Resumes are not a place for your oddities


 By Lydia Dishman

Think twice before putting these ‘weird’ things on your résumé

Porn? Kardashians? UFOs? Keywords will get you noticed, but not necessarily in a good way.

You’re certainly familiar with some of the strange and downright bizarre questions that get posed during job interviews. But the flip side is the weird stuff people include on their résumés in the name of attempting to illustrate the person behind the skills and experience.

As Zippia’s Kathy Morris wrote, “The company may have specifically requested your hobbies and mentioned wanting to find a ‘culture fit.’ You’ll hem and haw, and scramble before putting down some interests you’re hoping will intrigue the hiring manager.”

With this in mind, Zippia took the time to analyze more than 3.5 million résumes and discovered that U.S. job seekers have some odd things in common—and they’re prevalent across certain states.


It turns out that origami is big in Arizona, weaving in North Carolina, and witchcraft in Massachusetts (where residents are clearly undaunted by what happened in Salem 300-plus years ago).

But some items kept coming up regardless of where the job seeker was located. As Morris noted, “The fact that Kardashians was even mentioned once in about 100K résumés is astonishing.” She also pointed out that UFO was mentioned a lot in regards to experience with “satellite types.” And porn made a few appearances too. Consider this example: “Technology proficient—Office products, eLearning/CBT?, illegally downloading porn, hating on UK on Facebook.”

Is it a wise idea to list such items? While demonstrating that you’re a well-rounded person is fine, Morris cautioned, “be mindful of the words you put into your résumé. Most of the time when companies look at them, they scan for keywords—just like we did here. If you’re dropping in subtle mentions of ‘porn’ or ‘Kardashians,’ believe us, it will be noticed. (And not necessarily in a good way.)”

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