Originally created 07/23/01

Don't tell prospective boss more than he needs to know



From a cover letter: "There being no place for modesty on a resume, I will resort to fidelity in the reporting of facts, thus demonstrating objectivity. I lived long enough in Arkansas to develop an accent, which many find agreeable, and which I retain to this date. Appropriate adjectives to describe me would be integrity, loyalty, kindness, warmth ... "

He went on to list 15 other positive attributes. His final line was, "I recommend myself highly to those who may be seeking my services."

For references, please call the applicant.

"I have been highly regarded in the many jobs I've held and am considered charming in personality and patient."

Just how many jobs are we talking about?

This next piece of Resumania comes from my "everything-you-don't-need-to-know-about-an-applicant" file.

"PERSONAL INTERESTS: I enjoy travel and frequently go home to be with friends from school. I also enjoy simple repair work and am learning to perform simple maintenance of my automobile, a 1994 Oldsmobile. For example, I am now able to change the oil and oil filter. Listening to music also provides satisfaction. I switch between middle of the road, light jazz and, once in a while, classical music. My record collection reflects my love of all three."

Thanks for sharing. Now about that marketing position you applied for...

"PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Interests include golf, skiing, basketball and wife."

In that order?

"HOBBIES: Soccer, wrestling, karate (brown belt), swimming, bowling, skating, and stamp and coin collecting. Also ballroom dancing (received bronze medal for performance)."

Once he gets his black belt, he'll be given the gold for sure.

"EXPERIENCE: Hair stylist, bank lending supervisor, pilot, gasoline service station manager and microbiologist for a brewery."

The dream candidate for a coiffure-conscious employer who wants to refinance a loan and refuel his plane right before going to happy hour.

"EDUCATION: Washington Elementary School, 1976-1983."

And what have you been up to lately?

(Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc., a specialized staffing firm, is author of "Managing Your Career For Dummies" and "Job Hunting For Dummies". For more Resumania, please visit www.resumania.com.)