Top 15 Weirdest Things People Put On Their Resumes


Job-seekers often go to great lengths to impress the hiring managers with their creativity. It often works – people doing the hiring are tired of resume clichés and are receptive to fresh approaches to resume writing. However, if you overdo with creativity, it may have an opposite effect. Read more about handwritten resumes here

Hiring managers receive dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes in response for each job posting. Some are simply dull, some are irrelevant, yet some of the incoming resumes make the recruiters laugh and cry. Today, our professional resume writer NYC has prepared a list of things that people actually put on their resumes. Not that it helped them get the job, but they definitely made the day of a busy hiring manager.

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15 strange things people actually put on their resumes

  1. Brevity is the soul of the wit
    Many resume writing guides recommend writing a resume that doesn’t exceed one page. Yet, some people don’t need to be taught. One recruiter reported receiving a resume that consisted of the candidate’s name and said “I have a bachelor’s degree, please hire me”. Some candidates frankly write that they “have no work experience”. Both statements look pretty honest, yet far not sufficient to land an interview.
  2. Obvious skills
    The ‘Skills’ sections of a resume should be used so you could list the job-related skills and prove you are qualified for the job opening. But some applicants take this very seriously and list every skill that crosses their mind. Yet, in 2019 it’s a bit strange to state that you know how to use a paper shredder, a fax machine and search for information on the internet.
    It’s not only a resume that can contain odd things. Sometimes you can be asked really weird questions on the interview. If you encounter this situation, check out how to respond strange interview questions during interview.
  3. Not so professional picture
    The sole fact of including a picture in a resume is considered unprofessional (at least in the US). Yet, some candidates are extremely persistent at attaching pictures. If we’re talking about a professionally looking picture, the one that is taken in the office in a suit, some recruiters might be okay with it. However, the job-seekers sometimes attach pictures from parties, shots of them wearing a superhero costume or even their baby pictures. Should I explain why they aren’t getting interviews?
  4. A table of contents
    Think that a three-page resume is too long? Not for everyone. One job-seeker sent a resume that was so long that the candidate attached a table of contents. Some excessively long resumes contain full company descriptions derived from Wikipedia, or create lists of job duties that take a full A4 page. The more isn’t better when it comes to resume length.
    Want to find out what resume length is reasonable for you? Read our advice here:
  5. A design that a 5th-grade girl would envy
    It’s a good thing to design your resume a little to help it stand out from the pile. Sadly, many job-seekers take this advice literally and create multi-colored designs featuring superheroes, cats, ponies and acid colors. Not only such resumes look unprofessional – some of them are literally impossible to read. It makes the recruiters curious how many good professionals struggled getting interviews because of their crazy resume format.
  6. Outdated or weird accomplishments
    Think that ‘Increased the store revenue by 12% through training sales associates’ is an accomplishment? Then, you know nothing about accomplishments. A whopping number of job-seekers list accomplishments that have nothing to do with their prospective job. Here are some examples: “Won a sports award in the 6th grade”, “1st place in the spelling bee”, “National record for drinking”, or even “Have met Miley Cyrus in person”. Obviously, these guys would benefit from quick help with resume writing. If you feel that your resume needs a head start too, our American resume copywriters can assist you with creating a winning resume.
  7. Interests that make recruiters cry
    The ‘Interests’ section is not so frequently used in a modern resume. Some job-seekers add it to give their resume a touch of personality and spark the interest for conversation between them and the hiring manager. Sometimes this tactic works. However, in most cases interests or hobbies that people write about in their resumes either make no sense or are blatantly crazy. Applicants may share their culinary passions “I adore chocolate muffins” or “Cook the most delicious pasta in town”. Some job-seekers throw light on their out-of-work activities: “I love chilling and having fun” or “Going out drinking with my friends”. And some hobbies make the recruiters question the candidate’s sanity: “Stalking celebrities” or “Space traveling”. Well, now you know things NOT to include as a hobby.
  8. Attention to details
    Attention to detail is a must for many positions, so people often specifically indicate it as a skill. You can do so, too – just make sure that your document doesn’t prove otherwise. One person has written ‘attentive to detail’ twice in their skills list. The other specified that they are ‘extremaly attentive to detail’. Listing skills is important, but it’s better to prove it than to say.
    Curious how the employers read your resume and what they pay attention to? Here’s the answer:
  9. Brutal truth about quitting
    As a rule, reasons for leaving a job are omitted in a resume. You can make an exception if the reason explains the job-hopping (for instance, the company was merged or out of business). It’s also an option to include reasons if they serve as another proof of your professionalism (if you were hunted or promoted). Yet, some people are brutally honest about their reasons for quitting: ‘Responsibility stresses me out’, ‘My coworkers were mean’, or even ‘Had a huge fight with the boss’. Although these are the most hilarious things people use in their resumes, it’s better to keep the reasons like these to yourself. 
  10. It’s all about the money
    Let’s face it: we all look for jobs that pay well. However, it’s considered a good tone that you don’t bring up the money issue at the end of the interview. Nevertheless, some fellows want to make things clear far in advance. Resumes that contain the desired salary range typically make the hiring managers raise their eyebrows. Yet, some candidates go even further and state their desired hourly rate, the opportunity for a raise and where they plan to spend this money. Needless to say that the money passage on a resume rarely leads to getting hired and actually paid.
  11. First name Last name
    There’s plenty of Microsoft Word resume templates online. Most of them are ATS-unfriendly, yet it’s not the funniest thing about these templates. When filling out their information, people often skip certain fields or forget to delete the redundant sections. As a result, there are real resumes that use ‘First name Last name’ as the job seeker's name or phrase ‘Place your text here’ under some of the subheadings. Not surprising that such resumes don’t get much feedback.
  12. Spelling makes all the difference
    Career consultants recommend proofreading your resume several times for a reason. If you don’t, you may end up submitting a resume that says “I do martial arts” or “Managed public relations”. However funny this may sound, multiple typos show your lack of attention to detail. Moreover, applicant tracking systems don’t have a sense of humor and might mark your resume as irrelevant if you misspell the keywords.
  13. Sharing a life story
    Professional resume consultants often say that the best resume should reflect your personality. Some job-seekers take this recommendation literally, though. They try to engage the recruiter by telling the stories from their childhood, gossips from their previous work or their personal philosophy. Even if you are sharing something that is funny, it won’t make the hiring manager want to hire you. It’s better to keep all amazing stories for your night out on Friday night.
    If you want to achieve career success, it’s crucial that you reconsider your career path time after time and plan the next steps. Our career expert has written about the importance of career planning and how it can help you professionally.
  14. Silly references
    Some job-seekers don’t bother much with providing a list of professional references that could describe them in a positive way. Here are just a few examples of what people put in their References section:
    1. “Jake, Matthew, Lisa, but I don’t remember their cell numbers”
    2. Their mother or younger brother
    3. Their ex-boss they literally had a fight with
    4. A person they owe hundreds of dollars

None of these people got the job. Not surprising – these examples have nothing to do with how a good reference list should look.

  1. Wrong attachment
    When applying via e-mail, it’s important not only to proofread the letter text but also to double-check the attachment. Otherwise, you can end up applying for a job with a culinary recipe, your picture from the birthday party or even a photo of Nicolas Cage. These situations happen more frequently than you may think – so attention to detail can save you from many awkward situations.

We hope that you enjoyed today’s digest and that your resume has nothing to do with the above-mentioned examples. However, avoiding silly mistakes is not enough for making your resume remarkable. If you feel that you could look better on paper, it’s time to ask for professional help.

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