Hiring Managers Share The Best And Worst Resumes That've Caught Their Attention

Where in the world are people learning how to resume?

Putting together a proper resume can be a challenging task. It does so many things. You want it to be clean, precise, and chock full of your greatest hits. You also need it to represent you and they say it should thoroughly original so that you stand out from the over crowded field. Yes. That is a whole lot for one or two pieces of paper. A lot people have a deft hand and can create a CV masterpiece and others... well others should probably see a therapist before they submit.

Redditor u/ThanosIsMyRealFather wanted to hear from the hiring managers out there about a resume or three by asking:

Hiring managers of Reddit, what was something on someone's CV/resume that made you either immediately want to hire them or immediately reject them?

Oh Mother..

"I had one application dropped off by the applicant's mother. She told me "If you hire him, you probably shouldn't trust him with money."

"*update edit: I threw the application away after she turned around. I was hiring for a sales clerk position at my family bakery."


So Basic...

"Hiring a software engineer. Among his impressive list of skills were Notepad and Wordpad."


"I mean gotta get through the keywords scanner. I left Microsoft Office Suite off my resume until an HR lady was like "We really need someone with PowerPoint and excel experience."

"I had Python, C++, multiple CAD and FEA software packages, among other things listed on my resume... yeah I can do spreadsheets and slide shows."


A GDPR proof binder....


"I have several CV's that will never make the cut. I keep them in a non GDPR proof binder hidden out of view. I work as an IT recruiter."

  • "Normal CV on the job site. Junior profile, 18 years old , just finished school. Pretty normal CV, except , at the bottom, he writes that he has a small penis and likes guys. The CV goes back and forth in the office. Eventually we decide to call him and ask why he put that on his CV. Turns out he had to make the CV for school, left his PC open and one of his class mates thought it was funny to add that to his profile."
  • "A CV with a picture a man in only his boxers. No headshot, just his abs , boxers and legs. We did not call the guy."
  • "Several CV's with people ranting against the government, religion or anything else. Obvious proof of mental disabilities. People writing things such as "I will do the time for the crime I may or may not have committed". I haven't called any of them."
  • "Cover letters with the wrong company name on it. So many cover letters with the wrong company on it. Recruiters will forget to change your name when sending you an in mail , applicants will forget to change the name when applying. We really need to get rid of mandatory cover letters. I'll still call them if their profile is decent."
  • "People being open about just putting their CV online so they can keep their unemployment benefits. At least they don't waste my time."magaruis

Expert in What?

"I had a candidate who worked in counseling in the past, mostly with kids who had been through trauma. They had a line on their resume that said:"

"Expert in child kidnapping"

"I had to at least give them an interview because I understood the intent but the wording was just hilariously unfortunate."

"Edit: For those seeking clarity, he was an expert in kidnapping cases."

"No, he didn't get the job. Nice guy, but not a good fit for the role. :)"


Please Read Carefully. 

"I would like to work at your factory" I don't have a factory. Read the damn job description."


"I don't think your job offering is good enough for me if you don't even have a factory. Please delete my information, thank you. No factory? Jesus."


Seeing Ghosts.


"Guy submitted a resume claiming to be a 'ghost writer' for a local college."

"In lieu of a college degree, he listed the units he wrote assignments for and the average grades his clients got."


An "Off" Day. 

"We used to do this, we would reject on a faux pas. Then we realized we were chewing through good candidates who didn't have the money to use a professional writing service. If we are hiring for a developmental role (someone we expect needs to grow) then we shouldn't hold them to the standard we would expect after they have developed."

"We decided to start picking resume's for experience we think we want and ignore minor mistakes or odd formatting choices. We have even re-interviewed people who we think just had an 'off' day. Now, we have to do this because qualified candidates for our positions are fairly rare so we have to be a little more flexible."


Really Sir?

"A guy was said we had to hire him because he had a disability and it would be discrimination if we didn't. He wasn't hired, he called the CEO a few times to complain. We went thru it at least 3x over the course of multiple hirings."


A lot of cleave....

"Was looking for a casual sales person, this 18yo put a selfie of her which was taken in a car showing a lot of cleavage. Not what I was looking for. I guess she was hoping I was a middle aged single man."


I'm Baaaaaack!


"Had a résumé come in from a guy we fired about 2 years previously? Had a gap in his employment where the time was he had been with us, so not even like he didn't realize!"


Papy & Micro?


"Someone sent over their CV written entirely in the Papyrus font from Microsoft word. May as well have gone all out and used wingdings."


The Performance. 

"I had someone hand me a resume with the html code of a porn url mixed in mid-way through. I guess he was watching porn while updating his resume and somehow dragged in a link. Guess he didn't proof read it."


"It was his porn. Wanted to give you an honest audition of his performance."



"I had a resume from a potential interview candidate that listed his reason for leaving his last job as: "I found a body." No further explanation. You bet your sweet patootie I called him in for an interview. (As a strategy to get an interview, it worked!) The condensed story is that he found a body while walking the grounds at his job checking to make sure all gated areas were secure and clear of debris. When he found the body, he called the police. He was fired because he broke internal reporting protocol. He was supposed to notify his immediate supervisor and not outside authorities. It was the supervisor's responsibility to call the police."


The Great Fit. 

"I was hiring for a very competitive IT role last year and one guy, who didn't have the best real world experience, added a single QR code at the bottom of his CV. I scanned it and it took me to an online portfolio, including a secure lab with simulations he'd ran, allowing ME to test scripts he'd written and also play around in his lab environment. Honestly, I'd never seen anything like it. The guy got the job and has continued to be a great fit."


The Gift of Humor.


"I received a resume from an applicant that included a letter of recommendation from his cat. The letter was hilarious and signed with a clipart paw print. I thought it was great and wanted to bring him in, but the manager for the position wasn't as crazy about it. I guess the point is, humor in an application can work for you, but it really depends on the person."


The Basics. 

"Hiring for retail. Two all time favorites:"

"Experienced at stalking the cooler."

"Responsible for closing paperwork after each poop."


The Stats...

"A guy put his bench, squat and deadlift numbers in his personal skills section for a bar job."

"It spawned a long tradition of asking bartenders what they could bench when they applied for a job."


"Well if the bar was looking for a bouncer I could maybe understand trying to impress them by how mentioning how strong they are."


For Creative Purposes. 

"My uncle works in marketing and told me about an applicant who sent them a video file as resume where he presented himself like one would present a product in a commercial. He immediately wanted to hire him for his creativity alone."


"That person nailed it, for a marketing job that's a great way to stand out. But some of these people are doing that for like tech jobs or something where it makes no sense, I don't know how so many people can't read situations correctly."


Semi-pornographic cartoon people....

"I was working for a small digital agency and we were looking for designers and illustrators - general multi skilled creative types."

"The boss wanders in with a sly grin and a big folder. It was from a guy who wanted a job. I came over and he started flicking through it. Page after page of sexy cartoons. Lots of them furry type stuff. Boob, butts, lips, figures intertwined, lots of detailed musculature."

"So I was like "Well it's quite good for what it is... but what else is there? Is there another section?"

"Nope. Nothing else. Just a folder completely full of semi-pornographic cartoon people and sexy anthropomorphised animals."


​I work at an Escape Room.


"I work at an Escape Room. We once received a resume that consisted in a webpage address protected by a password, and three well-crafted riddles that we had to solve to get the password. We spent an hour doing it with two colleagues, and it included decrypting a code from a specific frame of Zodiac by David Fincher. It was simply amazing."

"Sadly, we weren't hiring at the time, and she had found another job we we started hiring again."


We are taking notes on all of these. Do you have similar stories to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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