Originally created 05/13/02

What not to include in job-search materials



"My IQ is 110 and rising."

There's no telling where it will end up.

"In my spare time I enjoy sitting in the park and contemplating my future."

Maybe actively looking for a job would be a more worthwhile use of time.

"I spend most of my spare time online. I've met some really nice people."

Good to know.

These examples from cover letters that accompanied otherwise solid resumes make a point about what not to include in job-search materials. You should only provide information that supports why you think you're the best candidate, unlike the following:

COVER LETTER: "I have no influential father, uncles or friends, no political ties, no drag, no pull. The result? No job. I am ambitious and intelligent. I want a job with a future."

You have to admire this candidate's candor and wit. But it's a hit-or-miss approach that won't work with many hiring managers.

COVER LETTER: "Am an amiable young fellow who is good to his mother."

Touching, but ...

COVER LETTER: "I have driven about one-third million miles on motorcycles, mostly large road models."

One-third million?

This next candidate for employment chose to include a poem in his cover letter.

"I love to watch the rooster crow.

He's like so many men I know,

Who brag and bluster, rant and shout,

And beat their manly chests, without anything to crow about."

We'll keep your resume on file, but hiring you might take awhile.

COVER LETTER: "I'm the best qualified candidate for any position you may have available. This isn't bragging. It just happens to be true. Any position! Any!"

OK! OK!

COVER LETTER: "I have a fantastic personality and I come with the added value of having a shaved head. People will remember me!"

What was your name again?

- Keep the Resumania coming. Entries can be sent to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International Inc., 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif., 94025, or faxed to 650-234-6998.

(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.)