This article is a guest submission from someone who has worked in HR for a while. She says the idiots with which she must deal on a daily basis often drive her to drink (just kidding (no, I’m not)). So without any more delay, here is her contribution:
Greetings from the world of HR!
Despite being a card-carrying member of corporate America (thank God my company doesn’t suck that much — and no, we don’t currently have any openings, so don’t ask), I feel compelled to write this article for corporatelifesucks.org in an attempt to show you just another aspect of corporate life that does, indeed, suck.
If you should ever feel inclined to work in corporate America, you will eventually need to create a resume and a cover letter. You will also need to fill out an application, which usually asks you to re-state at least 80% of your resume in basic question and answer format (annoying!).
There are a lot of decent, free resources out there to help you in this endeavor, but let me also point out that common sense goes a long way; unfortunately for those who made the following statements, they had none. These are actual examples of statements I have enountered while trying to find worthy applicants, arranged as follows:
Where it was found
What it said
Scholastic Achievements: Graduated in the top 50% of my class
My comments: “Wow, that must have been a real challenge!”
ADVICE: Even if you’re attending an Ivy League school, this is not, I repeat NOT an “achievement.” If it were, there’d be some fancy Latin title for it like “Magna Cum Average;” until that day comes, don’t waste precious space on your resume with this
Special Skills: Thypeing
My comments: “Hey, at least you didn’t say you’re a good speller!”
ADVICE: Have someone else proofread your resume, cover letter, and application if possible — especially if you’re going to claim you’re detail oriented. Just make sure the proofreader isn’t a moron.
Personal: 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 hamster
My comments: “Well, I see you have a hamster! When can you start?!”
ADVICE: On a serious note, do not mention your family life in any pre-employment document or during an interview. Corporate America continues to be riddled with morons who will discriminate against you for your family status. Finally, including information about your pets is a pet peeve (pun intended!) for resume reviewers. I love my pets, too, but they have no relevance for 99.9% of job openings in corporate America.
Job Title: Package Handler
Job Duties: Handled packages
My comments: “No. Way.”
ADVICE: When your job duties are obvious, make an attempt to set yourself apart by quantifying the results of your work, such as “Loaded 3 trucks per hour; 1 truck more than the average for my team.”
Objective: A part-time position that will support my shoe fetish
My comments: “I appreciate your honesty, but too much information can sometimes be a bad thing.”
ADVICE: Your objective should be short, simple, and relevant to the position for which you’re applying.
References furnished upon request
My comments: “We both know this. Why include this information? It’s not like the inclusion or exclusion of this fact is going to stop me from making the request if it’s part of my company’s hiring process.”
ADVICE: Don’t include this on your resume.
At your earliest convenience, please overlook my resume.
My comments: “Your wish is my command. I’m gonna skip the rest of this cover letter, too.”
ADVICE: Again, get a proofreader. And a dictionary.
You’ll find I’m a hard worker, etc.
My comments: “Care to elaborate?”
ADVICE: Be specific. Anything vague is useless; it does nothing for you. Although it does help us identify whose resumes to ignore.
(Note: actual legal name changed to protect the moron)
First Name: Joe
Last Name: Schmoe
Known As: Crow Bar
My comments: “Hi, this is the HR Bitch from Corporate America, Inc. I’m calling to schedule an interview with Crow Bar…”
ADVICE: Unless you are applying for a position in the public-facing sector of the entertainment industry, refrain from sharing these moronic nicknames; they have no place in Corporate America… or anywhere, for that matter. Crow Bar? Really??
References: I can give you names, but I don’t know phone numbers. Do you really need them?
My comments: “No, I just wanted to see if you could furnish your references upon request. Guess not. Better take that line off your resume, huh.”
ADVICE: Most companies will complete reference checks on you (or at least employment verifications), so as tempting as it may be to send that “Fuck You!” email when leaving a job, think twice. Additionally, if information is requested on an application, you need to fill it in (even if it’s clearly stated on the resume you will be submitting). “Incomplete Application” is a legitimate rejection reason. Finally, when it comes to references, we don’t want to hear from your gardener, babysitter, etc. We want professional references from your work life.
I hope these examples have helped you understand what not to put on your resume. If I can leave you with one final piece of advice, it’s don’t be a moron.