Originally created 07/30/01

Being too boastful can work against you



"QUALIFICATIONS: Pit bull-like analytical skills. Mental parachute always open to innovation."

Confidence in a job applicant is commendable - even desirable. Employers want people on their team who are sure of themselves and eager to please. But these next resumes show how being too boastful can work against you.

"COVER LETTER: A recruiter told me there are a lot of talented people out there looking for a job. His implication was that I was up against tough competition. I don't agree and when you read the enclosed resume, which outlines dozens of amazing things about me, you'll see what I mean."

"PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: Independent, liberal but conservative at times, veracious, open-minded, resolute, enthusiastic, frank, versatile and sanguine."

Yes, but can you program a computer?

"ATTRIBUTES: I probe, pry, push, ponder, excite, analyze, intimidate, mollify, support, create, control, exult and succeed."

He might have quit there. But he didn't ...

"I am particularly adept at identifying 'friendly' strength and competitors' weaknesses. I have developed a method of drawing out information from people and then giving it back to them as though it was their idea. All of this is done with a calm effectiveness that inspires clients and terrifies competition."

For reasons known only to them, some job-seekers throw down challenges in their cover letters and resumes destined to dash any hopes of landing the job.

"OBJECTIVE: To find a new position without having to take a pay cut or alter my current lifestyle. Only those companies with a position to offer that will accomplish this should respond."

And from a cover letter: "Let me be brutally honest up-front. I don't come cheap. It will be expensive to hire me. I don't work for wooden nickels."

Thanks for the warning.

Finally, here's what a job-seeker said about having worked as a guide at a museum: "Of all the guides employed at the museum, more tourists asked to have their picture taken with me than the others. I am friendly, helpful and good looking."

"Say cheese!"

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