Inappropriate Job Seeker Stories of 2013

Posted by Rob Riggins

The recruiters we interviewed in 2013 shared some humorous experiences with cleared job seekers.

No doubt if we interviewed cleared job seekers, you would have some funny experiences that you’ve had with recruiters. Please share your stories with us in the comments below.

Things Job Seekers Say

“I’ll take the job, if you hire my wife.” I think this comment leaves room for thought.

Debbie Cantin, Charles F. Day & Associates

I still remember calling a job seeker to schedule an interview and her voicemail greeting was “Wanda’s Love Palace.

Scott Theobald, Constellation West

During a job fair, “Are you going to eat that?” Pointing at half of a breakfast muffin on the table next to ours. At 3pm in the afternoon.

John Garrett, Systems Made Simple

After responding to an applicant that he would not be considered due to his not being a US Citizen I received the following email response: “Please do not believe one second that you are talking to a wanderer. Now if you want to help me and your country, there is a way. Always for the ones who really want to. Did you see on my resume that I spent 2 years in Southbury, CT? Relatives there. I am more American than French.”

April Rose, NMR Consulting


  1. A resume submitted in Spanish
  2. A resume submitted with the words “ I don’t have one” and nothing else
  3. A resume that is a link to a video resume with a paper copy linked after you watch the video
  4. A resume that mentions that as a security guard he was fired for discharging his weapon on more than two occasions. But he was cleared by the police.
  5. A resume that mentions he is available to relocate “anywhere on Earth and beyond”.
  6. A resume that states “ I intend to be consulting until I die at my desk unless I find my ideal position in which case I’ll do that until I drop dead at my desk”.

April Rose, NMR Consulting

The summary began with a brief description of skills and ended with “I need a d*** job!”

Amy Cody Quinn, GeoLogics

Written on a resume given to an attractive recruiting colleague, a note/invite to go on a date. Hitting on recruiters at job fairs is a sure way to not only get rejected personally, but also professionally.

John Garrett, Systems Made Simple

No one wants to hire a professional person that uses an email such as [email protected] as their email address.

Wendy Johnson, D.A.T.A.


I was mentoring a junior recruiter during an interview with a candidate in one of our offices. When I was initially discussing our organization, our mission and the company environment, the candidate took out his lunch and started eating. He continued to eat his lunch during the entire interview.

Karen Ryan, Syntelligent

I had a guy who showed up for an interview for an accounting position in shorts and flip flops. His excuse was he just came from a picnic.

Scott Theobald, Constellation West

What is your inappropriate experience?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 6:27 am

7 thoughts on “Inappropriate Job Seeker Stories of 2013”

  1. These people are either really dumb or perhaps incredibly talented and believe their contributions give them license to diverge from the norms. I’d be curious to learn if any of the above had outstanding qualifications.

  2. Regarding the security guard who was fired for using his gun lawfully..
    I have been a manager at several security firms which had such a policy and have seen it happen. The guard will drive off armed attackers (robbers, burglars, etc.) and the dude owning the guard agency will either rotate the guard to a different job location (sometimes this protects the guard from retaliation from friends or fellow gang members of the person he lawfully shot) or simply fire/lay the guard off. Their justification is this allows them deniability and wiggle room if a lawsuit follows from the criminal or his family (i.e., wrongful death). That the guard did nothing wrong is not important to them. A new person to fill that slot is either already waiting in the wings or will be hired that day. So that the guard discharged his firearm lawfully twice and was fired about it should not, in and of itself without much more detailed interviewing, be grounds for rejection to folks experienced with the security industry.

  3. Ken, your point is well taken, nobody should be considered guilty unless proven so. But, the point of a resume is to put your best foot forward. Your resume should never have information that can be used reject your application. This information can be brought up during the interview or vetting process, after you have wowed them with your competence.

    1. Out of context it comes across as a negative on a resume. However, recruiters are most frequently unaware of what is actually required in the position they are attempting to fill. For the security guard, I may view this as a positive – discharging a weapon legally – as it demonstrates a proven capability to fully prosecute the scope of the position. Not knowing that a recruiter would only see this through a distant lens that lacks the capacity to comprehend what is in front of the recruiter is unfortunate. Regardless, these examples are all out of context and serve to validate that a resume must be tailored to the hiring manager who MAY comprehend the scope of duties, the recruiter who spends 15 seconds looking at format, length of experience, key words, and the ATS which scans the first 200 words of a properly ATS-formatted resume.

  4. While some of these stories are humorous, overall I think that the majority of the reflect the overwhelming frustration of candidates with the market and high unemployment/underemployment. I remember what it was like to be on the other side of the searches and do my best to contact and respond to every legitimate applicant –if only to offer encouragement or resume advice — while that often leads to long hours, it’s just seems like the right thing to do.

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