SURVEY SAYS: What’s The Weirdest Thing You’ve Seen on a Resume?

April 30, 2010 ( – This week I asked readers what was the weirdest thing they had ever seen on a resume.

Now, frankly, I was thinking about words and/or descriptions – but we got a lot more than that! 

In fact, this week’s Editor’s Choice – is ALL of these!  Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!

On resume for an opening with a TPA firm – detailed description of candidate’s college baseball career.

Hmmm…. I can’t really say.  Nothing stands out…but I do recall one interview where the candidate had this very disturbing skill…she wrote on a note pad while looking at you and NOT what she was writing… line after line…moved the pen to the end of the page and then down to the next line without her ever looking at the paper…then got to the end of the page, turned it to the next page…and continued.  It was freaky.  I was so taken aback, I told a colleague who was also interviewing her to look for that.  She saw it too and said it was just weird.  We decided not to hire her for a number of reasons. I can’t say that was one, but it sure didn’t help.  She basically freaked me out.

“More volunteer information than job information from a candidate that had more than 10 years in the work world and many of the volunteer work was political in nature.  I felt the person was more interested in getting out their political views than in finding a job.”

Details regarding their martial arts training.  Not sure whether this is something appropo to a corporate setting…

Enjoys piano, painting, ballet, and boxing.  (Actually, this one is on my resume…)

Many years ago a company I worked for had an application form with boxes at the beginning for basic information.  Name, address, sex and telephone number.  The expected answer in the box asking for sex was M or F.  I received one with the answer: “sometimes”.

An applicant stated he was from another galaxy (presumably far, far away) and wrote a quite lengthy treatise on his home planet.  The envelope the “resume” came in included a rendering of the galaxy’s astral position in the universe.

When searching for research scientists I once received a special delivery package that weighed about 12 pounds. It was a resume that contained every article ever written by the applicant. Unfortunately for the applicant, the selection process was not dependent upon the “weight” of the resume.

I've seen only mine and my husband's so I can't answer!

As a background, one included a faint caricature of the candidate. Clever, but the applicant was oblivious to the white shirt/dark suit culture of our organization at the time.

"Check out my blog for a list of some of the weirdest things I've seen on resumes:

A candidate was applying for a job in our Trust Department.  This candidate had a degree in Health and Education and proceeded to list all the classes in sex education she had taken.  Interesting reading, but not sure how this experience would translate.......

A candidate, as part of his job objective, was to find one that let him "stimulate his peers"!  I'll give you stimulate your peers all right!!!!

Under hobbies, a candidate indicated that he was a Wiccan (a witch).  During the interview, he said he had been reincarnated after his "death" in Salem, Massachusetts some 300 or so years earlier.

I can't say it's weird, but I did have someone say he was an expert in "prohibitive" transactions.  I guess his expertise was somewhat limited.

Unidentifiable stains

Maybe not weird, so much as inappropriate.  When asked, "Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months?"  The candidate answered, "Probably married since my girlfriend is pregnant."

Knowing the regulatory nature of what you can and cannot ask applicants you have to wonder if some applicants resumes are just trying to set you up for some future far-flung complaint.

Photo of the applicant's horse.  The job opening had nothing to do with horses or agriculture.

A picture of a candidate, shirtless, covered in charcoal

Applying for an audit position at a financial institution, the candidate claimed her internship performing artificial insemination on cows prepared her for the job.

A Jesus fish

Stickers used to make a 'personalized' letterhead on the cover letter and [matching stickers] on the resume.  They were shiny [glittered] butterflies.  We had a good laugh before placing in the 'no' pile along with the resumes printed on purple paper, emails with attachments we were unable to open, etc...

A person has pets and the names of the pets!!

Listed "massage therapist” as primary experience for an accounting position (none) while stating she was ""well qualified""

Address of correctional facility for an accounting position.

Fingerprints that smelled suspiciously of chocolate. Come on, people, at least give me a clean copy.

They listed their weight

Someone wrote that they had worked as a stripper while in college.  Okay, but how is that relevant to a job in a law firm?

One of the more interesting things on a resume that I saw was under "hobbies" where he said "lay around and watch TV".  It made me think, wow what an ambitious guy.  Why would anyone actually admit something like that?  The other thing weird actually came with a resume.  It was a tiny brown paper bag with a note on it that said something like "I'm your guy - it's in the bag"