Most people embellish their resume. You know, make your old job title sound a little more exciting, or make that high school award you won sound a bit more prestigious.
But if you’ve killed 6 or 7 people… Your employer is gonna figure that out sooner or later.
This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.
1. We interviewed a young guy for a position. We were strongly considering him, so I did a basic e-mail check with his former employers. Everybody said he was terrific except for one guy who asked me to call him urgently.
When I talked to him, he explained that our candidate had actually been fired from the same job for repeatedly posting photos to the company Instagram and twitter which contained hidden ‘items’ that weren’t meant to be in there.
I pushed and pushed to find out exactly what they meant, and it turns out this person we were interviewing to manage our social media had been posting photos which subtly contained his genitals for months on company social media before his former bosses had noticed.
2. This guy applied for a driver position at one of our senior care facilities (taking elderly people on errands and to appointments, deliver meals, take clients to the center where they can hang out, etc.)
Turns out he had not one, not two, but TEN counts of elder abuse, with a side of attempted murder and theft. Rescinded his offer of employment real damn quick.
3. We had a guy include a shirtless flexing portrait on his resume. He was applying for an engineering position. We still have no idea what that was for.
4. A woman in her late 50’s was applying for a retail job. We thought it was odd that she didn’t have any past work experience on her application. When we mentioned that we would have to perform a background check, she went white as a sheet.
She said she wouldn’t pass and looked like someone had just sucked the life out of her. She went on to explain that she had been in prison for nearly 30 years for “murdering” her husband, which she did in “self-defence.”
He had a charge for catching undersized crabs. (minimum was 5 inches across the shell at the time)
That. Dirty. Crook.
6. We got somebody who failed a background check for selling planes to Iran. He broke the embargo imposed against them by the US when he tried to sell $117 million worth of planes.
Like that wouldn’t come up on a background check…
7. A candidate’s blog with his personal description being: “Father, DJ, former sex offender and graphic designer. I hate the 9-5 grind and hope it dies.”
He was applying for a 9-5 job.
8. Guy had a felony assault charge. Not disturbing in itself but found out later it was from beating his previous boss’ face in after being confronted about coming in late to work repeatedly. The boss survived but apparently had to have his face reconstructed. So yeah….hard pass on that one.
9. A couple of months ago I received a call from our HR manager that they were letting someone go and I needed to be ready to immediately kill their door card and all network/computer access.
I thought it was weird but when I inquired I was told the guy escorted out didn’t pass his background check. I decided to Google his name, and I was immediately blown away.
This guy was a full blown child porn collector/creator! He should never have been allowed near our site (we are next door to a school that is being built so he legally could not have worked there once it was complete).
10. I called an applicant’s reference and his former employer said, “I’m not allowed to comment on former employee performance. I can only confirm their start and end dates.
But, why don’t you ask me about the weather?” I said “OK how is the weather there?” He replied, “The clouds are moving lazily across the sky and they are really dumb.”
I found out later that he stole this from a Dilbert cartoon, but he really did say it.
11. I was part of a group interview for a director position.
The guy was cool, definitely qualified and was breezing through the interview, pretty funny too; I thought for sure he was in.
We get to the end and HR is telling him about the process after if they were to offer him the position and once they mention the background check he quickly responds that he wouldn’t pass it.
We all sit there in silence for a second and he calmly says that he was charged with 3 counts of felony armed robbery so likely wouldn’t pass.
12. Turned out the guy had appeared in a video for the band Chumbawumba.
13. One poor guy who applied had been registered as a sex offender.
He still got the job as he came into the office with a 15-year-old police report and court transcript, which explained he had got drunk during his first week at college and took his pants off to take a pee in a fountain. He was found half-naked by a lady the next morning asleep in the fountain.
This was at a time when the police were being really hard on public nudity, so he was tried as a sex offender. Just goes to show you what can happen if youre in the wrong place at the wrong time and do something stupid.
14. Man applying for a job as a construction estimator. He owned a construction company and was convicted of defrauding various city and county governments. Pretty much the last person you’d want doing estimates. The next guy who applied was a registered sex offender. I was on a roll with that position.
15. His profile picture on Facebook was upside-down male genitalia. I assume it was his.
Using the penis as a nose, he had cleverly balanced a pair of eyeglasses over the genitals and drawn pupils on the testicles to create the image of a gentleman/elephant (?) wearing a pair of glasses.
He got an interview, got the job and developed in to one of my best technical analysts. Don’t judge a book by its Facebook cover, I guess.
16. We did a background check on a guy who it turns out had sued every former employer for an on-the-job injury. Usually right after 90 days, when most trial periods end. I did not hire him, but somebody I knew did. So I warned them.
On his 92nd day, he showed up to work with a lawyer, claiming that his office chair had hurt his back, that the lights above his cubicle were giving him migraines, and his monitor was making his eyes hurt. The company was prepared with their own lawyers.
Much to his anger and surprise, they gave him an ergonomic keyboard, a monitor filter, and a special little area where the lights were better. And an ergonomic chair. And then they made it known that they would be contacting his former employers, many of whom he had sued saying he was unable to work anymore.
He stopped complaining. And then he was let go in the next round of layoffs.
17. He was a lovely, personable guy, tired of working nights. Looking for day job so he could spend more time with his family. Check: multiple domestic violence charges.
Soft-spoken, polite, early 20’s. Admitted a gap in his work history was due to three years in prison for violating parole for a little trouble he was in as a juvenile. Check: little trouble = murder.
The scariest part was that he was charismatic and enthusiatic. I never would have guessed.
18. I did a background check for one guy, and I found out that he had lied about every single job that he had. Going one job back, he claimed that he was a manager at a shoe store that went out of business.
Then he said that he was in the military for four years as a communication specialist. I found that he was in the army for three months, but got an honorable discharge because he couldn’t make it through Boot Camp.
He claimed before that he was the manager of the evening shift at a chicken plant; turns out that he was a janitor for only a few months before he was fired for job performance.
He claimed he was a manager of a hotel before that, and it turned out that his mother was actually the night manager, and she was fired because she kept bringing her kid to work.
19. Actual background checks or don’t really tell you the fun stuff. Mostly finance stuff. Everyone’s broke. But idiot candidates spout gold.
One girl applying for a position as a graphics designer shared her photography portfolio, where she modelled lingerie. As in like here, let me floss my junk with this g string.
We were thrilled of course but she makes it impossible to hire her.
20. I got an email last week from someone claiming to be a convicted paedophile, asking me to hire him. Most of the email reeked of a lack of remorse, as he made himself out to be a victim.
21. I run a lot of background checks at my job. It was a bit darkly humorous when we were filling a position at a rehab facility, only to have like six finalist candidates in a row screen out with recent drug charges.
22. I had a great guy interview and wanted to offer him the job but on a quick background check I found that he was a former local politician who drunkenly hit another car and told the guy he hit that he wasn’t going to jail because he was a councilman.
A few months after that he pulled a gun on his wife and kids. He was a nice guy just had some major anger problems. It looked like he had changed his life around and wrote a book about the experience he had dealing with depression and coming home from war.
I decided to hire the guy and he was one of the best workers I ever had.
23. I was working at a pretty remote site up in Northern Alberta, Canad and the mounties showed up.
Turns out one of the welders was one of the most wanted men in Canada, and had been hiding up there for some ridiculous amount of time… He apparently murdered a gas station clerk in a botched robbery. This is why you should do background checks.
24. Years ago, I was hiring for a large call center project. We were using a background check vendor which provided “instant” results. We did it on the spot when an offer was made so we could just go ahead and knock out the new hire paperwork. The result came back that the guy sitting in front of me was supposed to be sitting in jail at that moment.
25. Simple google of the guys name brought up a 9/11 conspiracy website he runs. Full on jet fuel can’t melt steel beams stuff. He even goes out in public and sets up displays like a street fair.
26. When were were hiring contractors, I would search their names and phone numbers to see what I could find on them. One of the guys that applied was recently in jail for a few years for endangering the welfare of a child.
The article stated that the police showed up at the home of him and his girlfriend to serve a warrant. Upon entering the home they saw that the entire place was swimming with raw sewage. There were dirty needles scattered everywhere. When they checked the back bedroom they found 2 naked toddlers on moldy mattress that were surrounded by raw sewage.
It made me physically ill to read. Needless to say, we did not hire him.
27. How about something disturbing that did not show up on a background check? I don’t know about all states but in GA you can only run a pre-employment background check on someone for Georgia only so if the crime was committed in another state then it does not show up on a background check in our state. Had a store manager who did 7 years in a Texas prison for assaulting a 16 year old girl.
He did not register in GA as a sex offender and worked for our company for 5 years before a random employee decided to Google his name and found his mug in a public database in Texas. The guy was a jerk to his employees so of course someone notified our regional manager the same day. He was walked out by State Patrol the next day. That was the last I ever saw him.
28. Had a guy who was literally a rocket scientist apply to work counter at a deli.
Literally, a rocket scientist. Overqualified. Entertaining resume though. We opted for the lesbian theater major gypsy chick who moved in with the owners wife the same moment her husband left the state. In hindsight….
29. Not really a background check. But I had an older lady apply to work at a convenience store I managed. Very good interview, except after asking her to read some documents it was clear she was illiterate. I gave her a chance anyways and she ended up being my most dependable employee, and even though she was illiterate was able to do math (after a little coaching) and could fill out orders and track numbers. I went back to the store a few years after I went on with my life, she was still working there as reliable as ever.
30. At a previous job, I started a guy’s training before his background check cleared. When it came through, I found out he had a domestic violence felony for attempting to strangle his girlfriend.
My heart has never sunk so fast. He was escorted off property immediately.
31. I used to work for a company that ran cv/background/credit checks for finance firms. These are some of the more interesting happenings:
The phone number for a women’s previous employer was not for an office like she claimed but rather a mental hospital in her home country.
A man with an undisclosed directorship and business bankruptcy. Not good as he was applying for a very senior role.
A woman who was fired from more than one job for turning up drunk.
32. I worked with a work release lady who tried to kill another woman with a shrub at a landscaping job. Like she literally beat a woman with a piece of greenery.
33. We were working to fill a new position in an engineering firm in weapons technology design. Top marks as a graduate from MIT, background work in the military, engineering experience in several other related firms. But when we ran a background check on him, we found a police report and a conviction for assault. He had gotten into a bar fight with another guy and had beaten him bloody and broke his nose. It came out in trial that it was self-defense, but it stayed on his record. The reason for the fight? He didn’t know what a potato was.
34. I simply googled a candidate’s name and the search returned “US Marshals Fugitive of the Week.
It was the same guy.
35. Found a state offenders site that lists anyone who had done time in prison. Found a guy on our team that had been convicted of two counts of sexual assault in the early 80s and had been released a few years before being hired. Apparently our HR only checks back so many years and didn’t catch this.
36. I worked at a gym where after a few months a personal trainer was let go after things weren’t working out very well for her. The gym supposedly did background checks before hiring employees, but after she was let go another employee found a news segment from a local news station that aired the previous year that mentioned this girl.
Turns out she was arrested for following UPS trucks around Christmas time and stealing packages off people’s front porches just months before she was hired. This wasn’t just like a quick mention, either. It was a full blown news segment that flashed her picture across the screen and included video footage from someone’s home security camera catching her running up to the front porch, grabbing a package, and running back to her car.
37. Turns out the guy had dated the granddaughter of a book collector. The collector died and a few days later his home was broken into and a cache of rare books was stolen.
Within a short period of time the guy was trying to sell these rare books to other collectors. The collectors quickly figured out what was going on and banded together to flood the internet with warnings not to buy from him and updates on their attempts to get law enforcement involved.
They guy was very charismatic and I had been ready to offer him a job.
38. My wife Interviewed a candidate for a manufacturing job. She proceeded with a background check and the FBI showed up within 20 minutes of her search.
They wanted her to pretend to hire him and have the dude come in so they could arrest him. She said, “No no no! I do background checks so we DON’T have a shootout in the parking lot!”
FBI arrest the guy that afternoon at the address he put on his application. FBI could not tell my wife what the guy did, only that he was extremely dangerous and wanted under a ‘closed/eyes only’ file.
39. I was interviewing a guy for a manager position and was planning on hiring him, mentioned that he’d have to do a background check. Straight out said he would not pass because of an armed robbery and assault charge. Seemed like a normal guy to me.
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