Originally created 07/22/02

Don't list other people's credentials on your resume

"QUALIFICATIONS: My former and current husbands are Ph.D.s, and my sister is a CPA."

Can we see their resumes?

More job-seekers than you realize list other people's credentials on their resumes hoping it will somehow enhance their own chances of being hired. Prospective employers are only interested in what you bring to the position.

Consider the following:

"If I'm hired and I run into difficulty with any aspect of the job, I will consult with my wife, who has considerably more accounting experience than I do."

That's comforting.

Speaking of superfluous information, although it's a good idea to include in your cover letter why you're interested in a particular firm, it's not advisable to add your reasons for seeking employment in general. For example:

"PURPOSE FOR SEEKING EMPLOYMENT WITH YOUR FIRM: (1) My wife left me, (2) My mother told me to get a job and (3) I decided that accounting might be a good career after all."

Resumes and cover letters should highlight a job-seeker's strengths. And they should be relevant to the job:

An applicant from Miami submitted a solid cover letter ... until the end, where beneath his signature he handwrote the numbers one through 10 followed by the words, "This will serve as an example of my excellent penmanship."

We'll give you an "e" for effort.

Self-confidence is a welcome attribute for job candidates, and your resume should reflect your positive attitude. But beware of going too far. For example, this from a candidate in the Midwest:

"Congratulations! You are about to be exposed to one of the most dynamic, aggressive and results-oriented candidates to ever apply for a job with your firm!"

We'd better stand back.

"LONG TERM PLANTS: To pursue my master's degree."

Sounds like a perennial goal to me.

- 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 chief executive officer of Robert Half International Inc., a specialized staffing firm, and author of "Job Hunting For Dummies." For more Resumania, please visit www.resumania.com.)


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