Originally created 12/31/01

Gems from actual resumes

From a cover letter: "You might question why my resume indicates a four-year gap in employment. During those years I supported myself from poker winnings at various casinos."

Sounds like the gamble is no longer paying off.

Here's another resume with a Las Vegas spin:

"WORK EXPERIENCE: Two years as a blackjack and baccarat dealer. Strong emphasis on customer relations - a constant challenge considering how much money people lose and how angry they can get."

Was hazard pay an option?

Nonessential material takes up valuable space on a resume that can be better used for listing job-related skills and experience. Here's an example from a resume writer who insisted on sharing her life views:

"MY PHILOSOPHY: You can't build a reputation on what you intend to do. Those who think twice usually have half as much to say. To entertain some people, all you have to do is listen. If you drop the ball, do not complain at how it bounces."

Resumes citing personal platitudes seldom lead to job offers.

The next several resume bloopers illustrate the importance of the keep-it-simple philosophy. Applicants are almost always best served saving personal anecdotes for the interview.

"INTERESTS: Magic and fortune telling (call for a free reading)."

How much will the interview set us back?

"DUTIES: Variety of office responsibilities, including back-up for Clarence."

Who is Clarence?

"OBJECTIVE: To secure challenging opportunities in which I can see a real value in terms of rendering a valuable and valued service to people."

Definitely a "value-added" candidate.

"REFERRED BY: People in the street."

A new spin on networking.

"INTERESTS: I participate in all sorts of outdoor activities, with the exception of scuba diving, for which I have a great dislike."

We'll try to keep your duties on shore.

"SPECIAL SKILLS: I'm an excellent boat driver."

But do you like scuba diving?

And, finally, this Resumania classic:

"WORK EXPERIENCE: Extensive background in accounting. I can also stand on my head."

But can you balance the books with one hand tied behind your back?

(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.)


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