SURVEY SAYS – Some Resume "Relief"

August 6, 2009 ( - While we were on the subject of resumes, I asked readers to share some of the oddest things they had seen - or put - on a resume.


I had someone claim that she had management experience because she worked at a day care, and had to manage the children assigned to her.

The funniest typo I ever saw was: “Strong pubic speaking skills.” Hey! What industry do you think this is, buddy?

Let’s just say there are certain hobbies that should not be in print, and I will not make a similar mistake.

Oddest thing I’ve ever seen was a resume done like a “Wanted Poster” – the candidate didn’t get the job!

Some of the applicants’ hobbies that they would claim amaze me.

Vital statistics – not on my resume, but I’ve seen them and hobbies listed on a few.

Can’t recall…it’s been so long since we had applicants.

I’ve seen things from the late 70s on someone’s resume – I mean, really? Should we really consider that relevant to today’s position?

A guy put a “Jesus fish” symbol on his resume.

Not really odd, but amazing. Since I have interviewed entry level candidates at some Ivy League schools, I have run into several Olympic level athletes in sports like fencing, squash and rowing. I've also interviewed some students who were fluent in six or seven languages. (Why they were considering being an actuary is anyone's guess!) A lot of these kids really have it all together at the age of 22 (or so).

This was not on a resume but once when I was interviewing a recent college grad and I asked him what might set him apart from other candidates. He leaned back in his chair, stretched his arms out wide and declared "he had a gift" and people just liked him. Needless to say he did not get the job.

One gentleman put his height & weight as well as a good chunk of his medical history on his application/resume.

Resume submitted online that was animated. For an engineering manager it was over the top.

I recently received a resume for a retirement plan administrator position. The first information listed on the resume pertained to the applicant's sports history during college years. The pertinent work information was on page 2.

I've never seen anyone else's, and mine has nothing odd! I should put "tap dancer" under "extracurricular activities." Does anyone put "extracurricular activities" on their resumes, anymore?

I used to be a Recruiter before entering the Benefits area, and the oddest thing I saw on a resume was from a prison inmate who listed his current job and cleverly (or not so cleverly) disguised it to look as though he was employed at the institution where he was incarcerated.

My MOS (Military Occupational Speciality)

Not odd, but sad: bogus degrees.

One of the things I put down was that I had traveled the world with the stated intent that it gave me a broad perspective on things and that I was open to new experiences. That was because I had no prior employment experience to speak of.

Not so much an odd claim, but an empty statement. Being a PR person, I always see "I'm a people person" on resumes, especially from newly-minted grads. If they only knew...

Early' 80 plan administration. Remember when we used to do quarterly eval?

Seeing someone in their early 30's with their high school fast food job on their resume. You'd think (and hope!) they have some better job experience to include rather than flipping burgers part time 15 years ago.

But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who said "I don't put anything odd on my resume! Better that a prospective employer discovers my oddities after I've been hired!"

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!  If you'd like to add to our odd resume "collection',

Click Here to "contribute"  to the list of unusual resume additions....