Fun Friday: Hilarious HR hiring stories

Some candidates will go the extra mile and embellish their credentials

Fun Friday: Hilarious HR hiring stories

Whether you’re submitting a one-page resume or 20-page portfolio, your profile on paper speaks volumes about your experience and character as a job candidate.

Your CV is your first virtual ‘handshake’ with the recruiter. It’s no surprise then that some applicants will go the extra mile to embellish their credentials for a chance at that dream job. HRD has compiled a list of bizarre, and rather bold, HR hiring stories from across the globe.

Divine intervention
“In the advertising world, candidates for creative positions are judged more closely on their portfolios than their resumes ... I’ve seen a lot of bad ones in my career, but one stands out as a singular example of clueless pretension.

“On his resume, he listed his current title as: ‘Copywriter extraordinaire.’ Strike one for unoriginality and cheesiness. His education: ‘My talent is a gift from God.’ Strike two, for multiple reasons. He did have some sort of unrelated degree, but no ad school or copywriting classes, which he could have used. Not sure which God he worships, but that deity was clearly not an ad person.”

READ MORE: Top CV lies

Average intelligence
“‘I look forward to raising the average intelligence of your company.’ This was the third sentence in the resume, and this sentence irritated me so much that I had to take a second to process it and examine my motivations.

“This guy was looking for an entry-level job as a junior software engineer after having just completed a coding boot camp with no real prior work history. To say that you ‘look forward to raising the average intelligence’ can mean a few things. The simplified version is that he thinks, without having ever met anyone on the team, that he was going to be more intelligent than half of them.” 

Even before there was Java
“Candidate claimed, in 2000, 10 years of Java experience … Java whitepaper came out in 1995.” 

‘I’ve excelled at everything’
“When looking to fill a Vice President position at a large PR firm, I got three resumes that mentioned the candidate was a member of MENSA. Most pretentious: Resume no. 3 mentioned MENSA in accolades, but the cover letter was the most impressive part. It said: ‘My IQ is XXX, and I have been a member of MENSA since age XX. I’ve excelled at everything I’ve ever tried – from archery to advanced physics to public speaking. I’m a black belt in XXX, a concert violinist and I’m planning to climb Mount Everest in 2019. As you can see, I am good at anything I try, so this job will probably be the easiest thing I do this year.” 

‘Nuff said!
“One resume I recall seeing had this across the top of it, just under the candidate’s name and address: ‘WHY YOU NEED TO HIRE ME NOW’. I didn’t take the time to read his reasons why I needed to hire him now; I tossed his resume into the trash immediately. I know that it’s hard to make your resume stand out from the others, but if you’re going to pull those kinds of stunts you’re not likely to make a positive impression on your potential employers. You come across like an entitled brat.” 

Related stories

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD New Zealand.

Recent articles & video

Revealed: Best employers in NZ and Australia

This global brand just hired a McDonald's exec as their new HRD

Zurich's HR lead reveals key to authentic diversity

'There is still a significant amount of harm occurring'

Most Read Articles

Revealed: New Zealand’s most Innovative HR Teams

Should HR use emojis in the workplace?

Fun Friday: 25 annoying buzzwords that irritate employees