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Six Odd Things People Put on Their Résumé


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After a decade or so in the recruiting and career services business, you may think you’ve seen it all. Then you get another résumé so bad that you wonder if you are being punked. Is it possible that someone is completely uninformed, or is this a poor attempt at humor? These candidates may be memorable. However, the candidate’s only hope is that the hiring manager is completely inept.

Here are six examples that I have encountered over the years.

1.  Accounting Candidate: “Skilled at Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.”

I think we can place this skill in between interpersonal and time management skills.

 2.  Technical Sales Candidate: “6’1”, 189 lbs., 8% body fat; Mixed Marshall Arts Champion-DFW Area, 2009; Interviewed by Star-Telegram newspaper following victory.”

Not only is mentioning his physical condition inappropriate; he misspelled martial arts!

3.  Computer Operator Candidate: Never filed worker’s comp claim or lawsuit against an employer in 14 years of employment.”

So, does this mean he’s due and the next employer could be the one?

4.  Business Executive Candidate: Recognized by friends as considerate, personable, and a good tennis player.

That sounds more like an obituary.

5.  Office Manager Candidate: Financially-responsible: I saved over $350 last year by cutting my own hair.”

Too much personal info! She may get an interview just so they can check out her hair.

6.  Customer Service Representative: I took off one year in a quest to get on a reality show. I attended 7 open casting calls and submitted 23 audition videos, resulting in one second round call-back. After burning through my savings, I am returning to my true passion, customer service for a healthcare company. The reality bug is definitely out of my system.

OK, that is just scary. Was he trying for a show where he would wrestle reptiles or was it to showcase a personality disorder, such as hoarding?”

This is a light-hearted look at inappropriate information on a résumé. The examples are extreme. Most informed candidates know that personal details, such as physical attributes, hobbies, religion, and political affiliations are not appropriate. Negative information about past employers is always wrong. The hiring manager may think that if the candidate can’t determine what is appropriate on a résumé, they are not likely to make wise choices as an employee.

If you would like to share the oddest thing you’ve ever read on a résumé, email me. I’d love to hear it!

Debra Wheatman is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). She is globally recognized as an expert in advanced career search techniques with more than 18 years' corporate human resource experience. Debra is a featured blogger on numerous sites and posts regularly on her own site. She has been featured on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading publications, including Forbes.com, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC. Debra may be reached at debra@careersdonewrite.com or you may visit her website at http://www.careersdonewrite.com.
  • donnasvei

    My favorite was the candidate who mentioned his 17th century ancestor, the French count. #WeDontHaveToMakeItUp