20 unusual résumé tactics to avoid

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By Autumn McReynolds

Are you a polite, non-smoker with three pets whose interests include barbequing, picnics and long walks on the beach? If you’ve ever considered including these personal details on a résumé or the fact that your special skills include making organic soups and calling the weekly Bingo game at your local VFW, then you might need to rethink your job search.

In a competitive job market, creating a clear and concise résumé is extremely important if you want to land that first interview. Many job postings elicit hundreds of applications for a single opening, so even making it to the first step of the interview process can be a significant feat.

Unfortunately, in the midst of searching for the perfect opening, creating a customized cover letter, updating their résumé and filling out an application, some job seekers lose sight of the task at hand and forget that clarity and simplicity are key when trying to catch a recruiter or hiring manager’s eye.

The annual CareerBuilder survey shows that job seekers don’t have a lot of time to make a positive impression on employers. In fact,  45 percent of human resource managers say they spend, on average, less than one minute reviewing an application. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from May 19 to June 8, 2011, included more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

When asked to recall the most unusual résumés they have received, employers shared the following:

  1. Candidate said the more you paid him, the harder he worked.
  2. Candidate included that he was arrested for assaulting his previous boss.
  3. Candidate said he just wanted an opportunity to show off his new tie.
  4. Candidate listed her dog as reference.
  5. Candidate listed the ability to do the moonwalk as a special skill.
  6. Candidates — a husband and wife looking to job share — submitted a co-written poem.
  7. Candidate included “versatile toes” as a selling point.
  8. Candidate stated she was “particularly adept at comprehending the obvious.”
  9. Candidate said that he would be a “good asset to the company,” but failed to include the “et” in the word “asset.”
  10. Candidate’s email address on the résumé had “shakinmybootie” in it.
  11. Candidate said he was qualified because he was a “marvelous physical specimen.”
  12. Candidate included that she survived a bite from a deadly aquatic animal.
  13. Candidate was fired from different jobs, but included each one as a reference.
  14. Candidate used first name only.
  15. Candidate presented a list of demands in order to work for the organization.
  16. Candidate asked, “Would you pass up an opportunity to hire someone like this?  I think not.”
  17. Candidate insisted that the company pay him to interview with them because his time was valuable.
  18. Candidate’s résumé was intentionally written from right to left instead of left to right.
  19. Candidate shipped a lemon with résumé, stating “I am not a lemon.”
  20. Candidate submitted 40-page résumé that included photos and diplomas

Too often, job seekers get overly creative or personal with their résumés in order to make an impression, but irrelevant information and goofy details can be perceived as unprofessional and may cause the résumé to be rejected on the spot.

“Making an impression on an employer should go deeper than just shock value,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “Job seekers should focus on gaining attention for the right reasons by highlighting relevant experience, applicable skills and how they would benefit the organization.”

Instead of trying to shock and amaze the hiring manager with your résumé, spend some time focusing on the job requirements and how to clearly represent yourself and your abilities. At a glance, a hiring manager should be able to gain insight on:

  • Your current or most recent employer
  • Specific details on tasks you’re in charge of (not just an HR job description)
  • Your experience and capabilities as applicable to the open position
  • Any pertinent accomplishments or successes that make you a top choice
  • Name and professional contact information

After reading your résumé, the employer shouldn’t wonder what makes you qualified for the position. The only questions you want him or her asking are the kind that need to be answered in an interview.

Once you’ve organized, focused and targeted your résumé for the job in question, you must move on to creating a customized cover letter. While the cover letter acts as a canvas to showcase your personality and strengths, don’t forget that making an impact doesn’t mean astounding the employer with your many quirks, hobbies or demands. Show that you would not only fit in with the culture of the organization, but that you would improve the business process and overall efficiency.

    • I’d hate to tell my dead grandmother about all those remarks about, things you avoid to tell on a resume’, she’d probably roll over in her grave forever.

    • I just spent the last hour going over the 150 comments. There is one thing that I didn’t notice…if you can’t get a job in your field, maybe you might look at where the market is turning. I know some of you will say that is impossible, but I can tell you that it can work for you. I have a good friend that has a degree in Business Management. She did all the training in her company. When the company downsized, they decided that they only needed one manager/trainer…she was laid off. She spent 6 months looking for a job. When she DID get an interview, they seem to always want one younger (and cheaper). So she spent $250 and got a TESOL certificate (Teaching English to Speakers of Other languages), then applied overseas. Overseas, they WANT experienced, mature people to teach English. She has spent the past 6 years now travelling the world making about $4000 per month. Her employers have provided housing, insurance, and round trip tickets. She also has had employers not give her those things, but pay her very well compared to the local salaries (for example making $1000 per month and the average wage is $300 and rents are $75/month) Everywhere she has worked, she has lived a very good life. She meets new people, travels and is having a great time. She has worked in Japan, Mexico, Spain, Qatar, Vietnam, and Jordan. She has had some companies pay for everything and some not pay for benefits, but good salaries. I know in Jordan, her company did not pay for health insurance, but she bought health insurance (full coverage, 100% hospitalization and prescriptions) for $450 per YEAR!!! In the 6 years she’s been travelling the world, she’s saved $15,000. She is actually recruited now because of her business degree AND her TESOL certificate. She’s also married and her husband does the same with her!

      All I’m saying is that sometimes you’ve got to think about others ways to get work. And there are TONS of companies overseas that are BEGGING for native speakers of ALL degrees. Many of them also provide benefits for the family.

  1. A candidate listed his sobriety date under the name on his resume, before his address or contact info. He also listed being an AA sponsor under activities / interests. He had been sober for several years, which is wonderful, but really didn’t matter in terms of the job qualifications. It set him apart, but not in a good way. Made me question his judgement…

      • I could sit here all evening critiquing these pathetic comments…even the ones commenting on poor spelling and/or grammar are poorly constructed sentences, some with spelling errors in them. Guess what? I’m unemployed and I’m still critiquing! I was released from employment in July of 2009, four years short of retirement. There may be laws against age discrimination, but if you had your choice of a candidate in their 30s, 40s, or even their 50s, would you choose someone who is 62 over them? It wouldn’t make sense. So, yes, I “scammed” the system for 99 weeks by sending out a minimum of six resumes a week and, in that 99 week period, gleaned two phone calls in return for all that effort. Count them. Two. While I did not include my age on my resume or in my cover letters, it was fairly obvious that I was older. Why? Because I have command of the English language and know how to spell.

        • No Liz they didn’t know you were older because you knew how to spell & use proper grammar. I’m pretty sure potential employers knew how old you were because of your work history. You are aware that people look at the “DATES” of employment right??? Lol too funny.

          • If you are 40, 50, or 60, it is wise to only put 10 years of work experience on the resume. That is of course unless you have had only 2 jobs, may have to rethink that one. If the experience you have is from more than 15 years ago, and it is relevant to the job you are applying to – it won’t matter, most HR managers feel the experience is too long ago for you to still be good at it. Sad but true.

            • That is not always true. Employers don’t always want to pay for experience. I was told off the record by a hiring manager that he would prefer to hire somebody like me because of my experience, but was only allowed to hire underqualified people because they could pay them less to do the same job.

          • Is that to say you automatically trash experience? Typical of the HR crew. Why is it that Motorola requires a BA to take phone orders if not to eliminate older workers. Age discrimination is hard to prove but easy to see. Many, if not most, times it is all about not being shown to have bad theories rather than what will advance the company. Think about it.

        • I totally agree with you. I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes and had a total of 3 interviews. I finally was hired, but at a much lower rate of pay. As soon as an employer realizes the age of the candidate as being over 50, the less they are willing to hire. If they would remove the question regarding when you graduated high school those of us that are over 20 “might” have a chance to be hired.

        • Not only that but I’m sure your experience scared them off. How could you possibly “Think outside the box”? Even though you could tell them that they are in the wrong box.  Every HR manager has a different set of criteria and the top of their list is, did they graduate from one of my preferred universities? Can I control them? And I won’t hire someone smarter than me. Let’s face it, jobs are sent to other countries because CEO’s and HR managers don’t want stock holders to know how they are ripping them off until they can claim the golden parachute. Just my 2 cents worth after 40 years seeing it happen.

        • When did applying for a job become akin to joining the SS? To all those who are commenting from the hiring point of view, would you post the resume you presented. Its like cops becoming better than the average citizens just by making it through the training course. Have you seen some the cops we have out there nowadays? Don’t let your rosecolored glasses blind you.

  2. Some of these are priceless faux pas. If I was a Hiring Mgr, I’d have to have some of them come in, except the one that requested a fee for an interview, what human specimen had the nerve to put some of this stuff in print.

  3. I can remember when it was recommended to list one’s interests and hobbies. I also remember an acquaintance getting past the “You’re overqualified for this position.” response by moving his advanced degrees from the “Education” section to the “Hobby” section.

    • “Thank you for your attention”

      Where did you come up with that one liner? Write that on an application I am reviewing and you would end up in the garbage too.

      • Applicant reviewers get too wrapped up in what sends a resume to the garbage. I am grateful that somebody is taking the time to read my cover letter and resume, why not express it? You must dig playing god instead of looking for the best and brightest.

        • Robert,

          When you are tasked with looking through hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes to get down to the few to interview, you must have a methodology. I trash all spelling errors. I may lose a few good ones but if they really cared about getting the job, the attention to detail would be a top priority.

          • Chris I agree. For me, spelling errors only comes second nature to getting applicants who lists “Getting High on a day-to-day basis” as a qualified skill.

          • Thank you for acknowledging the importance of spelling errors. There’s just no excuse in the age of Spellcheck. Looks like they just don’t care.

          • So spelling errors are the key! Who would have known? Not that the CEO disregarded the fact that it was illegal, no, as long as he spelled it correctly… Spend the time to get the best for the company, not the least work for you. Pathetic at best, but typical.

    • This one sounds to me like English is a second language, and is trying to be polite, honestly. I wouldn’t let this get in the way of him/ her becoming a candidate.

    • Dude, you need to send your comment to your cover letter and sent it to someone who ist hiring. Not post it on article comments. Get your head out of your home country and start working your butt off like everyone else does!

  4. Since I’m a mechanical draftsman & machinery designer I used to think it would help to list my hobbies as “restoring antique cars & building hot rods”. I’ve since removed that.

    • It should be important to relate your passion to your work. Anybody working in HR with half a brain would recognize that. YOu do not want to work for an organization that would make such a critical mistake.

  5. I wonder how many of these faux pas are intentional to keep collecting unemployment for the maximum time. Sometimes its easier and more lucrative to do nothing, or collect unemployment and work side jobs under the table.

    • No kidding, I know more and more people who do this on purpose. First thing that came to my mind, since it is pretty much common sense to not put stupid shit on your resume.

      Are people really this dumb? I think not…

      • it has been my common knowledge that they are that stupid, which in turn makes it easier for the rest of us, but they walk among us…lol

      • Sorry Jay, but I actually know a couple of folks that are that dumb. No matter how much I try to explain to them resume etiquette they end up sending things I would never send. I can only laugh when they don’t get calls.

      • Really? Really? Have you ever had to apply for a job in the past year? Spelling as a criteria to run a CNC machine or weld a proper seam? Have you seen the scores for American schools lately? But we all feel good about ourselves don’t we. Come on people, it is an excuse to eliminate a whole class of aging workers, nothing more. How about we change the requirements to “Must speak Farsi” or must be able to convince bankers that they will make “tons of money on the derivatives”.

    • They’d have to be making a substantial amount of money from the ‘side jobs.’ I got unemployment for a few months in 1999 and it was $1000 a month for a single mom with 3 kids. It covered the mortgage and the car insurance…that’s about it! I still had to feed my kids, pay the electric, car payment, phone, etc.

      • Yeah, seriously. Everybody I know who has been on unemployment (including my brother, a welder with decades of experience with heavy equipment) has had to really stretch to make ends meet during that time.

        Stu’s post makes me wonder what kind of “tea” he and his fellow travelers have been drinking, if you get my drift.

        • Forsooth! The Conservative Reconstructionissts are out in full force; even the ones submitting typos and foul language to a public forum. It is apparently a new hobby to denigrate the unemployed.

      • No kidding. My family had to do get on unemployment (something we never thought we would have to do) last spring. My husband was let go for being a diabetic (the EEOC must be full of idiots, because they refused to do anything despite the managers saying that was why he was let go) and the lawyer had us spend close to $500 just to tell us that it wasn’t worth it to her to pursue because my husband got another job within two weeks, and never received any counseling. Anyway, back to the point, for that two weeks we only received $365. Thank heavens for savings, because that wasn’t even a quarter his normal earnings.

      • I know 4 people who lost their jobs in the past year. One worked his butt off trying to find another job and did find one within 2 months. The other 3 clearly state that they have no intention of working again until their 99 weeks of unemployment expires. One gets enough child support that she doesn’t have to work, the other has an employed husband and she would rather stay home with her kids, and the third is just a deadbeat who chooses to not pay the bills. Two of the three also make money “under the table”.

        I have a hard time believing that I know the only 3 people who are milking the unemployment system for all its worth. That’s what happens when you extend unemployment to the point that it becomes a career choice in and of itself.

        • Jackie, those are FAR from the only people milking the system. On the other hand, I don’t think my daughter has gone on it YET, despite being out of work since the end of May, when the principal told her that enrollment was down and her teaching contract was not being renewed.

        • Not all on UIB are MILKING the system. I was laid off in 2008. I didn’t start claiming benefits for two months, and even sacrificing my retirement to pay debts (my car loan still had 14 months due on it), as a single mother I had a child to provide for. I was a FT student for eight full terms, during which time my UIB ran out (Oct 2010) and my $1000/mo. financial aid was all I had to live on. Since my mortgage was $1285 (now $1312) and CHASE had 3x refused to help and modify my loan, I started every month already in the red.

          Now, having graduated, I send out resumes or apply to over 12 jobs EVERY DAY and even though I am applying for jobs based on my new degree in health care AND my 15 years’ experience in manufacturing and time spent in restaurant management, I have only gotten TWO interviews.

          Until you walk a mile……. don’t criticize a person!!!

          • I, too have been on unemployment for nearly a year. I have applied for so many jobs that I cant count them all. I ended up taking a part time job at walmart. If I were not staying with my sister, I would have been out on the street.People are so quick to point and judge. I only hope you too do not have to experience this pain and worry that a lot of good people have had to feel. Meanwhile, this 49 yr. old woman goes to work at Walmart- in tire and lube, in 108 degree heat. lifting heavy tires and batterys, my doctor would have a cow if he knew, to get 7.65 an hour!BUT YES! We are LAZY and do NOT want to work. God Bless YOU TOO! OH YES! One more thing-critique this!

        • Some of you may already know this, but unemployment insurance is just that insurance, every employer large and small must pay into state and/or federal unemployment insurance at a percentage of every employees first $7000 in earnings, when employers lay people off, or fire people and they qualify for unemployment benefits, those benefits come out of the employers reserve account. Furthermore the employers percentage gets increased the more employee turnover they have. So if you do the math, employer pays 15 years worth of FUTA/SUI to the state and federal government, and then has to layoff 10 people, the government better have the money to pay those ten people for 99 weeks.

        • You have got to be kidding? Unemployment benefit amounts are directly based on your past earnings. What this means is, the more you made during the determining quarter the more your benefit amount, UP TO A CAP. In Idaho, for example, that amount is $334.00/week. 334 x 52 weeks in a year is a little over $17,000.00 a year. Stay with me folks… The amount a person needed to earn in a determing quarter to get the maximum benefit amount is WELL over $4250.00. (17,000 divided by 4 to obtain quarterly amount) This means that a person in this situation is making a SMALL FRACTION of what they earned while working. The plain truth is that it isn’t feasible for the majority of people to be on UIB for an extended time. No one milks a dry cow! I will take Judgemental for $100.00, Alex.

      • I also knew someone downsized who decided to “take some time off with my children” for as long as she could. She had a woriking live-in, child support and just “wanted some time”. Her job was not that high paying so I guess she thought it was a fair trade after not paying for child care. I, on the other had found the Fl. max to be not liveable and I had no desire to collect any longer than needed. Til I heard her say it, I would not have believed anyone would chose unemployment, but it does happen.
        I have interviewed people for healthcare positions who showed up in cut-offs and t-shirt, finished the interview by telling me as they exited they were “disabled”. Some people really do try not to get the job, while others are just dumb,

    • Its vitally important for the unemployed to be miserable and suicidal at all times while they bang their heads against the job market. Guilt, unworthiness and gratitude should rule their existence except during an interview where they should be a beacon of confidence.

      • Robert,

        So you are saying the government should pay a living salary while you are unemployed. In the perfect world where everyone WANTS to work that would be reasonable. In the world we live in, most people say they want to work in order to get a paycheck so they can live. If you have the option of not working and getting the same pay so you can live, many will take that option. This creates a welfare state.

        Unfortunately, my brother in law is the perfect example of this situation. His girlfriend has never worked a day in her life. She collects all the normal goodies from the state, gets her housing paid for, food is paid for, receives insurance at no cost and still has a little extra. She is 2nd generation slug and is teaching her children to be 3rd generation slugs. So who do you blame for this situation? Government for not making her be a productive member of society by paying for everything? Her, for not getting off her butt and trying to make a better life for herself and her children?

        I believe in the addage, “Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, teach him to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.” Government is giving her a fish.

        • I know a couple of relatives ust like that. They truely believe that someone owes them something when they’ve never given anything in the first place. The last time my cousin had a job was in high school. When section 8 said no more payments she decided it was time to have two more kids.

          • My aunt is 50 and has worked less than 12 months her entire life. Yep, you are reading this right, she has been “on ger own” since 14. She has enjoyed a life of partying and drugging but she has a “bad heart” therefore, social security gives her no less than 474 a month to sip methadone and chain smoke Virginia cigs.

          • LMAO LMAO LMAO I also thought that was pretty strange. Let me clarify, when hood folks live together and have kids, they do not bother messing up thier welfare benefits by marrying, instead, they just refer to each other as husband and wife. I have an “Uncle Michael” but he simply wears a ring and continues to have side pieces. Funny part, my aunt will get infuriated if you refuse to recognize her long time cheating boyfriend as her husband.

          • Let me help you to understand how your brother in law can have a girlfriend. I am a male. If I am married to a woman and she has a brother…I would refer to him as my brother in law whether HE is single or not.

        • Chris-You are absoluately correct in your statements. I am living proof. My bro & I grew up in complete poverty. He as legitimately ill as a sm child but soon learned to play the “sick card” to get attn and out of chores. He learned how to not work and still get things he wanted. On the other hand I worked on the farm. However, I now can testify that the circumstances taught me not only to work, but to work smart. Today, my bro lives in poverty and depends on others. I invested in myself by becoming educated. I went into a field that in demand rather than another path that I enjoyed but very rarely paid well. My sacrifices paid off.And I have become quite successful because I learned to work. My bro became unsuccessful because he never had to.

          • After reading these posts, I think I see why some people are still unemployed. How would a requirement for a degree eliminate older workers? Did I miss something?? I am over 55, have a couple of degrees, but often that doesn’t necessarily help me in my current profession. Sometimes you have to think, oddly enough, inside the box. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, but rather what you can.

        • There is a difference between being a government drain, leeching the welfare system and collecting unemployment. People need to understand this. The money that is collected from unemployment is money that you contribute out of your own paycheck. You aren’t even eligible to collect unemployment unless you’ve held a job for a minimum of 1 year. It’s not ‘free’ money, it’s yours being paid back to you in a time of need. Very much like an insurance policy, they collect collect collect hoping that they never have to pay out and can just keep your money. Then if unfortunate circumstances make it so that you do have to file, they do make it as difficult as possible to receive the money. Yes, there are people who abuse the system. There always have been and always will be. Not everyone should be judged based off of that, and we need to stop looking at unemployment as a ‘hand out’ when you’re receiving your money back.

          Again, there will always be people that abuse the system. It shouldn’t happen, and I have absolutely no problem reporting an abuser. More people should.

          • I had a job in retail for the six years I was going to school to earn a degree, something that I’ve been led to believe is necessary to get a good job. I was let go due to regulations regarding abscences while sick (at least I had my degree by then) When I first started getting my unemployment, I was absolutely positive I would be on it for a short time. Alas that has not been the case so far and I work whatever temp jobs I can get. Amazingly enough for me I was able to pay my bills better than when I was getting a regular paycheck! Aside from all the sour apples in the bushel living off the government, there are many people out there who are like me and want a job! I want to work, have a responsibility and be able to pay for myself. During this time I have a wonderful family helping me and supporting me when I need it. My biggest problem are the websites that I post a resume on that don’t seem to go anywhere, and I have reworked it a couple times to keep to a bare minimum and underline my qualities. The other side of that problem are the sites that require a fee for me to post to other sites or head hunters, or even to apply to a single post! And the fee isn’t to get a job, but to critique my resume! Why should I pay someone to help me find a job when the money I get from being out of work is meant for necessities? Job postings in the newspaper and even some job fairs actually say “go to our website” Now it’s even easier for companies to sort out the unwanted and undesireable like sifting sand through a sieve.

          • Alisha,

            Although I agree with you in spirit, I’d like to clarify that unemployment is NOT taken from your paycheck. It is an employer expense.

            • True! Yet if they weren’t required to pay it, theoretically they could raise your salary so that you could put it aside for a rainy day. Of course, that puts a lot of the burden for decision-making on the individual….

          • Slight correction, the employer pays the premium for un-employment. But I agree it is a portion of the wages and benefits you receive being employed. In almost 40 years of employment I have collected only 2 weeks of benefits and was made to feel small for it. You people need to have a better understanding of what upper management is doing. Their goal is to make it everyone else’s fault that they don’t have a clue.

        • Chris,

          I am on the opposite side on this one, because I have been looking for work for a year and a half and found nothing. I’ve interviewed one time, with a university in Saudi Arabia, and I didn’t get the job. I have 20 years experience, including retail and property management, collections and sales, and a Master’s Degree.

          I am writing you this from a McDonald’s, where I am taking a short break from job searching. You see, I am homeless and it was the unemployment agency in Florida that did this to me; I am currently living with my wife and two of my three children in a campground in South Carolina. My oldest daughter and grandson are in a shelter that was not equipped to take in an entire family.

          The Reader’s Digest version of what happened to me is I graduated from Clemson in 2008 with a BA and went to the University of South Florida in 2009 for my MA in Religious Studies. At that time I transfered my job from SC to FL, but I suffered a minor heart attack in Nov. I was back to work in five days, despite my doctor’s orders. My employer let me work through the Christmas holiday then fired me for missing the five days I was out, AND they told the State Unemployment Agency I quit. The State investigated, and sided with me, awarding me unemployment comp. In the initial investigation the State was told I was a full time student as well as working full time.

          Two months ago when they investigated me again, this time to determine if my being a full time student would have interfered with me taking a full time job. The State suspended my unemployment comp, despite the fact I told them I couldn’t pay my rent if they did. The telephone representative actually told me “There are homeless shelters, Mr. Bryant.” Given that the State of Florida has an open government law and those conversations were recorded, its all verifyable.

          Perhaps this is not the best thing to write given a job search, but not having unemployment comp has made it harder to find a job for me. Your argument would be solid, if not for people like me, who has averaged 5 applications a day, including follow ups, 6 days a week, for the last 15 months, even while attending school and raising a family, only to lose our lifeline because someone wanted to stop those milking the system hamhandedly. I’d rather give money to some bum trying to scam the system than have ANYONE go through what I am now. My 2 cents, for what its worth. Keep us in your prayers, if you would.

          • I went through your same situation, of unemployment denied. It was actually the person who fired me misdirected any mail regarding the situation from my boss, who allowed everything to happen anyway. If I’d been able to at the time I would have sued the person for tampering with the mail and lying to a government agency.

            My prayers are certainly with you and hope you WILL find something. The fact that you put in this much time to find the work should show someone out there that you are dedicated to making a difference.

        • Maybe some have become discouraged. The jobs report today showed not on business hired last month. When I was laid off in 2008 I looked for work for months until I felt it was hopeless. I went back to school to finish my BA. When I graduated in 2010 I was shocked to see that with years of experience in the field and a degree in business, I couldn’t even get a call back. The companies that I did interview with were offering less money than I made before I got laid off. And I’m not talking 1 or 2 dollars an hour. I’m talking 10 to 15 thousand a year. The worst part is that I ALMOST had a position until the budget was cut and there was no longer funding for that position. Even worse, it happened TWICE. So here we are 16 months later….

          I have a job. The pay is horrible, the hours are worse, and I’m way too overqualified for this position. I’m more highly educated than my boss, and hers. What’s really sad is that they only make $2 and $4 per hour more than me. And they deal with a lot more crap than I do.

        • Please stop saying the government is giving people anything, as a CFO of a company, I assure you the company pays the laid off employees unemployment benefits out of funds they have sent in over a long period of time. Look it up. Even if there are 8.9 million people unemployed there is still 30 million employed and those employers are paying into FUTA/SUI for those still employed.

        • Chris,
          I completely agree – government should “teach people how to fish” instead of just handing out fish.

          What do you suggest? Government paying for all people to attend college? Government job training and job placement programs? I like where this is going.

      • WOW!!! God, I feel sorry for anyone that is associated with you, they probably have to be on Prozac just too listen to the hate that spills out of your mouth!!!

      • Oh Robert!! I’m so sorry for anyone that is even associated with you. I’m sure most of them are on prozac! I didn’t realize that the “Gestapo” was still around. You make it sound like you hate people that are unemployed as much as Hitler hated Jews. The world would be so much better without hateful assholes like you.

    • I really think some people are a mix of being that stupid, and really thinking they are clever…the lemon guy. That is both clever and amusing, but I’m not sure I’d hire him.
      I had a friend who insisted on sending her resume out on paper that had clouds on it. Blue {sky} and clouds. And she was educated and had excellent qualifications.

      • The clouds may be a stretch, however, I have read in more than a few resume expert sites that it is recommended to use a slightly heavier weight paper stock and something other than white, so it stands out from the rest. I was a DOD manager for 20 years and would pick up stacks of resumes (SF-171′s) back then that were 2 feet tall, for 2 or 3 positions in the warehouse. It was brutal because civilian personnel would only do a minimal screen, (were they qualified to submit for that job) . After that it was the same app over and over. And I have to admit, I tried very hard to treat them as I would want mine treated, but you get tired, and then maybe cranky and your toleration for that one you just picked up that was done with a grease pencil just puts you over the edge….lol

  6. Some of those seem pretty smart – they show a sense of humor that might attract someone’s eye. If you are competing with 200 people for each job, a resume that just looks decent to everybody will never get you a job, no matter how many you apply to. However, a resume that 95% of humorless hiring managers immediately throw in the trash, but 5% think is great, means you might get one of them to hire you. And one job is all you need.

    Obviously some of the later ones are just terrible ideas, though.

    • You are so right. Every workshop I go to I see the same people in there unemployed. I wish I would not attended any workshops for resumes.

      They are all recomending bland bland and the people who get jobs they had very imperpect generic resumes. All takes is one person to look at your resume.

      You are so so right some comments are stupid but hey be creative

      • Just reading over some of the responses I see my biggest pet peeve… grammar. Err. Not correctly using it. Yes, they do walk among us!

        • Irene,

          I agree, proper grammar is terribly important and I can understand your being frustrated by others’ mistakes throughout the responses on this board.

          By the way, your statement, “Not correctly using it.” is not a complete sentence. Also, the use of an ellipsis in “my biggest pet peeve…grammar” is inproper English mechanics. It should be used only to indicate something has been omitted from the sentence or an unfinished a thought.

          I will take judgemental for $200.00, Alex.

          • Or a quotation perhaps?

            I’ll take Potables for the win! DIng DIng DIng..”Double Jeopardy” I’ll go with “Spanish Fly in my co-workers 7-up” for the EEO case Alex….

        • Actually, “not correctly using it” is a complete sentence. The subject is understood to be “they” based on the previous sentence. I just found out about that and I am a grammar nerd with an MBA! Of course, I will agree that a comma should have been placed before the “I.” (Does that last period go before or after the “? In this case, it would seem after, but perhaps not?)

          • Chelty,

            “Not correctly using it.” is not a complete sentence. A complete sentence must CONTAIN both a subject and a predicate. You are, however, absolutely correct that the subject of the sentence is UNDERSTOOD by the previous statement. The reader knows to what the sentence is referring, but structurally it is still a fragment.

            The period after the I goes before the quotation marks (Europeans place it after the quotation marks). The only exception is when parenthetically providing in-text citations. In those cases the end punctuation is placed after the citation.

            For example, Lyndon Johnson coined the phrase “war on poverty” (Iveson 2010).

  7. Wow! These were hilarious, and the fact that they actually happened is even more entertaining. #16 was pretty good, and I have seen this approach work, but it has to be done subtly so it sounds professional.

    It’s about first impressions with a cover letter or resume. I have a good rule of thumb on any professional document (i.e. resume, email, thank you letter, inquiry, etc.), if you wouldn’t feel comfortable sending it to your grandmother, you probably shouldn’t send it (this assuming your grandmother has good sense, of course).

  8. As someone who was conducting the interview, I actually had a lady come it and sit down with a stack of files in her lap. During the course of the interview, she proceeded to tell me how many of her past employers tried to kill her, and she of course brought documentation to prove it, indicating the stack of files in her lap! Egad…couldn’t get that one out of my office fast enough!!

      • Truth is that it was quite ‘normal’ – or so it seemed. Which is why you never buy something, or hire someone, sight unseen!! What a train wreck that interview was….

    • which is really saying that all of the people that were already hired by the person who is doing “your” interview are not good workers because they chose inferior employees…even though you mean well, think about what you’re saying and what it really means before you say it. personally, i wouldn’t hire you if you said that to me and i’ve interviewed hundreds of people for jobs in my life.
      re-word it and it might have some value. in it’s current state, no way.

    • I wouldn’t advocate insulting the current workforce. If nothing else, it would indicate that you might not work well with others…or that your arrogance might make it harder for others to work with you.

      Confidence is great, but you only know your own abilities, not those of others.

    • How about: “I can do this job, and I can do it well.” Still plain and simple, but doesn’t make you look like you’re out to be a one-man island.

      • ” I can do this job, and I can do it with the high degree of excellence you expect from your employees.” Compliments both the management (for fostering excellence) and the workforce for maintaining it.

  9. It seems that there are multitudinous ways to do resumes. “Put personal data and you will get the job”;” Don’t put personal data and you will get the job”; “Put references”; “Don’t put references.” The “guarantees” are numerous but the jobs are not. The tactics shown above are very much “out in left field,” but evidently they were put there to get a resume noticed. Qualifications alone do not get a resume noticed (I have found that out to my dismay).

    • I was working in HR a few years ago. Our “boss” was this young guy who would do the interviews of all the hot girls. He did one interview of this young girl that I knew outside of work. This guy asked her why should I hire you? what is in it for me? She asked, what do you mean? He said to her. Well, you need a job and I need a little satisfaction. He then walked over to the front of his desk where she was sitting. Said to her, make me holler and the job is yours. No word of a lie, he hollard, she dropped him like a sack. He didn’t read her resume, where it stated she taught Karate. Needless to say, he was fired…

  10. In 2003, I thought, “Hey, I’m a specialist in my profession… I ought to hire a specialist in professional/executive level job hunting… so I did.” For many-thousand dollars, they crafted a proven resume format, wrote it, designed it, and sent out 3,000 copies to appropriate industries.

    Results: zero. Not a single acknowledgment or interview.

    Then I tried tailoring their resume to specific jobs, replacing their generic “corpo-babble” with more specific job skills. Still no response. Maybe I’m too old, senior, qualified or expensive. Tried cutting off 20 years of experience. Tried applying for lower-level positions, leaving the more managerial and strategic skills off the lists and descriptions. Nada, zip, zots.

    Finally, it occurred to me that my professional job category no longer existed as a salaried position. People like me are now mostly hired strictly on a project basis, as needed. Big AH-HA.

    So I registered with a temp/project agency (no cost)… and the agency kept me in continuous projects for the next 3 years. By then, I had a steady flow of projects via contacts from former colleagues. In fact, I now have so many projects available, I am turning away offers.

    My my maturity and experience are seen as benefits by people offering projects – who are in my profession and understand the value of a hands-on senior professional. They also appreciate that maturity translates into both capability and reliability.

    Unintended benefits: I have control of my time and stress (no more “taking one for the team” with my nights, weekends, holidays and relationships). I work primarily from my very comfortable home office. And the tax benefits of being “a business” are fantastic.

    For many, the answer may not be a better resume… but a better business.

    • That seems to be a great approach. I have found that most so called HR professionals don’t know thing about expertise, how to recognize talent, etc., they are nothing more than glorified gatekeepers preventing lawsuits and keeping trully qualified people out of work. BTW I have a master of science in HR, and am trully ashamed of what this profession has turned into.

    • I thought I might find at least one suggestion to take away from one of these “do’s and don’ts” articles and yours is it.

    • I agree. find a business close to what you want for a career that is hiring and apply for ANY POSITION. I was unemployed for over a year and finally located a job as a shop hand ( read: Floor Sweeper) in the paper! After running through the mill of resume sending, 4 or 5 a day, via internet listings and other job site offerings, the ‘analog’ method worked for me. I took the opportunity to shine and now, 4 years later, I am the tech manager and getting paid better than I have been in decades. Burn that bridge of pride, bust your butt, give freely of your knowledge and time and you will succeed. Oh yeah, almost forgot, I was 53 when all this started. ‘Nuff said.

  11. I received a resume that had at the top a series of like 15 words Leader. Mentor. Competitor. Friend. Teacher. Student. and so on to which one of my team added “d-bag”.

  12. If you have been fired from pass jobs,
    but have no others to list.How do you
    handle putting them down on your resume
    or application?They ask for phone numbers,
    names.What if your I’ve been fired jobs
    are all you have to offer,then what?

    • I believe a company, if called, can only verify that you worked there from x date to x date. They can not discuss anything else but employment verification. At least that is my understanding.

      • I used to be a hiring manager and I would also ask if the company would entertain the candidate as an employee again. Even if the person verifying the dates of employment did not answer the question I received a VERY strong indication of this candidates worth to their former employer.

      • I’ve been fired several times, and like the above pretty much have nothing else to offer.

        Anyway, I’ve never had a hiring manager NOT call my previous employers and ask EXACTLY why I and how I left the previous position.

      • Depends on the state – state law governs employment. In Texas, they can say anything they want but may open themselves to civil litigation, so many just give the facts.

    • Jack,

      The answer to your question is to be honest, but focus on what you learned from the experience and how you have changed to prevent this from happening again. Most of us have made a mistake, even if we weren’t fired for it.

      There are plenty of gimmicks, but most people who interview as a regular part of their job will tend to recognize these and either call your bluff or kick out your resume early.

      Also, phoenix is almost right about what is usually gathered in a reference. Most companies have policies against including anything beyond basic information, but for certain job categories and in various other circumstances more information may be given. For instance, DOT drivers references include a series of questions which can open a company to a lawsuit and more if they fail to answer.

      Again, honesty. There are hiring managers who will give you a shot if you are honest. Almost none will give you a shot if they catch you lying.

  13. As a hiring manager I can say that weirdness won’t help – but neither will being bland and colorless. I’ve chosen to interview people simply on the basis of things like “iniitiated a food drive to help local homeless that raised almmost $10,000 worth of food” This is where community service can pay big – it shows both drive and acumen

  14. Some job seekers are getting desperate to find new work and if they feel their resume is getting ignored by hiring managers, then it’s only natural for them to try to standout by doing or saying outrageous things. And who can really blame them? Hiring managers have a job and can sometimes forget the trouble job seekers go through and sometimes need to cut them a little slack and show some respect.

    • I understand doing something to stand out, but would you ever expect a hiring manager to interview a person that asks to be paid for the interview? Something to stand out is great. I like the lemon idea. It doesn’t reflect on their abilities at all. At a minimum, I would take a look at the resume but just because they are creative doesn’t make them a desirable candidate or even qualified.

      You stated they should cut them a little slack and show some respect. When you have hundreds if not thousands of applications or resumes, you can’t interview everyone. It is not a lack of respect, it is a method to get the list of interviewees down to a reasonable amount.

      • I thought it was pretty funny when a application told me to list what languages I spoke and if I checked “Other” that “Other” needed to be specified. I had to put KLINGON!! I don’t know what made me do it but it sure was funny!!

    • My thoughts exactly! “Desperate times, desperate measures,” right? I know I’ve done this before!

      There comes a point where tailoring your resume for every job, and filling out never-ending applications every day becomes a pain in the ass. If people aren’t calling you anyway, what’s the harm in showing you have a sense of humor? If nothing else, yoou get a little bit of relief from NOT following resume writing etiquette for a change. I think I’m going to start taking more chances with my resume from now on. I, for one, am tired of sounding like a robot.

  15. I once read similar article on biggest/funniest interviews HR had experienced.
    One stood out, a candidate had read an article on how to get a job, resume techniques etc and one bullet was”to where your best” when going to the interview. She wore her wedding dress!

    • Standing out is good but weird is just weird. Don’t wear your pink bow tie to an interview; it is just weird. Really? A Wedding dress to and interview? Unless she was applying for a dress designer postion, that is just too weird. I don’t want all of that weirdness in my workplace. Standout on your merits and your intelligence, not your weirdness.

  16. I once had an applicant that had interned with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). On her resume she indicated that she had interned with Noah. What made it funnier is that her next position after “Noah” was at a local zoo!

  17. The correct addage is “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day”

  18. I used to work in a dying world, newspaper classified advertising. It’s cheaper on the net. Employers place weird ads also, like day care centers who advertise for “Two Year Old Teachers” and “Three Year Old Teachers.’
    In newspapers, employers want to abbreviate to save money. I’ve talked several of them out of just using the first three letters of “Assistant.”
    I’ve typed umpteen ads with the headers, “Must Hire” or “Needed Immediately.” Ridiculous! Best to put a job title for a header.
    Everybody wants a motivated self-starter.
    I’ve seen companies run the same ads over and over and am not sure if the jobs really existed. Sometimes I’d question them, but never was clear on why they did it.
    Temporary and permanent employment ages run the same generic ads to increase their applicant pool and chances of getting a live person to answer when they call, but they really don’t have many jobs.
    Any kind of job with an investment, startup kit, costs of any type is a business opportunity, not a job, and is supposed to go under business opportunities which really makes them mad.
    Then there’s the places that advertise for recent high school grads to sell a chemical product. It’s a cleaning product for door to door sales, and sometimes these jobs turn into prostitution.

  19. Working at a company in Georgia during college, my hiring manager was so intrigued by the stupidity on a resume that he actually scheduled an interview. What prompted the interview was the resume stating something to the effect that the girl was ready to “move up in the corporate world” she was ready to “trade in her dancing shoes” for “big girl shoes”. We laughed heartily about this but no one expected an ex-stripper. Ol girl appeared for a receptionist position in a tacky, cheap poly Lycra bright turquiose dress. The mid-thigh length was the least of her worries. She also had honey blonde wet n wavy tracks (she was black) down her back. And while the tracks were fresh, I was most bothered by her fake blue contacts and her 6 inch clear heeled shoes. Needless to say, she did not get the job but she was some what a celebrity after this point because whenever we referenced something tacky or just plain wrong, we would recall her.

    • That is just sad. Evidentally she didn’t bother to consider appropriate attire, or just didn’t have it period.
      During a job fair I attended, last fall, of the 300+ applying for production openings at least SIX women (18-?) were dressed like Hootchie-Mama: 6″ earrings, LOW-cut tank tops, VERY heavy eye makeup, etc.  I observed as the hiring mgrs. walked about the app tables. They avoided the ladies, speaking mostly to the male candidates. GEE…

    • where your best?
      where are my best? which best?
      where your best!
      where are my best? Can you be specific?
      where your best!!!!
      Oh, you mean WEAR. Sorry… gave that to the office proofreader

  20. Make your objective statement strong. Most large headhunter orgs are using programs that scan for profession related keywords so put them in the resume.
    Also, if you have saved or improved something, show the $$ or the % benefits (whichever looks most impressive).
    If you have a foreign sounding name, don’t be afraid to put a small (US Citizen) or (Permanent Resident) below your name to avoid getting chucked into the garbage.
    Proof read your resume and then have some literate friends do the same. Spellchecker can’t catch every syntax or grammatical error.
    Yes, DO customize your resume per the job reqirement but keep well labeled copies in case you get a sudden call and they want to discuss point X on it.

  21. I am related to a man who lost his job due to a comlete shutdown of a company. Everyone lost their job. They were notified on a Thursday afternoon that they were to return Friday morning to clear all personal items, and to not return again. As production manager, he went form $125,000 yearly to “ZERO”. Approx. 3,000 resumes were sent out, all to no avail.
    As a welder, this person worked evening shift for a coantractor, while searching for work in his field during the day.
    Through chance, he met a “headhunter” who urged him to sign up with him.
    Soon afterward he was sent on an interview for a job as a general manager.
    He was the fifty fifth person given a shot at it.
    The intervew lasted 3 days!!!!!!!!
    He was awarded the job!! He was later told that the computer company that was installing a new system recommended that he would be a valuable asset to the company.
    Sometimes you just have to keep on keeping on to get where you need to be!!

  22. I had a nurse just yesterday apply for an operating room position. I asked her why she hadn’t worked in about 12 years. She replied casually, “Oh, my son died and it king of threw. And, then at work, my arm was crushed by a gurney and required years of surgery. I’m okay, I just can’t lift the fat asses.” Needless to say, I was shocked. Then a bit later, she said, “Oh, I probably should let you know at the outset that my nursing license has been suspended, but I’ll have it back at the end of the month. I got a DUI.” While I appreciated her honesty and candor, I was not prepared to the next proclamation. “That’ll teach me not to mix my anti-anxiety meds and booze, I guess!” Simply speechless.

    • Not sure who was worse: Her attempt at getting hired or your apparent inability to use correct grammar and spelling. I want to know what hospital this was at so that I never go there; after all, if this is who you interviewed for a surgical position in a hospital and you can’t even get it right, then who is operating? Elmer Fudd?

  23. My son’s company interviewed (and hired) a receptionist who listed one of her jobs as “Hotters” aka Hooters. Obviously spelling must not have been a requirement!

  24. I’m an experienced legal secretary who for a number of economic reasons has to get back in the work force. Many years ago I put my ad seeking temp legal work in the local legal paper and got tons of work, more than I could handle. I’m trying that again and have high hopes. Independent contracting is one way to go in this economy as employers don’t have to pay benefits and can hire one just for a few days’ work instead of having an employee around when there’s no work coming in. I loved being in a temp job, no office politics, and able to work hard and be appreciated for it.
    So look at your talents and think of a temp position that might use them; advertise, cold call or (heavens!) go door to door. It’s a jungle out there. Get your hunting mojo on and see what’s available. Even additional education may not help anyone except the guys teaching the courses. I took a pharm tech course, now certified but no experience so no job in that field. But NEVER GIVE UP!

  25. I found an application for employment in the trash at a place I once worked. The applicant apparently attended high school at Alcorn County High School,
    but the application read All Coin County High School. I guess he majored in laundrymat sciences.

  26. If you think this article is funny, you wouldn’t believe the questions and experience I have had at some interviews as an interviewee. Many of these so called “professional” interviewer’s as just as rediculous, twisted and often less intelligent. I think the interview committee that hired some of these hiring managers spent a maximum of one minute on the applicants in those positions too.
    One rule of thumb I follow. Stay away from hiring agencies. Yes there are some positive stories, but overall whether local or national, or the ones that peruse Career Builder, Monster and the other internet job forums, it is best to stay away from them. They are time wasters and often don’t care about either the company or the interviewer. They just don’t do the homework or ask the proper questions of their customers. Good luck to those job hunting. Things will turn around for you in the long run!

    • Yes, my experience and opinion is that all they want is your resume to get leads….they offer jobs at 22-30 per hour…but after you send your resume….all those jobs are gone,but they have some available with your qualifications for 12 per hour…….then next week the same adds appear online for 22-30 per hour….what a joke…..avoid them at all costs

  27. Just a reminder – manager and manger are both spelled correctly. Just a reminder some programs will complete a word for you, often not the word intended.
    My most classic interview was with a nurse applying for a management position in a major medical centre wearing a denim dress over a white form-fitting nylon top, with knee-high embroidered socks, and Croc(r) shoes! Ended the interview with pictures of grandchildren – the new benchmark in our office – and clue word in the panel interview – Denim!

  28. Some of these are such ridiculously obvious attempts at avoiding an interview, simply to stay on unemployment. Some are trying to be cute with the result of looking completely stupid. The others make it seem like the candidate actually believed what they wrote, amazingly. Reminds me of the list of insane excuses why people were late to/missed work.

  29. It’s great to have so many respond in a “round table” manner like this. Some really good ideas, and examples of the embarrassing moments as well (that most of us go through at one time or another.) Remember, we all started “somewhere”, and a beginning is always tough until you get more comfortable. I also personally pattern many of the comments mentioned above.
    The only real thing you can carry with you, is Integrity, Respect from your Peers and Associates, Worthiness, Willingness, strong work and personal Ethics, Honesty, and an “I CAN DO THIS” spirit, which we all should project in every arena of our lives, everyday. ESPECIALLY TO OURSELVES! It’s not a matter of how many people who responded, that had spelling and grammatical error’s, it’s how you appear to a prospective employment potential, or interviewer. I may sound like a “Boy Scout”, but someone has to keep these and other High Ethical Beliefs and Valuable Ideals alive. No matter what you are going through, GOD is always with you, and He is still on the Throne. Keep the Faith and we will all work together for the common GOOD OF ALL!

    Signed: A unemployed professional who has been from $70K to $8.25/Hr. It’s okay, because every circumstance is a new chance for your future development.

    • Bonnie:

      I could not agree with you more…unfortunately, many companies do not have your ethics or they pretend to have them. 80% of Life is just showing up and being responsible. The bottom line is that companies are reflections of our society….entitled, dishonest, and lazy for the most part.

  30. I use to run a Golf Course … Woman applied for Pro Shop Job … when i asked her why she wanted a job .. she said … i need to get out of the house in the afternoons … my husband plays golf every dam morning and all afternoon all he does is talk about golf … and i hate golf

  31. Just a side note on some of the people who “like ” Career Builder. Hopefully they are dressing with some class for the interview. What is with all the cleavage in our society in general? Would be nice to sit with my son and not have to be bombarded with women trying to look sexy all the time…save it for dates and dating service photos maybe?

  32. look at the big picture people, this is exactly what the repub’s and tea baggers want, this IS the new normal. college degree, check, worked your ass off for company XYZ, check, tons of relevant/transferable experience, check. if you are lucky enough to get a job it will likely be for about half of what you made previously, good for the corp bottom line???? CHECK. we’re fcuked, especially if you dumbfcukastanies keep voting against your own best interest. on a positive note, i had an interview today, looks good, pay is about 2/3 of what i made before…..and i feel grateful. sigh.

    • Watch your vocabulary… Tea baggers and republicans don’t want anything… They want you to take care of yourself, so they don’t have to take care of you… Try union work it may be a good match for you.

    • Hey smart guy, the Teaparty and Republicans aren’t the only ones in Washington. They have these things called head jobs under the White House desk commonly referred to as Democrats. You need to focus more on the fact that between BOTH parties, “Peggy” is now answering your questions from a call center in some part of the world you’ll never have the money to travel to. Why because the Republican/Democrat I live in the Hamptons 1%er’s sold us out for higher returns at the banks their neighbors and drinking buddies own. And remember inside trading for them isn’t illegal only for you and the other 99%. It’s typical Communist class struggle my friend. The haves and never will haves. I give it another 2 years at most and you’ll see an “American” spring.

    • It is probably this divisive attitude that you displayed above that has you on UI and not very employable more than it is the fault of these other groups you try to blame. Look outward for excuses, look inward and use constructive self-criticism to be the change that you bought into so blindly. Then with a new attitude someone might hire you.

    • Shame on those republicans for wanting people to go to college and work hard for their living. The unemployment rate is under 5% for those with 4 year degrees (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm) and the median income is over 52,000; that’s pretty good given the poor global economy. As I graduate college this year I am also a “99%er,” but I have plans on joining the 1% so I too can take care of the rest of the country with my tax dollars. For all the complaining I read about, no one seems to mention that the horrible 1% pays 37% of all the federal taxes (http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html). Without the 1% our country would be screwed and jobless, but because you’re not able to start your own business or create facebook to make your living, all you’re going to do is complain, complain, complain… how “unfair.” Most of the 1% are small business owners who work really hard and employ numerous people, yet so many people villainize them and feel entitled to a high paying job… something is wrong with this country. I assume you were laid off from a previous job (why would you leave for a lower paying job?), which is highly unfortunate and I hope the new one works out, but don’t blame the 1% because it is not their (collectively) fault.


      “smarter guy”

    • Do you think that maybe you are having a difficult time finding a job because of you attitude and misguided thoughts? Your sign in name here definitely does not match your thought process.

    • @smart guy Your comments show that your ‘handle’ is most likely an oxymoron. To resort to profanity to express yourself is hardly ‘smart’, even if you do hold a college degree. To further rant that ‘repub’s and tea baggers’ want people out of work is beyond ignorant – in fact, stupid is the word that best fits. For your edification, let me explain the difference: ignorance is a state of not knowing something. Ignorance can be cured by educating oneself on the subject. Stupid, on the other hand, can’t be cured. It is a genetic anomaly & no amount of education will cure stupidity in one who chooses to remain stupid. Unfortunately our nation is in an epidemic of stupidity that will likely do more damage than influenza. I hope you find a decent job. Maybe you will be exposed to some logic and intelligent information once you are back out in the work environment.

  33. oh, forgot to mention, i am a 99′er. if it was not for the mandatory insurance the government made me buy we’d be out on the street, i am thankful that UI was there for me and my family. sigh

  34. How do I address employment timeline (currently 16 months unable to work)with a workmans compensation (struck by fork lift) injury, that has left me with a permanent physical disability? Dealing with the WC dispute system (which sucks)?
    Advise anyone ?

    • Do not sign any release on the WC injury first of all. The former employer will have to settle this claim and pay the medical bills. Usually they will have to pay either partial or full disability. Every state varies in how WC is handled but if they are not paying on the claims you need to contact a lawyer who handles this. Make sure he or she specializes in Worker’s Compensations and find out what the payment plan is like. Sometimes they only get paid if you do but if you settle out of court they still want a percent. Tina, HR

    • Wow! My husband is going through the same thing!!! He is working with a work counselor and she was able to get him to upgrade his CDL. If you have an attorney, see if he/she can do the same for you. Trying to get a job with those kinds of restrictions, regardless of you having the EXACT qualifications is extremely difficult and YES, age is a huge factor!!! Good Luck!!!

  35. The age thing is really a B I G factor. I happen to look at least 10 years younger than I am. I was never asked my age directly however on several occasions after being hired and when I arrived I was asked to fill out tax forms. Some where on these forms is your birthday date requirement.

    From an 8 am start to before a 10 break was told that they were sorry but the position was no longer being filled as the company was down sizing. YEA, Right. Out of curiosity what other lame excuses do companies come up with aside from this far fetched one for age discrimination. FYI Many OLDER PEOPLE ARE IN BETTER SHAPE, HEALTH AND MENTAL AWARENESS, TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT THEY DO AND KNOW HOW TO TREAT THE PUBLIC WITH RESPECT AND PROFESSIONALISM. I have witnessed NUMEROUS times when these so called young people are yakking away about their personal life , what they are doing after work while the customer stands there for 10 minutes. Tell me again why they employer does not discriminate against idiots.

    • i also worked for a company for two weeks they hired two people for the same job a medical receptionist. One mature minded thats me with 18 years experience in the medical field.and one young person she was about 20 years old with no experience in the field. After two weeks i was let go they stated they were going with the younger girl instead of the mature person. I don’t think that was fair and they should have not hired a mature minded person if they were going to go with the younger person. Since the the employer is trying to drum up business by posting his add in a super market to bring in patients. I my self would not go to a doctor tha advertises in a super market.

  36. Oh, and here’s a joke, the words “Equal Opportunity Employer.”
    I had a temporary job in a tractor financing company once. All the sales MEN were married white boys with college degrees. A bunch of Bubbas who got some education.
    They placed an ad for a salesperson while I was there and it just had to have EOE M/F/H/V.
    I could not imagine them hiring a black woman in a wheelchair!

    • why is it okay for you to refer to these people as “white boys” and “Bubbas”? If this were a post that commented on “black boys” people would be ripping it apart! So much for equal anything!

    • Sounds like you are jealous of their education? If it is that big of a deal to you, then apply for the position and if you need to get more education to do it, is it really going to hurt you? I have been the only female working in a male only company many times because I am able to do the job and do it without excuses, I don’t whore around and wear professional, appropriate clothing that allows the men to respect me as an equal and not a piece of meat. So, what is stopping you from financing tractors other than your mouth?

  37. Regardless of how far back you go, or don’t go, on your resume they are going to know how old you are the moment you walk into the room. I keep my resume only going back 5 years but when I interview a young manager I pretty much know my chances are nil. What 28 year old is going to hire someone the age of their father?

    • Not always true. In my case I went back to school in my 30s and my grad school graduation date is in the early 20 aughts. A glance at my resume might make you think I’m in my early thirties not my late 40s. I have detected their surprise when I walked in for an interview and they saw I was older than they anticipated.

    • I do and I am only 27. I find that those with experience are much better to have around if they are healthy and willing to do the work still. I will always pick the best individual for the position no matter the age. I even have an 80+ year old woman working for me and has for over 8 years now. She wants to work and can do the job even if she is just a little slower than the youngsters. However, she keeps everyone on their toes and doesn’t take any BS from anyone, and the young kids melt when she gets onto them because it is like your Grandmother telling you you were wrong. So, she may be only 4′ something, way less than 100# and a bit slower, but I wouldn’t trade her for anyone else.

      So, keep looking forward. There are good people out there who hire who they think fits the job best and don’t look at other things like age.

  38. Leave it as personal/family time off (really rude to ask details)or be honest and say you had injury,requiring you to be out of work for awhile. W/C totally sucks!,you are right! You will get NO support there. It’s unfortunate what a toll personal injuries have on people without the W/C system making it miserable.

  39. What gets me is these companies that are looking for specific positions to fill keep telling me I’m either over-qualified or under-qualified. I am a CNA but I also have an Associate Degree in Medical Billing and Coding. I put both down on my resume. The companies tell me I’m over-qualified to do CNA work because of my degree but yet I’m under-qualified for Medical Billing and Coding because I’ve got less than 1yr experience. How can a person get job experience if they won’t hire you and give you the chance to gain that experience? Just my thoughts and opinions. I also agree; CareerBuilder and Monster.com are scams. They DON’T do anyone any good.

    •  @PeggyJo I wouldn’t necessarily say those sites are scams (which they are not). They just are open job forums; and a plethora of resumes. Just don’t waste your time “uploading a resume” to their worthless “databank”.  That’s like throwing a needle into the haystack.. literally.
      Simply opting for ‘matching job results’ is good enough, on those sites. Just use good judgment in doing so  :)

  40. Age hasn’t been a factor for me… I’ve been hired and working at a place where I found I am the oldest person in the company. most of tmy co workers are in their 20s, while I am old enough to be their dad. They respect me for what I know and can do. I was hired my a manager who was at least ten years my junior.

    I may be in the minority with my job situation, but I reject the idea that you can’t get a decent job if you’re older…

  41. Something else I saw once when *I* was processing resumes for a company I worked for was a funny cover letter. The letter started out, “Dear Ms./Mr. xyz.” Fair enough. Then, “This is the winter of my discontent, I need a job to pay my rent! I love your company…” blah blah blah

    I still have a copy of that letter somewhere! :)

  42. patti c and whitegirlone you are complete idiots stop trying to use sex or race as an excuse to be passed up for a job one of you is clearly racist yourself and the other a snitch, employers dont want to hear you calling people “whiteboys” or pointing out flaws in other applicants thats why you were passed up for the position. next time worry about focusing on your talents instead of trying to make the other applicants look bad by pointing out their flaws and you might be more successful. plenty of jobs out there step your game up

  43. I’ve attended meetings with a large international firm, at their US headquarters. The manager heading the meetings stated on multiple occasions that upper management had mandated that the average age of the staff be reduced. This was 2009, maybe things have changed. Yeah, right.

  44. BOO FUCKING WHOOO patti i’m a “WHITE BOY” and am always fighting for jobs. The only problem is that i don’t have laws or activist fighting for me or my “white boy” status. all let me guess your going to say its about time the tables turned, right, well i guess your right, except i’m 38 and had nothing to do with discrimanation against anyone but evendently i’m getting paid back for something that i had nothing to do with so thanks for keeping the hate rollin. Its people like you that will make sure raceism will never die out!!!!!

  45. As a recruiter for a healthcare company, I am horrified, amused and frustrated on a daily basis by “job-seekers.” I have learned to gloss over spelling errors as they are so common anymore. My biggest frustration is the apparent lack of motivation by most of these candidates. Unfortunately, the current trend in job-seeking is to simply make it appear as though one is attempting to find a job. Consequently, my time is wasted by the same candidates who submit their resumes and applications over and over again, but never follow up with me when I do call them. It’s disheartening as I spend a great deal of time on people who have no intention of working; they only wish to have their unemployment extended or welfare approved. In the meantime, there are good people out there who actually want to work who could be getting lost in the mountain of garbage resumes.

    • This is a great comment and I wish more people would realize that apathy in applying is visible to recruiters. If you’re just applying for everything, it shows and you are doing no one any favors. Get focused on what you want and make the extra effort to sell your value to that recruiter/company!

  46. Each job posting has a full description. Google “Word Cloud.” I use Word It Out. Copy and paste the full job information into the word cloud and you will see what the most important keywords are. Make sure these words are in your cover letter and resume. Yes it’s more work, but It is one step in getting your scanned (no one looks at resumes anymore) resume to a better position in the pile.

  47. In this day and age, the best way to find any job is to go through your friends, family and any other people you know. Some of the best opportunities arise from those personal connections but, of course, you have to depend on people who you’re proud to use as references and people who you know have good ethics.

  48. Age is definately a factor in getting a job today – I have been unemployed now for 11 months – every potential employer is eager to have me as an employee – but when it comes time for a face to face – suddenly the position has been filled that day or shortly after the one on one

  49. Im concerned with my resume…I have quit a few holes in my employment…Ive worked some tem jobs, a couple short lived jobs. I dont know hor far I shud go back. How do I explain the gaps?

    • One of the biggest things with gaps in your resume is to just give a brief explanation of what you were doing (raising a family, volunteering, medical assistance, etc) and how during your off time you kept up with your skills or what you did to continue your education or remain informed (and relevant) to your industry.

  50. Hey guys, NBC News recently interviewed a CEO who is reviewing resumes and giving individual suggestions on how to improve chances to pass the initial employer review and get an interview. I used it and it was pretty good. They charge $5 to cover costs but it was well worth it. If you can use it, the site is at fiveminutesfivedollars.com. They call it the CEO resume review. Tough market. Good luck.

  51. My favorite resume was from a guy who stated under hobbies “I love ladies of all races and sizes” and he included 2 photos of himself titled “Me at age 20″ and ” Me at age 40″.

  52. Pingback: How to (or NOT to) Stand Out With Your Resume - Women on Business :: Women on Business

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  54. As a Human Resources professional, some of the things written here make me both mad and sad… I was taught to look for the person inside the resume, and that all experiences were useful and vital in building a person’s background. Experience can bring wisdom and those without years of experience can bring other gifts, such as enthusiasm and untainted optimism – but none of these gifts is based on how old you are – and until we, as a country, value ALL experiences in our workers, we will remain in a recession. Everyone has something to offer – it’s just a matter of figuring out how to utilize your skills. And to those companies out there who may be ignoring or unintentionally discriminating against older workers, WAKE UP! Those folks have great things to offer, and have been through many of the issues this country is facing and have come out on the other side in positive way – use their experience!! Youth, is great, but so are age and wisdom – we need both to be successful.

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  56. Pingback: Resumes 101 – everything you should & shouldn’t be doing | The Work Buzz

  57. Katie J
    Hi, Katie!!  I am an unemployed accountant with more than 20 years experience, an AAS degree in accounting and in business management.  I know GAAP, bookkeeping, payroll payables, receivables, reconciliations, etc., like the “back of my hand.”  I cannot buy a job that pays more than $12 per hour and no one will hire me for less because I am “over qualified.”  Can I please come to work for your company?

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