love letters as writing samples, the candidate who spoke Pirate, and other tales of amazing resumes

A few weeks ago, I asked you about the strangest things you’ve ever seen on a resume. You shared some amazing stories — so many, in fact, that I couldn’t pick my usual 10, so here are 30 of the best.

1. “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.”

2. “At a previous job we received a 3-page resume that started with a list of accomplishments. One of the so-called accomplishments was ‘Met Lenny Kravitz.’ We had a laugh at that, because WTF?! It had absolutely nothing to do with the job or the industry that we were in. And, I mean, he just met the dude, he didn’t work with him or anything. That’s absolutely not an ‘accomplishment’ even if you’re trying to break into the recording business or something!

Then we got to the third page of his resume and it was just a scanned picture of him with Lenny Kravitz.

We did not move forward with his application.”

3. “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.”

4. “We interviewed a guy for a web designer’s job. His portfolio was quite good, until we came across one of our own websites in there. We asked him to explain and he said that he put it in there as an example of a well designed website. We didn’t really believe him. He didn’t get the job.”

5. “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.”

6. “We 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.'”

7. “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.”

8. “I had a husband and wife apply together for one position, with a single resume. It listed degrees and experience, with dates, but did not differentiate between spouses. They were working artists and explained they preferred to share a job and decide among themselves who would show up on any given day.

They provided a link to their art portfolio. (The position I was hiring for was not art-related.) I looked and their art involved nude photos of themselves, digitally combined and altered into sort of amorphous abstracts.”

9. “A female applicant put “Bachelorette Degree” on her resume and when I called her to screen, let her know of, what I had assumed, was a typo. She assured me that she did, indeed, have a Bachelorette degree because she’s not a man. Duh.”

10. “I got a resume where instead of attaching his resume, the poor guy accidentally attached a letter from his mom telling him to get a job and stop taking money from his grandfather. He didn’t get an interview either. I still wonder if he ever stopped mooching off his grandpa.”

11. “I’ve seen quite a few resumes that list fanfic and it’s even worse when it’s fanfic for books that my company publishes. I’m in fandom and enjoy writing/reading fanfic, but no one is going to hire someone who wrote fanfic for X series to work with that author. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

There have been a few who have linked to their fanfic and well…….I checked out of pure curiosity (none of them were invited for an interview). One was a really great author. Another had some of the more hardcore kinks fandom loves (and ones that make me uncomfortable), and I was just baffled that someone would think it’s a good idea to link to their erotica on a resume.”

12. “It was the kind of application form where you’re supposed to upload your resume as an attachment, and one candidate uploaded a Word document that contained one line: ‘Resume available upon request.'”

13. “Once received a resume that was written in the form of a recipe:

1/2 cup working with individuals on their job skills
2 tsp crisis intervention
3 cups supervising staff

That kind of thing. And there were little clip art gingerbread men all over it. And I remember the paper being pink. No actual time spent in jobs (list of jobs at the bottom), or list of skills. It was up to us to figure out what to what the different measurements equated.”

14. “One listed why he left each job. Fired, quit because the boss sucked (yes, that was a reason), but the one that stood out? Fired because he was in jail for attempted murder. Yeah… we didn’t interview him. (In the resume, he did note that he was found ‘not guilty on a technicality.’ Not that he wasn’t actually not guilty, but found not guilty due to a technicality.)”

15. “In the past few months I have seen:
– excessive use of emojis (more than 0 is excessive to me)
– put down ‘working my ass off’ as one of the bullet points for a position
– a very ‘light’ resume in the work history section, but a very detailed Karate section”

16. “When we had an open position that was half-admin-half-research-assistant, one applicant in his late twenties sent a resume that began with standard education/work history and continued on the 3rd page into a creative writing sample/series of diary entries. The entries covered every topic from a conversation with his dying grandfather, to his first sexual experience (3rd base graphically described, occurring in a back room of his parents’ church), to a very flowery description of doing drugs in a field with his best friends.

Our office came up with several theories. I half regret never reaching out to him to confirm whether this was a prank, accident, or gross misunderstanding of the job posting.”

17. “I once got someone who listed ‘World’s Best Grandson’ under awards. He was the winner in 2003, and then again from 2006-2008. I contacted him to come in for an interview (this was a part time call center job), but he didn’t answer. I was slightly disappointed, because his resume cracked me up.”

18. “I once received a resume that contained a photo of the applicant. It was a formally posed shot of him standing in front of a bookshelf holding a book and looking thoughtfully into the distance. The same resume include a series of quotes about him from people he knew (think the kind of blurbs you find on book jackets). Unfortunately for him, I knew some of them as well and they confirmed they hadn’t either said those things or given him permission to use their names in his resume.”

19. “I once received a resume that was fairly normal, along with a cover letter that was written as a ransom note (all the letters and words cut out of different magazines). I think the intent was to show creativity and humor, but it actually just felt a little creepy. No interview.”

20. “The strangest was a resume started off with the usual stuff like name address, etc. Then he states male with defined brown beard with a few gray hairs. The resume then continued on like a normal resume. If it wasn’t for that line he totally would have gotten an interview.”

21. “Instead of stating I was a stay at home mom and now I’m returning to work one woman listed it as a job. But also listed it as if she was talking to a 4-year-old. Something like this:
The Smith Household
1/1/13 to forever
Mommy to the best children in the world
*care for two amazing kids I love so much
*pay household bills for my wonderful family
*grocery shop to provide for my loves”

22. “I will never forget the time we were hiring for a research assistant and indicated a preference for bilingual English/Spanish speakers. One applicant’s cover letter included: ‘I’m not bilingual or bisexual (that I know of).'”

23. “I hired for >15 years for professional healthcare positions. Some of the memorable ones:

– Honorable mention certificate from a high school science fair
– 3rd place finish in a karate tournament in 7th grade
– Bikini photo of candidate
– Photo of candidate posing with firearm
– Photo of applicant posing in a bar saluting with a neon-blue cocktail while wearing a stethescope around her neck
– Related: doc who had IN VITO VERITAS as the actual header on his resume (like, I’m an enophile too, but unless you’re applying for a job in the beverage industry, THAT’S NOT RELEVANT.)”

24. “I received a two page resume where the first page listed the applicant’s interpersonal skills. In bullet points. The second page had a ‘Work’ heading, with the note that they would be happy to discuss their professional experience during their interview…but that they were not going to provide any info on their experience beforehand

25. “I had an applicant give me his entire budget … down to his electric bill and Netflix account, including a line item for the amount he would need ‘to take my girlfriend out to dinner now and again’ when asked for his salary requirements.”

26. “For a professional position in management an applicant sent a resume that was around 9 pages in length. The length was bad enough but the last several pages were detailed lists of his children’s accomplishments from middle school up until college (recent). Apparently he thought that demonstrating that he could rear productive and accomplished children said a lot about his management skills.”

27. “We recently had an applicant who didn’t even send a resume. Instead he attached a headshot and an invoice from a recent eye doctor appointment. Needless to say he did not receive the position.”

28. “The person who treated her resume like a wedding invitation. The resume itself had been printed on a pearlescent cardstock, with the applicant’s initials set as a watermark in the background in a fancy script. That same watermark was printed on a piece of (synthetic) vellum laid overtop the resume, for which purpose I’m still unclear. It also came with a reply card using the same paper finishes / watermarks / font style. Where the rest of the resume was obviously reaching for some sort of matrimonial elegance, the reply card ended with what I assume was a tongue-in-cheek joke but landed super flat. The options on the reply card were ‘Yes, we’d love to interview you and will be in touch!’, ‘No, but I’ll pass along your resume to a colleague who may be interested,’ and my favourite, ”NO, and don’t ever apply here again!’ My boss at the time was like, ‘Can I add a fourth option that says “This is a deeply inappropriate way to format your application”?'”

29. “I think the oddest I’ve seen to date, was a resume cover letter that included a picture of the applicant doing the 70’s action hero slide across the hood of a car.”

30. And from way back in 2014, because it needs to be included every time this topic comes up:

“The candidate who listed ‘Birthed four children vaginally with no anaesthetic’ under ‘Other Experience.'”

{ 637 comments… read them below }

    1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

      We are hiring right now and this made me wish the bad resumes I’m looking at were at least funny

      1. Almost Violet Miller*

        Same here, same here.
        Who told college students resumes should be colorful? And include hobbies? You like Harry Potter, horses and fashion? That’s absolutely not relevant here.
        Nothing hilarious though, just the regular mistakes.

        1. The New Wanderer*

          I’m not a college student (by over 20 years). However, my mom recently got ahold of my current resume and complained to me about how boring it was, and suggested I put some “fun facts” in there to make it more interesting.

          Some advice will never die because some people will always think it’s a good idea!

        2. Sal*

          I like the hobbies! (I’ve hired a couple of times for law-related jobs and it helps round out your sense of the person, especially for new grads with mostly internship experiences. I miss the “Interests” section when it’s not there.)

          1. Amber T*

            For my firm, it seems the “Interests” section is a way to show how successful you were at creeping on the upper management of the firm, because almost everyone’s is the same – Game of Thrones (I’ve actually witnessed a fair amount of Important Business Meetings start off with theory discussions), major non-local sports team (it’s very unusual at the amount of people that just *happen* to be fans of a major rival sport’s team in this neck of the woods, where we have our own major sports team with die hard fans… but hey, it’s just a coincidence that head honcho’s family member partially owns the team!), and a sporadic bits of sports they actually play… which coincide with what other head people played in college.

          2. ellen*

            I used to list embroidery and cross stitching as hobbies on job applications that called for them. I was “cured” of that when an employer tried to insist that I couldn’t possibly have developed an on the job repetitive motion injury because of the job – it had to be all that embroidery and cross stitch that I was doing! (but I hadn’t picked up a needle in two years because it hurt too much to do more than a stitch or two) Now, my hobbies include “cooking and reading”. I’m waiting for some employer to use that as a reason to dismiss a concern I raise- I’m sure it will happen.

          3. Media Monkey*

            i like hobbies and interests too, especially for new grads where there isn’t a lot of work experience to chat about (we tend to hire based on personality and fit a lot with new grads as that’s really important and we teach them everything else!). however i am in the UK so we would normally have that on a CV anyway. My CV says that i make all my own clothes, and people often ask about it or comment on it (in a good way – they don’t look homemade!)

        3. Gabriela*

          I work with college students. You can tell them all day long, but they are like stubborn magpies

        4. char*

          Serious answer to rhetorical question: my college career center told me that my resume should include hobbies. To me at the time it seemed like a good idea, seeing as I couldn’t even think of enough real content for my resume to fill a page. I know better now, but I think it’s a common piece of advice from well-meaning-but-misguided career counselors.

      2. Grizzzzzelda*

        Same. The best I have gotten so far is:

        1. Someone writing “Jack of all trades, but master of none” as her objective.

        2. Guy putting that he is graduating with a degree in Male Modeling.. (if this is a thing, sorry…just seemed a bit weird to include on a resume for a billing specialist position)

        3. Guy managed to spell the 4 letter name of my company wrong 6 different ways in his cover letter.

    2. Specialk9*

      This whole post was GLORIOUS. I laughed my A off all day today.

      Bilingual? I’m not bilingual, not bisexual, that I know. :D

      Some of these had to be people doing mandatory applications for unemployment, but not wanting the actual job. Off of a murder rap on a technicality? “Hey hey hey, say this on your next application, you’ll never get that job! Heh heh” Attaching any random thing instead of a resume? Resume on request, in an application?

      Then there are some where you figure it’s for real. 2 artists sharing a job with a portfolio of their own nude self portraits? I can totally imagine that kind of person. (But, like, art is the least interchangeable thing I can even imagine!)

      The hood slide. I mean, I might feel enough affection for this guy that I’d put him in the pile. Maybe. But I’m a pretty quirky person so this isn’t some validation of that decision!

      1. Mary*

        I once had an application where the “Other Skills:” section had:

        I have two legs and can climb stairs, ladders etc.
        I can write using a pen or a pencil.

        Pretty sure that was a compulsory DWP application.

      2. Media Monkey*

        i kind of love the hood (or bonnet) slide. i think i would have interviewed (but like i said above, we do a lot of hiring on personality).

      3. RB*

        Made me wonder if it’s possible to be bilingual and not be aware of it, since he included “that I know of.”

      1. Scully*

        Information such as this falls under the Bureau’s jurisdiction, not the local police department. ;)

      1. strawberries and raspberries*

        I thought Mac was the one who had the karate section on his resume.

      2. annakarina1*

        Mac would try this, but he’d probably slide off the car, bust his ass, and claim that he didn’t get the right traction on the hood or it had too much wax on it or something.

    1. Phouka*

      I sort of bizarrely adore #28.

      If you were applying as a party planer or wedding consultant or conference organizer, it would be funny and if I was hiring, I’d probably at least talk to them.

      For any job not requiring making seating chartsand ordering foot? Very weird.

      1. PhyllisB*

        Phouka; don’t think I want a job where I have order foot. :-) (I know it was supposed to say food. I just thought this was funny.

  1. Jam Today*

    #8 is a variation on a plot point from the movie “Step-Brothers”, which I love, so that makes it even better.

    All of these are fabulous. I can’t pick a favorite.

    1. Jam Today*

      Although I am curious to know what caused the World’s Best Grandson to lose the title in 2004 & 2005.

        1. Anne of Green Gables*

          I know! I was hoping that would have been a follow-up question in a phone screen, at least!

      1. Damn it, Hardison!*

        I would so want that explanation as the answer to a question like “tell me about a time that you’ve experienced failure, and how you dealt with it?”

        1. mrs__peel*

          “I went out and got DVD box sets of every John Wayne movie AND a bulk order of Werther’s”.

        2. Mary*

          We once asked a student (who was a former asylum seeker with ILR) to tell us about a time he’d realised he didn’t have the skills he needed and how he’d developed those skills. Answer:

          “A few years ago, I was in prison in Iran, near the Afghanistani border. I didn’t like being in prison, so I thought about ways I could escape. I thought about building a tunnel, but I didn’t have the skills to build a tunnel. So when I got out I came to England and now I’m doing a degree in civil engineering and if I ever need to build a tunnel again, I can.”

          Me and my interviewing colleague had were FEROCIOUSLY not making eye contact!

      2. Uyulala*

        That’s a gimmick thing I have seen posted. Intentionally skip a year or 2 for something like that to get reviewers to call and ask.

      3. Specialk9*

        The worst part is that he only got it a couple times! Either Gramp had some wildly fertile kids, or he’s just not terribly good at this whole grandkid thing.

      4. mrs__peel*

        I’m thinking maybe one of the other grandkids organized a round-the-world cruise, or something…

    2. Defrockz*

      #15 reminded me of Dwight, and I laughed for a good bit.

      “– a very ‘light’ resume in the work history section, but a very detailed Karate section”

  2. Spooky*

    8 – was this a thing in the 70s? My mom and my aunt shared a job–I think it was a fast food place. They did exactly what OP mentions and decided who would show up that morning. So, so weird.

    1. Parenthetically*

      I know a husband and wife who shared a job just a few years ago when they had their first kid — he worked 3 days and she worked 2. It was an awesome arrangement for them.

      1. hermit crab*

        Similarly, I know a husband and wife who are both scientists in the same field, and they share a professorship at a local university. As far as I know, however, they each have their own teaching schedules!

        1. Down by the river*

          My parents have shared a job since I was born. I had one working parent and one stay at home, just didn’t know which was which.

          They met in grad school and worked for the same organization when they graduated,and have been with it since. They really do hand-off responsibilities, though sometimes work with different committees. If something happened and they needed to apply for new positions, I expect their resumes would be fairly similar. Though I can’t imagine just sending one.

            1. Environmental Compliance*

              I assume they meant that in total, they had one working parent and one stay at home parent, but the parents flip flopped between them so much that you can’t really say Parent A is working and Parent B is stay at home.

              1. Down by the river*

                Exactly—lots of switching means that they both stayed home and they both worked in a way that I imagine feels very different than two part time jobs.

        2. Artemesia*

          I knew people who did this too but they each had their own research experience, qualifications and taught their own classes. I remember when they were hired it was fairly innovative; they were young, starting a family and wanted to share a job. They were later each taken on as full tenured professors but began with the job share when the kids were very young. The University didn’t want to give them both health care insurance because they were ‘half time’. It finally got sorted, but it was astonishing it took so long. They were both real powerhouses in their field.

    2. B.*

      Job-sharing is a thing in the UK, usually as part of a flexible working policy to allow people to work part-time after having kids, but you need to each have your own CV and application and you have a set schedule of who works when. You don’t just get to choose who shows up every day!

        1. Akcipitrokulo*

          Unusual, but not strange I don’t think… as long as boundaries are there, but it’s pretty rare for spouses to have exactly the right qualifications for the same job!

        2. Rookie Manager*

          I know a set of identical twins who jon shared after they both had kids. Apparently some colleagues didn’t realise there was two of them.

          1. Nonnon*

            I did hear a story about someone who did the opposite – they could only get a part-time job so they applied for a second part-time job at the same company pretending to be their otherwise nonexistent identical twin.

            1. Specialk9*

              Wait how reliable was the person telling you this? Like “I did this” from a Mormon missionary, or “my cousin’s friend’s barber did this” from your bartender’s landlord?

              1. Audiophile*

                Yeah that seems like it would easily fall apart. If they had to provide a birth certificate and SSN, how would that work?

          2. Mary*

            I had identical twins apply for a student job with identical CVs – same A levels, same work experience, on the same degree. I was quite relieved when they couldn’t make the interview because I’m not sure what I’d have done if I’d wanted to employ one and not the other!

      1. Seriously?*

        Yeah, sharing a resume and deciding day of who shows up could be disastrous for the business. What all off the experience is actually only from one of them and usually the less skilled/experienced spouse shows up? I can see how job sharing can work for some positions, but separate resumes are a must.

        1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

          Reminds me of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency where she busted the twins doubling up their dental practice. Spoiler: Only one of the brothers went to dental school.

            1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

              WOW! I followed the link and read the article. That is incredible. The part that jumped out “legal skills fluctuated between meetings.” They did it more than once.

              1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

                Right? Like, there are professions where I could totally see that flying under the radar, but law is not one of them!!

                1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

                  Exactly. The point of a lawyer is to decipher legal terms and disseminate the information. It’s like the interpreter you hired doesn’t speak the language of your guest. Oh, like the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s funeral!

      2. Samiratou*

        There are a few pairs of non-related people who do this at my (US) company. It’s actually kind of confusing, because I never know which person to address email replies to and such, but not a big deal.

        Actually, this may need to be past tense, as I haven’t gotten emails signed from two people in awhile.

        1. CanCan*

          One of my colleagues will be moving to part-time (3 days/week), with the other 2 days/week being covered by a new guy. We’ve jokingly called them Yobin. (She’s Yohanna, he’s Robin). I’m pretty sure they’ll handle different files/tasks, but we’ll see.

          1. Code Monkey, the SQL*

            Our office is trying out a grouped approach to certain types of client contracts, which means we have a shared email, and requests get sent there and divvied up between me and my co-worker. We haven’t been Brangelinaed yet, but it could happen.

            Funniest part of the whole thing was our (offsite) co-worker fretting about not having a place we (co-worker and I) could share documents. We took a picture of our desks side-by-side and sent it to her captioned “Not to worry, we have Manual Sharepoint!”

      3. Observer*

        Job sharing is a bit if a thing in the US, too. But the same caveats apply.

        What’s bizarre here is not the suggestion to job share, but the “we are one” bit.

    3. Let's Talk About Splett*

      I have seen it at a couple of places – two people work 20 hour weeks and share the same workspace. However, the way it worked was that a FT employee who had proven herself asked to go back to part-time and the org hired a part-timer. It doesn’t typically work to apply to FT job listings and *tell them* this is what you plan to do.

        1. Lilo*

          I would think they would have to make a special arrangement and give only one of the spouses the benefits (since they’re both technically part time i don’t think it would cause legal issues), and it would be treated as if that spouse is the only one in that position and the sole income earner of the household (so she would opt for the plan that covers her spouse and children).

          But they would also be splitting a salary. It sounds like a really ideal situation for a family that can live off of 1 income and prevents burnout of being either full time ‘stay at home parent’ or full time ‘working parent’. You would get to switch it up.

          1. Lilo*

            Actually the more I think about it the more I love this idea. Both being a stay at home parent and working sound appealing to me, but doing full time of either sounds daunting. I would love a weekly switch off of both

          2. Parenthetically*

            My friends who did this were in a country with universal healthcare, so they didn’t have to worry about benefits per se, although I do wonder how they handled paid leave time! And yes, it was super great for them when their kids were little, particularly because their oldest had some special needs, so all of his care didn’t just fall to one parent.

            1. knitcrazybooknut*

              Payroll person says they probably each accrued half of the standard leave time.

      1. Just Employed Here*

        I knew a translator working for some European Union agency (this will be relevant later) doing this with his girlfriend once they had a kid.

        I assume they met on the job, got together, and started a family. They translated between the same languages, so one literally went home during lunch every Wednesday and the other one worked the rest of the week.

        They didn’t get married, because their employer considered both to be single parents … and if they had gotten married, this exact setup wouldn’t have been possible. I don’t know how their pay was affected or for how long they could keep doing it, but typically their benefits would have stayed the same, regardless of working full or half time.

    4. bookartist*

      I don’t understand how this is not actually then two part time jobs with flexible hours – was it something to do with benefits?

  3. strawberries and raspberries*

    I’m going to read this over and over and over again. I’m so happy right now.

    Also, I hope the stay-at-home mom’s kids become Goths.

    1. Close Bracket*

      > Also, I hope the stay-at-home mom’s kids become Goths.

      And I hope she continues to love them and show her love for them bc music and fashion choices do not impact a person’s worth.

      1. strawberries and raspberries*

        Oh my God, me too, of course! But I kinda suspect that someone who would write what she did on her resume in that way would be extremely discomfited by Crow make-up and fingerless gloves. Just a hunch.

      2. Traffic_Spiral*

        Heh, I can see that now.

        Mom: “Sweetie, lunch!”
        Kid: “Mom! I’m staring at the abyss that is my soul.”
        Mom: “That’s nice, sweetie, tell the abyss I said hi. There’s cookies after lunch – I made them in a bat shape and used black icing.”
        Kid: “…”

        Kid: “I wear black because it reflects the darkness inside me.”
        Mom: “Well the darkness needs to be washed in its own separate load, honey – and don’t forget to fold it afterwards.”
        Kid: “… yes Mom.”
        Mom: “Be sure to wear sunscreen out there – it’s good for you AND helps your look.”
        Kid: “Yes, mom.”
        Mom: “Look, honey! I painted my nails black to be supportive!”
        Kid: “Moooooom!”

        1. Marillenbaum*

          “I painted my nails black to be supportive!”

          I LOVE this. It is Peak Mom in all the best ways. I had a Goth phase when I was a teen, and while my mom didn’t let me wear black lipstick (she did not approve), she would let me wear her dark purple lipstick to school as a sort of compromise.

  4. LBK*

    They were working artists and explained they preferred to share a job and decide among themselves who would show up on any given day.

    How do you become convinced this is something an employer would agree to?

    She assured me that she did, indeed, have a Bachelorette degree because she’s not a man. Duh.

    I can’t decide if this is more Elle Woods or Karen from Mean Girls.

      1. LBK*

        I think it depends whether it stems from true ignorance or a self-assured femininity. Elle had a pink scented resume, not because she was stupid but because she was confident that she could be as girly and ridiculous as she wanted and her talent would still speak for itself.

      2. Specialk9*

        Was she though? She won the trial based on the pool guy making a snarky comment about her last season designer shoes, which she assumed meant gay. (I love the movie, but it was more a ‘with grit anyone can triumph’ rather than a brainsaholic feast.)

        I’ll admit it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, haven’t read the books, and didn’t watch LB2.

        1. Phoenix*

          There’s a scene early on where she rattles off the reasons why a specific dress can’t possibly be from this season, putting out a salesperson who wanted to take advantage of her – shorthand for a specific type of street smarts.

          Also, she got a 179 on her LSAT after significant study, showing that she’s perfectly capable of being book smart as well.

          During the trial you mentioned, she also maneuvered the witness into giving away his own lies (within the movie’s premise that bi people don’t exist, anyway), which is a fairly genius maneuver itself for such a new lawyer.

          1. Emi.*

            And she spotted inconsistencies in another witness’s testimony and got her to confess murder *on the witness stand, under oath*. Elle is a very smart lady.

            1. Specialk9*

              Oh hey, thanks for the correction! I like your version way better than my badly remembered one.

          2. RB*

            I loved the scene with the salesperson. Almost as good as the one in Devil Wears Prada where Meryl Streep makes a speech about the color Cerulean.

        2. Ella X*

          I mean she legitimately got into Harvard because had a perfect GPA from a good University (a UCLA or USC knockoff and sure they joke about fashion merchandising but that means it would have been some from of buisness major) and scored nearly perfect scores on the LSAT and ended up at the top of her class at Harvard Law at the end of the movie. She was by no means an idiot which was the point of the movie, people just perceived her as such because of the way she looked and behaved.

          *I may have watched the movie one, too many times lol and feel way more stongly about it than I really should.

          1. Parenthetically*

            I’m sitting at your table FOR SURE. Legally Blonde is one of my favorite movies, and Elle Woods is a feminist icon.

            1. GG Two shoes*

              Legally Blonde is the only movie I’ve watched back to back to back in a day. I was OBSESSED with it. I can quote the whole thing, even after several years of not watching it recently.

            2. Marillenbaum*

              There is a wonderful interview with Reese Witherspoon for A Wrinkle In Time (along with Oprah and Mindy Kaling) where the interviewer opens by giving Reese a copy of her college thesis on Elle Woods as a feminist icon–she wrote 15,000 words on it! It was genuinely lovely, and I was so glad to see someone else felt the way I do about her.

        3. Autumnheart*

          She won the trial because she knew that you couldn’t wet your hair within 24 hours after getting a perm, thus exposing the witness’s alibi as BS, and then the witness confessed on the stand!

          I knew the 24-hour rule (grew up in the 80s, so sue me) but I couldn’t have said it was ammonium thioglycolate that locks the curl into the hair strand.

    1. Charlotte Gray*

      My husband was hiring for a position in his department at his last (state) university and a married couple applied for the job (singular). Neither possessed the specialty they were hiring for (just different similar specialties), but they were certain they were what the department needed! (And, like, it’s the state government? Maybe a private company would go for splitting a job between two people but the state?)

    2. Dust Bunny*

      I’m a graduated of one of those way-left hipster liberal arts colleges and I can’t decide if this is something one of my more extreme classmates would embrace ($^#$#! he patriarchy) or shun (bachelorETTE).

      Probably shun. I think. I’m pretty sure we’d want it renamed something that didn’t end in “ette”.

      1. TurquoiseCow*

        I did a year at a women’s college and one of my friends was super sensitive about word choice, i.e. she’d discourage us from saying, “hey guys!” when only women were present (which was usually the case), and point out that those firemen could also be fire women.

        I’m pretty sure she would not have referred her degree as a Bachelorette’s degree.

        1. AVP*

          yeah, this sounds a little too close to those old jokes about getting an MRS or an MOM degree.

          1. Chinook*

            Nope – fireman because the job does not change because a women now holds the position, so why should the title (as vehemently explained by my mother when she became “chairman of the board” and refused to let them change it to “chairwoman” or “chair” (which also included the response I am not a piece of furniture”)).

            Now, if the title is changed while a man still holds the position, then that is fair game because it reflects that fact that the position will not change based on the gender of the person it refers to.

            1. Emi.*

              Firefighter is literally the job, and (at least some) firefighters actually don’t like being called firemen even if they’re men, because that’s the title of pirates who run around setting other people’s ships on fire.

              1. Goya de la Mancha*

                It would make sense, all the firefighters I know seem to be pyromaniacs on the side….

            2. TurquoiseCow*

              Yeah, I don’t buy that. If the job title is [job]man, then the title itself is inherently gendered, and women should be able to change it to match the current holder.

              If the title is not gendered, i.e. “president”, “engineer,” or “firefighter,” then it’s silly to gender the title when a woman takes the job, i.e. calling her “madame president” or “presidentess” or “engingerette” or some silly variety of that.

            3. Specialk9*

              Good luck finding a job as a “fireman” – all the University and fire service training programs I took were “firefighter” or “fire service professional” training. The job listings at the fire station were for “firefighter”. The manuals from the state called us “firefighters”.

              And that’s whack reasoning. Forcing a wrongly gendered term on women in the name of feminism is deeply troubling. It starts with the assumption that the right way is 1) gendered, and 2) male. Expecting women to be ok with being made invisible is not cool.


                1. LBK*

                  That’s my point, though – if you shouldn’t change “chairman” to “chairwoman,” why would you change “First Lady” to “First Gentleman”? Either way you’re adjusting it based on the gender of the person holding the position.

                2. Jules the 3rd*

                  Except they’re not the same role – the titles are tied to gendered roles. There is no gender-neutral title for the US President’s spouse, and “wife” is not the same as “husband.”

                  Now, when someone who doesn’t identify as male or female (fluid, genderqueer, agender) becomes the President’s spouse, we’re going to need another title. My nominee is “First Partner”, but by the time we need it, I’m sure there will be a title in common usage – politics runs pretty far behind the rest of society.

                3. LBK*

                  But the actual role itself wouldn’t be any different, so why should there be a different title just depending on the gender of the person holding it?

              1. Media Monkey*

                interesting UK fact – if the mayor of London is a woman, her husband is the lady Mayoress (actually happened a few years ago I believe).

            4. Lynn Whitehat*

              Robert’s Rules of Order says that “chairman” is now gender-neutral, like “governor” has become. (You wouldn’t refer to Ann Richards as the “former governess of Texas”, for instance). I personally don’t like it. The two organizations I have belonged to that follow Robert’s Rules both use “chair”. One because it was a women’s club, and it seemed obtuse to have a “chairman” who would always be a woman. The other because working for gender equality is actually one of the stated goals of the group.

              But I could certainly imagine someone reading Robert’s Rules and deciding they’re the authority, so that’s that.

              1. LBK*

                I can kind of see “governor” becoming neutral because the gendering is less obvious (and because “governess” has a more well-known, completely unrelated meaning). But defending “chairman” as neutral feels silly to me when the word “man” is right there in it.

                1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

                  Right. I think it’s one thing to have a suffix like -or become gender-neutral, but a different thing to have man as a suffix treated as such.

              2. Specialk9*

                For women-only committees (eg promoting women in male dominated industries) I see “Chair” or “Chairperson” used.

                1. Mary*

                  I used to know someone who declared that you couldn’t use Chair because that’s a piece of furniture. No idea how he coped with money going to the Crown.

              3. pandop*

                My Mum used to belong to a women’s group, and they referred to ‘Madam Chairman’ quite happily. But, each to their own.

            5. Indoor Cat*

              I’ve always heard firefighter apply to firefighters of all genders. Current safety documents, recruitment materials, etc in my city all use firefighter exclusively.

              I heard that some male firefighters dislike fireman because of the “sexy fireman” calendars and videos, even the relatively tame “sexy fireman hold tiny kitten” ones. In a rare gender-reversal, female firefighters are much less often objectified and the subject of sexy fantasies than male firefighters, so now the word fireman has connotations that the word firefighter avoids.

      2. Artemesia*

        I remember seeing a bumper sticker years ago about a youth program for ‘leaders and leaderettes’ — made my skin crawl 40 years ago — can’t imagine it now.

          1. Helena*

            Female physicians regularly get mistaken for nurses, because sexism, and it does get tiresome.

            One of my colleagues sarcastically started referring to herself as a “Lady Doctoress” last time it happened.

    3. Kat G., Ph.D.*

      When we were in undergrad, a friend and I were IMing and she told me she was thinking about getting her “doctorette” degree. Luckily, she learned to spell “doctorate” sometime between then and actually getting the degree.

      1. Red Reader*

        My MBA graduation this past weekend, one of the speakers kept mispronouncing “baccalaureate” as “bachelorette” through the whole ceremony. As in, “the following students will be receiving a bachelorette degree in the concentration of marketing.” Over. And over. And over.

        1. Julia*

          I’m confused nonetheless. Baccalaureate – to me as a European – means a French(or international in case of IB) high school diploma.

          1. Red Reader*

            In the US, a baccalaureate is a fancy way of saying a bachelor degree, which is college/university but not graduate school.

    4. Mary*

      I used to say I had a Spinster of Arts and a Mistress of Arts, but not, like, on my CV.

    1. Odyssea*

      As someone who has been on several hiring committees, it is so hard to not respond, especially when it was a good resume apart from one strange thing. Unfortunately, where I work, we are not allowed to have any contact with candidates outside of interviews, so I’ve actually seen people just keep submitting the same terrible resumes over and over again. It’s so frustrating!

    2. jaybee*

      I spent a lot of time early on trying to give friendly and constructive feedback, but gave up as I never received a single response or thank you. What a waste of time.

  5. Just J*

    Thank (select diety of your choice) that I work with engineers, who are so straight laced, that I never have to see this stuff. OR thank goodness, I have a good HR director who is weeding out all of this before it lands on my desk.

    To everyone that posted, do you laugh? Cry? Shake you head in disgust? What? Jedi hugs to you all if you need them.

    1. TurquoiseCow*

      I haven’t had this experience (I’ve never done any hiring), but the GIF of Martin Sheen (as president in the West Wing) banging his head on his desk is probably closest to how I imagine my reaction would be.

      1. Anonymouse*

        My boss has actually walked over to the wall and banged his head against it–several times.

    2. CAA*

      I think it’s your HR director screening this stuff for you, because I have definitely seen plenty of weirdness from engineers. My personal favorite was the guy who said his skills were so varied and extreme that he was like “bringing an uzi to a knife fight.”

    3. Close Bracket*

      I’m an engineer, and I would choose most of those wack-a-doodles over the straight-laced jerkfaces I have had to work with.

    4. Bea*

      Straight laced people drag me down, I like the quirks. I haven’t seen anything as endearing as hearts instead of checkmarks or hoodslides, I have worked with a pirate. But I spent a decade with a cast if characters who were great at their jobs but were fished out of unusual ponds (and work release programs).

    1. Kathryn T.*

      #30 is mine, and although I didn’t lay my eyes on it personally, I DID personally witness the haunted expression on the face of my friend who was screening these resumes when she told me about it.

      “Your eye just snaps right to that word. You can’t even read the rest of the resume,” she said in a hollow voice. “You’re trying to evaluate the candidate’s relevant skills but all you can think is VAGINAL VAGINAL VAGINAL.”

      1. Artemesia*

        I birthed two without anesthesia — it was the 70s after all, but I am stunned that anyone would put that on a resume. And ‘vaginal’ really? Yikes.

    2. JerryLarryTerryGarry*

      I hope they kept the resume and asked her to apply again if she gained more experience.

    3. CatCat*

      Ahahaha, omg I know! I was enjoying the list overall… that last one just killed me though and is my favorite. Whyyyyyy! LOL

    4. (Mr.) Cajun2core*

      Was she applying for a job which involved enduring a large amount of pain? I am thinking professional wrestler, boxer, stunt-person, or something similar! :-)

    5. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      Yeah, #30 was the one that made me choke on my lunch. The rest just had me facepalming a lot, which can be difficult while eating a hot lunch.

    6. The Original K.*

      I howled. I do know a woman who says that natural childbirth for two children is the accomplishment of which she is most proud, but I don’t think she would put it on a resume or application!

      1. Specialk9*

        That’s… bizarre. Like, more worthy of pride than raising kids not to be murderers or litterers? I’m going to throw a party when I get to that point.

        1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          I am at that point! It’s a huge weight off one’s shoulders! You’ll get there! Not throwing a party though, because I have the younger kid’s college bills to pay. if anyone wants to throw one for me, I’ll take it!

          I had mine naturally without painkillers too, but I’ve only ever mentioned it as proof that I have a relatively high pain threshold. Not as something to be proud of. Besides, back when and where my kids were born, that was the only option, unless I imagine things went horribly wrong, which they didn’t for me. So again, nothing to be proud of about taking the only option available.

        2. Pomona Sprout*

          Seriously. I gave birth to my daughter without anesthesia, and it was a walk in the park comparing to actually raising that little firecracker!

  6. Antilles*

    I would have wanted to talk to #17 if only to find out what happened in 2004 and 2005 that he wasn’t the Best Grandson in those years.

  7. nnn*

    *care for two amazing kids I love so much
    *pay household bills for my wonderful family
    *grocery shop to provide for my loves

    What struck me about this one is it doesn’t even make the work of being a stay-at-home mom sound any more difficult than regular adulting.

    From my external position as a non-parent, parenting sounds impossible to me. I could very easily be impressed by the day-to-day tasks involved in caring for two small children. But this phrasing makes it sound like she does normal everyday tasks that every adult does, and hangs out with amazing people she loves so much.

    1. LBK*

      Right? She didn’t even attempt to form it into transferrable skills like budgeting and organization.

      1. Renata Ricotta*

        Exactly. Plenty of people think it’s a good idea to structure it like a job, like “Smith Household – Co-CEO & COO,” and then twist it around to sound like you’re running a business or something. I think that’s a bad idea and comes off wrong for a bunch of reasons, but at least I understand the LOGIC of it. This is just plain bizarre.

        1. k.k*

          I’ve seen that advice floating around and it makes me cringe so hard. Your trying to prove that you’ve been busy and using professional skills while not working, yet do that by proving that you’re completely out of touch with professional norms. Total backfire.

          1. Seriously?*

            Yep. Although he baby language in this case makes it even worse. They come across as both out of touch and lacking professional communication skills.

          2. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

            It makes me cringe because it seems to miss that the working parents who might read the resume are doing the exact same thing while also holding down a full time job

            1. Elise*

              Yeah, that’s where I land. I realize that it’s different if you stay home because you are on the spot for the kids ALL DAY, and I could never do that. SAHM life is not for me. BUT, I still have to arrange for food/clothes/etc for my child in addition to my full time job. I always feel for parents returning to the workforce since they are inevitably up against people who are inherently more qualified than them based on work experience, but adding parenting as a job doesn’t help your case, especially in my woman-heavy industry where most people on the panel are working mothers. Volunteer somewhere or get a part-time job with a few hours a week to keep your resume fresh.

              NOTE: NOT bashing staying home at all, just don’t list it as work experience. You’ll look out of touch.

              1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

                I’m definitely not bashing them either! I could never be a STAP and if I tried it I would be terrible at it. It is more that it is kind of tone deaf. I’m just reflecting on how one of my co-worker’s would react to the stay at home parenting listed as work experience on a resume. She’s a single mother of 3, so I am picturing, “Oh yeah, try doing all of that plus being sole breadwinner and only guardian and holding down a full time job.”

                1. Geillis D*

                  One beautiful Friday afternoon a fellow school mom and a self-professed SAHM, posted a picture of her patio on FB, complete with a nice cold drink and a book she was reading, titled “my office today”. I was at my desk, working away, shaking my head so vigorously it almost fell off and damaged the keyboard. No, dear, this is your patio. It is not an office. Where I’m sitting on this perfect summer Friday afternoon, with no sangria or fun books outside of the Canadian Tax Act, is a legit office.

            2. k.k*

              And the same for non-parents, when they list stuff about managing household finances. Paying your bills and filing your taxes isn’t really a unique skill.

              1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

                It is kind of like putting ability to dress oneself on your resume

              2. Iris Eyes*

                True but it does make a kind of sense when you see some jobs requiring a credit check so they clearly care about how you handle your personal finances.

              3. Close Bracket*

                > Paying your bills and filing your taxes isn’t really a unique skill.

                Oh, you would be surprised, lol. :)

                1. Ozma the Grouch*

                  Unless they list the specific forms/schedules, I’m going to guess that they are on the 1040EZ train ;)

            3. SunshineOH*

              This. Exactly my thought any time I see it. “Yeah… i do all that stuff, too.” Eyeroll.

          3. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            Is the info still floating around about a SAHM’s work being equivalent to a job that pays $140K/year? That was ten or so years ago, so the number would be adjusted for inflation now I guess.

            1. Geillis D*

              This one really gets my goat. Whoever came up with this calculation obviously left out the free rent, use of vehicle, bills and miscellaneous purchases that are conveniently paid for by the working partner. There’s nothing wrong with that! as long as both spouses are happy, more power to them. Please don’t pretend to work when you’re simply living life. Just acknowledge it because fake-moaning about how “busy” you are does the opposite of evoking my sympathy. “I’ve incredibly lucky to be able to choose not to work full-time” will do.

        2. Dust Bunny*

          I do this kind of stuff for my parents. I get that kids can be a handful at least you have the Because I’m the Mom and I Said So Card. I don’t get to play that: I have to make stuff happen and appear to defer to them at the same time.

        3. Allison*

          I always cringe when I see this on a resume. It just tells me they’re desperate, and clueless of current workplace norms. Being a mom is a full-time job, but in most cases, just because you did a thing in your personal life doesn’t necessarily mean you can do it well in an office setting, at a professional level, for people you might not like or care about.

          1. Artemesia*

            A SAHM who has also run a bunch of volunteer organizations, and otherwise juggled responsibilities can be a terrific catch as an employee. Well organized early. middle aged women with kids and a busy community resume are among the most effective people I have hired. That and ex military. I once hired a grad student who was a sergeant and she is probably the reason a complex multi state research project actually got done properly — so much organizational work involved as well as management of coders and other staff. But stayed home with kids? Been there, done that, doesn’t qualify me for management.

            1. Specialk9*

              Oh yeah, I worked for a bunch of ex military, and came up with some hypotheses.
              The best are NCOs (First Shirts were my favorites), they know every variation of boneheaded and accidentally suicidal one can imagine but still are Mother Hens trying to help people succeed anyway.
              Then skip ALL the officers until you get to Army Colonel (or equiv) and up. Below Colonel, they’re awful, above they’re remarkably mellow.

        4. Anonymous Engineer*

          We recently applications for new members in a women’s group I belong to, and I voted against every single one who described themselves as “CEO of the Smith Household” or similar. (I did not vote against any other SAHMs. Just the ones who tried to make it sound like a professional position.)

    2. Gingerblue*

      I can’t possibly be impressed without knowing whether she birthed hem vaginally or not.

        1. strawberries and raspberries*

          This is quite possibly the best and most controversial maternity T-shirt ever, and I just might make one to have on retainer for when I’m pregnant.

        2. Emi.*

          I’m choosing to interpret this is “C-sections are only acceptable as a form of homebirth.”

    3. laylaaaaah*

      We had one applicant who, under ‘Stay at Home Mom’, put ‘raised five children. All survived (mostly) unscathed.’ in her resume. My coworker laughed for a solid minute and invited her in to interview.

      1. laylaaaaah*

        (I feel like I should mention she did have actual relevant work experience as well. There were plenty of other SAHMs who thought that teaching two kids to speak and read meant they were perfectly qualified for teaching, with nothing else to recommend them at all. One guy was very offended that we weren’t impressed by the fact that he had a forklift truck licence- he thought it showed great responsibility.)

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          Having that on a resume, along with relevant work experience, would make me think this candidate had a good sense of humor. I’m sure it would turn some people off, but you could consider it a filter – an if these people don’t appreciate my sense of humor, we probably wouldn’t be happy working together kind of thing.

          1. Seriously?*

            Yeah, in this case it seems like it was more of an explanation of the gap, not trying to spin it as actual work experience.

            1. laylaaaaah*

              Oh no, he genuinely thought it showed he’d be good with kids, on a resume that lacked any experience of working with children except for the fact that he was a dad. I wouldn’t have minded otherwise.

    4. Princess Loopy*

      We had someone who listed Domestic CEO or some such nonsense on an application one time, complete with a list of responsibilities that all sounded kinda off. While we were trying to figure out what the heck any of it meant, I noticed that under “Hours per week worked” the applicant put 168. We finally put it all together and realized they’d been a stay at home parent.

      The “job” was ongoing, and they didn’t plan to quit. Sorry, then–you obviously don’t have time to work for us.

      1. McWhadden*

        That’s advice a lot of job sites give to SAHPs trying to get into the job market now.

        1. Artemesia*

          The sad thing is that it is possible to draw on that in a sort of informal way during an interview — but it looks pathetic on a resume.

    5. Moonbeam Malone*

      Yeah, even saying “track and manage household expenses and tax information for household of 5,” instead of “pay household bills,” would be an improvement. (Marginal, but an improvement.)

    6. Akcipitrokulo*

      Thing is it might have worked if it haf been put more professionally and listed transferable skills. Still a bit cheesy, but bullet pointing things like “controlled household budget” would just make me roll eyes instead of laugh and say no.

      (Assuming otherwise good candidate.)

      It’s the lack of understanding that workplaces don’t usually care that your kids are the best ever to grace the earth with their presence.

    7. Akcipitrokulo*

      Thing is it might have worked if it haf been put more professionally and listed transferable skills. And made it plain it was not paid work… like list it as

      Date-date SAHM.

      Still a bit cheesy, but bullet pointing things like “controlled household budget” would just make me think “better ways of putting that” than roll eyes and say no.

      It’s the lack of understanding that workplaces don’t usually care that your kids are the best ever to grace the earth with their presence.

    8. HermioneMe*

      I received a resume from a stay-at-mom getting back into the workforce. One of her skills: “Kissing boo-boos!”

      1. Nonnon*

        I’m not an expert on this, but I suspect that if someone tried to use that skill in the workplace they could put themselves at risk of accusations of sexual harassment…

      2. The New Wanderer*

        Ew, I don’t even do that for my kids! (Hug, comfort, ice pack)
        Honestly, that’s just… such a poor choice on many levels.

      1. strawberries and raspberries*

        I told people that my LMSW stands for “Little Miss Social Worker.”

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          I know of one Licensed Practical Nurse who said LPN stood for Little Piddly Nurse. I think she might have been burned out. ;-)

          1. Evan Th.*

            I could almost imagine my friend who’s a nurse saying that – she’s a very small person and sometimes jokes about getting mistaken for a middle-schooler.

    1. General Ginger*

      I think Sam Bee was talking about Lady Doctors and Teacherettes a while back.

    1. Nea*

      I missed a lot of these – but to be fair to both of us, there were a LOT of comments on that one! I’m surprised Allison could get it down to merely 30!

  8. Not Australian*

    Many years ago I watched my ex-husband – a trained and reasonably talented artist – setting off for a job interview that he really cared about carrying *samples of someone else’s work that he’d cut out of a magazine*. I tried to talk him out of it, but he wasn’t going to listen to me. He spent the next couple of decades delivering parcels in a van.

    1. Renata Ricotta*

      What … is the idea behind this? Won’t it be extremely obvious that they are cut out of a magazine? Did he think the interviewers just wanted to see whether he had good taste in magazine ads?

      1. Emi.*

        Oh man, someone tried this on Mad Men! Don was going through his portfolio at the interview and was like “…you didn’t design this.” And the guy goes “I know, I just really like it!” and then he has five or six more that are the same ad but he’s subbed in different products.I/i>

        1. Jam Today*

          Ha, I was just thinking “I’m pretty sure I saw this on Mad Men!”

          Didn’t the guy get hired in the end? Was it the young Boho-type guy who went crazy?

          1. Emi.*

            They didn’t want to hire him, even though he was Roger’s second wife’s cousin, but then Don got drunk and pitched one of his (actually his) ideas to a client, who liked it, and he refused to let them use the idea without hiring him. He was the first to go after they lost Lucky Strike, though.

          2. Parenthetically*

            It wasn’t Ginsberg (who [redacted] his [redacted] at the end), it was the really short guy, Danny, Jane’s cousin.

      2. annakarina1*

        This makes me think of the Seinfeld episode where George carries around a magazine ad of a model and tries to get sympathy from women by saying it’s a personal photo of his late wife. He gets busted on this when he unknowingly shows it to a model who is the woman in the photograph, and she calls him out on his lie.

    2. Anon Sen Graphic Designer*

      Another lifetime ago I was on a hiring committee looking for some entry level Graphic Designers. This was around 2008, right before the economy collapsed, but graphic design jobs were still very hard to come by. The market had already been saturated for years. Myself coming from a Community college background in graphic design, and then getting lucky enough to prove myself in the corporate world when others with BFAs and MFAs in Design couldn’t get jobs, I actually thought of myself as being very open minded when it came to screening applicants. I prided myself on looking at the quality of people’s work and not judging them on their age, education level, or where they got their degree. Well. We got A LOT of applicants from the local School of Design and Technology (note this was long before the scandals of for-profit schools came to light). First day of in-person interviews come. I start thumbing through the portfolio of the first interviewee of the day. They are from the SDT. I’m actually very impressed with the work. I go through the interview and then administer a quick print design knowledge “test” (because we do print design, not web). They fail. Welp. Next candidate. I start looking through the candidates portfolio. They also went to the SDT. I notice something odd, they have a lot of the same artwork in their portfolio as the first interviewer. It’s arraigned differently, but it’s still the same core materials. Uhmmmm, What’s going on here? Is this plagiarism? Did I just catch one student stealing the work of another student and if so who stole from who? I ask interviewee #2 the same basic print design question. They also fail. Interviewee #3 arrives, and is also from SDT. I look through their portfolio. It has the same design materials… Well shit. It dawns on me that all these kids are literally showing me their homework. *SMH* From that day forward we stopped taking applicants from SDT.

      And the big scary Print design question asked? What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?
      I had more equally important questions that are crucial for print design, but since none of them got this first question right it was kind of a no go.

      We hired a 40+ gentleman who was coming back into the workforce and answered ALL my print design questions without hesitation… He was awesome.

      * Since this experience I HAVE met people who went to for-profits that did excellent work, but they also knew how to show their work.

      I’m only making myself anonymous because I’ve told this story SO many times and it could easily identify my on here to friends and old co-workers.

      1. Ashk434*

        I don’t understand why them showing you their homework is wrong? Isn’t that commonly what art students do if they don’t have a large enough portfolio of designs they created independently?

    3. Artemesia*

      Yeah all of these were amusing but the one that stunned me was the person trying to market websites he didn’t design to illustrate his skills; of course choosing one designed by the organization he was applying to was the icing on the cake.

  9. Alle*

    For 11 (fanfic writing), I could kind of see how that would be a relevant skill if they were hiring for ghost writers or something that required creative writing. Erotica is probably a bad idea though.

    1. laylaaaaah*

      Oh god, yeah. Like, if you were going to go that route, you’d at least split the NC-17 stuff off on a separate account so you could link to the G/PG-rated fics, surely?

      1. Fake old Converse shoes (not in the US)*

        Yes, I’d draw the line there. I wouldn’t link to the entire profile, but create a portfolio and upload a few chapters or short stories as samples.

    2. Liane*

      I don’t think so. I have edited fanfics (not erotic, strictly space opera) for a close friend, and it was the first thing I had done that was close to writing/editing for the roleplaying game field. I am also applying for some freelance work in that field. BUT–I am not going to put that on my resume. Not even if I didn’t now have actual editing experience in that and other fields.
      Heck, that doesn’t even come up when Close Friend and I are asked how he met my family and me.

      1. SpiderLadyCEO*

        This!!!! It’s such a divisive topic, I’m not bringing it up at work! I’ve done work related tasks for a fandom group for three years now, and despite the fact that it’s literally work, in my field, free of anything remotely erotic or NSFW – it’s still fic, and that’s not something we as a culture are very nice about.

        That being said, if a boss asked me directly “oh, do you have more relevant experience” I will say “I am a volunteer staffer for a small nonprofit where my roles have included x and y” but dear Lord, I hope they don’t ask!!!

        (Then they always want to know the NP, and then they look it up, and then they come to me and say “isn’t that plagiarism and I have to explain and it sucks, every single time.)

      2. MLiz*

        “I also do some editing work for up and coming authors. Most of them aren’t professionally published yet, but I do get to see some nice gems.”

        I’ve been doing freelance editing and translations on the side since university (mostly academic pieces, so no fanfic), so sometimes I slip that in there if the conversation veers that way. But this is also not my main job, just a pet project. I’ve also worked on some original pieces by people I know from fandom so that line gets sort of blurry somewhere. Still I’d never mention erotica or specifics and fanfic is never ever a topic at work or irl.

    3. Lil Fidget*

      We’ve had this debate here before, but the conclusion was that it’s not well regarded in the publishing industry because of copyright issues anyway. Plus, there’s not much accountability. The erotic just pushes it over the edge into No Chance.

    4. all aboard the anon train*

      #11 was mine. Ghostwriting is so different than fanfic writing and no one would really consider fanfic as true experience if you were applying for a ghostwriting gig. You have a lot of leeway to do whatever you want when you write fic. Ghostwriting is much more strict. I’ve known people who’ve said ghostwriting was harder for them than any original writing they did.

      Not to mention, it’s going to raise eyebrows when someone writes fic because there’s the issue of copyright. Public domain is viewed better, but even then, adding public domain fanfic isn’t going to get your resume far in the industry.

      1. Lil Fidget*

        Interestingly, my friend who’s trying to break into screenwriting is supposed to produce a “spec script” of an existing show to prove how he’d fit into the writer’s room. I was like, that basically sounds like fanfiction!

      2. Anie*

        Yeah absolutely this. I do a lot of ghostwriting, and I’ve written my share of fanfic. They’re not really very comparable.

        For me anyway, anything I’ve written fic wise is fairly personal, in a way ghostwriting can never be. I might have more liberty with some clients for certain projects, but it’s not really my voice with any of them. Fanfic can always be very on brand, and you can experiment with styles and formats. Ghostwriting is someone else’s brand, and you have to follow their rules.

        Plus, a fanfic can be abandoned. You can have an amazing idea, write 10k of it, and then decide it’s going nowhere and leave it alone forever. You can have an idea, write 10k, and then decide it’s going to a completely different place than you intended and change your ending. With ghostwriting, you have to be able to get an idea to later plot points. If it’s not working, you have to fix it. You have to make it work.

        That said, I do feel like writing fic has strengthened my overall skills as a writer, but I think the samples I provide demonstrate my writing skills nicely. I don’t need to list that writing fic is part of what got me to that level. It’s just not relevant, and I know it can be super off putting.

    5. Eliza*

      Fanfic writing experience (even erotica) isn’t a negative where I work, but I work in a pretty weird field. Part of what the company I work for does is to take fan works, sort out the legal issues with the original copyright holder, and publish them professionally. It’s not something I’d recommend bringing up in any kind of “normal” writing job.

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        Wow, I’d love to hear more about that. (Hint hint, Alison, next time you want to interview someone about their job…)

        1. Eliza*

          It’s a specific enough niche that I’m not sure how much more detail I could go into without identifying where I work, unfortunately.

    6. Treecat*

      I have put fanfic on my resume… because the story in question was written for a contest (hosted by the company that owned the IP rights), which I won, and which the company then published as part of the official expanded universe writing for that IP. They also hired me to write for them for a few years, as well.

      Strongly feel this is the only appropriate reason for putting fanfic on your resume. :)

      1. all aboard the anon train*

        The funny thing is, those types of published works aren’t even viewed as fanfic in the industry. They 100% are fanfic – the same way all those modern classic lit adaptations are still fanfic – but no one would dare call them fanfic. They’re just referred to as “adaptations” or “homages” or “extra content”.

    7. Willow*

      I think even if our culture was more accepting of fanfic it would still look odd on a resume. It’s like the difference between being a maid of honor and being a paid wedding planner. Your work isn’t being held to a professional standard.

  10. Lee*

    Oh, #29 is priceless! I think I would have interviewed him/her just because. I’m still laughing…

    1. Eye of Sauron*

      He did get an interview (I was not involved in any way shape or form with this hiring process). When I asked how it went the Hiring Manager said he was “really enthusiastic” said with a double thumbs up.

      Sadly he was not offered a position, I would have loved a front seat to that show!

      1. Bea*

        Yessssssss he’s as bright and shiny as I dreamed. So sad he was beat out by someone else…

        Whoever got the job should be told of the stiff competition->:]

  11. RES ADMIN*

    How timely. I’ve been reviewing applications for a management position all morning. Fortunately, the worst was one who included a list of references–all of whom I am well acquainted with. (The fact that I have a much less than favorable opinion of the references is problematic though).

    These are funny to read, however I am left wondering how anyone makes it to adulthood and thinks any of these things (erotica? head shots? fancy card stock? “Google me”?) are acceptable?! I’m finding poor grammar and names in bright colors distracting enough.

    1. Lil Fidget*

      I admit that when I first started out, I found the “writing sample” requirement confusing (I had an english degree) and probably thought a short story or something was a good fit. I still think that requirement is a little weird since I don’t do a lot of independent writing in my current job – what am I supposed to use, an email I wrote? However, I would know not to send erotica :D

  12. PB*

    If not for his stringent 1 page resume rule, I’d worry that my dad sent in the resume listing his kids’ accomplishments. I know he sometimes brought them up in his grad school courses…

  13. Mystery Bookworm*

    I’m curious what a bachlorette’s degree would entail? Mastering the bend and snap? Excels at wearing novelty sashes?

  14. Irene Adler*

    Ya know, last week my bro started his first job hunt in the public sector (after 30 years in gov’t).

    He understood that the resume he submits should be 2 pages or so. Which he did.

    But then he asked me if he ought to bring along the ‘complete’ resume to give to the interviewer. I said yes, bring along a few copies of the resume you submitted. No, no, corrected me. Should he give them the ‘complete resume’- all 40 pages in length.

    Um, no. No one is gonna read a 40 page resume. Don’t do this.

    1. SoSo*

      Don’t government jobs require a pretty detailed CV? I remember hearing something about that from a friend a few years back, but it would make sense if your brother has that long of a resume! I work in the medical device industry and it’s pretty standard for surgeons to have 20-40 page CVs that list every accomplishment, seminar, and publication they’ve ever been involved in. Every time I see one I have to thank the heavens I didn’t end up in a field that needed THAT much detail.

      1. Irene Adler*

        Yep! That was his explanation when I expressed my surprise at the length. He said that gov’t jobs want this level of detail. But, I explained, public sector doesn’t.

        He’s learning.

        1. SoSo*

          Ah, then that makes sense. CVs are a totally different beast in comparison to a traditional resume. My friend (mentioned above) was in a college program that dealt with government work, and her’s was bumping 8 or 9 pages by the time she graduated. I remember she told me that they wanted EVERY minute detail listed. She also had a hard time creating a traditional 2 page resume once she started applying for regular, non-government jobs because it had been drilled into her that you needed to include absolutely everything.

      2. Cacwgrl*

        LOL yes USAJobs makes resumes that long if you get real about the details. And the format lends itself to longer document just by the default text size. I prefer the format so I always know where to find the sections I’m looking for, but the resumes get soooo long in the format as well.

      1. Annie*

        This ends up being a listing of things like presentations (differentiating invited presentations and conference presentations from something more standard or at the home institution), publications (which can really add up if you are part of a group that publishes frequently; you won’t be listed only on your own first-author papers, but on the papers of others that you might not have had much to do with), certifications or ongoing trainings/licensures/renewals, specialty trainings or workshops, boards or other organizations on which you serve/volunteer, committees/advisory boards, all research funding/grants, students mentored/supervised, courses taught . . . and on and on.

        It’s more of an ongoing accounting of all job-related accomplishments, education, or professional service involvement. And normal private sector jobs don’t want to see that at all! But someone working in the Federal gov’t or in academia has to keep good track of all those details.

      2. BananaRama*

        Government used to use KSA’s also known as Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities, meaning you’d have to elaborate for eons about the things you know, did, and were/are capable of. Often times the whole thing sounds repetitive. When I was getting out of the military, I had to format my resume for a KSA style government resume and the whole thing was like 18-20 pages. It was insane. From what I hear, they stopped the KSA style in most government agencies now.

    2. TurquoiseCow*

      how would he even get that many pages?? I can’t imagine what sort of detail would be in a 40 page resume, unless he was a short-term consultant who switched jobs every year.

      A friend of mine is looking to change jobs, and was asking for resume advice, as she was having trouble limiting herself to less than 3-4 pages. (I pointed out that a resume doesn’t need to be a complete list of EVERYTHING and a total job history, just selected info that the employer would find helpful with regard to the job she was employing for, and leaving things off does not mean that she erases them forever – she found this helpful)

      1. Genny*

        The way the application system (USAJobs) works you have to detail all the experience you’ve gained as it relates to each point in the job description. In order to be ranked “exceptional”, which is the only category that makes it to the hiring manager, you have to demonstrate multiple experiences. So if the job requires “briefing skills”, you list every single time you’ve ever briefed someone in each of your jobs. In the beginning stage, they care much less about accomplishments and much more about whether you’ve done the thing.

      2. HappySnoopy*

        Going from private to Gov, I couldn’t believe the detail wanted. It asked for at least 24 credits in x or y bachelor level degree (I so want to write bachelorette here, lol) level. I majored in x in undergrad and had grad degree in y. U would think that shows I met the credit requirements, right? No, I had to list every single x and y course in the resumeas well as give the transcript. Gov job apps are wacky.

  15. aett*

    It seems weird to me that #20 would be disqualified just for including one line about his beard.

    1. Renata Ricotta*

      It’s just such a specific and bizarre detail that it makes the reviewer think they have odd judgment or professional boundaries, which is important in lots and lots of jobs. If you have a bunch of other good resumes, you might as well move on to them without solving this puzzle.

      1. Manders*

        Yes, that’s what I’d assume. Sometimes odd little details get people cut when there are so many resumes to get through.

        My most charitable interpretation would be that this person might have done some acting or modeling work in the past, and forgot to proofread his resume before sending it in to a regular office job.

        1. CM*

          My most charitable interpretation is that his roommate or child was playing a prank on him. Otherwise it seems so odd to have this one beard line sticking out of a normal resume.

          1. Bostonian*

            I thought the same thing. Wasn’t there a story about how some guy’s kid put an inappropriate line in his resume/cover letter as a joke, and he discovered it after he sent it? ….Help, anyone?

            1. Ozma the Grouch*

              That does sound familiar, but I can’t recall when or where I read it either. Or the details of what the kid wrote.

      2. Irene Adler*

        My Dad’s resume from the 1960’s included a complete physical description- height, weight, hair/eye color, surgery scar (mastoid operation). He’s not around now so I don’t know if he’d be someone who would would advise someone (like me!) to do as he did or would he have updated his thinking to the current time.
        (no, never included a physical description on my resume- why scare people?** sink!**)

    2. Bea*

      It bothers me and could spark issues if they’re ever sued and found to only disqualify an otherwise suitable candidate for that kind of thing. Especially if someone slips a similar note about their skin complexion.

        1. McWhadden*

          Well gender is (and it’s not just women but you can’t make hiring decisions based on gender either way, for instance, you can’t have a preference for women when hiring nurses or admins.) So, if you really really stretched it’s not hiring based on a characteristic more typical in men.

          But, of course, that’s ridiculous. And no court would take that seriously. It’s about the judgment in including that.

          1. McWhadden*

            And age is too. He mentions the gray hairs in his beard (lots of young people have gray hairs early but it’s associated with aging.)

            Although, again, I doubt it would stand up.

        2. Adereterial*

          No but age is – at least in the U.K. – and his description of having a few greys would suggest he’s older rather than in his 20s…

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

            Maybe, maybe not. I started to get gray hair in college in my 20s — it’s a genetic trait not an age trait. Some people can go into their 60s without going gray, some people can be all gray before they’re 30.

            Since including a photo is apparently common in some countries (or maybe even some fields like entertainment) he might usually provide a photo with his resume, has been told it’s not done in the US or this particular company, and he’s awkwardly splitting the difference by providing a brief description of himself. Who knows. Maybe it’s just a gimmick to get someone’s attention so they’ll call him and ask about it — insert the Marvel comics Iron Man and Dr. Strange “awesome facial hair bros” meme.

            1. Adereterial*

              My point is that grey hair is, regardless of the fact that I started going grey at 18, generally associated with older people than young ingenues in their 20s. The mental picture you form based on that description is not a fresh-faced 20-year-old.

              The law in the UK is very strict, even for fairly innocuous reasons. For example, specifying in an advert that you’re looking for a ‘recent graduate’ would fall foul of discrimination laws as recent graduates are more likely to be in their early-mid twenties than in their 50s.

              It’s also illegal in the UK to discriminate because you *think* someone falls into a protected class, even if they don’t, and to discriminate by association.

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

                No, the mental picture YOU’RE forming may be an older person — but not me. You are revealing your prejudices about gray hair by assuming he’s older. Based on “defined brown beard with a few gray hairs” I absolutely don’t think he’s over 35 since the beard trend is much more popular among younger men in order to either appear older or rebel against establishment rules or whatever. IME, men in my generation (middle age) tend to be clean shaven to appear more youthful.

                1. Specialk9*

                  I mean, yeah Greybeard is definitely a term for older men, even if you personally have an incredibly detailed young man greybeard association.

                2. Adereterial*

                  I don’t believe I said I was forming a picture of an old person, which you seem to be assuming. I said older than in their 20s.

                  I have no prejudices, certainly not ones against grey hairs, thanks. As I said, my hair started greying at 18. Or older people, or beards, either. However, humans make mental shortcuts, especially in the absence of certain information, and greying hair is something most people associate more with older people than they do the young. Thinking he’s not a newly minted graduate as he’s got a greying beard isn’t an unreasonable guess to make and that’s precisely why I’d have to ignore that sort of thing when recruiting in the UK – even if it was because it would be an odd thing to find in an application, because I can’t be seen to be making decisions based on anything other than his skill and competence.

          2. LBK*

            Age discrimination only applies in the US if you’re over 40 and in my experience most people who go grey start in their 30s.

        3. Bea*

          It’s not about this guy possibly not being a protected class. It’s about eliminating others by physical characteristics despite their abilities. A pattern that can be found during an investigation. So they do link to discriminatory practices. The law is not as simple as “they’re not protected”.

          1. Seriously?*

            But they are not being eliminated based on their physical characteristics but rather based on their judgment about what is appropriate to put in a resume. I’m pretty sure that if they put “has baby smooth face” they still would be eliminated.

          2. Penny Lane*

            You’re missing the point. He’s not being discriminated against because of his physical characteristics. He’s being discriminated against bc of his poor judgment in including them on a resume (where it’s not relevant – this isn’t for an acting audition). He would be dropped equally for putting “white complexion, blond hair, blue eyes.”

            Just like the World’s Best Grandson isn’t being discriminated against because he’s a grandson but because he showed poor judgment.

          3. LBK*

            But illegal hiring discrimination only applies to specific characteristics. You are allowed to have a pattern of not hiring anyone who, say, wears green to their interview. It’s only illegal if the pattern involves a protected class (whether explicitly or via disparate impact, eg only hiring people with blue eyes, which would eliminate most POC).

      1. CityMouse*

        We had a guy list his age prominently on his resume and it just made us think he was spoiling for a lawsuit about age discrimination. Fortunately in his interview he basically said he couldn’t do at least half the fundamental activities of our job, which the person in charge of hiring was careful to document in detailed notes.

        1. Bea*

          Yes, at a class recently a classmate said they got a resume with all the person’s medical woes. He wasn’t qualified but they documented that extensively and filed with a job description if anything pops up from not getting an interview.

        2. Artemesia*

          We had a total loon we dropped from consideration claim age discrimination. We hired 3 people in similar positions and this position; all were over 50, so we just didn’t worry about it. But people who do odd things do odd things like threaten to sue.

      2. autophage*

        My thinking when I read it was that the candidate likely has a “master resume” for various kinds of work, and removes irrelevant sections based on what sort of job he’s applying to – and that that was an erroneously-not-deleted section from a physical description portion of an acting resume.

    3. Sunshine on a Cloudy Day*

      My only thought/concern was – could it have been some sort of prank from a friend/family member? They saw the doc up on the job seeker’s computer and added something silly. Only because it sounds like the rest of the resume was totally “normal/expected/professional”.

      1. McWhadden*

        Typically AAM says you shouldn’t let “red flags” be your sole determining factor.

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          But when you have plenty of qualified people who aren’t waving red flags in your face, it’s pretty easy to ignore the ones who are.

          1. McWhadden*

            I can agree with that generally. I just don’t think this in particular is that kind of red flag, at all.

            1. Seriously?*

              Whether it is a red flag or not, if you have a lot of applicants and one rubs you the wrong way for a non-protected reason, it is perfectly reasonable to decide to pass.

        2. CityMouse*

          But if you’re deciding between 10 people for 5 interview slots and inappropriate beard guy and someone else are about the same, beard guy goes. If there was something else great on his resume, sure. But if he’s just average and you have other good candidates, no way.

        3. Let's Talk About Splett*

          It’s the equivalent of getting, “Want to go out to dinner with my parents?” as a first message from a Tinder match. They might actually be awesome and not get why that’s problematic, but why bother explaining it when there’s dozens of other people you matched with who aren’t being weird?

          1. McWhadden*

            I don’t think describing himself is remotely equivalent to the huge taboo of starting with dinner with the parents.

            1. Let's Talk About Splett*

              There’s no reason to describe yourself physically on a resume, though. It’s not done.

            2. k.k*

              It’s weird enough that out of hundreds of comments, it was selected as one of the top 30 by someone who is considered a credible source (if not expert) on the topic of workplace norms.

      2. Artemesia*

        Everything that has bothered us/been a red flag in the application and interview stages has been an even bigger problem once they were hired. It was hard to get good people and so we talked ourselves into hiring good people with just this thing that bothered us. Our instincts were always right that the thing would be a problem.

    4. Recruiter*

      I guess I’m harsh and discriminatory then. When you recruit full time you learn to look for red flags. When you have over 100 applications for one position and someone clearly does not understand professional norms in a position that this is a necessity you pass them over and look at the other 99 equally good applications you received.

    5. couldn't think of any good username*

      Imagine if you read a resume that was:

      Skills and Accomplishments
      – Accomplished x
      – Accomplished y
      – Accomplished n
      – I’m a guy with a defined brown beard with a few gray hairs in there
      – Skilled in a
      – Skilled in b
      – Skilled in x

      It seems like such a weird and jarring thing in a resume. Almost like a written form of Tourette’s

      1. Office Gumby*

        Yeah, it’s the weirdness.

        Now, the reason for the line could very well be that someone is playing a prank on the poor guy. Then again, it may be a red flag that something is off with this candidate.

        The thing is, you don’t know. The doubt exists.

        If you’ve got a hundred other resumes you’ve got to get through, you don’t have the time to investigate this little mystery, or to chance a known possible risk.

        Sorry, beard guy. You sowed doubt in my mind. That’s enough for me to say no.

        1. Khlovia*

          Let’s suppose it was his kid, roomie, or soon-to-be-ex.
          What it’s a red flag for is that he does not proofread important documents before he sends them out.

  16. Susan Sto Helit*

    I’m kind of sad I’ve never seen anything as ridiculous as any of these.

    My worst barely compares. My boyfriend of the time asked me to look at his CV for him. I glanced at it and immediately said that the font would have to change for a start. He asked why, and I had to gently explain why adults did not format their CVs with Comic Sans.

    He’d then informed me he’d been applying for jobs with it all day.

      1. Fishcakes*

        Comic Sans is not appropriate for a professional setting. It has a childlike, casual feel better suited to comics or birthday party invitations.

        1. EmKay*

          Oh, absolutely. But I don’t get the people who omgHAAAATE it. It’s just a font, calm down.

          1. Millennial Lawyer*

            1) from a design standpoint it’s grating 2) it’s so overused that it’s become cliche, and it almost seems odd to see someone use it genuinely, like it looks very out of touch

      2. schwa*

        Professionally, it’s always been an informal font and was intended to be used for children’s materials (it’s easier for kids to read). It’s not appropriate for professional settings and undercuts serious messages by looking like it belongs in a children’s book.

        Aesthetically, it’s just not a great font. There are better fonts on and off Microsoft products.

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

        As others have mentioned, it’s more about the incongruous nature of a causal childlike font used in places that should be formal and adult. As a designer, I also cringe when someone uses a looping, elaborate, hard-to-read calligraphy font to advertise an auto repair shop or a bold san serif font like Impact to advertise a day spa — that doesn’t look soothing or relaxing at all.

  17. Audrey Puffins*

    My favourite one I ever received at the bookshop I used to work in was basically a two page essay explaining how the applicant was just so incredibly creative that they couldn’t possibly be expected to create a traditional CV or fill in a standard application form. They emphasised their creativity by using clip-art borders and clip-art suns and moons as paragraph breaks. And not even good or rare clip-art. I don’t think we called them in for an interview…

  18. ZSD*

    2. Meeting Lenny Kravitz could have taken a lot of work – bribing a roadie, sneaking past security, etc. – such that it is in fact an accomplishment. But I still wouldn’t put it on my resume.
    5. It’s Stacey from the Baby-Sitters Club!
    8. I kind of wish this were an option, and that I was in a financial situation to allow me to pursue it.
    10. This one might be my favorite. But it’s hard to choose.
    14. Maybe the poor guy just doesn’t understand what “technicality” means and thinks he’s indicating that he was, in fact, found innocent legitimately.
    20. A weird way of telling you he’s over 40 and that if you don’t hire him, he’ll claim age discrimination?
    22. I appreciate the openness to new self-discovery in the future.
    23. Is this supposed to be, “IN VINO VERITAS,” or was there also a typo on the resume itself? Or if it’s a doctor, is it supposed to be, “IN VITRO VERITAS,” like a pun?
    26. My mom might try this.
    29. This person I’d actually be tempted to interview.
    30. Aaaauuuuuggghhhh.

    1. Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins*

      YES BSC! I remember trying to switch to dotting my i’s with heart after reading the Babysittters Club books. This was many years ago, but I was quickly corrected by my elementary school teachers and never managed to get into that habit.

      1. TurquoiseCow*

        It just seems so time consuming! I knew some people who used big round circles instead of dots on their i’s and I experimented on that for a bit, but it ended up taking twice as long to take notes or write anything. (And this was before computers were ubiquitous, so most of my papers were handwritten in the early days).

        1. Inspector Spacetime*

          I did this, too, in middle school. :) It lasted a few months. My handwriting was still just as messy, just now with the addition of circles, so I gave it up as a bad job.

      2. Rusty Shackelford*

        When I was in middle school I briefly flirted with using a smiley face as a dot over the i in my name. But only when I wrote my name. Anything else would have been excessive.

    2. RVA Cat*

      14. Seriously the only time this would help him is if he was applying to be a hitman – but then it would count against him that the person lived!

    3. Cactus*

      I also wondered about the “in Vito Veritas” thing–wouldn’t that mean “in life there is truth?”

      1. Noah*

        That’s “vita.” I’ve heard “in Vito Veritas” used as a joke, like, haha, I’m too drunk to make the regular stupid joke and say, “in vino veritas” so I’m making an even stupider joke.

  19. Hey Karma, Over here.*

    Was the doctor one with In Vito Veritas, supposed to be In Vitro Veritas. Because if he were a fertility specialist with a great reputation and years of experience, that would be hilarious to put on a business card or a congratulations card to new parents.
    Some doctor off the street, trying to get in the door, yeah, dude, I don’t know you like that.

    1. marymoocow*

      I assumed it was supposed to be In Vino Veritas, considering the comment about being an enophile.

      1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        Yeah—I wondered if this was a misspelling of In Vino Veritas. If it was In Vitro Veritas, it may have been kind of amazing.

      2. Hey Karma, Over here.*

        Reading In Vito (as a typo) just made me curious if maybe OP had misread it at the time. The immediate reaction, “yes, I like wine, too, by why are you telling me?” may have made him/her miss the reference.

    2. Agnodike*

      I read it as a play on “In Vino Veritas” and “Curriculum Vitae.” “In Vitae Veritas” would have been better but doesn’t scan as well.

      1. Student*

        Not grammatically correct. Vitae is genative, “of life” – “the course of [my] life”.

        You want Vita for “in life”, ablative. In vita veritas. In life, truth.

    3. Student*

      Was the applicant’s name Vito, maybe? “The truth is within Vito, this awesome applicant who is trying to make a Latin pun on his name / drinking reference”

      “Vino” is the word for wine that #23 assumed was intended. Can’t tell whether it’s a typo from #23 (seems likely, but they they claimed to be a big wine fan, which makes me doubt they misspelled vino personally).

      I agree that “In vitro veritas” seems like a cute fertility doctor/latin pun, but it doesn’t really make sense from a technical or inspirational standpoint. “The truth is within the glass” or, more colloquially, “The truth is within the artificial lab equipment”.

      “In vivo veritas” would be the better doctor/latin pun – “The truth is within the living”.

  20. LLH*

    I just received this one yesterday. The candidate listed at the top of the resume “Height 6’11”.
    While he is impressively tall, not sure why that was on his resume. Perhaps a heads up if we meet him in person? “FYI I’m very tall, don’t be alarmed”?? Not sure, but definitely the weirdest thing I’ve seen on a resume so far!

    1. Gotham Bus Company*

      If the job doesn’t involve fashion modeling or playing basketball, height is irrelevant.

    2. Rusty Shackelford*

      Was he applying to work in a warehouse, where it would be helpful to reach high things? Think of the money you’d save on the wear and tear on stepladders!

      (I love the thought that he just doesn’t want you to be alarmed when you see him.)

      1. SoSo*

        As someone who is 5′ tall, I would definitely be alarmed to walk into a room and be surprised by someone two feet taller than me! We have someone in our department who is somewhere between 6’10-7′, and I remember the first time I saw him stand up (you could see his shoulders and head over the top of our 5′ cubicle walls), I was completely startled and gasped because I wasn’t expecting it. All that said, it really was pretty funny.

        1. Christmas Carol*

          As someone who is 5′ I once dated a gentleman who was 6’6″. I wasn’t a good fit.

          1. Detective Amy Santiago*

            5’2″ and dated a guy 6’7″ once. Very painful on my neck.

            But, yeah, if it’s a physical type of job where reaching things is involved, maybe that would put him above the competition.

            (pun intended)

            1. SoSo*

              Oh the sore neck… I have two friends that are a couple, and they’re 6’2 and 6’5. I spent the weekend with them a few months ago and 1) felt like a child the entire time I was next to them, and 2) had such a sore neck from looking upwards all weekend.

        2. The Original K.*

          I’m 5’9″ and briefly dated a guy who is 6’6″. (His height is not related to the brevity of the relationship – it wasn’t even a relationship, we were just seeing each other for a couple of months.) If it had been a bit since I’d seen him, I would sometimes be startled when he came around the corner or whatever – not afraid, but like “Oh right, you’re very tall.” My old boss is 6’6″ and I had the same response to him.

      2. Someone*

        My boyfriend was rather amused by the duo who checked the fire alarms in the flats in our building – one tall one who could reach the fire alarms without a ladder, and one short one to fill out the form.

    3. puzzld*

      Hmm we are in need of someone to retrieve items from high shelves. Could you send me his deets? Could save wear and tear on the ladders.

    4. many bells down*

      I was working a booth for my volunteer job a couple months ago, and this guy came by who must have been at least 6’10” or 11″ and it actually was kind of … not alarming, but distracting? Like, my brain short-circuited and kept repeating “Wow you’re so TALL” (which, fortunately, I managed not to say out loud). I’m 5’5″ and I was barely past this guy’s navel. He was SO TALL.

      1. TurquoiseCow*

        I was at the LBJ presidential library recently, where there was an exhibit about equality in sports, and a photo of President Obama giving a medal to Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Obama is 6’1, which is not small, but Abdul-Jabbar is 7’2, and Obama really had to stretch to get the medal over his head. I’ m 5’4. It would be kind of awkward to have a conversation with him.

        1. many bells down*

          Omg yeah, I was craning my neck to talk to this guy, all the while wondering if I was being *really obvious* about craning my neck and thinking “be cool just be cool don’t make it a thing that he’s so tall he probably hears it all the time.”

          1. Specialk9*

            I’m very impressed that you met kept that inside your head. So few people do.

      2. Red Reader*

        My housemate is 4’11”, I’m 5’4”, we know a guy who’s 7 feet tall. I have a picture somewhere of him riding my in Smart car. Now THAT is hilarity.

          1. Red Reader*

            (How did I get those words backwards.)

            Surprisingly, not too bad. He only rode with me a few times, and never more than a couple miles, but the biggest problem was always that he also weighed about 350 lbs, and the weight capacity of a Smart is about 550. Having him as a passenger noticeably hampered the ability of the car to, you know, move, and even attempting to go over speed bumps was right out.

          2. Red Reader*

            My 6’4” now-husband rode in the Smart a lot including several hour long ride trips and he never had any problems with it, I upgraded to a bigger car not for peoples’ sake but because I got a second dog :)

          1. Environmental Compliance*

            Someday I’ll learn not to read AAM and drink/eat at the same time. Today is not that day.

          2. JeanB in NC*

            Man, I wish we could upvote comments here because I would give you about a thousand.

      3. LLH*

        I’m only 5’1… indeed seeing this guy in person probably would’ve caught me off guard a bit. It just still seemed odd to see on a resume for a role that is not warehouse/physical activity related!

    5. Jady*

      I actually had a coworker who was extremely tall and large. He was a super friendly guy, but he said a lot of people found his height and size intimidating. People would do things like cross the street to avoid him. (He was white, for whatever that’s worth, so it wasn’t racial-based.) That kind of thing clearly bothered him.

      So while it’s weird, I can see why they’d want to mention it ahead of time, when their height is extreme. Just so it doesn’t catch you by surprise.

      1. Bea*

        If he’s also large, that is probably the real problem. There are serious issues with people being biased towards people who are or who are viewed as obese. I’ve heard nasty assholes grunting that large people “take up so much more space” in public places. It’s not necessarily intimidation.

      2. EmKay*

        There used to be a dude like this on my bus route. I’m 5’9″ and 200ish lbs, so there’s a fair bit of me (woman), but he was taller than me by at least 8 inches and I’d estimate he was about twice my weight. He’d hunch his shoulders down as far as they’d go and stare at the ground. He also had the most gentle speaking voice, it was a little surreal.

    6. Goya de la Mancha*

      I dunno…in my current office where the tallest person is 5’8″ – 6’11” would come in handy….A LOT! :-p

    7. Khlovia*

      “I will need an accommodation if your doorway lintels are 6’10” from the floor or less.”

    8. Khlovia*

      #10: That wasn’t an accident. He was explaining to you why you were to hire him.

      #17: I too need to know why he did not get the World’s Best Grandson Award in 2004 and 2005.

      #25: Well, gee, couldn’t you just do the arithmetic for him? Tsk. You’re so lazy.

  21. Bea*

    I would hire someone who sent in a slide show of a hood slide but they will need to recreate it every company party and on my birthday.

  22. Gotham Bus Company*


    I’ve never heard of a married couple applying jointly for a single job, although my office once received separate applications from a married couple. (Yes, each knew that the other was applying.) We interviewed both and short-listed the wife.

  23. rose6677*

    28. “The person who treated her resume like a wedding invitation”.

    If it was a position in marketing/ sales, candidates there are often encouraged to show creativity. I actually think this is one of the best things I’ve read about in the field of “creative applications”.

    I’m not a fan of creative applications myself but I’ve been encouraged to use them plenty of times.

    1. Manders*

      I’m in marketing, although not in a design-focused field, and I think this falls under the category of “Maybe a few bosses would be impressed by this gimmick, but do you really want to work for someone who finds this impressive?”

    2. Lil Fidget*

      I could ALMOST see it if the job was wedding planner or stationary salesperson? Maybe?

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

        Yeah, I was thinking if this was for any type of event planning or hospitality job it MIGHT be sort of relevant and funny, but the reaction of the boss indicates that this is not the case.

      1. Goya de la Mancha*

        As I was reading, I was expecting something about her being over self confident and only choosing the two seemingly positive answers.

      1. A Bag of Jedi Mind Tricks*

        I think I would have answered her response card and sent it back.

    3. NW Mossy*

      Please tell me that the people doing the encouraging don’t hire, because they are…. probably not focused on the right signals for good candidates.

    4. Ozma the Grouch*

      I’m a creative specialist in a competitive field. I do not want to see this shit in place of a traditional resume/cover letter. I only want to see this level of creativity in your portfolio. When I’m hiring designers, marketers, copy writers I want to know that the person that I will be working with has a good head on their shoulders and is down to earth, AND can take critiques and feedback without taking things personally. A lot of the work that we are going to end up doing, the stuff that pays the bills, is going to be BORING. The client is going to want things to be done THEIR WAY. And a lot of the really fun stuff you dream of doing is actually done by people who have seniority to you. So when I see these types of candidates come forward thinking that they are being original or showing good taste (which is questionable at best since half these creative resumes are bought off of sites online or imitations of them), all I can think is that person is going to be unhappy and difficult to work with. I do my best to stay far away because they’ve deluded themselves into thinking this is their “dream job”.

  24. Mockingjay*

    #28: Please, please tell me that you sent the card back with “NO, and don’t ever apply here again!” checked…

  25. McWhadden*

    With the Lenny Kravitz one I was at first like “OK that’s dumb but people always give misguided advice to ‘stick out’ and that’s memorable.” Then I got to the scanned picture part! I burst out laughing.

    1. user3241*

      I think companies are themselves to blame.

      When applying I frequently come across the question about hobbies and what makes you stand out. And I apply for mid-level positions in management consulting, at some of the world most attractive employers. These are extremely competitive positions.

      And no, they don’t expect answers such as “travelling”, “reading” or “films”.

      At one job interview the question about my (made-up) hobby was actually the first one I received after coming into the room.

      Basically, companies want to create the impression that they value originality. So they shouldn’t be surprised if a small percentage of applicants goes a bit too far with that to their taste.

    2. CM*

      That one is my favorite! I have to wonder whether the person actually wanted a job though.

    3. Decima Dewey*

      If there had been a third page, would it be a picture of Lenny Kravitz calling security?

  26. CCF*

    A friend of mine just told me about a great resume they received for an open admin position. Applicant had worked at a club and listed “hyping the crowd” and “learning new tricks” under the responsibilities. When they googled the club, they found out it was a swingers club. Of course I asked the obvious question: what goes into hyping up that crowd?

    1. Sam.*

      That also dramatically changes the “tricks” I’d expect him to learn on the job…

  27. Cat*

    All of these are hysterical, but the eye appointment invoice really got me for some reason. I’m guessing that was a mistake but it’s very funny to me to imagine that it was intentional.

    1. Lil Fidget*

      I had some oddball stuff like this from job seekers who were on unemployment and needed to demonstrate they’d done a certain number of applications. They figure this “counts” for their quota for the week, and they don’t want this job anyway.

      1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

        Ah, that explains! I didn’t know about the quotas, until a former coworker, who had been laid off from OldJob a few months earlier, messaged me one day. “I just interviewed at (my current job) with (manager), what is she like?” I sent a detailed explanation back, saying that (manager) was rumored to be very difficult to work for, with unreasonable demands and a habit of working her employees half to death. But my ex-coworker was, “oh that’s cool. I’m on unemployment, I have to show them I’m looking, this interview will work perfectly.”

        1. Oxford Coma*

          I’m not sure if the rules are different from state to state, but when I was on partial unemployment (it was lessened because I worked PT) it was explained to me that I had to accept any job offered to me. I applied to some jobs in my field that were full-time but ended up paying barely minimum wage, which was less than I was making as a part-time waitress. If I’d been offered that sort of job, I would have had no PTO and no time to continue my job search, but would have been making a pittance. I understand now why people purposely tank their applications.

          1. JLo*

            I had a friend on unemployment who turned down a construction job (that he had not applied for)as he is an accountant with an MBA. He had to have a hearing contesting turning down the construction job. They only offered him the construction job because they thought he was Mexican (he is from Chile) in a weird racial bias as “all Mexicans work construction”.

            1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

              Oh what the actual hell :(

              My family, and someone I know, had run into some degree of bias when we first arrived in the US. We’d come through HIAS in the late 90s, and back then, they would assign you a caseworker to help you with your resume and job search. When we first came in, my then-husband said, “my work experience is in programming, but my actual degree is not in anything marketable.” and went on to explain that it was in hydro/aeromechanics. The caseworker said “oh we’ll find you a job right away! every auto shop in the area needs a mechanic”.

              A former coworker of mine, had told the same coworker that he’d had a degree and experience in software development, and wanted to continue down that path. Her response “oh we’ll find you a job working with computers! We have so many (our country of origin) computer shops in the area that need people to assemble desktop PCs” he is now a software architect.

              At least we didn’t get into any trouble when we said no, like your friend did. So I’d say we still had it pretty easy.

  28. Blue*

    Ngl, #22 (‘I’m not bilingual or bisexual (that I know of).’) made me laugh out loud. I also enjoy the mental image of this person suddenly speaking Spanish or something without realizing they knew how.

    1. Specialk9*

      !Dios mio! Me gustaria chingar ambos mujeres y hombres. !Que sorpresa!

      Whoooaaaaa, duuuuuude. I was NOT expecting that to come out of my mouth.

  29. Amber Rose*

    Yesterday we had a guy come in and pull his resume out of his pants. Like, I understand it’s been raining a lot lately, but a plastic file holder is fifty cents.

    One of his skills was safety because he “never broke a machine or even caused it to be shut down.” I see what he was trying to do, but no.

    1. Rusty Shackelford*

      I’m going to add to my resume that I’ve never killed or even accidentally hurt anyone on the job.

    2. Jam Today*

      Like, out of a pocket or he’d just shoved it down where it was cosy next to his drawers?

      1. Environmental Compliance*

        I’m picturing someone wearing baggy pants with a belt pulling a manila folder full of resumes out from the crotchal region, where it was held in place by the belt. A folder holster, if you will, snugged in the front of their pants. And of course, when you need a resume, you must dramatically whip out the folder, carefully pull out a resume, and hand the paper over, then carefully slide the folder back into place.

        With a very serious expression on your face the entire time.

    3. Aiani*

      I’ve been enjoying all of the comments very much but this one just caused me to have to seriously stifle my giggles in my office. Something about the mental image of a guy just pulling a resume out of his pants and then the safety skill just makes it even better.

      1. strawberries and raspberries*

        I’m replying to my own comment because it’s been like an hour and I’m still cracking up at this. Like, were you interviewing Mister Bean?

        1. Specialk9*

          Mister Bean, it would have been 2 legal sized resumes taped together, just pulling and pulling and pulling from his waistband, while he had a super bland look on his face.

  30. CurrentlyLooking*

    These are great. I am going to update my resume to include:

    A picture of me holding a laptop and staring mysteriously into the distance.
    Random made up quotes about me from titans of the industry including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
    A full list of everything I did during my 14 years as a Stay At Home Mom (as a bonus that will push my resume out from 2 pages to about 12)
    However, I will not include my vaginal births since I used an epidural.
    And obviously all of my kids accomplishments since they are so awesome (and now my resume will be about 30 pages.)

    I am thinking at this point it won’t hurt : )

    1. Close Bracket*

      > Random made up quotes about me from titans of the industry including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

      Me, too.

  31. NewJobWendy*

    Some of these honestly make me feel terrible. As in, we are doing such a poor job educating people about how to interact with the world that they think these things are acceptable, or that their lives have been such a struggle that those childhood accomplishments really ARE the best they have to talk about.

    I dunno…I feel like many of these were submitted in earnest, and today I can’t find it in myself to laugh at people who might actually have been doing their best.

    1. All Anon*

      Yes, but I can tell you from experience that some people are so convinced of their rightness or genius or something that they blow off the advice. A friend of my SO was laid off and struggled through temp jobs and financial crisis for years before finally landing something. He asked for advice and one thing I suggested was changing out his Linkedin picture which was massively frumpy and not at all professional (I used nicer words). He never did it. How hard would that have been?

    2. Bea*

      Part of it is lack of education BUT how can you excuse someone with a bachelors from not even knowing the level of her degree. She’s book smart it sounds like but lacks basic common knowledge.

      Others get bad advice. Look at the parents and grandparents still telling young adults to just walk right in and demand a job. Look at the letters we get confirming a mom thinks a year at an abusive freakshow of a job is magic and that’s the only way to advance a career.

      Nothing I’ve learned was from a book after I graduated high school and I’ve been fine because of my ability to use critical thinking and seek out reputable sources for advice. It’s so much more than school failing these people.

      Heck career centers tell them to “stand out” and still list objectives.

      1. NewJobWendy*

        “It’s so much more than school failing these people.” That’s part of my point, though. I consider “education” to be a broadly encompassing term that doesn’t just include classroom schooling.

        I’m not saying you can or should save everyone from themselves. I’m just saying many of these struck a cord with me that demanded empathy instead of mirth.

        1. Bea*

          I tend too smile at the silly stuff because they’re not harming any one and I’ve seen the fallout from trying to save many people from themselves.

          It’s why we need more sources in different formats. Like this blog is helping a whole different kind of person and we still see pushback frequently. Pushback at experts and veterans of their trades. So there are always people who march to that beat they most connect with.

          Self described geniuses and eccentrics come to mind. Unless we create a whisperer technique for every personality and mentality, we will never all understand all the social norms we have out there.

          I mean I’ll never ever get an interview at a mega corporation and I could figure it out but I sure don’t want to.

    3. Specialk9*

      Yeah, some of them were more sad than funny. I skipped over them and went to the ones that seemed more actually humorous.

  32. beanie beans*

    This makes me wish I got to review resumes more often! Or maybe happy that I don’t have to. I can’t decide!

  33. HR Recruiter*

    I keep thinking of more that I forgot to originally post. Is it sad 2 of the 30 were mine and several of the others I’ve experienced as well. LOL
    #1 reminded me we were going to make an offer to an applicant who interviewed well. The last step was to check references. He said Google me. We told him that was not acceptable. But I still Googled him out of curiosity. Wow! We found a lot. He had been on the news on a segment how to get free stuff from companies like ours. He gave tips that were barely legal and very unethical. Normally we don’t Google candidates, but I’m soooo grateful he told us to. Bullet dodged there.

    1. BadWolf*

      Depending on people to discern which search results are actually you seems like an especially stupid idea. For example, my name is medium common so you can find my rodeo and real estate doppelgangers easily before actual me.

      1. The one with raccoon shirt*

        Have to say I am truly jealous of that – due to reasons my last name is so uncommon that I am only person with such first name and last name combination not only in my country but in world.

        1. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

          Me too! I worry sometimes that my political views will be a problem, but then again I wouldn’t want to work for anyone that petty.

        2. fort hiss*

          Wow, now THAT’S rare! I’m one of maybe five or six for mine and I thought I had it rough.

    2. Bea*

      I think you are more highly involved in lots of hiring so lots of crazy stories makes sense!

      You shouldn’t Google people due to bias it can breed and common names. I can’t believe these people think this basic crap that’s a lyric and movie quote is something good to tell a potential employer. Argh.

    3. Irene Adler*

      Had a classmate (who is no longer a friend of mine), whom I later discovered was a liar and a world-class manipulator (which is a story for another time).

      She told me about her job hunting exploits. She interviewed with someone who knew one of our instructors. So, when they sat down for the interview, the first thing said to her was, “Remember, I’m going to check out every statement you make.” I thought this a surprising comment to make in an interview. The classmate seemed completely unaware of the implications of this statement.

      During the interview, this classmate claimed that she was a journalist. She possessed a press pass. That fact didn’t seem convincing. So, she added that she’d written for many magazines and newspapers throughout the country. Even named a few, like Newsweek and USA Today and other nationally circulated media. Her work is all over the Internet. She assured the interviewer, all you have to do is Google her name and you’ll have no problem finding her work.
      After our conversation, I decided to Google the classmate. Couldn’t find much. Even searched the newspaper and magazine sites. All I found were a couple of articles for local newspapers (yes, I had the correct spelling). Why make such an easy to refute claim?
      It was no surprise to me that she did not get the job. Classmate made it out to be a low-paying job that she really didn’t want anyway.

      1. Specialk9*

        You’d be surprised by how far one can get with confident assertions backed by no brains, and never backing down from idiocy.

        Sorry, too political.

  34. All Anon*

    I would never put it on resume of course but I have used the line at work “That’s a piece of cake for somebody who had a baby with no drugs”. No v word through, ever.

    1. Sparkly Librarian*

      I’m tired, so I had to read your line several times before I parsed it as not referring to actual cake. Like, “Hey, there, mister, you don’t get the last piece of birthday cake. It’s MINE.” or “Sarah, who is freshly back from maternity leave, should get this first piece.”

    1. CatCat*

      LOL, I could see that too and now have a little movie in my mind about how that interview would go :D

    2. Damn it, Hardison!*

      Nah, I mean sure, he’d dance all up on you, but murder? I feel like that would be too much effort.

      1. Damn it, Hardison!*

        On further reflection, yeah he would. Probably ran someone over with his pre-owned Acura Legend.

    3. Rat in the Sugar*

      Ugh, I can just hear him singing it–“I got off on a tech-ni-caaaaaa~~~~lity!!”

  35. All Anon*

    I would never put it on a resume of course but I have used the line at work “That’s a piece of cake for somebody who had a baby with no drugs”. No v word though, ever.

  36. Liane*

    I can see #25 as having some redeeming value–as a way to break hiring managers/companies of asking for candidates’ salary history. Just tweak the last sentence: “So I need at least X-Y range because my boyfriend wants to go to more expensive places.”

      1. Goya de la Mancha*

        B –

        Groot would never have yelled his answers like the kid typing in caps

  37. Sunflower*

    27. “We recently had an applicant who didn’t even send a resume. Instead he attached a headshot and an invoice from a recent eye doctor appointment. Needless to say he did not receive the position.”

    I was sending my updated resume to a reference of mine once and didn’t double check my attachment. I accidentally sent over my recent evaluation from my dental exam. TG it was just a reference and not a hiring manager but this one reminded me of that. If it had been a hiring manager and I didn’t notice, oh man, I probably would have ended up on this list!

    1. Specialk9*

      I initially read this as RECTAL exam, not dental. Which would have been pretty different!

  38. All Anon*

    I have received the line by line budgets before. Offer never made because it became clear that somebody with that need to expose all of their linear thinking and not just sum it all up for efficient cnversation would be a PIA at work.

  39. MissingArizona*

    The pirate one sounds like some my friend DRD would do. His bday us on talk like a pirate day, and we go all our, and he definitely plays it up big time.

    1. Bea*

      I’ve got a buddy deep into the pirate stuff, there are clubs. It’s a thing. He has pirate hair and earring, very handy and darn good worker. See him saying it in an interview but not sure he would put anything on a resume.

      1. Emi.*

        With pirates, I just can’t get over the “ocean muggers” part. I love the sea as much as anyone, but why do the violent robbers get all the cachet, instead of the explorers or the blockade runners?

        1. Bea*

          Well explorers did some grotesque things that we gloss over. Pirates are brazen in their exploits.

          We glamorize mobsters too.

          1. BananaSplit*

            Am over in the UK, just had a bad day at work and this has really cheered me up. I can’t stop laughing out loud . Love the pirate one, wonder if he would have turned up as Jack Sparrow at interview.

  40. Akcipitrokulo*

    I feel so sorry for guy who thought he had to justify why he wanted the salary he asked for. I just want to tell him it’s OK, you are entitled to be paid for what you do!

    1. Rusty Shackelford*

      And yet it’s not really that uncommon for people to think *need* is a determination in how much you should get paid.

      1. Akcipitrokulo*

        Yeah. I think they read it as “Justify why you want so much from us!!!”

      2. Akcipitrokulo*

        Related to the idea that you want a job because you are so excited and in love with what you can bring to the mission statement that it would be an honour to work here for nothing…

        … so need to explain why I need to involve myself with something as distasteful as money when of course if I didn’t need to eat I’d be happy to pay you for this opportunity…

        OK, exaggerating :) but people feel awkward about admitting we work for pay. Or think managers might not want to hire someone greedy.

        Just want to give the kid a hug and tell them it’s ok…

  41. an infinite number of monkeys*

    For me there’s not a very bright line between “sheesh, what an idiot” and “there, but for the grace of God, go I…”

    Also, I now want to persuade my happily-employed husband to start job-hunting just so he can do #29.

  42. Pollygrammer*

    Some of these have to be people on unemployment who are required to apply for a certain number of jobs a month deliberately tanking their applications, right?

  43. John Rohan*

    #14 – The guy who said he was found ‘not guilty on a technicality.’ I’m willing to bet that was a guy who didn’t want the job, but was only applying to keep his unemployment benefits going.

    #19. The one with a cover letter that was written as a ransom note. No interview? Oh come on! That’s an awesome cover letter.

  44. Bea*

    I thought my bubble heart exclamation points were asinine enough but now I’m going to use hearts instead of check marks…only after getting the job of course. I also wear a lot of heart prints, I’m the worst.

  45. pleaset*

    “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.”

    I find that a bit sweet, assuming it was a young person doing it.

    My partner was wrapping up a series of interviews for a position as an engineer in a Fortune 500 company about 20 years ago. They’d flown her out for the interviews. And the last question was one word did she think people would choose to describe her. She thought about it a bit, and said “cute.” Several people burst out laughing.

    She did get the job.

    1. Eye of Sauron*

      See that was probably a good answer. I’m sure by that time she had gotten her qualifications out on the table, and it’s a bit of a clever answer to A. Point out the obvious if she didn’t fit the ‘typical’ engineer profile, B. Own it, and C. let her stand out a bit.

      It reminds me of a story that my mom told me about a young woman who was interviewing for a position, she was asked if she was a follower or a leader. Her response after thinking about if for a little bit was “Follower”, the story goes that the interviewer said something to the effect “Good we have too many damn leaders here and nothing ever gets done, we need some followers… You’re hired!”. I have no idea if this story is true or not, but it’s a good reminder to be true to yourself when interviewing as you never know what will make you stand out.

    2. Trout 'Waver*

      I wouldn’t ding someone for that one either. It’s OK to show a little personality.

    3. Environmental Compliance*

      One of the last questions asked in my last interview was “So if you could pick any job in the world, what would you do?” My answer was: well, when I was pretty young, I desperately wanted to be a shark trainer and work with Steve Irwin. That’d still be pretty cool.

      I did get the job.

  46. Shiny Door Knob*

    Once received a 3-page cover letter that read like a memoir of the applicant’s life. She stated that she had always been popular in high school because she was a “light-skinned black chick that all the boys wanted” (yes, she used that exact quote) and it went on and on about how she got knocked up and went from clubbing every weekend to changing diapers and co-parenting. It was so inappropriate that I was speechless. She never got an interview and she actually called to ask why. Our HR rep had to advise that her cover letter was extremely unprofessional, and the applicant had the gall to disagree and say that it was a great way to get to know her personality. Hr rep’s response: Yes, and it helped us realize you’re not a fit for our organization.

    1. Jam Today*

      LOL that’s the missing piece of generic advice to “let your personality come through” — what if you have a repellent personality? Nobody is obligated to like the “real you”!

      1. Shiny Door Knob*

        My colleagues and I had a great laugh over the whole thing. Her letter was just so absurd. It talked about her fashion sense, how she had an affinity for “wealthy tastes” (again- her quote) and all sorts of odd things unrelated to the job posting. I wish I still had a copy of the letter. lol

  47. Wem*

    Damn, I have never put any of that craziness on my resumes. And I still can’t get anyone to talk to me.

  48. Quake Johnson*

    Two of my faves:

    The first one said in the objective line: “I don’t intend to work very hard.” Just flat out. I appreciated her telling me that upfront, I guess.

    The other was a resume that was handed in to my COFFEE SHOP, that had the objective as “Seeking hairstyling position.” And went on at length to describe their passion for cutting hair, and how she couldn’t wait to meet the clients so she could help style them, and she couldn’t wait to be part of a team so well respected in the community for such great hairstyling.

    Like, I get sometimes you have one goal in mind and when that doesn’t work out you need to branch out, but you’d think people would try and tailor their resume at least a little.

    1. Trout 'Waver*

      Lazy people make excellent process optimizers. Finding a way to accomplish a task while doing the least amount of work is a very marketable skill.

      I’m only kinda kidding on this one.

      1. Bea*

        Frank Gilbreth certainly would agree to an extent. If the lazy person is actually just exceptionally efficient, I’m in. If they screw up my books, I’m throwing them overboard to sharks.

      2. JeanB in NC*

        Heinlein wrote a whole story about that – I forget the title but it included “laziest man in the …”.

        1. Megpie71*

          “Laziest Man in the World” – and it was actually included in the early chapters of Time Enough for Love.

          (I very carefully don’t list Heinlein geekery on my resume. They get that as a bonus if they hire me).

      3. Beth Jacobs*

        Yeah, but efficient people don’t call themselves lazy – because they know it will make the job hunting process more difficult.

  49. Shhhhhh*

    One piece of advice aimed at college students and recent grads I read early in my career encouraged you to add something “offbeat and memorable” in your resume. The example it gave was “accomplished unicycler”. Luckily, I knew that was bs when I read it but too many young people hear this crap from people who haven’t job hunted in 20+ years.

    1. Bea*

      Oh. Someone from Portland is writing these advice columns I see.

      Twitching at the mention of unicycle riding so hard.

      1. The New Wanderer*

        I saw someone riding a unicycle in my PNW suburban neighborhood last week! Hopefully she knows better than to put that in a resume, but man she was really good.

        1. Free Meerkats*

          Last time I rode STP (Seattle To Portland bicycle ride for those not from here), there was a guy who did it on a unicycle. Just note, he wasn’t wearing a kilt. Or playing flaming bagpipes.

    2. Kathryn T.*

      Actual conversation overheard at a party:

      Him: This past summer, I spent seven weeks traveling eleven hundred kilometers through Vietnam on a unicycle.

      Her: At no point in that sentence did I have any idea what word was coming next.

      I don’t know what happened in the convo after that, but I have appropriated the “at no point” response several times because sometimes it’s just the best thing you can say.

  50. Sarah*

    I want to defend some of these people (not all of them of course) but as a soon to be graduate I am always receiving advice to “stick out” or make myself “memorable” my doing something like 13 or 28.

    And 11 might be defensible depending on the job, if the fanfic is particularly good and it is a creative writing post it is probably reasonable of course for a non-creative writing post it looks tone deaf.

    1. Quake Johnson*

      I kinda get what you mean, every career counselor I ever talked to/watched give a presentation suggested doing something to make your resume “fun.”

      But their ideas were always ridiculous and unprofessional. Now I’m wondering how many people actually took them at face value.

    2. all aboard the anon train*

      #11 is mine, and we always receive fanfic for project management/editorial/production jobs in a publishing house. There’s no creative writing involved. It seems that people just see it’s a job involving books and think that means their creative writing is relevant.

  51. Funbud*

    Amusing as these are, I can’t help but think of all the people I’ve worked with who had perfectly normal, professional, even exemplary resumes, interviewed well, then got hired and turned out to be completely crackers! Unreliable, difficult to work with, strange. And then only lasted in the job a few months or a year at most. But on paper…oh, man, they looked fantastic!

    1. Bea*

      I dig it. I’ve seen so many people interview well and have a good resume only to fail miserably.

      This is why I bring that up in interviews and am always encouraging skepticism in my future bosses. Every one, even the jackhole psycho was like “well damn you are good at this.”

      Whereas I’ve dealt with people with “decades of experience” in warehouse work who sucked at everything the job required. I’ve had “bookkeepers” who can’t use a computer or write a check. It’s insane. I will take quirky any day.

  52. A Bag of Jedi Mind Tricks*

    Wow!! Just Wow!! But I have to say #28 borders on the clever side with the return card and options.

  53. neeko*

    The fanfic stuff reminds me of the person wanting to put MMORPG stuff on their resume. Sure, maybe (MAYBE) those skills are transferable but it’s not a good look.

  54. Ash*

    So, #30 is hilarious, but also really sad because this kind of “birth experience” is so idolized on many websites and in lactivist and home birth circles the applicant may have actually thought it was important enough to be impressive in any circumstance.

  55. Huh*

    I mean, I heard for years when I was younger to pick a thicker or fancy paper color to make your resume stand out in a stack. I assume others got that advice too.

    1. Bea*

      Cotton woven off white resume paper. Holla 2003 when you still had to mail the things. I haven’t mailed or faxed or seen a job I’m interested in listed in the job ads section in over a decade though, so that’s just archaic.

        1. Bea*

          Oh I do too! I’ll even share. I paid $8 in 2003 for that stuff, I’m not just pitching it out lol

  56. It’s all good*

    Oh dear. I just had surgery and can’t laugh cause it hurts but I can’t stop reading these!

  57. Raven*

    Damn, I should have replied to the original post.

    My company, which is a theatre organization that has Shakespeare in our name and very obviously has a focus on his works, had to screen for resumes a few weeks ago. We received one with a cover letter that was written in Shakespearean English, i.e. “Dearest Lady, Herein I do presenteth mine application…” for a full paragraph. We appreciated the effort but did not interview him.

    1. ZSD*

      Oh gods, if you’re going to do that, at least conjugate the verb correctly! But also, don’t do that. (Or go all the way and use iambic pentameter.)

  58. SpiderLadyCEO*

    Was #28 for a wedding related industry? Or did she just take the old advice to print on nice paper and run with it?

  59. Oxford Coma*

    I saw a resume recently that listed foster parenting as part of voluteer work. I feel weird about that.

    1. Beth Jacobs*

      Hm. I think that foster parenting is better to include than than normal parenting, as at least you’re accountable to someone outside the family. You have to take classes, get licensed and are subject to supervision. You have to coordinate with the case worker, guardian at litem, courts and sometimes the biofamily as well. I can see it as relevant for social work or education.

  60. JoAnna*

    I have birthed six children vaginally and without medication… but I never thought of adding that to my resume. :D

  61. EmKay*

    This all reminds me of the woman who applied for a position via email and instead of attaching her CV she attached a freaky looking photo of Nic Cage by mistake.

  62. Imaginary Number*

    #18 is notorious among certain resume-writer companies. Yes, they really do think it’s a good idea to include quotes from their peers scattered in random places on the resume.

  63. Mimi*

    #2 made me laugh so hard that I completely blew my cover w/r/t reading AAM at work.

  64. PS*

    I didn’t get a chance to write in when Alison requested this round up. I saw a resume years ago that included an excerpt about how the applicants wife had cheated on him, and he had video proof. I forget how he contextualized it. Maybe a gap in employment due to an assault charge?

    We kept that one around for a while for entertainment. Four pages of amazing.

  65. A completely different Steve*

    #23 – doesn’t that mean “in life there is truth”, which seems wholly unremarkable as a slogan for a doctor? Or was this actually a typo?

    1. Double A*

      I thought vino = wine. So basically, people are more honest when they’re drunk.

    2. Joan Callamezzo*

      Whgoops, the typo was mine when submitting the comment. His heading was actually IN VINO VERITAS (in wine there is truth).

  66. 2 yrs of latin*

    Vino = wine. In wine there is truth. Not a typo, but possibly this person thought the same thing and no one ever bothered to correct him.

  67. SES*

    When I was a manager for a retail store, I received a resume that listed these two gems under “Accomplishments”

    – Finished watching every season of Orange is the New Black
    – Mad math skills

    I called the applicant, but never got a call back. Disappointing, because I really wanted to meet her.

  68. arcya*

    I missed the original thread but we had an applicant that apparently graduated “manga cum latte”

  69. Heatherkan*

    I once had an application come back with the “Name” section scribbled out and re-written to correct a misspelling. Of the dude’s own name.

    He was not called for an interview.

    1. bookartist*

      So an honest mistake born of a brain fart and you tossed his application out over it?

      1. Eliza*

        The fact that he didn’t bother to start over and fill in a new copy of the application doesn’t speak well for his work ethic.

        1. Close Bracket*

          > The fact that he didn’t bother to start over and fill in a new copy of the application doesn’t speak well for his work ethic.

          Not sure how. Very few finished work products are hand written anymore, so cross outs wouldn’t be an issue. The important part is that they caught an error and corrected it. Why waste an entire sheet of paper bc their fingers were faster than their brain?

          1. Eliza*

            Because a crossed-out and corrected error on a form looks sloppy, and you don’t want that to be someone’s first impression of you. Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but it’s the same logic as dressing up for an interview even if you won’t for the actual job: you’re supposed to be putting your best foot forward, and if your best foot is visibly flawed, what does your worst foot look like?

          2. Rat in the Sugar*

            You’d waste an entire sheet of paper because it’s a job application that you want to represent you in the best possible light and not make you look like you don’t know how to spell your name.

      2. Bea*

        Most of us don’t. Especially if it’s a single line scratch out. Especially if the guy had dyslexia, you can easily misspell your name.

    2. Are you who you want to be?*

      At a job fair, a young job seeker handed me her resume unfortunately she forgot to put her name and contact info at the top. I think I remember suggesting name, phone number and email address.

  70. PhyllisB*

    I wouldn’t add the childbirth “accomplishment”, but I had three natural so I understand.

  71. MB*

    My boss received an email applying for an open position with a subject line that read: “Application from Jane ‘Sex Machine’ Doe.” We were at a loss about how that could have happened, though popular consensus is that it’s the name she’s saved for herself in her phone, and someone it auto-populated like that in the subject line when she applied.

    Needless to say, she did not get an interview. My boss did, however, send her a very nice email back letting her know about the subject line, which went unanswered.

  72. ThursdaysGeek*

    We’re hiring and a co-worker shared a resume with me: 15 pages with dense words in sections, lots of graphics, degree from our favorite scam online school, inspirational quotes, and at least one made up phrase for ‘our reading pleasure’. There are probably more gems, but who’s gonna read all that?

    1. USSRian Jew Esq.*

      I wonder how long she went before someone was like NO REALLY YOU ARE INCORRECT

  73. USSRian Jew Esq.*

    Ok I’m sorry but who WOULDN’T hire #30. Hear me out… it’s really impressive. But yeah if I saw that on a resume, I’d probably be like NOOOOOOOOOO. Also, shouldn’t that be listed under skills? I mean…

  74. Close Bracket*

    “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.”

    Well, for a position aimed at university students, you are bound to get a few people with no sense of professional norms applying.

    Lists like these just make me note to keep my judginess in check and focus on skills and work ethic. I actually loved the “wedding invite” resume and the RSVP card. If the skills matched up, I would call them.

  75. Volunteer Enforcer*

    Equally funny, shocking and heartbreaking. Will bookmark it for future laughs.

  76. In Todd We Trust*

    My #1 was a Bug Farmer whose accomplishment was “Go to work every day at I job I hate because I needed the money.”

    Just yesterday I got a GED in pre-law resume.

    Good times

  77. Kimli*

    I worked in an app development shop. We had an opening for graphic artis, to make app layouts and wireframes. One of the applicants provided his portfolio, which was full of furry porn he had drawn.

  78. Drama Llama*

    A recent applicant sent me a resume with “CONFIDENTIAL” typed under headings Education, Work Experience, and Contact Details.

    It was basically his name, email, and nothing else.

  79. I just want to bang on the drum all day*

    #12. “It was the kind of application form where you’re supposed to upload your resume as an attachment, and one candidate uploaded a Word document that contained one line: ‘Resume available upon request.’”

    Filing your weekly unemployment telebenefit claim—
    “Press 1 if you actively sought work.”

    …..Your claim has been successfully filed .

  80. Kikishua*

    This made for a wonderfully fun read at the end of a long hard day. Actual tears of laughter! THANK YOU!

  81. A.J.*

    Just got a resume in today for an open position, and under “Skills/Personal Qualifications,” he’s included “Pre-qualified for several major credit cards.”

  82. Rocky*

    Giving the benefit of the doubt, No.23 could be a pun. You could translate ‘in vito veritas’ as something like ‘the first reaction is to recoil/shun’. *shrug*

  83. Scubacat*

    I have to wonder if #27 just simply didn’t select the right attachments. Like, accidently attaching 2018.Eyeexam instead of 2018.Resume.

    Because sending what they did makes NO sense whatsoever when applying for a job.

  84. Empty Sky*

    These are all way better than mine. I once had somebody who described himself as “A ‘No’ Guy” and another who included the phrase “…the only way forward was for me to take complete control.” (The first one eventually got hired, the second didn’t).

  85. Mela*

    I know I’m too late to get many views this deeply into the thread, but TODAY I got one that’s so nuts I took a picture of it before even knowing it was discussed before or today.

    To whit:
    * 3 pages, single spaced.

    * Not chronological at all and no dates more recent than 2010. No hint of anything related to our industry at all.

    * Listed his PhD from a for-profit school that was shut down for fraud.

    * His achievements included being considered for a Who’s Who in America book in 2001. Not published, just considered.

    * He was also considered for one of the most influential musicians in the 20th century. I promise, you’ve never heard of him.

    * Third degree black belt in karate.

    * His achievements include being a moral authority in his community, and writing a book about how liberals plan to continue killing babies in the womb and the war against conservatives and Christians.

    * Sir Paul McCartney gave him an award for knowledge of Buddy Holly and his music. I didn’t know there was a competition.

    Every time I glance at it, I find something else outrageous. Oh! “Ad jingle and slogan writer” was a random bullet point.

    1. Cornflower Blue*

      * His achievements include being a moral authority in his community, and writing a book about how liberals plan to continue killing babies in the womb and the war against conservatives and Christians.

      <— annnnd I'm flinching that anyone thinks that'd go over well. At least the others were harmless.

  86. Castaspella*

    We had one submitted to us which was handwritten (badly) in pencil, on a sheet of notepaper torn from an A5 spiral-bound pad. They hadn’t even bothered to remove the bits of paper from the top where it had been torn out. It simply listed the name of the applicant and their interests, which were ‘socialising and time off work’.

    Another had listed under the disabilities section on the application form, “I’m not sure if this counts as a disability, but I suffer from wild and unpredictable mood swings, taking me from euphoric highs to suicidal lows. I find alcohol helps though.”

  87. Anon for this*

    The worst job applicant experience I ever had wasn’t as a manager, but an employee referring someone I knew from college. His resume was a disaster, like nothing I’ve ever seen before in my life: a Word document full of unformatted links and superlatives about his experience, so really just a bad portfolio.

    I couldn’t in good conscience refer him with his resume in this state, so I provided some gentle feedback about the kinds of resumes my organization looked for. After a few tries of this, he went off on me. And I mean he really went off. He threatened me and my company. He said he would destroy us. I think he called me a worm? I’d have to look back at the email threads.

    It was really stressful and alarming. I blocked him on social media and got in touch with my company’s security organization. They reviewed the emails and flagged him as a threat. To this day, some friends are still acquainted with him on social media, and it reminds me of how this perfectly normal-seeming guy is hiding this very scary demeanor where he threatens people when he doesn’t get what he wants.

  88. Wolfess*

    “They were working artists and explained they preferred to share a job and decide among themselves who would show up on any given day.”

    That’s my favorite part of the whole post.

  89. CM*

    Okay, so some of these are bad things to do because the applicant’s failing to provide information that was requested (like a resume or work history). But most of these examples are just people being quirky and… I like that.

    The Lenny Kravitz guy was obviously joking, and it was a REALLY FUNNY joke. The wedding invitation lady seems like she has mad design skills (and I think her reply card sounds charming). The “bachelorette” woman has probably heard her degree called a “baccalaureate” and got confused about it, which is embarrassing, but not such a big deal that we need to ridicule her on the internet.

    100%, I would always rather have somebody on my team who has a personality and can take risks.

  90. Office Gumby*

    Vaginal birth without any pain relief? While an impressive feat of badassery (having done it myself), is not that singular an accomplishment (having done it myself).

    Now, caesarian birth without any pain relief? THAT will get my attention.

  91. ValancyJane*

    “In vito veritas” could actually be an attempt to translate “in life there is truth.” He might have been trying to make an intelligent pun, but regardless, he botched it.

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