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Why Someone Else Should Always Proof Your Resume

"OBJECTIVE: After 16 years in sales, I'm eager to return to my accounting roots."

The grass is always greener...

"OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES: A bell ringer for the Salivation Army."

Calling all Pavlov's dogs!

"EXPERIENCE: Seven years of updating and massaging systems data."

Your fingers must be tired.

The number of resumes reaching prospective employers always increases in the spring as college and university senior and postgraduate students start job hunting. And as long as job hunters write resumes, Resumania will always have plenty of material.

For example, consider this item from a recent cover letter: "I'm looking for an organization that's in line with my present management style, i.e., it's not my style to 'chew glass in the morning and spit nails in the afternoon.' "

I'm sure your dentist would agree with your approach.

A frequent mistake of resume writers is including personal material that doesn't relate to the job being sought. What we do in our spare time might be intensely interesting to us and our family and friends, but not to employers. For instance, a job seeker from Texas devoted slightly more than half of his resume to "Hobbies & Interests." Here's an excerpt:

"I learned to do a few dives off a one-meter board at the age of 40, including such dives as a gamer, one-and-a-half forward flip, back flip in pike position, etc."

The first days on the job should go swimmingly.

Or this:

"HEALTH: Seriously injured twice while on my high school track team. High-jump accident caused a stretched left thumb tendon, sprained left wrist, and separated left shoulder. Contemporaneous second injury from unseen rusted nail which punctured left shoe and scratched foot in the course of light football workouts caused blood poisoning up to left upper leg large muscle. Still need extra sleep."

Everything an employer seeking to fill a job needs to know. By the way, this gentleman has been out of high school for 14 years.

Here's a classic "what did he mean by that?" Resumania item.

"DUTIES: Supervision of both women and men, etc."

Sounds like he's made a monumental biological discovery.

"OBJECTIVE: To work in an environment where I can grow professionally and that will not pose a threat to my mental health."

Reference: Sigmund Freud?

This next resume writer made and sold donuts at local sporting events in her previous job. She offered a sensible reason for leaving: "Machine broke."

Here are two more:

"REASON FOR LEAVING: Left this position in which I managed a small accounting department because the job was not what it was cranked up to be."

Maybe all the vehicles in the company's fleet had electric starters.

"REASON FOR LEAVING: It would be unprofessional of me to indicate in writing why I hated my former employers as much as I did, but I would be willing to discuss it with you in person. Let me just say that working with him was a living hell. Thank you"

for taking the time to read of my plight."

Honest mistakes often land job seekers in Resumania. But as honest as they might be, more careful proofreading of resumes, using as many sets of eyes as possible, would catch most mistakes, including the following.


Military status -- Single

Marital status -- 4F."

"ACTIVITIES & HOBBIES: Swimming, diving, tennis, singing and repelling."

Maybe voice lessons would help.

One job seeker gave this assurance in a cover letter: "I will try to get up and fill out an application as soon as possible."

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