If you've ever watched those TV blooper shows, you know how funny slip-ups, gaffes and blunders can be. But while laughter may be good for the soul, it's certainly not the response you want your resume to produce.
Baby Boomers (or Gen-X and Gen-Y fans of Nick at Nite) will recall the often hilarious pronouncements of Archie Bunker, the patriarch of the popular 1970s sitcom "All in the Family." With just a slight slip of the tongue, Archie's intended meanings frequently became completely convoluted (e.g., "consecration" instead of "concentration" and "mental pause" instead of "menopause").
If your resume contains any such Archie-like malapropisms, it's sure to be memorable, but it won't leave the lasting impression you're shooting for. Proofread your resume meticulously, and share it with trusted friends and colleagues to make sure you haven't inadvertently substituted one word for another. Keep in mind that your computer's spell-check function often will not catch these errors, since the problem is one of incorrect word choice rather than misspelling. To help ensure that your resume finds its way to the interview pile and not the circular file, avoid these 10 classic resume bloopers, culled from real-life resumes of job seekers from all levels, industries and career fields:
- "Revolved customer problems and inquiries." Just what every employer is looking for -- an expert in passing the buck.
- "Consistently tanked as top sales producer for new accounts." Sales managers aren't likely to be impressed with this self-proclaimed underachiever.
- "Dramatically increased exiting account base, achieving new company record." If customer accounts were leaving in droves as this statement implies, it's probably fair to assume that this candidate also tanked as a top sales producer.
- "Planned new corporate facility at $3 million over budget." Every hiring manager is searching for employees who exceed budgets by millions of dollars.
- "Directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations." Either this person is showcasing compulsively stubborn management qualities, or he has a challenging product packaging/storage problem.
- "Participated in the foamation of a new telecommunications company." This job seeker was also in charge of bubble control.
- "Promoted to district manger to oversee 37 retail storefronts." This is a common resume typo. There must be literally thousands of mangers looking for jobs in today's modern world. Here's a tip: Use your word-processing program's find/replace feature to quickly correct this common mistake. You can also modify your application's spelling dictionary so it won't recognize the word "manger."
- "Experienced supervisor, defective with both rookies and seasoned professionals." Many of us have had a boss like this at some point in our careers, but you usually don't find them being so up-front about their leadership inadequacies.
- "I am seeking a salary commiserate with my training and experience." There are a couple problems with this statement. To begin with, salary requirements don't belong on a resume. Secondly, a salary should be "commensurate" with experience (meaning proportionate to), not "commiserate" with (meaning to express sympathy for).
- "Seeking a party-time position with potential for advancement." Sounds like a fun job.