Top Ten Resume ‘Oops’
Here are some of the more humorous resume moments I’ve experienced recently. Any identifying information has been changed not just to protect the innocent but also to prevent other HR professionals from poaching my talent pool!
This post is intended as light-hearted humor and not what I’ve heard described as “HR Tone“. Sometimes we all just need to laugh at the silly mistakes we all make. Here’s a story to show I can laugh at myself. Years ago I applied for an human resources position at the Nature Conservancy. Later as I reviewed my materials I saw I’d mistyped the organization name as Conservatory. D’oh! No wonder I never heard back. You can be sure I was more careful the next time.
My top Ten This Year
1. Stretch. I was looking for a HR Coordinator. One resume didn’t include any human resources experience or the requested degree. But he was a certified lifeguard! You never know when that might come in handy, e.g. for all those company picnics people seem convinced HR should plan!
2. Say what? One cover letter said, “Please check my profile (encl herewith) for more details, although I’ve presented a crux herewith in this introductory note.”
Plain English is fine.
3. TMI. One young lady included “pole dancing” in her interests.
Not appropriate unless you’re applying to work at a ‘gentleman’s club.’ Double oops: My organization is church-affiliated.
4. Brevity is king.
“Short Resume for Joan Cannon
I am a mature person, very responsible, and very reliable. I completed many courses such as [lists eleven]. Please e-mail me using firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at [number].”
This approach, while free-thinking, really doesn’t tell me anything I need to know except that Joan is a woman of few words and is known to cut corners.
5. Wanted. “As shown in the attached resume.I have,extensive (3years) experence working with people.I am very hard working,conviction and drug free.”
He won’t stay conviction-free for long; he’s obviously wanted by the Punctuation and Spelling Police!
6. Love, love love. “I love art, music, theatre and working with people. I am industrious and a very good cook! Alos, I love everyone!”
Love the youthful enthusiasm, just wish it extended to use of the spell checker. (Typically we would not suggest including hobby information on a resume. In this case, it was not inappropriate since she was applying for a position that included both cooking and recreation.)
7. No she didn’t! “I am a very determined and hardworking individual whom pays extraordinary attention to detial as well as multi-tasks well.”
Suggestion: Don’t claim to be detail-oriented because it only makes any mistakes all the more glaring. Let your attention to detail speak for itself.
8. Gmail is free mail.
“From: Michelle [mailto: email@example.com]
My background, experience and knowledge would be a benefit to your orgainzation.”
Michelle, thanks, but I’m actually not so sure your experience and knowledge is a good fit for this job. First, log into Gmail and set up a plain old boring account for MichelleSmith. Then spell check. Good luck!
9. Oh yeah? “Extra-circular Activities: throwing parties in clubs.”
My first thought was, now here’s a well-rounded person. Spell check wouldn’t catch this kind of error, so it’s always useful to have someone else proof your resume. Also, if you coordinate and plan amazing parties and it’s a lucrative business, by all means expand on these accomplishments. But if you just like to party, you might want to omit this little tidbit.
10. And number ten?
“Experience includes: Night Stalker, Whole Foods Market.”
I don’t think this is what he really meant. At least, I sure hope not!
What funny resume “oops” do you have, either your own or others’?
Photo by duncan