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Résumés: The Good, the Bad and the 10 Weirdest

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in HR Soapbox

With unemployment stubbornly hovering above 9%, job-seekers are having a hard time resisting the temptation to do some “creative writing” on their résumés.

Sometimes, it’s outright deception. The Liars Index, which tracks the percentage of résumés claiming false credentials, reached another new high in the first half of 2011. It found that 21% of education claims on résumés were misrepresented.

In other cases, applicants take the oddball route, hoping to stand out in the crowd. With half of HR managers saying they spend, on average, less than a minute reviewing each application, that can be a wise move at times. But as Rosemary Haefner, VP of HR at CareerBuilder says, “Job seekers need to ask themselves if they’re standing out for the right reasons.”

When does unique cross the line into just plain weird? Here are 10 of the most “memorable” résumés from a recent CareerBuilder survey of 2,600 HR pros and hiring managers: 

1. Said the more you paid him, the harder he worked.

2. Said he just wanted an opportunity to show off his new tie.

3. Listed her dog as reference.

4. Listed the ability to do the moonwalk as a special skill.

5. Cited a contact email address on the résumé with "shakinmybootie" in it.

6. Used his first name only on the résumé.

7. Insisted in his cover letter that the company pay him to interview with them because his time was valuable.

8. Shipped a lemon with résumé, stating “I am not a lemon.”

9. Asked in his cover letter, “Would you pass up an opportunity to hire someone like this? I think not.”

10. Noted, quite honestly, that he was arrested for assaulting his previous boss.

How about you? What’s the most unique—or oddball—thing you’ve seen on a résumé? Leave your comment  below.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan September 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

In the 1980s when I worked at an ad agency (before PCs were so common), we got a really cool resume (for a graphics artist position) that really stood out because, even though it was 8-1/2 by 11, double sided, in a #10 envelope, she had typesetted it and multi-folded the paper in such a way that her name and the big, bold heads and rules (Experience, Education, Special Skills) popped out (the bold rules went the entire length of the paper horizontally).
It really stood out from the rest, I saved it and copied her style/folds as a template for my own resume…the people who interviewed me at ad agencies all commented how nice it looked and how it made my resume stand out. (It wouldn’t be as unique today–now that everyone is a desktop publisher.)


BRP September 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I had a management job available for a residence with developmentally disabled clients. The applicant’s email address was “trippincrazy69@___.com” What are people thinking?? Oh yeah, they are not thinking!!


Carol September 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Cover letter and resume both spoke at length about the candidate uni-cycling across the Appalachians.

I’m not sure how that translates to being able to answer 50+ phone calls per day and high degree of proficiency w/ multiple computer programs.


Angel M September 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm

email address for an aplicant was “swastika@_____.com

Yeah, he was not called in for an interview.


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