How to (or NOT to) Stand Out With Your Resume
I recently came across an article on MSN careers, titled 20 Unusual Resume Tactics to Avoid. In it, the author, Autumn McReynolds, shared what she believed to be tactics to avoid with your resume, based on the annual CareerBuilder survey.
These 20 tactics were:
- Candidate said the more you paid him, the harder he worked.
- Candidate included that he was arrested for assaulting his previous boss.
- Candidate said he just wanted an opportunity to show off his new tie.
- Candidate listed her dog as reference.
- Candidate listed the ability to do the moonwalk as a special skill.
- Candidates — a husband and wife looking to job share — submitted a co-written poem.
- Candidate included “versatile toes” as a selling point.
- Candidate stated she was “particularly adept at comprehending the obvious.”
- Candidate said that he would be a “good asset to the company,” but failed to include the “et” in the word “asset.”
- Candidate’s email address on the résumé had “shakinmybootie” in it.
- Candidate said he was qualified because he was a “marvelous physical specimen.”
- Candidate included that she survived a bite from a deadly aquatic animal.
- Candidate was fired from different jobs, but included each one as a reference.
- Candidate used first name only.
- Candidate presented a list of demands in order to work for the organization.
- Candidate asked, “Would you pass up an opportunity to hire someone like this? I think not.”
- Candidate insisted that the company pay him to interview with them because his time was valuable.
- Candidate’s résumé was intentionally written from right to left instead of left to right.
- Candidate shipped a lemon with résumé, stating “I am not a lemon.”
- Candidate submitted 40-page résumé that included photos and diplomas
While there are some of these I certainly agree with, such as starting the more you are paid the hard you’ll work, and saying that you’d be a “good ass” to the company, but there are others on this list that made me think AND remember them. Would they not have the same effect on an employer?
For example, number eight, where the candidate listed that she was “particularly adept at comprehending the obvious”, I thought wasn’t necessarily a BAD thing. Let’s face it – there are some people who CAN’T comprehend the obvious and I’m sure we all know a couple people that are like that.
But the one that struck me as ingenious was 19, where the applicant sent a lemon with their resume and stated “I am not a lemon”. I personally thought this was creative, strong imagery that would be sure to leave a lasting effect. I’m certainly not an HR professional, but I have posted jobs ads and reviewed candidates for positions for not only my own business, but for those of my clients as well, and this tactic would have certainly grabbed my attention.
Have you tried any tactics to grab the attention of a hiring manager – and if so, have they worked for you? Or, for hiring manager and HR professionals, have you received any attention grabbing resumes and how did you feel about them? I would love to hear thoughts and stories from both sides on this!