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Strangest Things Seen On a Resume

16 Apr, 2018

Strangest Things Seen On a Resume

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.

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1 comment

  1. Debra O\'Reilly

    Debra, what a great Monday-morning read … thanks for the grins and groans! So true: Our clients often think they know what makes them stand out, but forget to look at the consequences of that “showmanship”. Your final statement is 100% on target: ” you don’t want to be memorable unless it’s for the right reasons.”

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