Hiring Managers Share The Worst Things They've Ever Seen On Someone's Resume
Roland Samuel on Unsplash

We all strive for presenting the perfect resume that would make us prime candidates to work for a company of our desire.


But as much as we'd like to think we have an impressive list of prior experiences, it's ultimately up to a hiring manager to see if we are the perfect fit.

So what are the things hiring managers flag as an undesirable applicant? And who are the lucky ones that get the job?

Curious to explore the kinds of resumes that make or break one's chances of getting hired, Redditor ThanosIsMyRealFather asked:

"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?"

Some resumes were not clear winners but they did have a uniqueness to them.

Reason For Leaving Prior Job

"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."

– BexieB

The Occasional 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."

– darthnut

A Show Of Strength

"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."

– MoveToStrike

A Ghost Writer

"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."

– OkButHurry

A List

"Recruiter here. I have a few:"

  • Resume - 'hire me lol'
  • Video interview with another candidate, she was in a hospital bed and just gave birth to her son prior to her interview. HIRED
  • Another video interview, the guy was chugging a tall boy Coors Lights...

"Edit: Just to add little to the second story, she was looking for additional income for her move. It was a part-time, temporary job with very easy work. She was a very bubbly person."

– samsamich

Demonstrating Proof

"Not a hiring manager but I once wrote stuff like 'able to plug in USB on first try' and 'can do up to 10 push-up before going into sleep mode' in the Additional Skills section. They later told me I was invited because they wanted to see if I really can do the first one."

– Im_dad_serious

Conveying Status

"I know a guy who put that he had a black belt in full contact Origami."

– MyAntipodeanFriend

Obscure Opinions People Are Fully Committing To | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

We all have a set of beliefs about even the smallest of topics. Like sandwiches should have structural integrity. That's something we can all agree on, right...

These are examples of what not to do to stand out from the rest.

A Bad Font

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

– user deleted

Oopsy Daisy

"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."

– ProbablyNotCorrect

A Bad Recommendation

"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."

– Barzilla1911

No Factory

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

– Nichinungas

The Threat

"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 3 x over the course of multiple hirings."

– free112701

Mark Of A Man

"Not so much the content of the application, but what was on the application."

"A handprint."

"It was for a food handling position and he was grungy enough to leave a print from where he held down the paper to write on it. Instant no. Looking back, yeah, there was a chance he'd have been fine, we could have taught proper hand washing and all that, but at the time we declined to grant an interview."

– ReadWriteSign

Don't Plagiarize

"I was on a hiring committee for a college instructor. The candidate was asked to provide a statement of commitment to the college and its mission. An entire paragraph was plagiarized - copied and pasted from a website."

"I noticed that the writer's voice drastically changed, so I pasted a sentence into Google and immediately found the source. He did not get an interview."

– mizboring

The following examples impressed these hiring managers.

A Unique Attachment

"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."

– NothingBreaking

Well-Versed

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

– EatMoarToads

The Unqualified Applicant

"I got my first IT job because I put in additional skills modifying Fallout 3 using GECK. I just loaded custom packs and got them to work and they gave me the job miraculously even tho I was underqualified."

– Burner7788

Performers seeking work in the entertainment industry face their set of challenges that are not observed from a conventional resume.

While casting directors primarily focus on hopefuls auditioning in front of them, they may peruse over an actor's headshot, which typically lists an actor's theatrical credits on the other side.

When I auditioned for a stage show some years ago, a casting director was curious to hear me do a Scooby-Doo impersonation, as it was listed under the "special skills" section of my resume.

I was never asked to do this previously.

And although my perfect impersonation of the beloved canine detective had nothing to do with my qualifications for the show I was auditioning for, I impressed the panel.

Did I get the job? I sure did. Scooby-Dooby-Doo!

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