The Search for Highlights When Reviewing Job Applications…


When evaluating job applicants, probably the most time consuming, and let’s face it, tedious aspect of the process is reviewing candidate applications. This is the ‘grind’ part of the process where you hope to find that diamond in the rough.

Between those that are totally unqualified for the job and those who have just copied their job description from the HR manual, it is enough to test anyone’s sanity – little wonder that the recruiter apparently averages 6 or 7 seconds per application!

After wading through page upon page of poorly written, grammatically incorrect, and plain dull responses, highlights are at a premium, but occasionally these highlights come flying at you from nowhere and are most unexpected and welcome. Of course, I am not talking about that perfect candidate you have searched and searched for to no avail, but the mad, batshit crazy things that some people write in their applications and resumes.

Some of the things we come across just makes us scratch our heads with disbelief and sometimes amusement, but such is the life of the HR and recruitment departments, you take your fun where you can find it!

Here are some extracts from actual candidate resumes, applications and emails – some are funny, others strange, but not always particularly helpful in gaining employment.

“I’m married with 9 children. I don’t require prescription drugs.”
“I am extremely loyal to my present firm, so please don’t let them know of my immediate availability.”
“I am a man filled with passion and integrity, and I can act on short notice. I’m a class act and do not come cheap.”
“I intentionally omitted my salary history. I’ve made money and lost money. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. I prefer being rich.”
“Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping’. I have never quit a job.”
“Number of dependents: 40.”
“Marital Status: Often. Children: Various.”
“2001 summer – Voluntary work for taking care of the elderly and vegetable people”

Reasons for leaving my last job….
“I was met with a string of broken promises and lies, as well as cockroaches.”
“I was working for my mom until she decided to move.”
“The company made me a scapegoat – just like my three previous employers.”

Job Responsibilities
“While I am open to the initial nature of an assignment, I am decidedly disposed that it be so oriented as to at least partially incorporate the experience enjoyed heretofore and that it be configured so as to ultimately lead to the application of more rarefied facets of financial management as the major sphere of responsibility.”

Special Requests & Job Objectives
“Please call me after 5:30 because I am self-employed and my employer does not know I am looking for another job.”
“My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I have no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try hotels.”
“I procrastinate – especially when the task is unpleasant.”

Physical Disabilities
“Minor allergies to house cats and Mongolian sheep.”

Small typos that can change the meaning
“Work Experience: Dealing with customers’ conflicts that arouse.”
“I’m a rabid typist.”
“Instrumental in ruining the entire operation for a Midwest chain operation.”
“Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse”
“Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”

“Playing with my two dogs (They actually belong to my wife but I love the dogs more than my wife)”
“I like Nutella”
“Enjoy cooking Chinese and Italians”

Rejected candidate responses
“Thanks for your email and I am glad that I am not selected from you which seem like you are recruiting the man of God who is seem perfect in every way. I got master degree 20 years of experiences and worked around the world, speak more than 5 languages. If you don’t have people in your mind or your specific skills required are not met like me then I could not see how the other would met.  And you are the agency which this is how you recruit people it’s unbelievable selection process and the system you got was amazing terribly shocking the world. “
“Received your fake answer re the job advertised as I was expecting. I understand that all these sites are fake, promising jobs but never delivers”.
“With all my respect to the selecting team, but you are not reading correctly the CVs… anyway, I didn’t want to join in the position you have advertised…”
“Believe me you do not need to send a regret letter twice; 1 time is more than enough” – on applying for a job multiple times.


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