I have seen some and received some very interesting (and very strange) things on clients’ resumes. For some reason, people think that a resume is a forum to broadcast all manner of information. The obvious errors notwithstanding, below is a list of some of the strangest things I have seen, received, or been asked to include on a resume. It goes without saying that your document should capitalize on your professional strengths. Not sure? Get a second opinion. Here goes:
How’s this for an email address: Iluvkumquats@xyz.com. Umm, good to know that you are such a fan of kumquats; for an email address though? I would choose something more business appropriate. That is a pretty obscure fruit, to boot!
Picture this: I have had (sigh) more than one client put their likeness on the resume. This is not required, necessary, or even desirable – especially when the picture is not an actual photo but a rendering of the person. How can this possibly be a good idea? I had one client ask me to put a HAND DRAWN picture of him on his resume. Uh, no – sorry, I will not do that for you.
White text on black paper: I almost feel like breaking out a headband and neon clothing to discuss this while listening to a Poison record. Record – how’s that for an instant flashback? This is not professional or appropriate. Keep the resume presentation clean and professional. Cream paper with a watermark is the way to go. You should not be representing yourself like it’s Halloween.
Resume on a shoe box: I received this resume when I was working at Martha Stewart. Perhaps appropriate for the situation, but strange nonetheless. Wherever would I keep this? What if I wanted to hold the person’s ‘resume’ for a future opening? Should I store my unworn shoes there? I suppose it would remind me that the person was available every time I needed to wear those shoes in the office.
Death by certification: I saw a resume recently where the applicant had 33, yes – 33 certifications. He had to create an entire table at the top to include them; and, they took up the top 1/3rd of the resume! He even had the sites listed. What does this tell me? He’s a good test taker.
Make sure that the things you put on your resume are relevant to the position. You don’t want anyone to question your judgment. The bottom line: you don’t want to be memorable unless it’s for the right reasons.