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April 30, 2007

...But It Was a Really Small Pig!

Need a good Monday morning laugh? I know I do. That's why I thought I'd share the results of a new CareerBuilder.com report that lists the 12 most unusual resume blunders.

Here they are:

  1.  Candidate included that he spent summers on his family's yacht in Grand Cayman.
  2.  Candidate attached a letter from her mother.
  3.  Candidate used pale blue paper with teddy bears around the border.
  4.  Candidate explained a gap in employment by saying it was because he was getting over the death of his cat for three months.
  5.  Candidate specified that his availability was limited because Friday, Saturday and Sunday was "drinking time."
  6.  Candidate included a picture of herself in a cheerleading uniform.
  7.  Candidate drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said it was the hiring manager's gift.
  8.  Candidate's hobbies included sitting on the levee at night watching alligators.
  9.  Candidate included the fact that her sister once won a strawberry eating contest.
  10. Candidate explained that he works well nude.
  11. Candidate explained an arrest by stating, "We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig."
  12. Candidate included family medical history.

My co-worker Margery and I got a good laugh from this list. In fact, she says she would want to interview the pig thief—"Potentially it could be a sign because it should the person could be creative, be honest and have a sense of humor. On the other hand it could be a stupid lack of professionalism."

However, I think that these shameless attempts at attention are simply present to cover a lack of skills actually relevant to the open position (unless the open position is for a pig thief). In other words, if a candidate's medical history (No. 12) is the most interesting thing about them, it might distract a hiring manager from asking about the candidate's last job. Do I actually believe that hiring managers are that easily led astray? No, but it looks like these candidates do.

Margery also said it could be these resume rejects are looking to sabotage themselves. Definitely worth considering. What do you think?


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I think I may have worked with some of these people at my old job. In all seriousness, I did meet someone last year who told me a story about a girl who sprayed perfume on her resume. I personally prefer Tag Body Spray, which is how I got my current job. :)

Nicole Forst

Those resume blunders sure gave me a good chuckle.


Hmm, perhaps you didn't hear the one in which the candidate stated his life goal was to "win a Darwin Award".

You may have a valid point. Those candidates may have been sabotaging their chances of being hired on purpose (e.g. "I make more on welfare." or "My dad made me try to get a job or he wouldn't finance ____."). Yet, their answers could also signal a poorly educated American populace.

Should job seeking skills be made mandatory in High School or college? What happens to those who choose not to graduate from or even attend either one? Maybe that's the sector from which these sterling characters have arrived.


I worked somewhere once where personnel/hr actually offered classes in form filling and interview technique because they knew it would save them time and hassles in the long run with appeals and generally unhappy applicants...

Jodi Rudick

Today's most common blunder among young job seekers is forgetting that their My Space is really everyone's space. Today's employers -- especially those who hire young adults -- are just a click away of getting an upclose and, sometimes, way too personal view of candidates via their weekend photos, videos and chats.

By the way, the blunder of attaching a letter from Mom doesn't surprise me at all. My client base (parks, recreation, camps) hire tons of young seasonal staff. Lately, I've been told that it's not uncommon for candidates to bring Mom to the interview and for Mom to "call in sick" for their grown child. Can you say, "Helicopter Parents?"

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