Talent At Work: Recruitment and Career Blog

A Compilation of Cringe-Worthy Job Applications

Posted on October 30th, by Henry Goldbeck in Job Search, Recruitment. 4 comments

source: Lorenzo Sernicola - Disgusted face

In the spirit of Halloween I’ve compiled a few cringe worthy job applications we have received at Goldbeck. Happy Halloween!

  1. I received a photo of an obviously inebriated and not very awake candidate and his wife at their wedding reception. It was in an envelope with a resume and confetti. It must have seemed like an excellent idea at the time. Why is it that it is mostly men that are the main players in these stories? Well women are not totally without representation here.
  2. A candidate in our office was being interviewed when his wife stormed into the office and carrying the couple’s young baby. She demanded to see her husband and, even after being told that he was in an interview, barged into the interview room, thrust the baby into her husband’s arms and charged out. The husband apologized and did his best to complete the interview, for which he should be given full marks. Unfortunately, the crazy spouse scene frightened our client.
  3. A candidate was voicemail stocking a recruiter. She left a minimum 10 minute long voicemail with a dedicated love letter and an invitation to tea, followed-up with an email to a link with her pretending to interview someone under a burka. She might have been applying for a HR position.
  4. I once had a candidate send me a colour photo of his wife in a bikini with an explanation that he must be a great guy to have married such an attractive woman. I declined to interview him. Looking back, perhaps I should have had more confidence on my ability to convince my client, to hire the fellow on the grounds that he had a hot wife.
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Henry E. Goldbeck, President of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and founded Goldbeck Recruiting in 1997. Since then, Henry has built the company's reputation as a leading headhunter and recruitment agency in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and executive level positions across a variety of industries.

4 thoughts on “A Compilation of Cringe-Worthy Job Applications

  1. You have to ask yourself what the Mother was thinking of dumping the baby on the Dad in the middle of an interview? I’m sure some things can just wait that little bit longer than be played out in front of an audience.

  2. The recurring theme in 3 of the 4 stories here is that the candidates obviously felt they needed to differentiate. They probably felt that because they get told by recruiters, over and over again, that their resume is going to get no more than 30 seconds worth of attention — max — and if they haven’t made an impact within 30 seconds they simply will not be considered. And that their resume is only one in a huge thick pile…

    If that surmise is right, then perhaps recruiters are as much a part of the problem as the candidates are. Yes, the candidates in your article did silly things to differentiate. However, why did they feel they needed to do that?

    I don’t know of many jobs that allow people to take a cursory glance at information given to them, and then make important decisions based on no more than 30 seconds worth of superficial analysis — and yet this is precisely what recruiters do. And they boast about it!

    How can somebody possibly make a good decision, based on such a superficial review? Is this what the Client is paying for? Is this value-for-money? What if everybody did their jobs like that?

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