Many of us have talents that we are extremely good at but can't use on a resume or professional portfolio. It's unfortunate because we may assume such skills could reflect positively on our overall work ethic, however, they may be just too irrelevant in a professional setting that they aren't worth including in a CV at all. Professionals from all over the world took to the internet to share the one thing they're proud of but would never put on their resumes. After reading these stories, you'll probably realize why some things are better enjoyed without recognition.
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#1 Coding Prank War
I was in a coding prank war with a coworker. I wrote a Windows Service that would detect when he closed the visual studio and change his configuration to use comic sans. I had named the service after our anti-virus vendor and installed it on everyone else’s machine (but only messed with him) so he wouldn’t get suspicious. Drove him nuts for weeks before he admitted defeat.
#2 IT Fun
Some pranks among the IT department: swapping mouse buttons on random intervals, inverting the mouse so if you moved it up, the cursor went down. Locking the computer every time you pressed a certain key. But the worst one was making IE the default browser constantly. Yikes.
#3 Air Force Antics
When I was new to the Air Force we had a Logistics Compliance Assessment Program inspection (LCAP for short). I had been in my shop for about two weeks and had no idea what I was doing. It's a pretty tense time, as any failures or infractions can get the hammer dropped on you. My staff sergeant was showing the inspector our files so he could see if we were storing them appropriately. My master sergeant was furiously taking notes.
I was looking over their shoulder trying to learn what the heck was going on, and a fart snuck up on me. Being against the wall amplified the sound. It was a good one too, about a three-second trumpet blast. My staff sergeant facepalmed and scrambled to open the window. My master sergeant was a very intense woman. I learned that day that she was strong in the force as she choked me with her eyes.
After a few seconds, the inspector just started laughing, and everyone else followed suit. He grabbed his notepad, thought for a second and said "I don't know how to write that up as an infraction. You know what, here you go" and handed me an LCAP coin. For those of you unaware, being coined is a recognition for an accomplishment.
I was one of two people in a squadron of 350 to be coined during that three-day inspection. A few hours later, my squadron commander, a major walked in. We all went to attention and he put us at ease and said: "Where is he?" All eyes went to me and I was terrified. He walked up, shook my hand and said: "Son, in all my time, that is the funniest story I've heard at an inspection." So my resume says "Officially recognized during Logistic Compliance Assessment Program for having a positive impact on morale."
#4 Admitting Fault
I'm really good at admitting when I'm wrong. Unfortunately, in my line of work, that is construed as flip-flopping. I just had an interview for a job I didn't get. I asked for feedback, which they gave nicely. The biggest thing I did 'wrong' was that I admitted I used to not be organized, but I worked hard to fix that problem. Thinking it showed a willingness to grow, recognize mistakes, fix things about myself, instead, "This guy used to not be organized" was the takeaway.
#5 Wii Wizard
I was ranked 8th in the world on Mario Strikers Charged for the Nintendo Wii, for two months. I was at an age where metas and ideal teams were none of my concern. I played for fun, and it didn't dawn on me that I was charging up the leaderboard. I remember my team vividly. Yoshi as captain, two Dry Bones for stunning, one Birdo for quick goals. A lot of people put too much time into securing the special goals that captains would pull off for multiple points, whereas I would relentlessly disrupt the opponent's team and rack up numerous sidekick goals.
#6 Pokemon State Champion
Someone applied for a Police Officer position with the top item on the "Accomplishments" section listed as "Four-time Pokemon (TCG) State Champion." As nerdy as it sounds, honestly playing card games at a competitive level demonstrates someone with an analytical mind, a high amount of patience and planning, and an ability to read situations and people and make quick but meaningful decisions. I 100% wish more Police Officers came from a Pokemon TCG Background. It sounds like a less violent world.
#7 Secret Study
I completed an online Master's degree from a really good school, all on work time without anyone noticing. I got it from Hopkins. It was especially important to me because I earned my undergrad degree from a for-profit (but regionally accredited) school online and I was concerned about its reputation when job hunting. It was employer-paid.
#8 Gummy Bear Trickster
I once caught a gummy bear in my mouth thrown off a four-story parking garage at night. So I guess that's the one. I wish I could just put that as my CV and nothing else. Just that, written in small right in the middle of the page. I wouldn't even put down my even put your contact details. They'll find me if they want to find me.
#9 "Very Inconsiderate"
I was once called "inconsiderate" by a wanted 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 lifeless, 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. I'd turn it back on, and the hand would go up. I soon realized we were not going to have a single usable shot of this lady in our story that evening because 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."
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#10 Bomb Enthusiast
Shortly after 9/11, I received a letter from the Department of Justice basically telling me to stop making bombs. Context: I was a hobbyist pyrotechnician operating on a very thin, legal line. I never did anything malicious with what I made, but they were pretty much 1/4 to 1/2 sticks of dynamite I was making with my own tweaked flash powder recipe.
I always order every component separately so it wasn't being sold in a "kit." It followed strict safety protocols during the manufacturing process. All items were detonated on private properties. Well, they raided a bunch of the chemical companies I was ordering from, obtained mailing lists from them all, and found my name on quite a few.
Since everything was ordered separately, they couldn't TOTALLY prove what I was doing, but they still sent me a sternly worded letter that pretty much shut down my little operation. I had a lot of fun back then, but it wasn't worth pushing the envelope and having the ATF/FBI kicking my door in. I'm still going to get that letter framed, though.
#11 Private Account
I run a Tumblr account with 100k+ followers. But I can't tell anyone, because the obvious follow-up would be "Oh, what's the account?" and that's my business.
#12 Part-Time Job: Unknown
We had a guy who told someone in upper management that he had another "part-time job." When they asked him what it was, his eyes suddenly looked panicked at his mistake and he refused to say. It was really awkward. Long before this, there had been consistent rumors that he was a dealer or somehow involved with illegal activity. I don't know why he thought telling us about his other job wouldn't bring follow-up questions.
#13 Sober Party
I’m proud of myself for quitting drinking but have a hard time fitting that into any conversation. So I generally don’t. I spent a lot of time moving my goalposts, telling myself, “I’ll quit after that wedding coming up, or this party”, or whatever. I eventually realized I couldn’t wait for the right time to quit because the right time was always “right now."
#14 Online Wealth
I'm very wealthy in Runescape. I built my fortune mining coal and iron, then smelting steel bars, then I eventually moved on into buying and selling before the Grand Exchange days. Also, I paid for my college degree by selling Everquest currency to other nerds. A few of us went pretty deep on it back in 2000 ish, one guy went to Japan for a month, the other bought a truck and a house. I used my 50k for school.
#15 Far From Embarrassing
When I was 17, I tried out for an Olympic team and nearly made the cut. They wanted six team members and I was 8th. I'm embarrassed about what it was for though, so I don't tell anyone.
#16 Pasta Deathmatch Challenge
I ate six bowls of pasta at the Pasta Deathmatch Challenge, a.k.a the Olive Garden's never-ending pasta bowl. I didn't have a bowel movement for almost three days. As for my resume, I don't think anybody wants to admit they ate nine cans of ravioli. Not only is it not that impressive, but there's no employer out there that requires a worker with the skill of overeating.
#17 Key Lobbing
I’ve never dropped a set of keys that were thrown at me. I always feel insulted when anyone walks over to me and hands me a set of keys. Especially another guy. I feel like it's an unspoken rule that keys must be tossed between guys. Then again, poor lobs are arguably the biggest source of stress in my life. Once this streak is over, what do I have left?
#18 Guitar Pedal Collector
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 classifieds ads around the world, but (fortunately) very, very few people care about that sort of thing. I recorded a couple of rough samples a few months ago actually, for the few friends I have on the Internet that share this interest. They're pretty rough though.
#19 Side Occupation: Author
I’m technically a published author. I made a book that’s nothing but graffiti art 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’s a few that are like, for example, Mars Rover inspired that I threw in as well. I’ve only ever sold the book through private sales so you can’t really find it online.
#20 Impressive But Useless
I can beat Through the Fire and Flames on Expert in Guitar Hero III. Actually, there isn't a single song on Guitar Hero I can't five-star on expert. There's only a handful on Rock Band that I can't because it's more unforgiving... Impressive as heck but nobody in the real world cares. I put my pants on like everybody else, one leg at a time, but once they're on, I make gold stars on pro expert drums.
#21 Hurling From Laughter
I once made someone laugh so hard they threw up. They carried on laughing while hurling. It was amazing. We were playing Madlibs at a slumber party and I answered all of the questions to be about Michael Jackson. THAT was the funniest stuff I'd ever heard in my life but next thing you know, Amanda was running for the can and she didn't come out for like, 10 minutes.
#22 A Remarkable Person
Speaking as an employer, if I got a resume where someone listed six years of self-employment as a casual standup entertainer, concurrent with other more mundane jobs, I'd be impressed as heck! A weak person does not survive for six years as a small-venue entertainer. As a comic, you have: public speaking skills, composition skills, self-confidence, self-motivation, social interaction skills, the ability to deal with rejection, the ability to control a room, the ability to think quickly and critically, and the ability to think reflectively Every single one of those are highly valuable in almost every role. To find them all in a single person in addition to role-specific professional knowledge makes you quite remarkable.
#23 Toxic Flatulence
One time, while using a public urinal, I farted loudly... then, the automatic paper towel dispenser behind me dispensed a sheet of paper towel. My friends don't believe me. I had some really toxic ones when I was a teenager as well—like, one time, I went into the front porch to fire it off, and the cat was eating in there. The cat retched and barfed in its bowl.
#24 The Lettuce King
Ate a whole head of iceberg lettuce in under 11 minutes. Most of my friends didn't even finish but I'm the Lettuce King. We did not go small on these heads of lettuce so it was a bit of a free-for-all towards the end. My one buddy went with the apple approach at first. I ate the core first and then progressed to leaves. At points, it's about minimizing surface area to compact as much lettuce into your mouth as is physically possible, but then by the end, you're leaking so much water from the lettuce and your own leaf-hole that you can pick, fold, or crumple and you'd still be wrong.
#25 Tennis Prodigy
I used to be a really good tennis player! I would play on international circuits and everything! But now the only thing that applies to my resume is that I was a captain for one year on my college team. Though, people tell me it should go on a resume... in miscellaneous at the bottom, or whatever. The sports culture (in the US) is huge and people usually see that as dedication and discipline.
#26 Useless Statistics?
I've never applied for a job I didn't get. I'm absurdly proud of this despite the obvious underachiever implications. I'm always offered a position for every interview I attend, but I don't accept them all. I'm not sure if any employer will entertain someone who boasts about a useless statistic such as this one. Oh well, I'm still proud of it.
I've donated over 10 gallons of blood to the Red Cross. I actually had it on my resume for a while but some people get really weird about it. I should probably add "of my own blood" to the description just in case they read it so they'd laugh a little and be more likely to bring it up. But then again, I'm not professional in resumes and really rely on being personal and funny.
#28 You've Got A Friend
I stopped a girl I know from ending herself and I’ve been helping her through the mental stuff she’s had to deal with. Not something I’d ever really mention, but I’m quite proud of it. Having a strong friend to have as a ground point is helpful beyond words for people who are or feel trapped in their world. I know it's tough sometimes, but keep going.
#29 Bouldering Moves
I've just got 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. Sounds stupid but it's been a long time since I've been challenged like that and it was exhilarating.
#30 Revenge On The Bully
I once beat up a dude who was bullying a kid with Down Syndrome at a traveling fair once. He was at least five years older than the kid. He was following him around doing impressions of him and tripping him. A carnie style guy pulled me off of him while I held his hair and tried to smack his head off a helter-skelter. I was an angry youth...
#31 I Founded A Union
I founded a union that now represents more than 1,000 workers at 34 worksites, and I served as its president for six years, holding countless numbers of terrible employers accountable. For some background, it was in charter schools, which in my former community are basically vehicles for turning over public schools to corporations, built on the ideology that all problems in education are caused by lazy, overpaid teachers, and managed by people with no background in education. So, you have a few different categories of bad cases our union was able to prevent.
I have written somewhere between one and two million words of real hardcore fetish erotica. I loved every minute of it— and I made a pretty good living doing it, too. I savored 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.
#33 Self-Defense Success Story
I’m a 5’4, 110-pound lady and I managed to stick an assailant in the face with my keys. Although it makes me seem crazy, it was my first physical altercation with someone four times my size and I am proud that I didn’t die or cry. I think it was a great achievement. It sucks that I was put in that situation but admirable that I was able to defend myself.
#34 Balloon Animals
I’m fantastic at making balloon animals. I’ve got no good reason to be good at it. There is a large balloon twisting community out there. I started to get into it because I didn't like standing in line with my kid for 45 minutes to get something I thought I could make, so I learned how to make a few things. But kids are beyond balloon animals now. Some folks can even make a living at it, full time.
#35 Nobody's Business
It's not something I share openly. I have my friends and support group and a few other people that know but that's it. I talk about it when I think it'll help someone. I pick my moments. It's a personal part of my life, both past, and present, that I don't throw out there when I first meet people. Even though it is more openly accepted now, there is still a stigma around addiction and some people will judge me on that and not who I really am now. I've had the same job for 10 years and no one there knows. They just know I don't drink.
#36 Speedy Feet
My personal best 100-m time is 10.89 seconds. I tell people it fairly frequently but it's a bit difficult to fit that into a CV. Would putting a marathon runner in that section also be appropriate? Easily the skill I’m most proud of but feel weird putting it on a resume.
#37 Eagle Scout
I’m an Eagle Scout, but that doesn’t mean much to anyone after you’re 22 and older. As at 31-year-old, that would look strange. I guess it also depends on the field of work. The achievement means nothing in terms of computer programming skills, but it means something in terms of interpersonal and outdoors skills.
#38 Last Minute Skills
I'm really good at getting things done at the last minute. I'd not want that on a resume because it implies that I procrastinate (true) and because it might mean getting really bad deadlines. I complete work when I'm at my oldest and wisest for the given timeline.
#39 Lasting Guild
I wish I could put this on there but I feel like I'd miss more than I'd hit with it. I've been a GM for a WoW guild that has lasted 7 years now, and we have multiple realm first achievements.
#40 Goat Hero
I got a call from a friend who raised goats. She had a 5-month-old who had 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, but the X-ray showed that the leg was healing perfectly.
#41 Not Selfish
Once in elementary school, lunch was ending and I found a perfect condition Blue-Eyes White Dragon on the ground. Heck yeah. I picked it up and walked towards my class as the rain was beginning to fall. That's when I turn 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 (my parents couldn't afford to buy me booster packs or anything), 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.
#42 Chili Cheese Dog Winner
I ate a foot-long chili cheese dog while driving home to my sick wife and didn't spill it on myself or the car once. I did this last night and have been wondering how to tell someone. Thanks for asking this today.
#43 Wii Tennis Tips
No lie, I would play Wii Tennis by myself. I got really good at hitting the ball really fast back and forth. Nobody wanted to play with me though since they assumed that my in-real-life tennis skills would carry over when in reality, you could just swing your wrist, stay seated and kick some butt just as well as anyone else could.
#44 Halfpiping A Glacier
I spent three years working as a night janitor so I had days free to ride, and two summers living out of a car/tent so I could hike a halfpipe on a glacier. The training was easy compared to the life sacrifices and compromises I made. No one else gets that except high-level athletes.
#45 E-Sports Hustler
I was the leader and helped obtain sponsorships including one from a LAN center who sent us around the country, so it did have a bit more reach than just spending a ton of hours playing games. I also wrote a very popular article for GotFrag which was a pretty big e-sports site back in the day. I was fortunate enough to be able to make it relevant.