Since I'm now recruiting for a boutique wealth management firm rather than a bulge bracket investment bank, I'm seeing a whole new type of resumes. Some of them are quite funny, and you all know me -- I love to share.
Since people in the past have been upset by my posting humorous responses to the drek I read in resumes, I considered just posting the drek this time and omitting the humor. However, it just didn't seem as useful. The point is that this stuff doesn't sound that funny until you're a recruiter looking at your fortieth resume of the day -- and in order to submit a good resume, you need to understand your recruiter's point of view. Here we go.
Candidate 1: High school GPA: 3.52. [Not very tough college] GPA: 2.96.
Great, dude. Clearly, you had a lot more fun in college than you had in high school. It's understandable; your school is known for partying. But if you're trying to prove that you have the potential for a 3.52, then you'd also have to answer to why that potential went down the tubes during college and why you're still a top-quality candidate. Sadly, I don't have the time or inclination to ask that question. Next.
Candidate 2: Summers 2001-2006: Burger Patch Restaurant, Sales Associate.
You know what they say -- if your summer group keeps asking you back, it shows that you are hardworking and likable. Next.
Candidate 3: First place, poetry.com Poem Contest.
Hmm -- isn't that the contest that's famous for awarding first place to everyone who enters? Did you shell out the $65 for the heirloom-quality coffee table book containing your poem, the $575 to accept your award at the quarterly conference, and the $169 for the elegant silver-tone trophy cup too? If so, I would like to honor your ground-breaking work in poetry as well. Please PM me for the name and address where you should send your check. Next.
Candidate 4: Diablo 2 -- Self-Run Online Business.
This is exactly the kind of entrepreneurial self-starter we want in our firm. Next.
Candidate 5: "This seems to be an ideal position that will enable me to contribute to your company by utilizing my current skills and experience. I am eager and enthused to be given the opportunity to contribute my diligence and hard work ethic to your company.... My work experience has taught me to work independently as well as exemplifying team work by taking initiative in other aspects of departmental obligations such as administrative support."
My friend, you probably thought that exhausting the thesaurus would make you sound intelligent. Unfortunately, all it did was make you sound like a tool. Also, it doesn't hide the fact that your grammar is disappointing. Next.
Candidate 6: Fanatic video gamer (mainly console).
There is a short list of things that you should never put on a resume, no matter how true they are. Smoking marijuana is one. Drinking to blackout is another. Fanatic video gaming is in the same group. Like many scions of the '80's, I am a huge video game fan and have wasted too much of my life on video games -- from Final Fantasy I in 1990 to Street Fighter II in 1993 to World of Warcraft and Civ 4 and Guitar Hero II now. Does that mean I have sympathy for somebody who feels that this belongs on his resume? Absolutely not. That's something you can bring up on the third round of drinks during a social event when there are no seniors around to hear, but not on your resume.