There are some accomplishments that we love to bring up whenever possible. These achievements are definitely something we’re proud of, but they’re not exactly things we can mention in a professional setting. From building baseball diamonds to saving people’s lives, these moments won’t ever make it to the resume.
#1 Ultimate Prank-Off
I was in a coding prank battle with a co-worker. I wrote a Windows Service that would detect when he closed visual studio and change his configuration to use comic sans. I had named the service after our antivirus vendor and installed it on everyone else’s machine (but only messed with him) so he wouldn’t get suspicious. It drove him nuts for weeks before he admitted defeat.
#2 Hidden Degree
I completed an online Master's degree from a really good school all on work time without anyone noticing. My masters is from Hopkins. It was especially important to me because I earned my undergrad degree from a for-profit but regionally accredited, school online. I was also concerned about its reputation when job hunting. My employer paid.
#3 Go Fetch
I taught my dog to fetch drinks from the fridge! After a few steps to work on it (tennis balls in koozies, then switching to cans) I followed the steps in a video by Kristin Crestejo. From there, I worked on my dog opening the door and closing the door. She's a really smart pup, so she actually picked up on opening and closing the fridge pretty fast.
#4 Wealthy Player
I'm actually very wealthy in Runescape . I managed to build my fortune mining coal and iron then smelting steel bars. I eventually moved on into buying and selling before Grand Exchange days. I did it all in F2P since I was a kid when I first started. My mom won't let me borrow her credit card for a membership.
#5 Best Pedals
I have one of the best collections of 1960s-era guitar pedals in the world. It's taken years of spending all my free time at a computer monitoring local classified ads around the world. In hindsight, it wasn’t that tough to collect everything because (fortunately) very, very few people care about that sort of thing.
#6 Published Author
I’m technically a published author. I made a book that’s nothing but graffiti art of men’s members because this forum I’m on wanted to make one. So, I stepped up and did the legwork. It’s mostly military-themed but there are a few that look like the Mars Rover member that I threw in as well. It’s like 135 pages of adult-themed content and a few choice stories.
#7 Favorite Thing in the World
My years as a stand up comic. I've been doing it for over six years and it's my favorite thing in the world, but I can't put any of it on a resumé. For first-timers who want advice: If you want to try standup, first you should write five minutes. Since it's your first go of it, you have an entire lifetime of ideas for jokes. Write about what makes you laugh.
#8 Booming Sounds
One time, I was out with some friends and needed to use the bathroom. While I was in there, I decided to use the urinal over a stall. I then let one rip. The thing is, it was so loud that the automatic paper towel dispenser behind me dispensed a sheet of paper towel. Unfortunately, my friends don't believe me.
#9 Captain for a Year
Back in the day, I used to be a really good tennis player. I would actually play on international circuits and everything! But, I didn’t really know how to incorporate my accomplishments into resumes and stuff. So, now the only thing that applies to my resume is that I was a captain for one year on my college team.
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#10 More Mental Than Physical
I’m extremely good at chugging. I can easily finish a pint in less than three seconds. I've never lost a chugging contest. To add to that, it's in the top five sexiest things about me according to my wife. I keep my throat open and it's basically like a drain in a sink. I can't remember really training myself to do it, but I'm sure you could with some practice. I'd say it's more mental than physical.
#11 Asking for Help
I stopped a girl I know from ending her life and I’ve been helping her through the mental stuff she’s had to deal with. Not something I’d ever really mention outside of Reddit, but I’m quite proud of it. For anyone in similar situations, please don’t be scared to ask for help or advice at all. People are willing to help.
#12 Setting the Leg
I got a call from a friend who raised goats. She had a five-month-old with a bum leg and the older kids were picking on her. I picked her up, but it was the start of a long weekend and every vet was closed for the next several days. Turns out, she had broken her hind leg, about 3" above her ankle. Clean break, no broken skin. I set it, then splinted it with a soda bottle cut so it would roll on itself. I wrapped it in vet wrap, planning to stabilize it through the weekend. I couldn't get an appointment until a week later, where an X-ray showed that the leg was healing perfectly.
#13 An Angry Youth
I once beat up a dude who was bullying a kid with Down syndrome at a weird travelling fair thing once. He was at least five years older than the kid and followed him around doing impressions of him. He was also tripping him. A carnie style guy pulled me off him while I held his hair and tried to smack his head off. I was an angry youth…
#14 One Million Words
I have written somewhere between one and two million words of serious adult-themed work. I loved every minute of it and I made a fine living doing it, too. I savoured every five-star review. I loved knowing that people were getting off to stuff I'd written, even the really weird out-there commission stuff. I don't put that in my portfolio, though.
#15 Challenging Yourself
I've just gotten into bouldering. Last night was the second session of a course I'm doing and I managed to get to a really difficult hold. My entire body was screaming not to go for it but I did and it worked out. It sounds stupid, but it's been a long time since I've been challenged like that and it was exhilarating.
#16 Rare Spawn
In World of Warcraft , I was attempting to end this elite rare spawn. It was reasonably difficult to do solo and would take several minutes to get done. I was about three-quarters of the way through ending its life, but three other players showed up, ended my life, and stole the rare spawn hit. A little bit later, the rare spawn was up again and I saw those same three people attacking it. I ran in, took out all three of them and stole my rare spawn hit back from them. I ended the whole ordeal with just a few percent of my health left. It didn’t drop anything great, but it was so satisfying.
#17 Looking Back Fondly
Once in elementary school, lunch was ending and I found a perfect-condition Blue Eyes White Dragon on the ground. I picked it up and walked towards my class as rain began to fall. That's when I turned the corner to see a kid panicking and crying, running around feverishly. I asked him what was wrong and he said he lost his Blue Eyes White Dragon. It took a lot of willpower to give it up, but I did give it back to him then and there. I look back on it fondly now, it helps when I feel like a waste of air.
#18 No Spills
I once ate a foot-long chilli cheese dog while driving home to my sick wife and didn't spill it on myself or the car. I did the same thing last night and have been wondering how to tell someone. It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s one of those little things that legitimately makes me proud of myself a little.
#19 Clown College
Back in the day, I decided it would be best for me to drop out of regular college. I did , however, finish clown college (I work in software). It also wasn't a complete loss. Knowing how to hold yourself and present in front of others is an undervalued skill (as is making folks laugh). It’s hard to communicate that on a resume, though.
#20 The Black Widow
I was called inconsiderate by a serial criminal. Back in 2008, I was a news photographer for a local CBS station. We were doing a story on a lady known regionally as "The Black Widow" — every husband she'd ever had mysteriously wound up gone, and she'd collected some three or four massive life insurance payouts over the course of her life. She had finally been caught and was appearing before an official in the local prison.
It was some kind of small hearing in a tiny room, but I don't know the exact details. I had my camera on her with the top light turned on, and she kept putting her hand up in front of her face to block my shot. I'd turn it off, she'd put it down. Turn it back on, hand went up. I soon realized we weren’t going to have a single usable shot of this lady in our story that evening. The hearing was going to be over in no time, so I turned the camera on to record her, but shut the top light off.
This made the shot a bit darker than I wanted, but it fooled her. She put her hand down and I got plenty of video of her. But not before she looked right in my camera lens, gave me a glare, and said, "You are very inconsiderate." Part of me wanted to ask her where "videotaping a criminal" fell on the scale relative to "ending the lives of a bunch of husbands," but I held my tongue.
#21 What Time Is It?
I’m amazing at guessing the time. For example, if I’m hanging out and someone asks what time it is, without looking at a watch or a phone, I can tell you within five minutes of the correct time. I’m talking about after a couple of hours of not looking at a clock. I’ll be less than five minutes off every time. I mentioned this in the interview (it was in a lighthearted time where it was appropriate) after we had already been in there for almost 50 minutes. As we were saying goodbye, they asked what time it was and I was off by a minute. They all laughed and I swear that’s why they hired me.
#22 Avoiding the Conversation
I was in the Marine Corps. I hate people asking me questions about it or saying, "Thank you for your service." That makes me feel awkward. Luckily, I'm far enough away from that experience that I don't really need to state what I did when I was that young. Plus, the confusion people have on proper nomenclature and all that jazz is semi-infuriating to the former Marine in me. It’s just easier to avoid the conversation altogether.
#23 The Hardest Thing
Actually having it in me to beat my addiction. It's one of those things that from my perspective is by far the hardest thing I have ever done and continue to do. To practically anyone else in the world, it just means that I was a junky at one point. It’s because of that that I decide not to tell anyone about it.
#24 Major Accomplishment
I have metal in my skull as a result of brain surgery. I'm proud of dealing with my seizure condition, a brain tumour, and the two years of recovery it has, so far, taken. It isn't something to put on a resume though, as it's more of a cool story than an accomplishment. Also, I didn't end my life while dealing with severe depression, but there are at least a few dozen others who can say the same.
#25 Meeting Expectations
Since I entered the picture, my wife's autistic daughter has gone from holding her assistant’s hand every second of school to being completely independent with about a 90% attendance rate (very uncommon for children with autism). Not only that, but she doesn't even have an assistant anymore and isn't close to failing a single subject. She has also made considerable progress in life in general.
My wife has a hard time admitting it, but this is largely thanks to my guidance. I have put a lot more expectations and demands on her than her mother ever dared to, and also beat into her head (figuratively) that she has the capability to meet them! I'm proud of her and should probably tell her that more often…
#26 Three Degrees
I have three university degrees but only put one of them down so it looks like a double degree instead of two separate degrees. So I have a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Community Development and Bachelor in International Aid. Sometimes, I combine Community Development and International Aid so it reads as a double degree. I’m proud of all my studies but if it's not relevant to the role I'm applying for, I don't put it down. Sometimes I don't even put down any of them because some jobs would consider a university graduate as over-qualified for the role.
#27 Becoming Champ
I was a state boxing champion when I was in high school. I went to the junior Olympics when I was 17 and took bronze. I stopped shortly after that because, well, I like my memory and my brain cells. I never put that on my resume even though I’m so proud of that. Firstly, it's really old and will seem like I'm holding onto the past. Second, for some reason, people view me as aggressive at all times after they read that.
Another (and the strangest) reason is that other men in my initial field of sales used my resume to get super competitive with me. I can’t explain why but they always seemed like they needed to prove they were the bigger man. I know how odd that sounds and trust me, it's really weird to me. It's happened a lot more than you think.
#28 Removing the Emotion
I had a job that required a skill akin to welding. I was very, very bad at it. I had so much trouble and was so slow, people at work made fun of me. I would work through my breaks and lunch to try and get it right. I would go home and read psychology articles on how to overcome a learning block. At first, it was devastating. Then after a month of absolutely no improvement, it was funny.
I’ve never been called slow about anything in my life. I have never had a problem learning anything. I am a Jill of all Trades, but I couldn’t get this skill down, no matter how hard I tried. This is my greatest accomplishment. Removing emotion from failure. I tried and tried and tried and it didn't matter, I failed. At 32, I learned how to control my emotions when failing. I would wish that experience on even my closest loved ones.
#29 Action Hero
I thwarted an armed robbery with a stapler. It was one of those transitions-to-manhood moments of my early 20's. But it was also an immensely irresponsible thing to do and could have potentially caused a customer in the lobby to be hurt. Without the context of the story, the one-line explanation is enough to make anyone think that I believe myself to be an action hero.
#30 Saving Lives
I remember a time, years ago, when I rescued two people from a rip current. It was a man and his daughter. It’s strange, I can't really bring it up or talk about it without bragging, so I never do. I mean, there are some instances where I could mention it. I guess if I decided to become a lifeguard, I could put it on my resume.
#31 Good at Sales
I work as an exotic dancer. For those who don’t know, in my line of business, that means I’m extremely good at sales. Convincing a man to part with thousands for nothing more than getting to look at me and chat to me is an impressive feat indeed. And yet, I can’t ever put an accomplishment like that on my resume.
#32 Here’s Your Suit, Soldier
I've only been out of the military for a few years and I already avoid telling people. I forget how it came up, but I was at a tailor getting a suit done and somehow told this old Italian tailor I was a Marine. His whole response to me changed. He started yelling everything he said and calling me “soldier” constantly. I know he meant well but, ugh.
#33 Minding His Business
My dog is phenomenally well-trained. He doesn't do tricks or other things that people generally find impressive. (Although he is a good scent hound, but he came like that.) He started out scared and aggressive if you got in his space. No one understands the incredible accomplishment that is him sitting or lying quietly, ignoring people. I'm so proud of that, but I also recognize that no one actually cares.
#34 Tracing My Work Ethic
I've been figure skating since I was two. I joined the National Synchronized Skating Team when I was in university. Our team won gold at the National Championships, and its first-ever world bronze medal that season. I did all of this while working part-time and being in school full-time. Sadly, potential employers don't seem to be very interested in this, which is a shame, given that much of my work ethic and discipline can be traced back to years in the sport.
#35 It Does Get Better
I completely turned my life around throughout college. In high school, I was extremely depressed and had crippling anxiety, no friends, and no hopes of the future. Growing up gay in a very conservative town wasn't easy. When I went off to college, I mustered up the courage to seek the help I needed. I turned my life around, made friends, did well in school, and was happy for the first time since I was a kid. I graduated college and was one of few from my school to land a job at what would be considered one of the top employers for my field. More importantly, I was happy with who I was. I still have depression and anxiety issues, but I have grown and learned that it’s okay to seek help, and it does get better.
#36 An English Teacher
Being accepted into and participating in Fulbright. On my resume, though, it just states that I was an English teacher at a certain school. I teach in China and almost no one has heard of Fulbright, so just saying I went to this random school to teach is much simpler than having to explain what the program is.
#37 Her Rescuer
I once saved a girl while she was being attacked. He's now blind in both eyes, which I feel terrible about, but he was armed. I was able to get him to drop, but he wouldn’t stop trying to strike me. So, I needed to blind him in order to incapacitate him. Fast forward three years and me and the girl have been together since the incident!
#38 That Race’s Medal
For me, it’s definitely that I ran 40 minutes in a 10K race one year. I did that after being barely able to walk up the stairs without deep huffing and puffing. 14 kilos weight loss probably helped to that as well. It isn't definitely a crazy result in comparison to some other runners, but I still proudly look at the race’s medal.
#39 Great Sales Skills
I used to sell contraband. I got so good at it that I had dealers working for me and I distributed to the dealers. It got to the point that I was making over three thousand dollars a month and was starting to have a pretty big nest egg in my safe. I got out when I was sitting on 20K and one of my guys got caught. I didn't know if I'd get sold out, so I ghosted everyone and moved states. It taught me great business skills and great sales skills that I can never tell an employer about.
#40 A Language Geek
I've been the first person to decipher several writing systems used in video games. The creators put them there for atmosphere and 99.99% of the players don't care about them, but I'm a language geek and can't resist. Figuring out what something says, going online and seeing no posts or discussions anywhere and realizing that I'm the first one to summit a mountain is a little thrill. A mountain that thousands of people have walked right past; a mountain that nobody would bother to climb and that if you bragged about climbing it, people would respond with, "Why bother?" But, I still love doing it.
#41 Making the Paper
I made the front page of my college newspaper by flipping off the cameraman at a school-sponsored music festival. My girlfriend had written "Te Amo," which is "I love you" in Spanish, so it worked perfectly for the Valentine's Day cover. The best part is that they have an archive of every single issue of the college paper going back to the 1800s. So now my legacy will be preserved in their archives for future generations.
#42 Taking it Seriously
In my first two years as a supervisor, I was able to document enough evidence to terminate 11 people who were seriously, seriously terrible at their jobs. This is unheard of in a school district with a union and tenure. Now, we have new people who take their jobs seriously and actually do what they’re supposed to do.
#43 Helping a Friend
I managed to help get an underprivileged student from the other side of the country into my alma mater (a top-ranked engineering college). I met the student on Reddit. No clue where he is now or what he's up to (he's since deleted his username), but I'm super proud of that. I’m more proud of that than my own academic achievements.
#44 NASA’s Program
I applied to be an astronaut in NASA's Mars program. I waited for almost a year and a half and took lots of tests to explain what my research project would be. They even made all of my references take hour-long tests about me. I actually finished 153rd out of almost 10,000 applicants. I'm extremely proud of that.
#45 Following the Game
I was 13 the summer of 1994 during the World Cup held in the U.S. I have a complete collection of soccer cards from that tournament, created through lots of fighting with my sisters over cards and begging my parents to drive us to the store to buy more. Thus began my love of watching soccer and following the game.
#46 Side Hustle
When I was in high school, I sold contraband as a side hustle because my parents were having money problems and couldn't provide for me. When my stepdad ran out on my mom, leaving her broke, I had enough saved to pay all of the bills and save her from getting her car repossessed. This was on top of the two fast-food jobs I worked at because that money was taken by my stepdad too.
#47 Pretty Darn Proud
I lost 85 lbs and kept it off for about four years. I have since regained the weight after an injury that made walking difficult. Given my weight now, people look at me funny if I mention it. They assume because I’m fat now I don't know how to lose weight. Regardless of what people think, nothing in my life has been harder. So, I'm pretty darn proud of it, even if it wasn't permanent.
#48 Fruits of My Labor
I wrote, recorded and mastered all the music for an indie game that may never come out now. I signed an NDA, so I can't say much more than that. I also can't share the tracks without permission from the man developing the game, so I won't post anything for it until the game comes out, or gets officially canceled.
But, it was a lot of work, and I’m really proud of the product I produced for someone. It was five hours of audio total, and I only took $500 for it because I was really doing it as a way to get my foot in the door. I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed that it makes it through. Hopefully, I can have something to show the fruits of my labor.
#49 Tracking Them Down
I‘m really good at tracking people down on Google. I‘ve managed to find out the name of a dude I saw on the bus just based on the station he got off. I also found out the name of a suspect based on pictures of his house combined with Google Maps. It‘s not even that I want to find out everything about this specific person, it‘s more that I want to see how far I can push these searches. How much can I find out about a person‘s life with as little base information as possible? But, you know, it‘s kind of creepy to put on your CV.
#50 If You Build It…
At the age of 14, me and three friends made a baseball field in the middle of a field behind their house. We mowed the infield and outfield real short. Their dad worked at Borden Milk and had lots of milk crates, so we stacked them and made a four-foot-high wall all around the outfield. We were kings for a whole summer. Literally, one group of kids we went to school with heard about it and rode their bikes like five miles to come play.