Bad Resume Examples: These Are the 10 Worst Resumes Ever Written

When it comes to resumes, there's a spectrum: from the impressive to the mediocre, and then there's the bottom of the barrel — some really bad resume examples.

In recent years, we’ve had access to various resources and resume builders for crafting stellar CVs. And so, you'd imagine it's tough to create truly bad ones.

And when you stumble upon a dreadful resume, it's all that more unique, isn't it? Bad resumes usually display impervious confidence, lack of attention to detail, terrible formatting, and, most importantly, general weirdness.

Here are 10 worst resumes that recruiters shared with the internet. Is there anything we can learn from them?

1. My Little Crazy Resume

worst resumes ever

No, this isn't a storytelling spreadsheet for second graders. This is actually a resume of an adult with some solid academic background in computer science and mathematics.

No matter how well it reads to a 7-year-old, there are a few problems that Joseph should've fixed before sending this resume to his potential employers (who might be well above 18 years old).

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The lesson

  • Steer clear of 'My Little Pony' resume design. Opt for a neat resume format with well-defined sections. Avoid chunks of text — use bullet points for clarity, making your resume skimmable at first glance.
  • Avoid flashy graphic elements. Joseph should get rid of overly vibrant colors and elements that would divert the hiring manager's attention from his qualifications and skills.
  • Don't use personal pronouns (and fairy tale creatures) in your resume. It's understood that a resume represents your own experiences, so there's no need to use "I did this", let alone to refer to yourself in the third person. And so, instead of "He galloped off to work as a radio DJ …", Joseph could perfectly state on his resume this: "Hosted as a radio DJ, curating playlists and engaging listeners."
  • Tailor your resume to a specific job. The fact that Joseph had "his own nuclear reactor to play with", "worked as a radio dj", and "dabbled in domestication" makes us wonder what position he's applying for.

2. Creepy Ricky Resume

Mr. Santangelo apparently knows his craft. But if he's scarier than Joker from Batman, who cares?

Surprisingly, Ricky's self-presentation contains some basic structural elements. There's a mission statement "get ready to get blown away by Ricky" and a succinct profile summary "Ricky's seen it all … knows how to go big". The third paragraph offers fragments of his work experience and a bold vision for future "now I'm ready for movies."

An indirect reference is not missing, either: "MOVE OVER TOM CRUISE TIME FOR THE NEW F***ING BLOOD."

The lesson

  • Don't use all caps. Using all caps can come across as shouting in written communication. In a resume, maintaining a professional tone is crucial, and all caps can undermine that professionalism.
  • Stay polite and don't ever swear. Your resume is a formal career document. 
  • Give your resume a bit of structure. Check out our resume format guide
  • Be specific about your achievements. The fact that you've "seen it all" sounds too vague (and a bit scary, to be honest).

3. Baby Boss Resume

No matter how cute you looked as a baby, putting your baby photo on a resume isn’t appropriate. If it doesn't ruin your chances to land the job you want, it'll surely amuse your future employer (and earn you a nickname).

So, what does Jane Roe’s resume say? The baby's shooting for a managerial position. What's more, the profile summary says the two-year-old already has 4 years of experience in the industry. Pretty impressive for a toddler that's still waiting to celebrate her second birthday!

The lesson

  • If you want to use a photo on your resume, make sure it's an accurate representation of your current appearance.
  • Baby photos on a resume are a colossal faux pas, rendering it unprofessional and unrefined.

4. Drug Dealer's Resume

worst resumes ever

Looking at this resume, we're quite sure that including an employment gap would be a better choice. Especially when your job title was "Nefarious Dude" and your professional experience consisted of illegal activities and serving time in jail. Unless, of course, you're trying to score a drug dealer job.

On the other hand, going from a drug dealer to graphic designer shows some dedication and progress. Yet, a graphic designer should know better when it's wise to use a title case.

The lesson

  • List work experience that's relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • Use action verbs and powerful adjectives in bulleted lists. Well-chosen action verbs and adjectives help your resume stand out. They make your achievements and qualifications more memorable, which can be an advantage in a competitive job market.
  • Use title case only where it's necessary. Your bullet points in the work experience section certainly don't need them. Sentence case is generally easier to read because it resembles the structure of a typical sentence. It flows more naturally.

5. Cinnamon WordArt Resume

worst resumes ever

Cinnamon, a WordArt enthusiast, surely seems unfazed by bad formatting. Featuring unconventional hobbies like "ferret husbandry" and "spending time with old people at the end of their Golden Years" may seem too bold. But nothing's too bold for Cinnamon — not even questionable language choices, such as references to "vegetable people" and "retarded people". 

If nothing else, this resume proves that even if you want to "serve the Lord," you still need to get some things right.

The lesson

  • Use a traditional font like Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Georgia or Calibri.
  • Include hobbies that are relevant to the job or can showcase skills that are transferable to the desired position.
  • Replace bulky paragraphs with bullet points for better readability.
  • Avoid unnecessary information. Mentioning that you "Never got in trouble" in school and "passed classes" is the same as if you mentioned that you "never hit a coworker" — admirable but also redundant (and suspicious). It's completely OK if your education section features only your academic achievements and qualifications.
  • Use appropriate punctuation. Abusing quotation marks can cause confusion. And so, while you’re boasting about "providing the "delicious" meals to all employees", your potential boss may think you’re being ironic.

6. Lorem Ipsum Resume

worst resumes ever

We can only imagine how the hiring manager hit an unexpected landmine, when they got to the placeholder sections of this resume. It certainly wouldn't be a problem if only your hobbies were "placing your text here" and "deleting this text and heading…"

Failing to proofread your resume always comes at a cost. Be it missing characters, misspelled words or placeholder text, a silly mistake can decide your fate and instantly send your resume to the reject pile.

The lesson

  • Always proofread your resume before using it for job searching. To effectively proofread your resume, consider using tools like spelling and grammar checkers, and ask a trusted friend or colleague to review it as well. It's also helpful to take a break between writing and proofreading to look at your resume with fresh eyes.
  • If you're in the process of editing and drafting your resume, or starting off with a template, make sure to rename the file in your computer. This way you'll prevent yourself from sending in your unfinished resume and killing your job prospects before you even begin.

7. HIRE ME OR DIE Resume

worst resumes ever

This eager job seeker clearly bet everything on oversharing unnecessary information with the hiring manager. 

So, what do we know about her? She's too smart for just any job — she "doesn't need a college" because she's a "self starter". Plus, she can type "like wicked fast!". She and her ex just broke up because "he was cheating". And she also used to babysit Aubi, but she just can’t remember where "they [Aubi's parents] lived or what they were called".

We also learned that everyone except her mom, dad, best friend, and science teacher might have something negative to say about her. (She should've probably kept this to herself.)

And how do we know she's eager? Well, we know it thanks to "HIRE ME'' written over and over again at the bottom of the page. It’s perhaps the very last thing that'll boost this job seeker's prospects.

The lesson

  • Share only what's relevant to the job position. It keeps your resume concise and focused on the skills, qualifications, and experiences that directly match the requirements of the job. This helps hiring managers quickly identify if you're fit for the role.
  • Never share overly personal information on your resume. Including private information, such as family details, irrelevant hobbies, or political opinions, will clutter your resume and divert attention from your professional qualifications.
  • Use the right formatting. Proper formatting, including clear headings, bullet points, and consistent fonts, makes your resume easy to read. Hiring managers often skim through resumes, so a well-formatted document ensures they can quickly find key information.
  • Double-check your spelling. Using "accept" for "except" or "dallers" for "dollars" won't get you far.
  • Keep a professional tone. Resumes are formal documents meant to present your qualifications and experience professionally. Exclamation marks can make your resume appear overly casual or enthusiastic in an inappropriate context. And so, it’s better to avoid them (regardless of how excited you are about your graduation in 2005).
  • Don’t negotiate money in your resume. Also, having a resume section called "Hopes" is pretty unconventional.

8. Superhuman's Resume


Okay. Now, the hiring managers across the country (perhaps across the globe) know that you "lost your virginity" in 2017, almost got "tricked into marriage" while working for Northern Capital Insurance, and "experimented with softcore drugs" in 2010 (probably related to the company’s bankruptcy).

But it doesn’t really matter because you are "the best in the world" in twelve disciplines (including chivalry). It's really an uneasy fate, as one can surely struggle to find the perfect job fit.

Sure. Confidence is an asset, but when it gets this far, it starts to run counter to one's job-seeking efforts.

The lesson

  • Stay modest, use a lot of common sense — and not too many bullet points. Exaggerations and overly positive language can raise doubts about your credibility. Employers prefer honest and realistic representations of your qualifications and achievements.
  • Never share highly personal information. Don't try to pepper your career documents with details from your sexual life or experience with substances of various kinds. Your resume will be much better off without them.
  • List your work experience in a reverse chronological order. It immediately presents your most recent and, often, most relevant gigs to potential employers. This helps them quickly assess your current qualifications and career progression.

9. Burning Resume

worst resumes ever

Yale, Harvard, and Oxford are superb academic institutions. But claiming that that's where you studied without including the details is simply a blatant lie.

And while including general life experience may sound funny, misspelling Pulitzer Prize as "Puletsur Prize" is just too embarrassing.

It's unfortunate that your references "were burned up in a fire". Hiring managers might have questions (or maybe not).

The lesson

  • Details matter. Specify your experience and academic path and dispel any doubts that you've just made it up.
  • If you have no references, don't mention it. Simple as that. Employers typically request references during later stages of the hiring process, after interviews or when they're seriously considering you for the position. So, even if you have them, including them prematurely on your resume might lead to unnecessary inquiries.
  • If you're stating your interests, make sure they're relevant and convey your soft skills effectively. Also, "not drinking" isn't an interest.

10. Clumsy Hands Resume

worst resumes ever

You surely don't want your resume to lack clarity. So, whatever "good with hands" means, just don’t use this among your skills (or in any other resume section). Likewise, "heaps of trophies from heaps of sports" sounds like nothing but unfounded bragging.

This suggests that the job seeker isn't that good with words as they're with their hands. And another supporting example can be found in misspelling the words like "PlayStation" and "references".

The lesson

  • Stay humble but confident. Let the results speak for you.
  • Use clear and formal language. It demonstrates professionalism and respect for the hiring process.
  • Select relevant hard and soft skills to showcase your qualifications, making it easy for employers to identify your strengths and expertise quickly.
  • Be specific when talking about your achievements. Specific achievements show potential employers the tangible impact you've had in previous roles. They want to know how your work positively influenced your past employers.
  • Use numbers wherever possible. Numbers provide concrete evidence of your achievements and contributions in previous roles. They make your accomplishments more convincing and impactful.

Key lessons from the worst resumes

These 10 worst resumes have provided us with some epic facepalm moments and a healthy dose of laughter too. While they serve as a reminder of what not to do when crafting your own resume, they also teach us a valuable lesson — in the world of job hunting, a little common sense and a dash of humility can go a long way.

Remember, your resume is a key tool in your job search. So, avoid the pitfalls of "My Little Pony" design, oversharing details from your personal life, or claiming to be the world's greatest viral marketer.

Keep it clear, concise, and relevant, and you'll be well on your way to landing that dream job. Oh, and if you don't want to be listed in our next series of the worst resumes ever, check our resume samples.

Don't be like Ricky.

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  • Julia Gergelova, Professional Writer at Kickresume
  • Julia Gergelova
    Professional Writer
    Julia is a professional writer, translator and graphic designer. She holds degrees in translation and interpretation, and has international work experience from a number of different countries in Europe as well as China and Panama. Julia formerly taught academic writing and as a graphic designer contributed to outlets such as The Business of Business. She has a passion for lifelong learning and good coffee.

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