            Hmmm – I never even checked my state rep, whose parents moved here from India.

            1. She's One Crazy Diamond*

              Even in national elections, the fact that the Kennedys, John Kerry, and Joe Biden are Catholic and Bernie Sanders is Jewish was a big deal. So I’m not surprised it would be an even bigger deal in southern states.

              1. Specialk9*

                Really? Definitely agree about JFK, there was question about whether the Pope would secretly pull his strings. (Again this was in living memory, but yegods it feels like something from the Dark Ages.)

                I didn’t know Kerry’s faith. And isn’t Joe Biden Jewish? (I thought he went to the temple with the rabbi who was spying on women in the mikveh / ritual bath.)

                Then again I laughed at a Protestant friend who was agonizing over whether to marry a Catholic by asking some pointed questions about the respective literalism vs symbolism of their ritual cannibalism. She married him, so it worked? But I may not be tuned into this.

                1. She's One Crazy Diamond*

                  Yup, Kerry and Biden are both Catholic. While Kerry was running for president, he ran on a pro-choice platform and the church he went to wouldn’t allow him to participate in Communion because he openly disagreed with his faith. I don’t think it was as big of a deal for Biden, maybe it would’ve been if he was president and not vice president, but he has definitely talked about his faith and how he holds certain beliefs personally but will not let that influence his policy since policy is supposed to be about what the country wants and not him.

                  I only care because I was raised Catholic, and while I am not practicing, I’ve met a lot of Protestant Christians and Jewish people alike who have said ignorant and bigoted things to me about it.

            2. Kallisti*

              There are seven states that don’t allow atheists to hold office, so depending on where you live it might actually be illegal for them to run. I’m just waiting for someone to challenge it in the supreme court…

        1. Coincidences*

          I have, on my desk right now, a Congressional fact book listing the same for all of the Federal legislators, in and among other information.

      5. Kelly George*

        I read one (years ago) that – as the cover letter – contained an 8×10 color photo of (what I assume was) the applicant with a controversial religious figure.

        It was a no for us.

      6. ReadItWithSpanishAccent*

        I see this A LOT, specially when receiving applications from South East Asia or the Indian continent. Rarely in African applications and almost never in European or American. But a good 80% of EA applications come with religion. They are specific (i.e., not just “Religion: Muslim” but “Religion: Muslim (Sunni)” for example).
        I don’t know if this is a thing in other countries but it makes me cringe. Religion do not belong in a resumé.

      7. GingerHR*

        This is information that is collected in Northern Ireland – businesses have to report on it every year. I don’t work there so I don’t know the full detail, but it’s more denominational about whether you are Protestant or Catholic rather than other religions, to make sure that there isn’t discrimination along sectarian lines.

        1. Specialk9*

          My husband used to work for a university, where on the one hand they were allowed to ask but NOT require demographic information, but on the other were *required* to report on that demographic data to the government to get funding. So when people didn’t tell them their ethnicity, say, they had to guess, using often racist assumptions based on their name or color of their skin. It made them feel SO shady, and mad.

          1. Cautionary tail*

            Years ago, at the end of the summer I was hired by a company that did this. I intentionally left the ethnicity section of the application blank so HR picked my ethnicity and they put a check in a box. In February I was called into HR for lying on my application about my ethnicity on the application. Apparently the HR person picked that I was Hispanic, and in the months since the end of summer, my deep tan faded so I no longer looked Hispanic. I explained that they picked my ethnicity, not me and they walked away from the inquisition with their tails between their legs.

            1. Ali*

              Wow. Even if you had been Hispanic, were they seriously questioning your identity on the basis of skin colour? That’s like saying a North Italian isn’t ethnically Italian because they can be blonde and blue-eyed. There are fair Hispanic people! That HR department just sounds like they’re begging for a lawsuit.

          2. Slartibartfast*

            Well that explains why I was once listed as Hispanic because I speak Spanish as a second language and had a tan.

            1. ReadItWithSpanishAccent*

              I am Spanish and I never know what to answer to be honest. Sometimes I can choose between “white” or “hispanic”, but sometimes I can choose between “white” and “Hispanic or Spanish”. I have asked several American colleagues and all have given me different answers, ranging from “You are European, so white of course” to “you should put Latino” and probably the most sensible one “you look white, so put white”
              To be honest, I don’t really understand what “white” is supposed to mean, either.

              1. whingedrinking*

                I once put down my nationality as “anglo-Canadian” and it triggered a demand from an onlooker that I explain why I didn’t just say “Canadian”. I said that in this context (it was information for a sociological study) I felt it made sense to distinguish between, at minimum, francophone and anglophone Canada, which have fairly significant cultural differences. The onlooker almost had a meltdown and insisted I was just “normal Canadian, like [him]”. Most likely because I’m Caucasian, speak English as a first language, and have two Caucasian parents who were also born in this country.
                So to me, that’s what white is – the defensive belief that hyphens are for *other* people.

                1. Chinook*

                  Are you kidding? I thought every “normal” Canadian atleast understood that there is a cultural difference between Anglos and Francos. You must have found the one who missed the news about 2 referendums?

                  As for me, I usually get to fill out multiple boxes because I am an immigrant,s daughter, an Anglo speaker as well as the descendent of French Canadians with a dash of Metis (but not status since that line was raised French and not Indian). I would laugh at the forms given by American head offices because “white” just seems wrong.

          3. Kelsi*

            We have this problem at the nonprofit where I work! We have to report racial demographics to our funders (because they want to support minority folks getting education and support in our field, which is great), but of course we can’t require people to report, which means a lot of uncomfortable “well it looked like X people of [Ethnicity], Y people of [Other Ethnicity], and I’m not sure about this person so put down Multiracial.”

            Like you said, it’s gross and requires us to make some pretty shitty assumptions.

    3. BIODATA is our resume back then*

      Back in the day, these are bought from neighbourhood stores to fill up when applying for jobs. They’re called biodata. Google images biodata and you’ll see samples- it literally is your biography lol
      -from an Asian country

    4. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      She was a crazy applicant, like I had never seen before
      listing names and dates and stats
      and god and home and more
      I could not interview her
      and I did feel awfully bad
      She had no skills that I required
      She did not have a chance
      (She had no talents I desired)
      Nor did her Husband or her cousins or her aunts.

      1. Clorinda*

        Ha, that took me a minute! I read it the second time with music and rhythm, and it’s great.

            1. SkyePilot*

              Oh! I JUST saw Pirates of Penzance this week. It makes sense now and fits quite nicely :)

              1. Decima Dewey*

                You’ll note that after Hebe accepts Sir Joseph Porter’s proposal, she immediately says he has to say “goodbye to your sisters and cousins and your aunts. Especially your cousins, whom you reckon up by dozens…”

    5. SavannahMiranda*

      Honestly that sounds…European? I briefly lived in the EU and considered for a while trying to enter the job market there. The things that are expected, required, or regularly put on CVs surprised and sometimes appalled me. Like one’s photo (for ease of age, gender, and race discrimination!) and marital status (just….no, why!?). But one’s parent’s names and degrees? Yeah that’s a little much.

  4. Queen of Cans & Jars*

    I hire a lot of entry level production workers, so I see all kinds of interesting things. Recently, I had one that read:
    Elaine Benes
    And went on to detail why she had PTSD and how she’s walked out of several jobs because of it.

    1. Wendy Darling*

      “Let me tell you about my ADA-protected disability and then explain in detail how it makes me an undesirable employee!” I wonder if she actually wanted a job or if she was just trying to tee up her discrimination lawsuit.

      1. Adereterial*

        I have a very good friend that has cerebral palsy – she needs some quite extensive adjustments to work. She used to mention it in her covering letters ‘to be upfront’ and really struggled to get interviews. She really wanted to work though.

        I convinced her to leave it out, and disclose only when offered a physical interview. She started getting interviews pretty quickly after that and landed a job shortly afterwards. She’s been there a year now.

        1. Indoor Cat*

          This happens a lot! I have two friends who are blind programmers / coders. I know nothing about the field of computer science, but I guess it’s about as easy to write code blind as it is to write code sighted– if you’re good at it, you’re good at it. All they need is a software thing so they can hear what’s on the screen.

          One of them it took forever to convince to leave the fact that he’s blind and prefers specific software accomodations out of his cover letter. In talking face-to-face, it becomes clear that he’s easygoing, the software is inexpensive and compatible with lots of things, and he’s a talented code-writer. But in the cover letter the request comes across as demanding or anxious, even though he didn’t intend it that way.

          And he was only convinced after the other blind CS student got a job right away and told him that exact advice– just don’t bring it up until the interview. Worked out fine.

        2. AnotherLibrarian*

          I also have a dear friend with cerebral palsy who had the same experience. Once she stopped mentioning it on cover letters or resumes, her interview rate went way up.

        3. Bryce*

          Yeah, this is a tough one. I’m almost obsessive about not tiptoeing around my depression and anxiety because, while I don’t want to go into situations having made it a “thing”, there was a time in my life where trying to handle it was made much worse by trying to keep people from noticing there was anything to be handled.

        4. laylaaaaaah*

          Yeah, I sent off a bunch of applications once where the forms were all ‘please let us know if you have any disabilities/other protected qualities! This will be kept completely secret from the hiring manager, it’s just for our equality records!’

          Once I stopped believing them, and stopped mentioning the fact that I’m hard of hearing (and also made it a lot less obvious that I was gay), like magic, I started getting job offers.

      2. NCKat*

        Years ago when I first started job-hunting while in college, most applications requested you to list any disabilities you had. I’m so thankful those days are gone (I hope!).

        1. Coincidences*

          Most applications these days include the federal form where you can disclose gender / race / disability but also can check of the “decline to answer” boxes, so at least there’s that.

          1. Wendy Darling*

            I participated in some hiring at a large company that had those forms and we never saw the applicants’ info. It went into some kind of HR data vault that was used for stats and never got to the people making the hiring decisions. As far as I know not only was it not offered to us, but there was no way for us to access it if we decided we wanted it.

          2. She's One Crazy Diamond*

            I always check the box that I am disabled but do not specify what my condition is. It’s a highly stigmatized mental illness but I am high functioning and the furthest thing from the grossly inaccurate stereotype most people have in their heads of my condition so I don’t feel safe telling anyone unless I know they personally have experience with it themselves. I wouldn’t check the box at all except that some jobs give preference to disabled people and since I experience discrimination because of it I do feel like I deserve that special consideration when employers are willing to.

            1. Specialk9*

              I’m sorry it’s so hard for you. Do employers not require proof of disability? Or can you just get a doctor/etc to say ‘they’re disabled’?

              1. She's One Crazy Diamond*

                A lot of times they do when they do preferential hiring. I have my doctor fill out a form with my diagnosis and only HR gets to see it, I never tell my manager or coworkers anything more than “I have a health condition that requires me to take more sick days than the average person” and I don’t consider it lying because my mental illness has a physical cause.

                1. Triumphant Fox*

                  Even if it was only psychological, this wording would be fine to me. I would never read this as lying and I don’t think you should ever have to share more than that.

    2. CanCan*

      Maybe she didn’t want the job but was required to apply for jobs to keep she employment insurance benefits.

      1. Queen of Cans & Jars*

        That thought did cross my mind, but I’ve had enough WTF applications cross my desk, that it’s entirely possible that she thought it was a good idea to put it in her application.

    3. Anon-ana*

      While conducting interviews for a heavily customer-oriented role, the question “A belligerent customer comes up to you with a complaint, how do you respond?” comes up. Now, I think the wording is awkward, yes, but….
      Girl starts talking about how when she was little her dad was an alcoholic and beat her and her mom. Just lays it right out there.
      She was not offered a job.

    4. Julia*

      At first I thought that maybe she thought PTSD was a thing like a PhD, but apparently I was wrong.

  5. HR Lady*

    Marketing admin role. 9 page resume. The first two pages detailed, in length, his career as a street hypnotist. It was a glorious full narrative. The other seven pages was a slightly more standard resume, but for each role/item was a sprawling, full narrative.

    Still though, two pages detailing his career as a street hypnotist. I mean, I think his hypnotism skills maybe worked because I have never forgotten that resume and I did spend a full twenty minutes reading through it, occasionally reading particular gems out loud to colleagues…

    I have seen some very, very odd things on job applications and resumes in my time but nothing has ever topped this.

      1. HR Lady*

        I have never, ever so much regretted the Data Protection Act as on that day. It was glorious, it really was. And to be fair, he had made an effort to link it to how it was relevant to a marketing role!

        1. Akcipitrokulo*

          Unfortunately I think the previous occupation would be unusual enough to qualify as identifying data! It’s a shame though :)

    1. Night Cheese*

      Two pages? Maybe he thought he could hypnotize you through the written word? Did you feel sleepy?

      1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

        That’s where I was going. Like the meter of the text would create a need to call him in your brain!

    2. Anion*

      I loved [Candidate]. He was much better than {Other Candidate]. I’m going to hire him again and again.

    3. No More Novels LW*

      So I’m not the only one who got a resume from a Magician!
      For a copywriting position, my candidate listed themselves as an entreprenur first, a Magician second, and a “Seeker of Knowledge” third (and a writer nowhere!). No education listed at all (not even at the highschool level) and experience was listed without an employer.
      The summary asserted that educational qualifications and work history were not as important as determination and decisive action.
      It turned out (in the cover letter) that all their work experience comes from a single (extremely sketchy) micromanaging small-business employer who left the country after maybe being involved in illegal activities (?!).

      We did not continue with the application after that, but it’s a shame I couldn’t introduce them to the astrologist or the indie filmmaker who applied. This candidate clearly has a story to tell and could use some direction.

  6. Is pumpkin a vegetable?*

    One lady listed in several places her experience caring for older “peppers.” I can only assume she meant people. That one still stumps me.

    Then there was the person who spelled their last name THREE different ways throughout their cover letter and resume.

        1. FoodieNinja*

          I looked at a colleague’s resume once (at her request). It had many issues, but the relevant one was that she listed, under skills, that she was “detailed oriented.”

    1. Ella*

      When you’re in the witness protection program, it can be hard to remember how to spell your new name.

    2. Turkletina*

      I know some people who spell their names several different ways seemingly on a whim. They’re almost all Arab, though. Not having vowels in your writing system gives you… a lot of options for transliteration.

      1. Observer*

        That’s actually not really true. Hebrew is similar, and while you’re going to see different transliterations, people who are not sloppy are consistent in which transliteration they choose.

        1. FCJ*

          I do see a lot more variation in Arabic names than Hebrew ones, though. I think part of it is that there’s a much longer tradition of transliterating Hebrew into English, so it’s more standardized.

          1. nonymous*

            I see it in people new to written English (not just Arabic) with a low education background. My working theory is that the English letters don’t really match up to the pronunciation in their origin language so there’s some combination of trying different ones out (to get people to say it right) with a good dose of “I don’t care, the English letters are wrong” plus “Why does it sound different coming out of the British aid workers’ mouth vs American?” and a profound lack of understanding regarding consistency in the printed word for legal documents.

            1. ReadItWithSpanishAccent*

              There is a standarized way of transcribing Arabic script to Latin, but it is not something that everybody learns. Also there are way more phonemes than graphemes for vowels in English, which makes Arab/Persian native speakers crazy. Think of “you” and “Saturday”. Those /U/ are very different! Thay is why may Arab native speakers write “Saterday”. So when they transliterate their own names, sometimes they are not sure of what vowel to use, or there isn’t a sound that truly resembles their name. A good example is a very common female name, Amina, than can be found written both as “Amina” or “Amena”. But it is not really an /i/ or an /e/ as we pronounce it there, so both transcriptions are as much correct as they are wrong.

              1. Nita*

                I know immigrants who must surely struggle to spell their name consistently… when you have to go to an agency in your home country to apply to immigrate to the USA, they decide how to transliterate your name into English. Some of the people doing this have very little clue how English names are normally spelled, and will take a very easy name and make alphabet soup with it. A good friend of mine has twice as many letters in her (fairly common in English) name as a result, and I have to double-check my phone contacts every time I try to write it down.

              2. MM*

                Yeah, I’ve noticed national variations as well. Like Egyptians seem to be convinced that the letter E in English is always pronounced as “ee,” so they use it in places that a native speaker might pick an I or a Y. People from the Levant seem to be less prone to this.

              3. Mad Baggins*

                True for many other languages as well! Japan has a pretty standard romanization system and people still misspell their own names. Thailand doesn’t have a standard transliteration method and the signs there were different every time!

                1. “Stephanie”*

                  I am from the US and my name is spelled “Stephanie”. When I have lived in Spanish-speaking countries, this was a problematic spelling, so I used “Estefaní” or “Estefania”. Locals often spelled it “Sthefany” if attempting to spell it in their idea of American English. And this is all within the Latin alphabet! It was not easy to re-find me in a registry based on my first name.

                2. Julia*

                  I go to grad school with a guy named Yuuki, with a long U, who spells his own names as Yuki and then complains that “all the foreigners” mispronounce his name on sight. Needless to say, he’s not my favorite person (he’s also sexist and hates foreigners).

        2. Specialk9*

          I’m sorry, Observer, but that’s not what I saw *at all*.

          In 5 minutes’ time I saw three different spellings for my town on the Israeli street signs (which have Hebrew, Arabic, and English transliteration). They were made by the same town planners, who presumably could have made multiple copies of the base sign, but instead made all these variations

          Even a super easy town like Akko / Acko / Ako / Aqo had this wild disparity.

          It was so weird, because English has all agreed on standard spelling of these towns, and Israelis have both the internet and native speakers everywhere.

          1. M Dubz*

            I am literally commenting for the first time ever to tell the story of the Post Office on Shopen Street. I was living in Jerusalem, and I get a package notification to pick up from the Post Office on Shopen Street. I have no idea where this is. I google it, nada. I ask other people in my study abroad program, nothing. I ask the director of the program, she has no idea. We finally, after several days, work out that it was actually the Post Office on Chopin Street, which is the street that the Jerusalem Theater is on, and that I would walk down about once a week. I go and get my package, thinking I have won. The next time I walk down that street, they’re closing the post office.

      2. Annabelle*

        Eh, it’s probably not on a whim. I’m Arab and my family has used a bunch of different name spellings over the years, and I’m pretty sure most of the American-born kids stuck to the one that was least frequently misspelled.

    3. Nita*

      Older Peppers. I choked on my coffee when I got to that one. I think this isn’t a thing in English, but in Russian that has some interesting associations.

      1. Is pumpkin a vegetable?*

        Yeah, for some reason I really latched on to that one. My dogs are longer pups or puppers, they’re peppers.

        1. Nita*

          I can’t!!! I mean, it’s commonly used to mean an older guy who doesn’t act his age, but there’s another meaning that has something to do with peppers resembling a body part… *runs away blushing*

          1. Specialk9*

            You mean a penis?

            So the pepper is a euphemism for a penis. Ah, ok, yeah I can see that a pepper kinda looks like a penis.

            Srsly, penises are normal. It’s ok to say penis.

            1. Mel R*

              There is a variety of hot pepper that is known for looking like a penis. Google ‘peter peppers’!

      1. The OG Anonsie*

        Nah, nowadays it’s referred to as Hansen’s disease and folks are referred to as patients. Calling people “lepers” is quite frowned upon.

    4. Garland not Andrews*

      I first read that as “older PREPPERS”. Wondered if she is an expert in getting granny & grandpop out to the bunker and keeping the supply of Depends stocked?
      Makes you think!

      1. Specialk9*

        I love that. I’m imagining them slowly shuffling down a concrete ramp into the bunker.

        Though now it’s morphed in my head into a cross between Kimmy Schmidt and Ravenous (the idyllic fields and forest French Quebec zombie film). It just got weird, I’ll admit.

    5. Djuna*

      My favorite one was the guy who talked about “having a friendly manor” in his cover letter. I read it before I’d had coffee and spent a few minutes wondering what his big house had to do with anything.

      It was for a role where his manner mattered far more than his spelling so we brought him to interview. He was charming and friendly in person, so we hired him. Never been so glad to have ignored a typo in my life.

    6. wendelenn*

      Older Peppers is my band name of the week if I ever convince some peers of my age to form a band.

    7. Jane*

      A friend had a CV written for her by the local job centre as part of a programme to get longterm unemployed back into work. They spelt her name wrong, and only provided her with paper copies.

  7. Poppy*

    Had a dude submit a 3 page resume which included his pb mile time on a treadmill. I’m a runner, and even I couldn’t bring myself to care.
    Also the used car salesman who put in the comments section of the application “I’m the guy for the job!” got an instant rejection. Write me a cover letter and explain WHY you are the guy for the job. Don’t just inform me of this (supposed) fact.

    1. Gorgo*

      Was it for a job that had lifting requirements in the job posting? I can almost see someone thinking “not only am I able to occasionally lift 30 lbs, I can run real fast while I do it!”

    2. RabbitRabbit*

      One applicant at the end of the resume had a couple of interests/hobbies; one was getting some medal in a national competition for weightlifters, in her age class.

      When she was dismissed for (among other things) hostility towards coworkers, it led to questions about whether she was taking certain ‘supplements’ that might cause anger issues.

      1. Delta Delta*

        I also got a resume that included a weightlifting title! I found it very interesting, as it was also coupled with some other very detailed facts about the candidate (none of them went together at all) that I shall not list in case she reads this. She turned out to be very nice.

      2. Specialk9*

        One of my coworkers is a competitor weight lifter, and is the nicest person. I’m imagining this version of her resume now and chuckling.

    3. caligirl*

      One resume listed various hunting trophies/accomplishments over the years. What if I were a animal rights activist?? I’m not an activist but an animal lover and it did bother me. We didn’t hire him, and I can’t remember if we interviewed him or not but he was qualified.

    4. Delta Delta*

      I love this. I’m a runner too, and I’m thinking that my pb on a treadmill is whatever I set it to and not fall off.

    5. Totally Minnie*

      I had one a couple months ago where a guy included a list of his hobbies, including watching baseball on TV.

    6. The OG Anonsie*

      I’m on a message board where a user became notorious for refusing to date men who had mile times she considered inferior. Not bad, they were good IIRC, but not good enough for her standards of how fast you should be if you’re a regular runner.

      Any reason’s a good reason not to date someone but that’s definitely unique heh

  8. Yamikuronue*

    Not a resume, but we do a lot of interviewing out of our local tech boot camp, and in the first lightning round, someone mentioned they’re a magician. We brought them in for a full interview based solely on “but wouldn’t it be cool? He could do magic tricks around the office!”

    (He got scooped by another company).

    1. Ennigaldi*

      My small team at my last job had an opera singer (tenor), a playwright, a former ballet dancer, a violinist (me) and a former high school marching band clarinetist. We could have put on a whole talent show by ourselves.

      1. Prague*

        My organization DOES put on a talent show. Every year, I actively avoid it like the plague.

    2. GG Two shoes*

      My husband just ‘graduated’ from one of those boot camps/code schools. He got 5 offers and the other students also had multiple offers. He was in the first class and I hope desperately that it continues. It’s so underrated! Best gamble we took by being part of that code school.

        1. Nines*

          I had a friend that did this and she was also hired quickly. It’s kind of like a certificate program…? But I don’t think you get any sort of certificate. They just teach you how to code in a short amount of time so you can go get a tech job.
          However, this is all based on second hand information, so I could easily be wrong.

      1. Specialk9*

        A friend did a code boot camp too. She worked with horses, which was hard on her body and kind of dead end, and now makes what she calls “stupid” money, as a coder. I’m glad for her.

      2. Career Changer*

        Please list the boot camp school! I’m currently deciding which one to go to!

    3. Sydni*

      I interviewed someone who had listed “balloon artist” listed as part of their previous work experience. It turned out that he made balloon arches for weddings and dances, not balloon animals, like I’d hoped. He did get hired based on qualifications and interview — not balloon skills, but that definitely made his resume stand out!

      1. Specialk9*

        I’m not sure there’s any artistry in attaching a bunch of balloons to a wire structure. That’s kind of ridiculous of him.

        1. LS*

          There can be if you’re designing the arches – and it takes a lot of attention to detail and good planning and time management!

  9. Gaia*

    I wish I could just show you the whole thing. It was like an essay. He told us he never “ceased” opportunities and he discussed for two paragraphs how he was the first male worker at a tanning company.

    But the best part is it ended by talking about his alcohol handling license which at first you print off and later they send you a wallet sized version.

    1. miyeritari*

      I also have an alcohol handling license. I can handle it directly into my mouth. In reasonable quantities, even! (That’s advanced alcohol handling.)

      1. Murphy*

        Isn’t it better to accomplish more though? Shouldn’t I handle large quantities of alcohol?

    2. Chameleon*

      Wait, that specific fact about the license made it on to the resume? I…can’t even begin to imagine that thought process.

      1. Catalin*

        This person sounds like a ‘splainer. Like, ‘Yes, I made coffee today. You need to measure out the ground beans in the little cup, then put it in the filter so the hot water can run through it.’
        “Oh, those reports you’ve been working on? They’re printed on TNR –that means ‘Times New Roman’…”
        “Of course I’m a social media specialist; I have a Facebook page and…Facebook is social media, you know that, right?”

        1. MsChanandlerBong*

          You are reminding me of what it’s like to talk to my father on the phone. Most people will just tell you they finished a project. Not my dad. By the time you get off the phone, you know what size screws he used, how he chose the lumber, how many brush strokes it took to get the stain on the wood, and so forth. Sometimes I want to scream, but then I remember that someday I will wish he was here to spend 20 minutes telling me about building a fence around the garden to keep the deer out.

          1. Typhon Worker Bee*

            Heh, my parents’ neighbour is like this. If you ask him how his vacation was, he’ll tell you everything that happened in chronological order, starting with the train to the airport.

        2. AMT*

          Setting aside the gendered aspect of mansplaining, my absolute least favorite thing at work is when people don’t have a filter for minute details of mundane things and/or can’t organize details in the right order. Right now, I’m dealing with a patient’s son who feels the need to explain his father’s entire life story at the top of his voice at a rapid clip to every staff member without letting anyone interrupt him for any reason. Where another person would say, “My father was at Forest Hospital for a week in January after a bad fall,” this guy is like, “My father was at a very good hospital. Its name is Forest Hospital. The phone number is 123-456-7890. When I heard that my father had fallen in his apartment on January 6, I was at the doctor’s office with my mother, who was receiving physical therapy for her ankle, which she broke on December 2nd. I got a phone call during my mother’s appointment from my brother, who said that my father had fallen in the apartment and couldn’t get up. First, I dropped off my mother at her apartment. Then, I went straight to Forest Hospital. The nurse said…”

          1. Plague of frogs*

            After my FIL had a stroke, my MIL called me to tell me how he was doing. At least, that’s what I wanted her to tell me. What she actually spent 20 minutes telling me was the whole history of the morning he had the stroke, including what she had for breakfast (yes, really). She finally ran down and said goodbye, and I was like, “Wait!!!! How is FIL doing?”

            1. AMT*

              “Don’t be silly — you don’t need specific information! What you need is a specific *quantity* of information!”

            2. whingedrinking*

              My mother once began a phone call to me with, “So I went to a cardiologist because my GP was worried about my heart – ” and then digressed for five minutes until I had to prompt her to tell me if she was dying or not. (For those of you saying, “She must have been fine or she’d have cut to the chase” – my mom’s been known to seriously bury the lede when relating information about car accidents, broken bones and dead pets, so I don’t see why her own potential mortality should be exempt.)

          2. Nanani*

            Such people (I have some in my family) make me wish there was a TL;DR for spoken interactions.

        3. Sarah*

          As my father-in-law says about my mother-in-law, “You ask her the time and she tells you how build a clock.”

    3. LostInTheStacks*

      I’m really stumped by “ceased” opportunities. What word was he even trying to use there?

      1. Sack of Benevolent Trash Marsupials*

        Wonder if he meant he ‘seized’ opportunities? I had to decipher a lot of this back when I was teaching English Comp and had a dyslexic student. He used spell check but couldn’t figure out the right word, so it took some doing to understand his papers…

        1. Grandma Mazur*

          A local councillor in the UK once tweeted that he hated aborigines… Turned out he meant aubergines.

          1. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)*

            Or the landlord in Australia who put an ad in the paper for his property saying “No Asians”… it was supposed to say “No agents”.

          2. Specialk9*

            Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!

            Hating eggplants is a-ok. Hating much-mistreated native Indians is so not!

        2. Mallory Janis Ian*

          But he said he NEVER ceased opportunities, so he couldn’t have meant seized (he would want his interviewer to think he was seizing all the opportunities, right?). I think he was missing a word? Like, he never ceased *pursuing* opportunities?

          1. MassMatt*

            Maybe he meant he never ceased seizing opportunities?

            So, he loses points for both leaving words out and a double negative construction?

      2. Totally Minnie*

        I’m assuming he wanted to say “I never give up!” But he Joey Tribbiani’d it and found some fancier words in the thesaurus.

        1. LostInTheStacks*

          Ohhh, that’s a definite possibility. I was assuming he had meant a word that sounded kind of like ceased, but mashing together some thesaurus options could result in that.

  10. kbeers0su*

    I was hiring for a university position (residence hall director) and we had someone apply who listed a number of licenses for operating submarines and boilers and other things I didn’t totally grasp. Totally awesome, but in no way applicable to running a residence hall.

    1. Queen of Cans & Jars*

      They probably figured that if they could operate a submarine, running a residence hall would be a piece of cake!

      1. Wintermute*

        lots of experience with people living in close quarters together, with no escape and under high pressure… I can see the relevance for sure

    2. CmdrShepard4ever*

      But when the poles melt and we are all under water you are going to wish you hired that person to save you in his submarine, and if it was an old building did the residence hall have its own boiler for heating purposes? He could have fixed it if it ever went down and the University engineers were not on campus.

    3. Glowcat*

      submarines and boilers? This guy must have an interesting life :) I wonder if the boiler is in the submarine, or the submarine in the boiler…

    4. many bells down*

      I didn’t even realize a submarine license was a thing. Do you have to take a driving test to get it? Cause I feel like if you fail that, the consequences are a bit more dire than running into a mailbox in a car.

    5. Emmie*

      Submarine operation could mean former military / Navy to me. People generally have a hard time translating military to civilian experience. I hope that changes soon.

      1. Retired old coot*

        My DH is a retired submariner, and yes, there are boilers on board submarines. He didn’t work on them, but they are there. I’m guessing the submarine ‘license’ was the guy’s qual card. In order to wear the insignia that shows the world a person is qualified to serve on submarines, they first must learn the operations of the entire boat in addition to the operations in their own rating area.

    6. Totally Minnie*

      We once had an applicant who was really, really proud to be a certified Notary Public. In the email where he submitted his resume and cover letter, he included a PowerPoint about how useful it would be for us to have a notary on staff. Nothing about the job in question would ever come close to a situation that would require a notary.

      1. Former Admin Turned Project Manager*

        I put my notary commission on my resume (it’s amazing how popular it’s made me at the office, but mostly because it saves people having to go to the bank when they sign a new PoA or something). I’ve never created a presentation about it, though, even when I was getting a job in the Legal Department.

    7. Oiselle*

      A recent applicant for an entry-level office job at the nonprofit where I work wrote in his application, “Just Google me”. As if I wasn’t already going to. The candidate did not get an interview.

  11. Starryemma*

    This was a position aimed at university students. A student applied, and in the application where she had to select an option, instead of using an X or check mark, she filled in the blanks with hearts <3.

    1. Nieve*

      This for some reason reminds me of Ron Weasley’s short-lived girlfriend… Was her name something like Lavender? I feel like this is totally something she would do *gag*

  12. Leela*

    “Mr. Fibble, King of the Potato People”


    Resume body.

    It wasn’t for a comedy, social, or writing position.

    We also had someone with a languages section and they wrote “Pirate”. We only called because we were desperate and his work was in line with what we needed. We made him an offer but I’m worried that might have enforced his decision here. We asked about it in the phone screen and he confirmed that it meant talking with a lot of “arrr”s:/

    1. Your Weird Uncle*

      I work at a university and there is a guy who works nearby who always wears a leather pirate hat and a t-shirt featuring pirates of some sort (like a Pirates of the Caribbean type shirt). I….guess he just loves pirates?

      My coworker was passing him the other day in the student union and she just growled ‘Aaaarrrrrrrr’ at him when he was within earshot. It must have made his day, as he got a big smile on his face!

      1. TardyTardis*

        At work, someone put up Scurvy Dogs and Salty Wenches signs on the restrooms for Talk like a Pirate Day. The first year, they were taken down fairly rapidly, but the next year, they were allowed to stay up all day.

    2. (Different) Rebecca, PhD*

      Mr. Flibble, King of the Potato People is a reference to Red Dwarf, a somewhat obscure BBC sci-fi comedy, and belongs nowhere near a resume.

      1. Ama*

        Yeah that sounds to me like someone either had a joke played on them or did it as a joke for themselves while they were drafting the resume and forgot to switch it back.

            1. Librarygeek*

              I don’t know if this applies, but Comic Sans is one of the few dyslexia-friendly fonts that comes standard on PCs.

    3. Bea*

      Eeeeh I know someone heavy into that and I understand the hesitation. I’ll confirm he’s quirky but a darn good worker. So I hope your guy is just quirky too!

      He’s super jolly and always reliable because if you’re not, you risk walking the plank…yeeeeah.

    4. Akcipitrokulo*

      I’d be tempted! But would feel obliged to point out that Mr Flibble was an assistant to the King of the Potato People, not the King himself.

    5. Amy Farrah Fowler*

      I speak pirate… Exactly one day a year. September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate day and I choose to celebrate it with enthusiasm! However, I would never put that on my resume.

  13. Sabrina*

    We had someone apply for a field biology job with a lengthy section explaining while he didn’t have any of the qualifications we wanted he had been a dog walker during high school, basically the same thing as a BS in a related field.

    My manager walked around the office reading it outloud to people.

        1. The New Wanderer*

          And child psychologist! And chauffeur, personal assistant, food prep master, etc etc etc. Think of the possibilities!

        2. That Would Be a Good Band Name*

          I was pregnant for a year and a half of a 3 year period. I’m definitely qualified to be an OBGYN.

        3. laylaaaaaah*

          I literally had people apply to be teachers on the basis that they’d had kids. Like, yes, sure, you can handle little David and Suzy just fine, but thirty kids? With a huge variety of needs and temperaments? Probably all screaming at once at least once a day (if a nursery nurse)? Um…

          1. whingedrinking*

            It gets worse: there are people who say they’re sure they could be a teacher because they’ve been to school. Which is like saying you could be a chef because you’ve been to a restaurant. Or a doctor, because you’ve been hospitalized.

      1. Mrs. Fenris*

        You don’t even want to know how many people ignore their vet’s advice and choose to listen to their breeder, the guy at the pet store, or their friend who has owned dogs for 30 years. Because that’s the same as a DVM, more or less, right?

        1. myswtghst*

          Oh god, this. I was planning to be a vet, got my degree in Zoology, and worked at 2 veterinary hospitals, an animal shelter, and a zoo, yet I still call my vet for anything beyond the basics, because that is their job.

          (Granted I’m sure all of the above makes my resume / LinkedIn an entertaining read, as they include my degree in Zoology and experience as a zookeeper, which I always get some questions about in interviews for the corporate training jobs I now work.)

      2. The OG Anonsie*

        Oh man this reminds me of the My Brother, My Brother, and Me bit where they talk about trying to become a marine biologist with no qualifications.

        “What prepares you to be marine biologist?”
        “Nothing. I don’t like water and I’m scared of fish, let’s get this done. Let’s talk some shit about otters. I got an underwater microscope, c’mon. It’s science. Where’s a whale at?”

  14. ZSD*

    Some friends who owned a small business had someone who was actually crazy repeatedly apply for positions with their company. Her resume said, “Arrived in Florida two weeks too late to prevent the Challenger disaster.”
    (To be clear, she wasn’t an engineer. She just believed she had special powers.)

    1. Sack of Benevolent Trash Marsupials*

      I’m curious why her special powers wouldn’t have worked outside of Florida? Special powers with restrictions within state lines? As a former Floridian, I will bet she stayed there.

    2. Yorick*

      So, she heard about the explosion and then two weeks later went to FL? Or she was trying to go to FL to prevent it but was delayed by TWO WHOLE WEEKS? I’d like to hear the story of what held her up for those two weeks.

    3. Lindsay J*

      Oh god, this reminds me of a boss I worked for who believed they prayed a hurricane away from them.

      Also, they prayed ants away from their house. and for the Giants to win the superbowl.

      I wanted to ask why, if they were able to pray the hurricane on a path that lead away from them, they couldn’t just pray it away entirely instead of sending it to ruin another state instead, but, as they were the owners of the company I worked for I decided that was not a wise idea.

    4. Sarah M*

      Any chance she’s related to the school custodian who kept putting voodoo curses on her co-workers?

  15. Chai*

    The IT guy with the “Confidential” employer makes me wonder how people who truly do confidential work (like, CIA employees) handle their resumes when they’re job searching.

      1. Ophelia*

        And I’m pretty sure that while most CIA employees handle classified *material*, the actual fact of their employment isn’t a secret (I once nannied for a family where one of the parents worked there). I suspect the subset of employees who can’t even name their employer is quite small.

        1. Antilles*

          I suspect the subset of employees who can’t even name their employer is quite small.
          Not only that, I’d guess even those employees just list some innocuous and vague department/title – “Department of Defense contractor” or “Department of Homeland Security representative” or whatever.

            1. Anion*

              He has a small private practice, he only has the one client. But that client insist on hearing bad news immediately.

            2. Bryce*

              My grandpa worked for the mob as an accountant. Apparently it was great for his reputation when he went into business on his own because “the mob doesn’t use second-best accountants.”

      2. missparker*

        i believe there is a generic phone number to call where you can give their name and they’ll verify that someone was an employee there and that’s about what you get.

    1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

      I would assume either fantastic networking or the higher-ups have a set policy about what you can/can’t disclose and how you should phrase things.

    2. stitchinthyme*

      I wondered the same. My job is sort of like that, in that I’m not allowed to disclose the specifics — they didn’t even really tell me much about the job until after I started working. The one time I had a job interview since I started working here (it was an opportunity that kind of fell into my lap), I just talked about what I do in general terms — since I’m a software developer, I could talk about the languages and tools I use, and generally describe what I do without getting into the specifics. It also helps that I live in the Washington, DC suburbs, where there are a LOT of government-contracting jobs that require clearances, so this sort of thing is not at all uncommon.

      1. OtterB*

        Heh. Yeah. We live in the DC area, and when my daughter in college in Illinois began dating a guy who was in an active military reserve group doing investigative sorts of things, he seemed to expect that being unable to talk about his work would be a deal-breaker as it had apparently been with previous dates. She was like, nope, DC, totally normal.

      2. periwinkle*

        My father, who worked for a defense contractor, was not allowed to tell me what he did for a living (beyond a generic description) because I didn’t have a security clearance. He was required to notify The Powers That Be of any plans to leave U.S. territory, even for a number of years after he retired. Life in D.C. is weird.

    3. Rusty Shackelford*

      We had an applicant who refused to discuss any of his previous work because it was “confidential.” Not that he wouldn’t provide samples, but he wouldn’t even talk about his role. Like, okay, we’re not asking you to share the content of technical reports, we’re just asking if you have written one. Ever.

    4. JKM*

      I work in information security, and I see resumes from folks who’ve done confidential/secret work fairly frequently. They’ll typically talk about the work in a generic sense (e.g. “responsible for penetration testing of web applications”; “developed network security analysis framework”, and so forth) and in interviews explain that they can’t talk specifics. It can make digging into details difficult, but as long as the rest of the experience checks out, and as long as they can talk more generally about the work and experience cogently, it’s usually ok.

      But I’ve never heard of the actual agency being confidential. I’d be very surprised if that’s legit.

    5. Hedgehog*

      For the entry-level jobs: you’re given vague-but-mildly-informative text to put on your resume. Most people in the field will know what these lines mean (as in “X doesn’t actually mean X, it means that NSA internship”).

    6. Combinatorialist*

      I had a job with a high level security clearance and before we left (it was an internship so it was expected), we had the resume listings of the job reviewed. While you can’t talk about the classified aspects of the work (obviously), we were able to give vague descriptions about improving performance metrics and stuff.

    7. LBK*

      I had a boss who was a former CIA agent! You get a heavily, heavily sanitized version of their skills and experience, and they can’t really give you any specific examples of anything in the interview.

    8. PersephoneUnderground*

      They write the best resume they can without disclosing classified specifics and worry a lot about if it’s ok. And try to apply with people who have some idea of the kind of work they probably did due to industry familiarity without having to disclose. And re-write their resumes repeatedly very carefully. (At least my husband with a security clearance at a government contracting tech company did it this way.) Theoretically places like that have a system to have your resume reviewed to make sure it doesn’t break the rules, but at least at my husband’s company it wasn’t usable because when you submitted your resume to the security people, they then would *give it to your manager to review for security breaches*. So of course no one could actually use that system without their manager knowing they’re searching, which made the whole process a joke. There were other parts that didn’t work as well, so the policy seemed like it was just for show to me. Anyway…

    9. hbc*

      I worked for the CIA, and it’s been on my resume. Same for my parents. Even though we worked with classified materials (me to a lesser extent–it was a summer job riding on their background checks), the fact of our employment wasn’t a secret.

      If your affiliation is classified, you have some sort of cover job which can trace back to the right references and skills/claimed experiences/etc. I think most people who go all in like that, though, tend to stay in government where maybe you can’t exactly say you were a spy or whatever, but there’s probably some understanding of what that “State Department” job really was.

      And I suppose if your cover was really so deep that you worked at the bakery outside the Kremlin, you probably *are* qualified to work as a baker and Sergei will give you a great reference.

      1. zora*

        My favorite is our neighbor growing up in the DC suburbs who said he worked for the State Department, but went back and forth to Moscow a LOT from 1989-1991. I am still convinced he worked for the CIA, but my dad is always, “No, he ACTUALLY worked for the State Department!” Uh huh, sure he did…..

        1. Naptime Enthusiast*

          That’s how I feel about our family friend in Langley VA built like Mr Incredible.

    10. LostInTheStacks*

      Not job search related, but I know a guy who works as an archivist with the CIA. (That’s not a euphemism–it’s really a standard archives job, like most federal or educational institutions have.) The bummer is that part of his job is making a lot of exhibits on CIA history… but so many of the documents are classified that no one except CIA employees ever see them!

    11. an infinite number of monkeys*

      “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

      “Can you maybe just give me a hint and rough me up a little?”

    12. drpuma*

      Friend of a friend works for the FBI. Socially-speaking, his job is that he….works for the FBI. And has to travel for work a lot.

    13. Decimus*

      It is less common now but back in the day you’d get a cover job. So the resume would say bureau of weights and measures, assigned to Afghan markets (dates being during the soviet invasion).

    14. FrontRangeOy*

      They have an unclassified version. The one unclassified version of a confidential resume I’ve seen listed a plausible series of low level GS jobs at a sister agency. Technically, the unclassified version was true in that the individual had done training in those jobs and had spent 3 or so months doing the job they stated on their resume. It was enough to get past a check of references and not over promise a potential employer about their skills and experience.

    15. Trill*

      My grandmother was a CIA analyst. Her official cover was that she worked for the State Department (she’s passed away, so the general information regarding her position is no longer classified). If she’d moved onto a non-intelligence agency job, she would have had references and such associated with her cover to put her resume.

    16. On Fire*

      I’ve joked before that my dream job is “ninja assassin,” except that I’m too clumsy. This makes me want to include that in my goals/“where do you see yourself.”

      1. Specialk9*

        I woke up this morning and everything was different
        Something was strange in the air
        I woke up this morning and everything was different
        I knew that the ninjas had been there.

        I looked all around my bedroom, underneath the dresser,
        Behind the bed, but nothing could be found
        There was nothing left behind them,
        nowhere that I could find them,
        No fingerprints or crumbs on the ground.

        The ninjas are deadly and silent.
        They’re also unspeakably violent.
        They speak Japanese, they do whatever they please.
        And sometimes they vacation in Ireland.

        The ninjas are deadly and silent.
        They’re also unspeakably violent.
        They speak Japanese, they do whatever they please,
        And if you tear off their masks they’ll be smiling.

    17. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      There was a couple arrested here the other day – who had a large cache of weapons. They called the police because they thought the lock on their motel room had been broken.

      When the police saw an arsenal of assualt weapons, high-cap mags, bump stocks, and so forth they began asking questions and the couple said they were on a “secret government mission” and if they told the local cops anything they’d have to fill out an enormous amount of paperwork.

      Needless to say – the police didn’t buy it – they took the couple AND their stash of weapons into custody…

    18. Actual Australian*

      It’s interesting because a family friend of ours is in the SAS (special forces in Australia) and a large part of his training is deflection. Not even his family knows where he is when he gets deployed or when he might be back. When you ask him a question about it, he gives an answer that sounds like he’s telling you but when you think back you realise that he gave you nothing and shifted the conversation in a way that felt totally natural. Should he go for a civilian job, I have no doubt that he could do an excellent job of explaining his experience without giving a single indication of what he has been doing with special ops. It’s bloody incredible.

      1. Anonicat*

        I dated one of those guys. The deflection and manipulation skills made it an…interesting experience.

    19. Imaginary Number*

      So this is actually really common for people who work on unacknowledged stuff and in those career fields it’s pretty well understood why someone’s resume might be quite vague on specifics. But even if the specifics have to be vague, the nature of the job doesn’t have to be. The fact that someone was a project manager, managed a team of twelve employees, was a teapot consultant, did IT work, whatever, is usually okay to disclose. The fact that they were actually working on laser spy teapots wouldn’t be.

      I guess it might be hard if someone was trying to change to a career field that never ever had to deal with that stuff.

      1. InDefensible*

        A friend, like me, worked for a defense contractor. He applied to Google and while he couldn’t show or discuss much of what he’d done for the contractor, Google gave him a project of sorts so he could prove he knew his stuff. He got the job.

        My job is similar. I can tell you what types of projects I work on but I can’t show a potential employer anything. If that potential employer doesn’t at least try to understand the situation, I figure I’m getting some insight into how that employer treats employees.

  16. JLE*

    Not exactly on a resume, but I received a cover letter where a person quite seriously signed off with “May the Force of the Lord Jesus Christ Be With You”. We’re a social services organization that falls under a religious umbrella, but our work is in no way explicitly religious and our employees are from varying faith traditions (or none at all). This guy did not get an interview, but I’ll remember him always.

    1. Snarkus Aurelius*

      I work in government, and we were hiring a position to oversee compliance with a federal law. The word “officer” was in the job title because that’s how it’s listed in state and federal laws. Officer in no way means a police officer or security guard.

      We had one guy apply whose resume had references to his Christian faith all over the place. He was former military, and clearly he thought this job was protecting something. In his cover letter, he mentioned that he loved the Lord and that he wanted to defend America and kill terrorists.

      Telling me you want to kill people isn’t a good way to get hired in my book.

        1. Aitch Arr*

          “and with your spirit”

          Never heard that one, but my church-going experience is admittedly limited!

            1. Aitch Arr*

              Ah. I was last in a Catholic Church in 2005.

              Apparently the Episcopalians still use ‘and also with you.’

              1. Garland not Andrews*

                Depends of if you are Rite I – older, more formal. “And with thy spirit.”
                or if you are Rite II – new with the 1979 prayerbook, and less formal. “And also with you.”

            2. Merci Dee*

              That’s okay — the United Methodists still use “And also with you” as part of our communion liturgy. In fact, that’s kind of a helpful hint among the UMCs I’ve attended — if you’re trying to get a group to settle down before a church function or presentation and they won’t respond to the typical shushing and hushing that people tend to do, you can just speak calmly into the nearest microphone, “The Lord be with you” . . . and it’s like magic. Automatic response — “and also with you”, and everyone hurries into their seats so the program can start.

              1. BenAdminGeek*

                I’m trying this at the next church meeting I attend. Probably shouldn’t try it out during Easter service though…

              2. Alex the Alchemist*

                I also like the, “God is good!” Response- “All the time!” way of getting people to be quiet

                1. Merci Dee*

                  And then don’t forget to flip it around ….

                  Pastor: God is good….
                  People: ….. all the time.
                  Pastor: All the time…..
                  People: ….. God is good.

              3. Anonicat*

                My friend’s toddler indicates that grace has been taking too long by interrupting with a hearty “Amen!”

            3. Annabelle*

              Huh, that’s so odd. I’ve been to Catholic masses at least 7 or 8 times since then and everyone here still uses “and also with you.”

          1. Detective Amy Santiago*

            They changed church a few years ago. I don’t go often and it always throws me.

          2. not really a lurker anymore*

            The Catholic Church redid a lot of the Mass parts 5-10 years ago. One of the changes swapped “And with your Spirit” with “And also with you.”

      1. reformedcatholicschoolgirl*

        I accidentally respond this way when someone says “may the Force be with you”

        You can take the girl out of the Catholic school but you cant take the Catholic school out of the girl…

    2. stitchinthyme*

      I once had a prospective employer respond to an email from me with something to the effect of “You’re in my prayers”…totally put me off the job. (I did end up reconsidering when they called me back a few months later…thankfully, he never brought religion into the workplace, though we did have some lively debates.)

      1. Callie*

        The joke among my Rite II-going Episcopalian friends is “May the fourth be with you… and also with you.”

    3. Drago Cucina*

      Reminds me of the applicant that wanted to “bring spirituality to the use of computers”. :-0
      I get this type of thing more than I would like. If the applicant Googles my name it shows I was a Catholic school librarian and my husband is a deacon (meaning he’s an ordained Catholic minister). I get comments and answers that people think I want to hear. 1. It’s usually something that goes against my personal and professional ethics; 2. It’s pandering, which I hate.

  17. Zip Silver*

    I still keep this resume, allow me to give you the highlights:

    -“Letter of reccomendation from a Subway customer. GED” – this was on the same line
    -“General Skills: Martial artist, Leadership, Elite Gamer (Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 2&3, Atari, Nintendo, SNES, N64, GameCube, GameBoy, Wii, Sega Dreamcast), driveway paving, landscaping, Boy Scouts.

    And there were several more things along these lines throughout the resume.

    1. Nobody Here by That Name*

      I had one like that too! I mentioned it in the last go-round, but in a resume for a position which had nothing to do with technology or gaming we had someone include mention of how many hours they’d clocked playing games and the number, which I believe was in the thousands, of game achievements they’d unlocked. It scares me that there’s at least two of them.

    2. Trig*

      I’m tickled about the prospect of being an elite GameBoy gamer. I could see if you’d played eports professionally or something but I don’t think there are GameBoy competitions.

        1. Julia*

          Those aren’t GameBoy anymore, they’re on the 3DS which can go online and battle with people all over the world.

    3. SarahJ*

      We get a lot of E-sports rankings in our resumes (technical role, industry attracts “go-getters”). It’s nice because it’s replace the formerly ubiquitous poker rankings.

    4. Kristen*

      Did you reply back that you’re really in need of someone highly skilled with the PlayStation 1 and therefore he/she’s rejected?

    5. Timber*

      Your applicant has good skills! You know like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills…

    6. Agile Phalanges*

      When I skimmed this, I read the second entry under “General Skills” as “Lesbian,” which is even more irrelevant.

    7. Melodious Thunk*

      I hire laborers to do outdoor work of various kinds for an animal refuge in a low-income rural region. I definitely would give this person an interview based on the driveway paving, landscaping, and Boy Scouts, with bonus points for the letter of recommendation from a Subway customer (certainly shows gumption) and the gaming (suggests capacity to learn tractor operation — unloading, stacking, and dropping 500lb hay bales into feeders using hay grabbers actually feels a bit like giant-sized 3-D tetris and does require the kind of spatial reasoning and hand-eye coordination involved in gaming.)

  18. Teapot librarian*

    I got a six-page resume from a recent college graduate. I also got a resume that was clearly copy-and-pasted from a business’ marketing materials because it was in paragraph form and referred to the candidate in third-person.

    1. LibbyG*

      Wouldn’t it be fun to interview them and talk about them in the third person. “So,Sam should tell me about a time when Sam had to have a difficult conversation with someone at work.”

      1. Totally Minnie*

        “Well, Sam was working toward a difficult and very important objective, but Smeagol kept undermining him. Sam didn’t know what to do. But it worked out okay in the end, because Sam’s supervisor pushed Smeagol into a volcano.”

    2. LSP*

      I love the resumes from students that are several pages long, and they are AGHAST when you tell them they need to be edited down. I used to routinely review resumes for our interns at Old Job, and this happened all the time. They were convinced that everything on there was absolutely necessary, and how could they possibly edit it down to just ONE PAGE!?

      1. MsChanandlerBong*

        On occasion, I help people with their resumes. One young woman I know insisted that I put every position she’s ever held, including ones from high school, on hers. Now, if she just graduated from high school, that would be fine, but she has about 10 years of experience. She’s also held some fairly high-level jobs with Chinese government agencies, so there’s no reason to put her high-school jobs on there.

  19. CM*

    First few pages were verbose, but otherwise pretty normal description of past jobs, qualifications, etc. Pages 6-12 were a baffling manifesto on the applicant’s personal philosophies about careers, technology, and life in general, with lots of misspelled words and some ranting about a certain previous employer that had not sufficiently appreciated him. And yet I had to talk my boss out of interviewing him.

    1. Roja*

      I always wonder who has the time for that. I have a hard enough time writing a regular cover letter, let alone a six-page manifesto!

      1. MassMatt*

        Being concise can take work, and length can be easy. Especially if you don’t mind submitting unedited stream-of-consciousness blather, yikes.

      2. whingedrinking*

        Who *are* these people, and why can’t I have their drive to write? I can barely get it together to write a four-page research proposal. (“I wanna ask private language school students why they spend so much time and money to come to Canada to learn English, and then do nothing but hang out with other students who share their L1. This is important because students in the private system are grossly understudied, and also it drives me nuts.”)

  20. Jaybeetee*

    Apparently my older brother, in his younger days, used to “beef up” his resume rather drastically. My mother has a story of proofreading his resume when he was looking for work, and he had ridiculously overblown what had been effectively covering for a supervisor for a period of time in a sales setting. My mom was like, “You’re 22, no one is going to believe that you were Acting Director of Marketing.” Kind of akin to that resume falsifier posted about here a couple of days ago.

    1. beanie beans*

      Ugh, I was reviewing applications and resumes for an internal position, open only to people in our workgroup. One applicant, a coworker, upgraded her title and responsibilities A LOT. I don’t know if they didn’t realize it would be reviewed by people they knew and worked with, or recycled an external resume. It was weird.

  21. Ophelia*

    Blood type!
    (I review/edit a lot of resumes of local staff from countries around the world, so there are always a lot of things that are “odd” by American standards, but presumably pretty normal in their own context, but gotta say that one was pretty out there for ANYWHERE!)

    1. CM*

      Ooh, I should put that. I’m the universal donor type! I could be like, “In addition to my ten years of experience in the field, if there’s a horrible accident and everybody needs blood, I’m all over it. You need me for workplace security.”

        1. Nobody Here by That Name*

          But only call at night, and mention how nobody at the office drinks… wine.

      1. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize*

        My brother has a rare blood type. He gets called whenever they need his blood. I told him once as a joke he should put it on his resume because it would make him more valuable. He didn’t.

      2. Solidus Pilcrow*

        Maybe they suspected the company was run by vampires that that would give them an in?

        (I wouldn’t want to be chosen if that was true, but different stokes.)

      3. Prague*

        Oh, good grief. I interviewed someone once who had studied people who thought they were vampires. I mean, it was interesting, but she got way too enthused, and it had nothing to do with the job. I’d blocked the memory of vampire girl out until now.

        1. Ophelia*

          Oh, interesting. This was not a CV from Japan, but the applicant had prior experience with donors in the region, so that might explain it! I’m very used to long lists of hobbies, religious affiliation, number of children, etc., but this was the only time I’d seen blood type!

      1. Frank Doyle*

        Although I believe it’s related to personality, so it’s comparable to including your astrological sign.

      2. Sapphire*

        It’s kind of like a personality indicator in Japan. I don’t know that people put it on their resumes, though.

        1. Julia*

          Not these days anymore. At least it wasn’t on any pre-printed resumes I’ve seen recently (I’m in the process of applying for jobs).

      3. Ursula*

        I used to live in Japan. I was surprised how many times when I met someone for the first time that blood type came up. I don’t know my blood type and they were amazed at this. Apparently blood type is supposed to dictate your personality.

        1. Nanani*

          Me too, and worked there. Blood type was not on my resume or any job application. Might have come up in chit chat though.

          Headshots, hobby-type questions, marital status/number of dependents, and so on are all expected, but not blood type.

        2. sacados*

          Right? The reactions when people ask my blood type and I’m like “Um, A…. maybe…?”
          It’s right up there with saying you don’t remember what your birthday is.

          Still definitely never seen it on a resume before.

      4. Mad Baggins*

        Not on resumes! I don’t think we even collect that data at any point at my (Japanese) company.

      1. Berry*

        I don’t know my blood type, so I wonder if I can reverse engineer the knowledge by the personality test (guess now, see if it’s right in the future).

        1. Will "scifantasy" Frank*

          Erm…probably better to go to the Red Cross or your doctor. I wouldn’t be sanguine about trusting my personality when it came to my Rhesus antigens.

          1. Berry*

            No worries, I meant this completely in the fun manner and not actually use it if anyone asks what my blood type is!

          2. Anion*

            Yes, dittoing that. It’s a really quick, simple test, and it’s good info to know just in case.

            I’m A+!

          1. Specialk9*

            Mine was diametrically opposed! Lol. I’m just imagining some poor Japanese people expecting me to be all quiet and meek, and getting this giant loud manly foreign lady instead.

      2. MsChanandlerBong*

        My blood type doesn’t match my personality at all. It says A+ is associated with being reserved and patient. Anyone who knows me knows that I have no chill at all when it comes to keeping my excitement in check, and I am REALLY impatient over a lot of things (I am super patient with kids, sick people, and elderly folks, but not so much with slow shipping or long check-out lines at the store).

      1. Lily in NYC*

        I worked in Taiwan for a few months and had never heard this and I was so confused as to why everyone I met socially asked me my blood type. I finally found out the reason for it, but I’m still wondering why I was also constantly asked what type of birth control I used.

    2. Rusty Shackelford*

      We got a resume from someone who was, if I remember right, older than our typical applicant for the position. I guess he wanted to prove how spry he was, because he included the results from a complete physical. I didn’t even know specific urine gravity was a thing until that point.

      1. Kateedoo*

        I worked in China and had to include my blood type and results from a physical to receive my employment visa – perhaps someone included this out of habit if they worked abroad? Either way, the blood type thing is HUGE in China and judging from these comments in other parts of Asia as well.

  22. KG*

    A candidate listed his part in a play in the 1980s for an office job at a university. He was either in elementary or middle school then. He had no other acting or theatrical experience. I’m pretty sure it was a school play.

    1. Gaia*

      Do you mean to suggest I should remove my note about my very important role as a Lead Carrot in my second grade class play Food Pyramid

        1. Glowcat*

          I was the Poisonous Mushroom :( I bet that’s why the interviewer said I’m not a good fit.

      1. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize*

        Ahem, I was Third Elf in the classic play, Santa Saves Christmas. My only line was “Perhaps a mustard plaster will do.” It was Oscar worthy.

        1. JeanB in NC*

          I played the witch in Hansel and Gretel in fifth grade. My famous line was, after Hansel saying “b-b-b-but!”, I said “turn off your motor and get going!”.

          1. Lily in NYC*

            I was Betsy Ross in a play when we had our Bicentennial celebrations in the US (I’m old as dirt) and I pronounced North Carolina wrong. I was 5 and remember being so ashamed.

        2. Nines*

          I’m highly surprised that the third elf got their own lines! You must have really impressed! =)

      2. Shirley Keeldar*

        Ha, I got you beat. I was King Molar in my third grade play about dental hygiene.

        I had a crown.

        1. Spooky*

          When I was in third grade I was SO SURE I had the best singing voice in my grade. I sang all the time (loudly). I was convinced that all the people covering their ears were just jealous. Then the roles for our winter musical show came out. I was assigned the lead…on the song in sign language.

          That one took a while to live down.

      3. Oxford Coma*

        I was told to remove my lead role as one of the four basic food groups (dairy), because it could lead to age discrimination. YMMV.

      4. Fiennes*

        I played the Good Fairy (which was great) in a children’s play called, I kid you not, “A Bomb For Santa.”

        I doubt it gets performed much anymore.

    2. ThatGirl*

      I was Maria in a 3rd grade production of the Sound of Music but I usually don’t go bragging about it, 30 years later….

      1. NoGhosting*

        *Ahem* Don’t mean to brag but I played Paul Revere’s wife in my 4th grade musical and …. I had a solo. My only, but dazzling, line in the whole play was “Paul what are you doing?” and I knocked the house down.

        1. Blonde Spiders*

          Step aside. I played Clara in a non-ballet performance of The Nutcracker in 2nd grade. I was so mad at my mom because she refused to let me wear a dress for the performance. Apparently I didn’t understand how to “sit like a lady” onstage, or some such nonsense.

        2. Lindsay J*

          I was a statue of liberty construction worker in my first grade play. I had to recite the final 6 lines of the “The New Colossus” poem. So I’m basically a historian and a movie star.

        3. Book Badger*

          I was 7th Princess Jasmine in a second grade production of Aladdin. To be clear, this was a version of Aladdin based on the original Arabian Nights story, but using characters that we as second graders were familiar with. Also, the only roles were Aladdin, Genie, Jafar, and Princess Jasmine (I think there might have been one Sultan but I don’t remember), so instead all the kids with the same part stood in a line and recited their lines in order (Aladdin #1 got the first couple of lines, Aladdin #2 had the next part, and so on).

          Aladdin #7 was a kid I had a crush on, so–unlike all my classmates, who just read their lines from the script with no inflection (AMATEURS!)–I very passionately said, “You have defeated Jafar! We’re home, Aladdin, we’re home!” and jumped on him. Romantically.

      2. The New Wanderer*

        I was the co-lead in what, in hindsight, was an incredibly culturally insensitive school play written by a fellow student’s parent.

        Definitely gonna leave that one off…

    3. hiptobesquared*

      I actually work in theatre and I don’t think I keep anything older than like 5 years on my resume, unless it was something really cool or noteworthy.

  23. TheyCanAlwaysSurpriseYou*

    I received a resume for an entry-level receptionist type position that included Quidditch as one of the applicant’s activities.

    1. ZSD*

      There are actual quidditch teams at universities! I mean, they don’t fly, but there’s a terrestrial version.

    2. serenity*

      I once received a resume for a somewhat entry-level administrative role from someone with a nuclear engineering PhD which listed in skills, among other things, “knowledge of nuclear weapons manufacturing”. It was beyond bizarre.

      1. The OG Anonsie*

        Eh I could see it. It’s not relevant to the job, but at the very least it should give you an idea about their overall aptitudes, y’know?

    3. catlover18*

      Yeah! It’s actually a club sport that travels and competes just like a club football team would!! (Maybe it doesn’t belong on a resume, but it’s legit. Funny!

    4. fposte*

      Quidditch is *huge*. It’s been a part of several student hires for me. It’s kind of like roller derby but co-ed and with weapons–it’s seriously savage.

    5. SG*

      To be fair, Quidditch was considered a real sport at my university. I’m pretty sure their matches had better attendance than the football games. If you believe that varsity/club sports belong on an entry-level resume, that would be reasonable.

    6. SarahJ*

      It’s a real college activity. I’m torn on these ones because they can be good talking points but not everyone wants to hire a “quirkster”, or even gets what they’re trying to signal.

    7. Berry*

      I started the Quidditch club/team at my university, so when I was looking for jobs just after graduation it was on my resume! Mostly to show leadership skills, etc. not under work experience.

      It’s no longer on my resume, but I do have it on my LinkedIn under that general mess of “groups you were part of in college.” Most people won’t see it but I’ve had a fun interview conversation or two about it (great judge of office culture when someone brings it up).

    8. Ursula*

      This is actually a thing at many universities in the UK and I think I’ve heard about it happening in American universities as well. Obviously no one flies but its been adapted for us muggles. If someone can list being on a basketball team I don’t see why Quidditch can’t be mentioned. Any team sport shows cooperation skills and potentially leadership skills so I think this while slightly unusual is not unreasonable.

      1. JamieS*

        By the same token having siblings, especially close in age with you, also shows cooperation skills but it wouldn’t be reasonable to list your brothers and sisters on your resume.

    1. MuseumChick*

      Of all the crazy things posted to far this one made me almost fall out of my chair laughing. (Maybe because I’m history person?)

    2. ZSD*

      I knew someone who took a conversational Latin course, so the person might in fact have been fluent. But it probably wouldn’t be a very useful skill on the job!

      1. KG*

        Conversational Latin? I learned something new today!

        This was for an internship at a NGO with an international presence. If a candidate claimed fluency in a language, they had to interview in that language. No one available to conduct an interview in Latin, though.

        1. Grits McGee*

          There’s at least one or two Latin-language radio stations in Europe, and it’s still technically an official language of the Catholic church, so there is that. Though, your applicant didn’t specify if she spoke classical or ecclesiastic Latin, so I call whatever the Latin equivalent of “shenanigans” is on them.

        2. Parenthetically*

          “No one available to conduct an interview in Latin, though.”

          I am CRACKING UP at this for some reason!

        3. Gingerblue*

          Oh yeah. People who get into spoken Latin can get REALLY into it. Week long Latin-only camps, etc.

      2. ArtK*

        Studies have shown that learning Latin can boost one’s English skills. The studies have been about HS students and their results on the SAT. In other words, depending on the job, it could be a very useful attribute.

        1. Glowcat*

          Yes, this is one of the reasons why it’s still a mandatory class in most Italian high schools. But you don’t list it on your resume, unless you’re applying for a job in ancient literature/history, and the fluency part sounds a bit crazy :)

        2. Barney Barnaby*

          Learning Latin or Greek teaches spelling, grammar, and analytical skills. That a job candidate gained expertise in that area (as opposed to just having it as a hobby) indicates good things about them, which are appropriate for a resume (IMHO).

        3. Annabelle*

          Yeah, I took 6 years of Latin courses (in high school and college) and it’s actually proven to be pretty useful knowledge.

      3. Kathleen_A*

        I think it does tend to make you a pretty darn good speller, though. Seriously. At least you never mess up those Latin prefixes and things.

      4. Elfine Starkadder*

        I got a job offer working for a physicist in part because I could read classical Greek. All they really needed was someone who could read mathematical equations, which included a lot of Greek letterforms. So I suppose I was overqualified for the job.

    3. CatCat*

      LOL, I studied Latin in college, but it never occurred to me to list my Latin language skills on a resume.

    4. Parenthetically*

      There are dozens, probably hundreds of Classical schools in the U.S. that teach Latin starting in elementary school! My students take 7 years of Latin, and one of their former teachers was perfectly capable of carrying on a long conversation in Latin. At the conversationally-fluent level it’s about as useful as Klingon or Elvish, but nerds gotta nerd, you know!

      1. The Original K.*

        Yeah, one of my best friends teaches high school Latin and has two classics degrees. I’m sure she could carry on a conversation in Latin – but I’m also sure that the interview process for her job did not require her to interview in Latin!

      2. Lissa*

        Fun related facts: I just got an email from Duolingo saying their Klingon course is open now. In case anyone wanted to nerd.

    5. Rusty Shackelford*

      Hey, you never know when you’ll need someone to perform an exorcism in the office.

      1. Knittyinabrowncoat*

        Unless you work the phones for the Winchester boys, then it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll need to at least three times a day.

        1. Kateedoo*

          The person who wrote in about her employee casting spells/curses on the other employees would have been interested to have an applicant with Latin experience.

          That being said, I think fluency in another language is resume worthy, it shows the ability to work hard at something, like listing your college degree.

    6. LBK*

      I mean, you can still learn Latin. We had Latin classes at my middle school and high school. Allegedly it improves your SAT verbal scores since it helps with etymologies.

    7. Positive Reframer*

      Latin is only a dead language in that it isn’t the first spoken language of any people group but it is still very much in use. I believe it is the official language of a country even (Vatican City). It is commonly taught in many Catholic schools from what I’ve seen.

    8. MH*

      Yep, I’ve done an intensive spoken Latin program – it’s much more effective, pedagogically speaking, to reinforce grammar lessons with conversation than to just memorize conjugation and declension tables.

      (As a medievalist, I have a handful of dead languages that I work in listed on my CV. Latin is the most mainstream of them.)

      1. Michigan Sara*

        Any suggestions on where I might find an online course in one of those medieval dead languages? I’m a language nut and a history nut and I learning Old English sounds fun to me.

        1. Librolover*

          (waves arm!) Pick me! Pick me! Michael Drout! he teaches Lots of classes on Lit (he has a whole class on LOTR and another on SciFy) He loves Angalo-saxon english! he wrote a book, and if you go to his website, he has read outloud everything we have in that language.

    9. Blueberry*

      Latin is also a great language to study if you are going into the medical field. Lots of medical terms are derived from Latin.

        1. Anonymeece*

          Greek is another popular one for medical terms. At my university, we even had a class that was “Greek and Latin for Medical Students.”

    10. KG*

      To clarify– I completely support studying Latin. Plenty of value in it!

      I rolled my eyes at the claim of “fluency” in “spoken” Latin. Just… no, dude. You’re not. This isn’t the Vatican. You’re a college student with a four-page resume applying to a NGO.

    11. Alli525*

      I mean just because it’s “dead” doesn’t mean it’s not used, or useful… maybe verbal fluency isn’t that important unless you’re in an academic or religious setting, but writing/reading is definitely useful in other ways.

    12. Prague*

      A guy I work with thought he could impress senior leaders recently by switching to Latin halfway through his presentation. It didn’t end well.

      1. sigh*

        My university prides itself on teaching Latin as a living language. Once you’ve gone to a Latin language pool party and bbq the rest of your life feels flat.

        Point is, several students graduate each year speaking Latin like I speak English and spanish, and in fields where its relevant no one will scoff.

    13. Student*

      There are a whole bunch of very good books, stories, and poems written in Latin as the original language. As a language, it’s got some nuances to it that are difficult to translate into English, as there’s no direct equivalent, so there really is a difference when reading those old stories as they were intended.

      It’s also fun. There’s no weight of practicality to it, since everyone accepts you probably won’t be speaking it conversationally, so you can focus more on the entertaining bits. And great for translating random movie spells, the occasional organization motto, etc.

      As a high school student, I especially appreciated that Latin class had a dirty old Roman poetry unit (Catullus, for those in the know), whereas Spanish and French and German had… ever-expanding vocab drills.

      1. Anonicat*

        My dad was baffled that I was learning Greek…until I clarified that it was ancient Greek. Then he was totally on board. He loves the idea of reading Lysistrata or Oedipus in the original.

    14. NP12345*

      I was a Classics major in college and my school offered courses in spoken Latin & Ancient Greek! We put on a performance at the end of the semester–it’s important to know how the language sounded when studying poetry, plays, basically anything written in meter. I have a friend who is a high school Latin teacher and she has gone to several Latin-immersion camps where you are only allowed to communicate in Latin for a week or two.

    15. Annabelle*

      I would never put this on a resume because it’s wildly irrelevant, but I am technically “fluent” in Latin. We had both written and conversational Latin courses at my high school.

    16. HRH the Emperor Kuzco*

      Being fluent in Latin is actually pretty handy for multiple fields, especially historical research. However this is definitely a case of “choose the appropriate/applicable skills for your resume.”

    17. Elle*

      My Roman Law professor (required class if you wish to be a barrister in Scotland) spoke fluent Latin. He mentioned that he had once, on a cruise, conducted an entire dinner conversation in it as it was the only common language he and another guest had.

      He was nuts, though. His exam questions always said things like “Quirinus has borrowed Flavius’ lawnmower and failed to give it back. Flavius has a servitude over Quirinus’ land which he uses to steal Quirinus’ slave. Discuss the legal issues arising.” The questions set by the other lecturer were always far more boring, but not as weird.

      Thankfully, he wasn’t weird enough to give in to the unpleasantly snobbish, privately educated, mature student who suggested that the entire course be taught solely in Latin, and heavily implied that those of us without Higher Latin should never have got into law – I would have taken Latin, but my local authority had removed it from the curriculum 15 years earlier, and sacked all the classics teachers.

      1. Cornflower Blue*

        …I’ll bite. WHY is Roman Law required to be a barrister in Scotland? XD Last I heard, slavery AND the Romans weren’t out of favor there.

        1. Chinook*

          Since Quebec still relies on Napoleanic law as its foundation (vs. British common law used elsewhere in Canada), I could see Scotland relying on/being based on Roman law foe the same reason (trying to keep the stupid Brita from taking all of your culture)

    18. ks*

      I graduated with high honors from an Ivy League university with a degree in Latin. (Not even Classics, but Latin.) At some point, I’m sure I had a resume that listed my languages as Latin (fluent), Ancient Greek (basic), Scottish Gaelic (beginners). Because, nerd.

      Sadly, after a couple of decades, I have lost my fluency and could at best be described as “dictionary fluent” now. I can’t even reliably create Latin mottoes for friends’ nerd-activities.

  24. Mrs. Badcrumble*

    I once received a seven-page resume, the most notable aspect of which was the quantity of cigarette ash it included.

    1. Sapphire*

      “Let me assure you, Mrs. Badcrumble, I’ll smoke the competition!”

      At least that’s what I imagine they were trying to say.

  25. Gaia*

    It might not be weird in all cultures but as an American I was really thrown off when I was reviewing CVs in another country and they all listed hobbies. Completely unrelated to work hobbies like knitting, travel, map making, etc. Like that’s cool but…how is it relevant?

    1. Will "scifantasy" Frank*

      I’ve discussed before here that I have an Other Interests/Information section on my resume (and I’m American); it’s at the end and it’ll be the first thing to go as needed, but if nothing else, it can be an icebreaker.

      1. PSB*

        That makes more sense for you than anyone else I can think of, since most people are only passively or somewhat engaged in their other interests.

        1. Will "scifantasy" Frank*

          Trying to figure out whether you know who I am or you’re just piggybacking on the reality TV thing…*grin*

          1. PSB*

            Ha! Sorry, I knew that was going to sound odd without any context. Someone you know – my user name isn’t my initials, but the initials of an old nickname with which you’re familiar.

      2. chocolate tort*

        Same experience as Will. Grad school career office strongly suggested an other interests/other info section–just a line or two at the bottom of the resume. No idea if it ever helped my candidacy, but the info I put there would come up in interviews–to break the monotony of interviewing a dozen students, if nothing else!

        That info usually relates to fencing and/or NaNoWriMo. I know, I know, there was that letter recently about not putting unfinished novels on a resume, but I put it there more in the context of… I do this weird writing challenge for fun. People seemed to find it interesting, although it may have backfired one time when someone asked me what I would do if I got slammed with work during November. Heh.

    2. Sapphire*

      The one place I’ve used a “Special Interests/Hobbies” section was a position at a university where I had to “demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and self-improvement” so I mentioned my choral and language-learning experiences.

    3. Positive Reframer*

      I know most people here don’t think hobbies are relevant because apparently doing something for the love of it means less than doing it because someone pays you. However many hobbies are a side business and/or build skills that are relevant to job tasks and can certainly be part of a good discussion of a candidate’s skills and aptitude. Perhaps it is better brought into the conversation during the interview rather than the resume but there are plenty of applications out there that specifically ask about hobbies.

    4. Ex-Academic, Future Accountant*

      The career office at my (US) university advises us to do this! “You want to give the employer a sense of who you are as a whole person” is their reasoning. I have resisted this so far, in part because I suspect this strategy tends to work better for people who can say “golf and yoga” than for people whose answer is “cello and tournament Scrabble”.

      1. Will "scifantasy" Frank*

        I don’t know, cello and tournament Scrabble sounds great for a hobbies section.

        1. Ex-Academic, Future Accountant*

          Hehe. I’m just a little bummed lately because despite the cultural stereotype of accountants being nerds, I have yet to meet even one fellow nerd in my program!

      2. Allison*

        I got that advice too, and my counselor really thought that if by chance the interviewer is into the same hobby as you, they’ll be more likely to like you and want to hire you over someone with similar qualifications.

        I don’t like the whole “show them how human you are!” strategy. I know you’re a human. What else would you be? An alien? A piece of toast? If you don’t have the background the hiring manager is looking for, reminding them that you’re a *real person* just like them won’t really help, and may sound more like a guilt trip than anything else.

      3. ContentWrangler*

        When I was job-hunting, I had someone suggestion I put hobbies and interests like that at the end of my intro on my LinkedIn page. Same kind of reasoning – create a bigger, better picture of you as a person. But definitely not on a resume!

    5. SarahKay*

      It used to be a standard bit for UK CVs – just a line at the end. I think it was supposed to show that you were a rounded person.
      It may still be standard but it’s 13 years since I last had to do a CV, so I don’t know either way.

      1. Glowcat*

        The “europass” CV format allows hobbies, they are used to demonstrate how you have learned your soft skills: 20 years of practicing a musical instrument can say a lot on your dedication, for example. It’s very common for us European to list them in the bottom line, as far as I know, and I was even asked to talk about them in the final part of my interview (with interviewers from two other countries, so I can tell it’s a widespread habit across Europe).

    6. The Senior Wrangler*

      I’ve put things like that on there before but tried to tie them in with the work (ie performing shows I’m confident etc), but I’m quite young (also in the UK) so my CV probably needs a but more fleshing out than others.

      Also, the last job I applied for was my current support worker position, where I work mostly one-to-one with my employer, so it was good for them to know a bit more about me we need to have a very good relationship. Nut that’s quite a specific situation, of course.

    7. Book Badger*

      I’ve been advised (as an American law student) to include hobbies to humanize me and to find rapport with an interviewer, but only hobbies that are unique and interesting (BASE jumping as opposed to watching Netflix). All of my hobbies are quiet and indoors so I don’t list them.

      1. NerdLawyer*

        You could try narrowing down some of your quiet and indoor, if that’s possible? In law student resumes, the interests section gets a lot of play (unless of course the rest of your resume is chock-full of deeply relevant experience, which as a student is less likely).

        So instead of saying, “I like to read” you could say “I enjoy medieval French poetry and the writings of 18th-century cartographers” or whatever. Go as specific as you can while still being truthful, don’t just say “fiction”– gets you unique and interesting without having to lie about throwing yourself off tall buildings.

        My 1L interview with the firm I’m still at was mostly a discussion of books it turned out we all liked.

        1. Book Badger*

          Thank you for the advice! My issue is that a lot of them tend to make me look (in the words of my dad) like a domestic goddess. The only things I really do for fun (other than writing fanfiction, which I would never put on a resume) are knitting and baking. I feel like it makes me look like an old granny lady or June Cleaver. Now, I do consider myself *very good* at those things, but they’re not exactly the kind of thing people would find interesting or base a conversation on, I don’t think?

          1. Will "scifantasy" Frank*

            Knitting might actually be a selling point…emphasis might, though, so I’m not sure I’m recommending it. It certainly has been seeing something of a resurgence, be it the hats for the Women’s March or Hogwarts House scarves.

          2. NerdLawyer*

            Ooh, I see your point (I’ve been in the domestic goddess boat myself, I cook, I garden, I embroider). Baking’s not a great conversation starter unless you bring food (do not bring food). Knitting is also a little common now (not to denigrate it, but you’re right that it doesn’t really stand out). But are there any aspects you specialize in or can focus on? Lace knitting or obscure wool blends? Or weird Peruvian flan recipes? Are you into subgenres of music, or collecting old cookbooks?

            Even if not though, they’re looking for a sense that you do Anything Other Than Law That Requires Active Engagement (thus, not TV). It doesn’t have to be a huge part of your life, just one you can talk about with some level of interest that shows you have actively chosen to spend time on things that aren’t school.

          3. Specialk9*

            By baking do you mean an obsessive tendency to make large amounts of sweet treats that you need help getting through so you bring to the office? Naw, nobody would find THAT intriguing! d:

    8. Lucky*

      I think adding an “other interests” or “hobbies/activities section is common Career Services advice, at least at law schools because I often see this in lawyer’s resumes. But people list some bizarre things. Like, hiking, travel, foodie stuff is totally normal, but listing “Japanese culture” on your resume as an interest is just off-putting. That was on my coworker’s resume – turns out, she studied Japanese as her foreign language in college and went to Japan for her honeymoon, but that’s the extent of that “hobby.”

      Overall though, I think listing a few non-work/non-professional interests can be a nice ice-breaker for interviews.

      1. nonymous*

        I have some acquaintances who are Japanophiles (I think that’s how it’s described?) – they speak Japanese conversationally, are active in the local professional exchange program, travel when they can afford it, are into Japanese manga, like eating Japanese food, stuff like that. I will say that outside of the language skills, it does seem to be a consumerist hobby, but I’m from an immigrant family, so maybe my standards are too high?

        1. Will "scifantasy" Frank*

          If they describe themselves as otaku, that would be…interesting. (“Otaku” often gets translated into English as “nerd” or “geek” but in Japanese it’s a lot stronger of a word, much more of a stigma of creepy obsessive. I think that as more of this Japanese-cultural enthusiasm gets more familiar with, well, Japanese culture, they’re distancing themselves from the word, but it was prevalent for a while.)

          I suppose it can be vaguely consumerist, though I will say that when I went to Japan for a secondment, my Japanese coworkers were gobsmacked when I would indicate familiarity with Japanese history (naming Oda Nobunaga for example) and even (some) cultural cues.

          Assuming you’re talking about Americans, I would say there’s a weird mashup of reasons, especially for children of the ’80s and ’90s, for interest in Japanese culture. Not all of which are flattering (there can definitely be uncomfortable race-stereotyping going on).

        2. Annabelle*

          A less neautral term used for people like that is “weeabo.” They’re largely non-Japanese folks who kind of fetishize Japanese culture.

    9. katrina929*

      As others have said, I believe college career centers (in USA) have been advising to include it. In my current position, I do a lot of recruiting directly from college, and A LOT of very sharp and great resumes include this now. I believe when I was in school, they advised us to only include a hobby if it was somewhat relevant to the industry/position you were applying to.

      But now I see the somewhat odd things under interests/hobbies, like: sneakers (I realize sneakers are a huge thing for high school/college kids – but don’t include on resume), videogames (ok, cool — don’t include it on a resume), the name of a bar in my college town (this one really confused me! I googled it just to be sure. It includes a street name in the name, so there was low chance it was anything else). There’s been other slightly odd things.

      1. Fortitude Jones*

        There are many adult sneakerheads out there, especially ones who have very lucrative side hustles selling them online to other adult sneakerheads.

    10. NP12345*

      I’ve seen that on finance/business resumes in the US–an industry where there’s a work hard/play hard culture. You’re supposed to list accomplishments, and it’s all stuff like “Mountain climbing–have scaled 17 of the world’s top 50 highest peaks,” “Marathon runner, completed 2015 NYC race in 2:37, placing 3rd in my age group,” and “World Cocaine Snorting Championship 2017 Bronze Medalist.”

    11. Nanani*

      I used to work in Japan, and a hobby section was part of the standard template.

      I was told you’re supposed to put relevant ones though, or at least “smart-sounding” ones like “learning history” or “studying a foreign language”.

    12. Needs a new username*

      There are industries where that’s useful, but I can’t see it being helpful in office work.

      When I interview for educators in child care services, though, a lot of those skills (cooking, arts and crafts, musical skill, gardening) are all things to look out for on a resume.

    13. Elle*

      It’s pretty normal in the UK! I’ve always included my hobbies (the work-appropriate ones, anyway!). I do tie it in to work skills – mentioning my experience leading walks for a local group, committee experience through my dancing – and it’s always been discussed in interviews. Some application forms even ask for them!

      It’s definitely more common at the start of your career – as you amass more experience you would give less time to them – but my dad is a well respected academic in his 60s, and some versions of his CV still have his hobbies on.

    14. Librarygeek*

      I have some hobbies listed on applications, but they’re fairly relevant, in that I can create kid/teen library programs around them, e.g. medieval reinactment, writing.

  26. designbot*

    One recent grad listed herself as having a ‘Bachelorette’s in Fine Art.’ I have to admit it gave me a pause, I had to look up whether this was a term that was ever used. When I found it wasn’t, I wasn’t sure whether to interpret this as some ultra-feminist statement or just stupidity. The sketch of a bunny rabbit adorning her cover letter (I usually look at those last) let me know which way to take it.

    1. LostInTheStacks*

      I went to a women’s college that is located fairly close to what was once a prominent men’s college, so in the first ~75 years of its history it was really common to see students getting “MRS” degrees, and even now people make references to it every once in a while. At our graduation ceremony, a friend and I were reviewing the list of students and the degrees conferred–lots of BAs, a few BSs, and a handful of MAs and MSWs–and she looked at me and very seriously asked “when did [College] stop offering the MRS degree?”

      1. Aitch Arr*

        I went to a women’s college as well. My first year, my roommate seemed more interested in missing her boyfriend than being at college. I rather sarcastically asked her if she was just here for the MRS degree and she thought it was something the school offered.

      2. Justme, The OG*

        We have a degree at my employer/university that is still referred to as a MRS degree.

    2. Merula*

      I think there was a movement for “Spinsters Degree” at some point, which at least would make sense.

      1. Specialk9*

        I can’t put my hands on it, but an article talked about how big wars that killed generations of men were often followed by women achieving great things. The idea was that spinster women (with some money) could study and excel in a way that marrying and having 10 kids (and then dying in childbed) couldn’t allow.

    3. SierraSkiing*

      I was once guiding an admissions tour at Yale, and at the law school I (a female Yale student) mentioned that Hillary and Bill Clinton had met while they were at Yale. An older man on my tour nodded sagely. “Ah, so she came here for her MRS degree, then?” Since I was working, I just told him “She came for the excellent law education, and I think she got it!” In the cheeriest tone I could manage before the tour moved on.

      1. Persephoneunderground*

        Not to mention, she kept her name for years so no, she didn’t get the Mrs.- that’s Ms. Rodham, thank yew! And I second the medal. (Apparently she only added Clinton later when Bill got serious in politics because it was too controversial for a candidate’s wife to not have his name at the time.)

      2. whingedrinking*

        Standard joke from the Clinton era:
        Hillary and Bill stop at a gas station, and Hillary gets into an animated conversation with the clerk. When they leave, Bill says, “What the heck was that all about?”
        “Oh,” says Hillary, “I know him from way back. He’s actually an ex-boyfriend of mine.”
        “Man,” says Bill, “can you imagine how different things would have been if you’d married him and not me?”
        “Yeah, just think,” says Hillary, “he’d be president and you’d be a gas station clerk.”

    4. Amy*

      As someone who works at a college, this actually happens way more than it should. It’s actually probably because they misread/mispronounce “baccalaureate”.

  27. PB*

    We received a resume recently from someone who had apparently generated his resume for a CV management system, and sent it unedited. It was 14 pages long, and had a number of categories that contained “N/A.”

  28. Cambridge Comma*

    An A4-sized full length sepia photograph of the applicant in a lace bodysuit. (In a country where head and shoulders passport-sized photos are the norm.)

    1. rosiebyanyothername*

      My dad used to work in college admissions and would occasionally get glamour shots from applicants, occasionally veering into sexy territory a la your lace bodysuit girl. They had to start specifically addressing “supplementary materials” in the application paperwork.

        1. Oregonian*

          Alison defaults to female pronouns when the gender is unknown and people regularly copy that in the comments section. It’s not necessarily a sexist thing when someone replies as Observer did.

        1. Observer*

          TBH, I find this so weird that I don’t think it bein a he would make that much of a difference.

    2. Annabelle*

      I used to help my boss at OldJob sort through resumes and one lady submitted a portrait of herself glammed up like Madonna circa ‘84. And this was in the US, in an industry where no one submits even standard headshots with their resume.

  29. Master Bean Counter*

    When I worked for an organization whose name included the word public more candidates than I expected left the L out of the word public.
    There was also the guy who’s email address was nvrl84sx@…

    1. Detective Amy Santiago*

      I feel like “terrible email addresses” could be a post of its own. Or maybe something for the Friday open thread.

      The best/worst I ever had was a woman named Virginia whose email was “missvajayjay”

      1. paul*

        We had one, once, whose email address was bubblebutt69@hostname…it was just…no. The rest of the resume’ was bad enough my boss read some of it out loud. We were never sure if they were trying to apply for the minimum number of jobs to keep unemployment or what.

        They had an entirely wrong understanding of the sorts of “positions” you’re supposed to put on a resume’….

      2. Rusty Shackelford*

        I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I worked at a university (A) that had a rivalry with another university (B). One applicant was a fan of B, and his email address – included on the resume he used to apply for a job at A – was “univAsux.”

      3. Jadelyn*

        I posted this below, but my favorite of these was the one whose email address, in all caps at the top of his resume, was TRUCKNUTZ69@[whoever].

        1. Agile Phalanges*

          A co-worker of mine uses his personal e-mail address as he doesn’t have a company one. It’s firstlast69@domain. In his defense, it’s his birth year, and maybe his name is common enough he had to add SOMEthing? I’m sure he’s got a dirty mind, with a side of plausible deniability, though.

      4. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)*

        Not terrible so much as hilarious, but we had a doctor in a previous company who had an email along the lines of itsjustarash@

      5. Elle*

        My mum used to help out with a programme (Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for the Brits among you) where young people take part in sport, volunteering, hiking, etc. In later years, they went over to an online system for tracking activity, as part of which, the kids had to provide their email address. On more than one occasion Mum had to have deeply awkward conversations with 14 year old girls covering (a) whether their parents knew their email addresses (usually no), and (b) the importance of having a second email for conversing with people other than their close friends if the first email address was “hot_sexy_stuff6969@…”

        I have a school friend who had her hotmail display name set as like “green dragon 15” or something equally stupid, largely forgot about, and then had it brought up in an interview for a work experience position when we were about 17!

    2. Katie M*

      I’m a public librarian and we get a lot of resume questions from patrons. We’re not able to do too much proofreading since that would essentially take up all of our time at the desk, but I did have to offer a correction when I saw someone who had listed a position assembling sandwiches for boxed lunches, and she said one of her duties was “raping the sandwiches”

      1. Kadi*

        I recruited for a large public library for a few years. I was dismayed by how many people spelled it the way they said it – libary – sad.

      2. Work Wardrobe*

        Ouch. I don’t know who’s worse off in that equation, the applicant or the sandwich.

    3. BananaRama*

      I heard of a handle that was hancockmonster@ and the guy got defensive when advised to change it. “Why?! Hansock’s my name!”

    4. the_scientist*

      Ha! I work in public health and we get “pubic health” pretty regularly which never fails to make me LOL. I’ve also caught it in proofing my own cover letters! It doesn’t get picked up by spellcheck!

      1. Merula*

        You may want to delete pubic from your user dictionary. I do that with a few words that autocorrect likes to use instead of industry-specific terms.

        1. Anonicat*

          I’ve changed my email to autocorrect retards to regards because, well, look at your keyboard. Scarred for life, I tell you.

      2. Not a Real Giraffe*

        this is why I always, ALWAYS, remove the word “pubic” from my Word dictionary. If it pops up, it’ll get the red squiggle of death and then I can fix it.

      3. Anonymous Ampersand*

        I have now set “pubic health” to autocorrect to “public health” in word.

      4. InDefensible*

        Years ago, I saw an ad on public transit in Chicago – the big, wide printed ads put out by the Department of Public Health. Professionally designed ad, etc I think talking about STI prevention or testing.

        It said “Pubic.”

        Not kidding.

  30. Blue Anne*

    Definitely the guy who won prizes for training excellent examples of a specific type of guard/attack dog in Eastern Europe.

  31. stitchinthyme*

    A former boss of mine once showed me a resume she received for a software developer position where the only experience listed was “Manger” of a Taco Bell.

    1. Live and Learn*

      My husband has a former colleague who ordered business cards without proofing them first so they read “Sales Mangagger”. We still laugh about what skills are required to be a professional man gagger.

      1. Specialk9*

        If the man in question is a regular mansplainer, I’ll bet the line of applicants would go around the block.

  32. Scott D*

    My company switched to an automated application system. Initially, they allowed you to select more than one job for which to apply. That changed quickly when we realized some people were simply applying for hundreds of jobs at once without even reading the description.

    There was a section for comments. Most were mundane, but there was one I’ll always remember, and I don’t even know how it’s remotely relevant to an I.T. job but here goes: “I was the most recent love-struck victim!”

    Some from the automated system
    Job: SQL/PHP Programmer Best previous job on resume: Walgreens checker (with NO relevant skills AT ALL)
    Job: Vice President of Marketing Best previous job on resume: Stocker at Costco (“I’ve watched lots of managers so know how they operate.”)
    Job: Entry level copy editor Cover letter: “I know you probably won’t hire me, but …” (I stopped reading at this point.

      1. Catalin*

        UGH or on Facebook/Twitter, “Most people won’t bother to read this (crappy article/guilt post/proselytizing stuff)”

  33. Antilles*

    For about a two-year stretch at my old company, it wasn’t uncommon for candidates to include photos of themselves on their resumes, completely unsolicited. Not headshots (which would have been weird enough), but full frame of their entire body, dressed in typical professional attire (suit/dress, tie, etc). These photos would usually be on one of the sides of the page and take up at least 1/3 of the width of the page. We eventually had to add an explicit “please do not include any photos” to the application instructions just to get people to stop.
    It was an engineering company.

    1. AMT*

      Did you get a lot of international applicants? Photos are standard in many countries for some reason.

    2. Guest Dropping By*

      A candidate once included in his resume that he was a computer wiz and loved working on computers (computer-based position). This was only bizarre because when he arrived for the interview he went on a long tangent about how he wasn’t good at computers and he really didn’t like computers (he was blind).

  34. Archie Goodwin*

    I may regret admitting this, but I put my Wikipedia editing on my resume. (I wouldn’t, ordinarily, but I’ve been prolific enough that it’s garnered me a bit of attention within the community. And without.)

    Not at the top, mind. Under volunteer work. And it seems to have helped get me my current job. So it worked out in the end. :-)

    1. LostInTheStacks*

      I can definitely see that being relevant to some jobs. Like, I work in public history, so if I saw a candidate who had made significant, well-cited contributions to a large number of relevant pages, I would be impressed. And I know several graduate students who have organized edit-a-thons where, for example, they and their peers create or expand on the Wikipedia pages of women in science, art, music, etc, who are underrepresented by important to scholars in the field.

      If someone put it on their resume and it turns out they’ve made crappy edits to three or four pop culture articles, that would be a different thing, but hey, context is important!

      1. JHunz*

        Frequent editing also demonstrates familiarity with navigating immense and nonsensical bureaucratic systems. A skill which is relevant to an unfortunately high number of jobs.

        1. Archie Goodwin*

          I also tend to think it shows an ability to work well with others. To an extent…not always the case, but if you’ve been a contributor as long as I have (twelve years, now) and done as much editing as I have your path is bound to cross others’ enough that you have to navigate interpersonal stuff.

      2. Archie Goodwin*

        Context – my father’s favorite seven-letter word. :-)

        Incidentally, those edit-a-thons are related to a lot of the work I’m doing now; I don’t attend many in person, but Women in Red is the project where I’ve done the most work over the past couple of years. So you can thank those grad students for the work they’re putting in. :-)

    2. cataloger*

      I have this on my CV as well, and have used it in my job (we’ve done a few edit-a-thons).

  35. Sunnyside*

    I received a resume written entirely in Old English font, like an illuminated manuscript…or the resume of a misguided skater punk with a penchant for death metal.

        1. Observer*

          Yeah. There is a reason that fonts like Old English are called “display” fonts. They are all but unreadable.

    1. JanetM*

      I received a resume (this predated most home computers and fancy fonts) for a drafter/designer that was in a beautiful font style. I asked, “Was this hand-printed?”

      He drew himself up in a huff and said, “It is hand LETTERED. PRINTING is done with a PRESS.”

      My boss came boiling out of his office, took the resume out of my hand and gave it back to the applicant. “You can leave now. If you can’t treat my recruiter with respect, how can I trust you with my clients?”

      I would have walked through fire for that man.

        1. JanetM*

          He was very, very good to work for. I left the company shortly after he did, although not for that reason.

    2. Karo*

      I wrote an entire report in Old English once. In third grade. I still feel shame, more than 20 years later.

      1. smoke tree*

        Was it actual Old English or just ye olde English spelling? If it was the former, I’m impressed. It’s a challenging language!

  36. MaryContrary*

    I had two head slappers, both submitted for 6-figure management jobs. Both had the dreaded “Personal Achievements and Interests” sections. The first resume’s top personal achievement was finishing an RPG video game first before any of her friends. The second person’s included an entire section of clip art icons detailing interests. Two rows, 5 icons each. The standouts were an electrical pole titled “Things You Should Know,” a baby rattle “My Kids,” pants “New Pants” and the best one, a camera “Staring at Photos.”
    Not looking at, not enjoying, not appreciating… staring.

      1. Allison*

        Seriously, when I can find pants that both fit and flatter my weird not-model body, I feel pretty damn accomplished!

    1. Code Monkey, the SQL*

      What, exactly, would I need to know about an electrical pole?

      Or am I better off not asking that question.

      Also: “Honey? Where are my paaaaaaaaaants?” *laugh track*

  37. Anonyna*

    I once got a resume from someone who listed game hunting under a hobbies section. Which, I mean, okay, I suppose. He then further elaborated that he enjoyed “watching the life leave their eyes” O_o

      1. Anonyna*

        Yeah, that was my reaction. It’s probably worth noting that this was at a time when the Canadian government was cracking down on unemployment claims from seasonal workers, and we were getting a lot of people that didn’t actually want to work but had to prove they were actively looking for work. So we would get people that would show up for interviews looking like they’d just rolled out of bed, eating food from a competitor and asking us to sign a document we interviewed them. But still. There’s ways to avoid getting a job that don’t involve looking like a sociopath.

    1. Gaia*

      Does anyone else get the feeling that the “game” he “hunts” might be “human?”


      1. The New Wanderer*

        I’ve read at least two novels featuring serial killers that use that same phrase. It’s … memorable.

    2. Kathleen_A*

      I…I mean…Well…

      OK, I know plenty of people who hunt, but this isn’t a hunter. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a psycho.

      1. Anion*

        Yes. Being a game hunter wouldn’t make me bat an eyelash, but that…no. None of the game hunters I’ve ever known *wanted* to “watch the life leave their eyes,” because seeing that meant they hadn’t killed it with one merciful shot.

      2. Specialk9*

        I’m going to sincerely hope this was someone who was trying hard not to get a job. Disturbing.

    3. (Different) Rebecca, PhD*

      Eyrrrgh. I mean, I have a joke jar on my desk that says “ashes of problem students” but a) it’s a joke, and b) I keep it stocked with Snickers that I feed people who attend office hours.

  38. Somnambule*

    I was hiring lab technicians and one applicant had a section called “awesome skills” on his resume. He listed he could tie shoelaces with his tongue, walk on his hands and play the triangle. We were very tempted to invite him to an interview and have him demonstrate a combination of these three skills.

    A few months later, a college student applied for a summer internship by sending us copies of love letters he wrote to his high school crush as a proof of his writing skills.

    1. Ella*

      Meanwhile, at the circus, there’s a hiring manager going, “Why did this candidate include a list of papers accepted for publication at peer-reviewed scientific journals on his clown application?”

    2. Little*

      Walk on his hands and/while playing the triangle? Or “…walk on his hands, and play the triangle”?

  39. Me*

    I recently reviewed a resume where a candidate for a job in the US who had received her degree in the US and presumably had been born and raised in the US listed that she was fluent in English other skills. No other languages were listed, just English.
    Another resume I reviewed recently labeled the section that is typically labeled “Education” as “Student Loans,” and her experience section was labeled “All in a Day’s Work.” Clever I guess, but not enough to get me to interview her.

    1. MuseumChick*

      I kind get listing fluent in English. I’ve come across so many job posting that say something like “Must be able to effectively communicate. Proficient in written and spoke English a must.”

    2. Dankar*

      I have a dear friend who listed her languages on her first resume thus:

      Japanese – Fluent
      English – Proficient

      English is her first language. We all had a great laugh about that when we reviewed her resume. I think we caught it before she applied anywhere, though.

    3. Fortitude Jones*

      I chuckled at the Student Loans section. A girl after my own heart (and God, do I empathize with her there).

    4. Pathfinder Ryder*

      My Asian-American friend who was born and raised in the US once told me her immigrant father was advising her to put her English fluency on her resume.

  40. Your Weird Uncle*

    A woman just out of university who listed her appearance as an extra on a well-known ‘reality’ tv show at the time. She had no applicable experience, but her CV included a sentence along the lines of ‘I’m good enough to do it, I’m smart enough to do it, and by gosh I WILL do it!’

    1. FrontRangeOy*

      That’s a Mary Kay thing O.o
      I recently sat through a consultants meeting as a favor to a friend and they used that sentence everywhere.

      (The meeting utterly failed to work it’s magic on me. Didn’t join as a consultant – don’t need to, get my fulfillment, success, and achievement through the far more traditional media of volunteer work and paid work.)

  41. Dovahkiin*

    Under most recent experience, a candidate listed “CEO, [Candidate’s Last Name] Inc.”
    I googled the company. Nothing. Hmmmm.
    During the phone interview, I asked them if they had started their own company, and what that company did. They said, “Yes, I’m founder and CEO of [Candidates’s Last Name], Inc. and so far, I’ve been sending out lots of resumes.”

      1. Bryce*

        They’re shopping around for an infusion of venture capital.

        Should have named it [Candidate’s Last Name] Blockchain Inc.

    1. JamieS*

      This reminds me of when a co-worker quit and sent out a goodbye email saying she was resigning to be the COO of the Johnson Family. She was quitting to be a SAHM.

    1. Detective Amy Santiago*

      Was their cover letter written in the style of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” lyrics?

      1. Fiennes*

        Photoshop, SQL
        And Six Sigma plus Excel
        Balanced all the budget lines
        Cut all customer wait times
        Aced certification test
        References upon request!

        1. wendelenn*

          We will start your hire
          ‘Cause we’re always burnin’ for the skills you’re learnin’
          We will start your hire
          So don’t try to fight it ’cause you’re just the right fit

    2. Anion*

      That’s an instant no-hire for me.

      (Not really, because I wouldn’t turn someone down for that…but boy, I’d be tempted.)

  42. Jaune Desprez*

    I had an applicant who listed cake baking/decorating and costuming his cat as hobbies. This was on a physician CV. I was 100% ready to interview him, but someone else grabbed him first!