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Jewish World Review March 29, 2001 / 5 Nissan, 5761

Resumania by Max Messmer

Max Messmer
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Consumer Reports

Resume mistakes -- LISTING tangible skills, abilities and accomplishments on a resume is good. Describing why your talents make you the best match for the position is even better. Being overly boastful, on the other hand, is a sure way to end up in the Resumania file:

"SKILLS: I have learned the art of management the hard way, by doing it. And believe me, it shows."

Is that a good thing?

"QUALIFICATIONS: I've got it!"

Got what?

"POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES: I have more energy than a PowerBar, more patience than a hospital emergency room and more confidence in myself than many small countries."

This candidate's future employer may need some of that "patience."

"COVER LETTER: The interview you schedule will undoubtedly reveal my unmatched talent and suitability for the position."

Uh, don't count your chickens... .

"OBJECTIVE: Secure a position in a large firm as receptionist, PBX operator, manager, owner or accounts receivable clerk."

At least you're leaving your options open.

While overselling your qualifications is never a good idea, underwhelming a hiring manager is also unwise. Consider the following:

"COVER LETTER: My work history is outlined on my enclosed resume. As you can see there isn't anything too impressive about it."

Thanks for the tip.

"EXPERIENCE: Organized a committee to win $250 of new business."

Unless there are some missing zeros, most employers will be looking for a little more.

"OBJECTIVE: Desire a career as a trainee."

Obviously someone committed to lifelong learning.

"REASON FOR LEAVING: My employment ended due to lack of work."

Yours or theirs?

"COVER LETTER: Please see how your enclosed resume will meet the job requirements."

We'll be sure to call ourselves for an interview.

"SKILLS: Computers and all brands of office ice machines."

Ice machines?

And finally, one of my favorites:

"EXPERIENCE: Currently unemployed due to self-inflicted toe sprain.

The downside of trying to get your foot in the door.

Max Messmer is chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc., a specialized staffing firm, and author of Job Hunting for Dummies. Comment by clicking here.


03/26/01: No need to say why you left
03/14/01: What not to say when applying for a job
03/05/01: Be smart on the job objective
02/21/01: Corporate warriors
02/14/01: Make sure resume reflects what you actually mean
01/24/01: Don't criticize former boss on resume
01/22/01: Resume bloopers

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