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HR Reps Confess The Most Cringe-Worthy Things They’ve Seen From Job Candidates

Human resource pros share the worst things they've seen, from real candidates trying to get hired. Here's what not to do.


Gave more than a handshake

"Someone applying for a job hugged me at the end of the interview." —Anonymous HR professional. These resume mistakes could cost you the job.


Ordered in lunch

"Applicant delivered prepaid Chinese food, including a fortune cookie with his name and phone." —Anonymous HR professional


Spammed a prospective employer

"Applicant put up posters of himself in the company parking lot." —Anonymous HR professional


Wore the wrong outfit

"The candidate arrived in a catsuit." —Source: Robert Half Technology. These are the secrets your HR department isn't telling you.


Got too creative

"Applicant announced his candidacy with a singing telegram." —Anonymous HR professional


Thought he was larger than life

"Applicant rented a billboard, which the hiring manager could see from his office, listing his qualifications." —Anonymous HR professional


Shared his "happy" hours

"Candidate specified that his availability was limited because Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was 'drinking time.'" —Anonymous HR professional

iStock/Patrick Heagney

Tried to justify the crime

"Candidate explained an arrest by stating, 'We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig.'" —Anonymous HR professional. Check out these resume writing tips from HR representatives.


Forgot to proofread the cover letter

"Advertising is a tough business. Which may be why one prospective adman wrote a cover letter boasting, 'I am getting to my goal, slowly but surly.'" —Anonymous HR professional



Was just weird

"A job applicant came in for an interview with a cockatoo on his shoulder." —Source: Robert Half Technology


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Originally Published in Reader's Digest