15 Shocking Resume Fails That Had Employers Scratching Their Heads

15 Shocking Resume Fails That Had Employers Scratching Their Heads

Hey there! Ever wondered what makes an employer toss a resume straight into the shredder? Well, someone on Reddit asked employers about the craziest things they’ve seen on resumes, and the responses are hilariously jaw-dropping. From DUI summons to Tinder bios, these real-life stories will have you rechecking your resume twice or even thrice!


DUI Summons Attached

“Make sure you attach the right file. I once had somebody attach his court summons for a DUI charge. Instant deny.“

Imagine the employer’s face when they’re expecting a professional resume and instead get a court summons for a DUI! This is a classic case of ‘wrong attachment syndrome’. Pro tip: Always double-check your attachments before hitting send. You wouldn’t want your first impression to be a criminal charge, would you?


No Contact Info Resume

“I once received a resume in the mail that had no telephone number, address or email. He called a few days later to ask why he hadn’t received any reply. I asked him to get a copy of his resume so we could review it together. I asked him to tell me the address we might have replied to; then the telephone number and finally the email.“

Here’s a wild idea: If you want a job, maybe include a way for the employer to contact you? This person sent a resume void of any contact information. It’s like sending a message in a bottle without a note inside!


High School Theater Resume

“One resume I got while managing a head shop included how much he could bench and the characters he played in high school theater. He was in his late mid twenties.“

Including high school achievements on your resume? Sure, if you’re fresh out of school. But in your late twenties, maybe skip the part about playing the lead in “Grease” and how much you can bench press. Employers are looking for professional skills, not your high school glory days.


Mount Fuji Climber

“Okay, I was a writing tutor at the college level for 10 years. We also helped graduates of the university. I swear I am not making this up.

A graduate who had worked teaching English in Japan, and at other positions, for a few years after getting his degree came in for help updating his resume. He reported that he’d been looking for work for a while, with no luck.

The profile section at the head of his resume listed accomplishments including, “I have climbed Mount Fuji fueled only by Quaaludes and caffeine.”

He was crestfallen when I told him that although I was duly impressed by this feat, he really, really needed to remove it.“

Climbing Mount Fuji is impressive, sure. But adding the detail about Quaaludes and caffeine? That’s a resume red flag if I’ve ever seen one. It’s great to show you’re adventurous, but maybe keep your drug-fueled escapades off your professional resume.


Mom as Emergency Contact

“Well, guy made it through the resume but almost didn’t make it through the onboarding paperwork.

Entry level position, guy was 19 I think. Nice enough kid, low life experience but that’s how it all starts right?

Emergency Contact info

Name – Mom

Relationship – Good

…so like if we called your mom, and you were hurt, she’d care?“

Listing “Mom” as your emergency contact isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but it’s the “Relationship – Good” part that’s a head-scratcher. It’s reassuring to know that Mom cares, but maybe it’s time to start branching out a bit in the contact department.


Unintentional Nude Resume

“Nudes. Like, any picture of yourself is probably going to get the resume thrown out because of potential lawsuits, but hearing that shriek of “DEAR GOD WHY” from the hotel manager’s desk while they were going through resumes was hilarious.

Like, bro, your butt was not that nice. Why did you attach it.“

Adding a photo to your resume can be a contentious issue, but let’s be clear: nudes are a no-go. This applicant not only broke the unspoken rule of resume photos but also managed to horrify a hotel manager. Remember, keep it professional, not personal.


Placeholder Resume

“I received a resume last week that had notes on it “insert relevant skills here” and “maybe change font” “fill this space with buzz words” this was on his LinkedIn profile as well. If you can’t pay attention to the resume you send out I can’t trust you’ll pay attention to anything else.“

This applicant’s resume was more of a rough draft than a final copy. Sending out a resume with placeholders like “insert relevant skills here” is like serving a cake that’s still dough. It’s unfinished, unprofessional, and a definite no-no.


Military Spouse With Rank

“Military spouse (with rank no less)“

Being a military spouse is certainly something to be proud of, but listing it as a qualification with a rank? That’s a bit of a stretch. While support and sacrifice are commendable, they don’t exactly translate to job skills.


Tinder Bio Resume

“This guy put a tinder bio at the head of his resume. All his likes and dislikes, with a headshot of him holding an axe while looking sweaty.

I do IT work…“

Swiping right on a job application? This applicant confused LinkedIn with Tinder. Remember, a resume is not a dating profile. Save the axe and sweat for your weekend lumberjack cosplay, not your job application.


Mom Delivers Resume

“His mother handed it to me with him just quietly standing beside her, looking like this wasn’t his idea.“

Having your mom hand in your resume is like having her cut your steak at a business dinner. It’s sweet but not exactly screaming independence and initiative.


CFO Candidate with SEC Complaint

“I didn’t make it past the name line on someone’s resume one time.

We were hiring a CFO and Googling their name revealed an SEC complaint for a 9 figure fraud. At the time, there wasn’t a verdict on the books, but I wasn’t gonna wait for one. See you never.“

Googling a candidate can reveal some interesting things, like a nine-figure fraud complaint for this CFO hopeful. Always Google your candidates, folks. You never know what you might find.


Satan’s Special Friend

“When I was in high school I worked in a shoe store at the mall. We got a resume once for a sales job that had, under the “Other Interests” section, “Special relationship with the one they call Satan.” Yes, really.

I wanted to interview her, just to see what she’d actually say in person. My manager vetoed that, sadly.“

Expressing your unique interests is one thing, but claiming a special relationship with Satan on your resume? That’s a bold move. It might intrigue some (like our storyteller here), but it’s not exactly a selling point for most employers.


Time’s Person of the Year

“”Time Person of the Year 2006″“

This one is technically true – if you don’t know, in 2006, Time’s Person of the Year was ‘You’. However, using it on your resume is a cheeky move that might not land as well as you’d hope.


Resume Savior

“I once got a resume with the worst formatting and grammar. It was clear the person was a non-native English speaker. I don’t usually do this, but I recreated her resume, re-organized it and corrected grammar/spelling mistakes and sent it back to her. I hope she got a job. She wasn’t a good fit based on her resume, otherwise I would have given her the benefit of the doubt and at least interviewed her.“

Here’s a heartwarming twist. While the resume was a mess, this employer took the time to fix it and send it back. It’s a reminder that sometimes a little kindness can go a long way, especially when it comes to job hunting.


#Bossbabe CEO

“”Life Coach” and all their education is from sketchy seminars at the Radisson by the airport.

That’s and hashtag bossbabe, CEO of their make up MLM.“

The life coach with dubious credentials and a CEO title from a makeup MLM. It’s great to be ambitious, but maybe keep your pyramid scheme side hustle off your professional resume.


There you have it! A hilarious glimpse into the world of resume fails. Remember, your resume is your ticket to a job interview, so make it count and maybe keep it a little less… adventurous. Happy job hunting!