In 1482, the famed inventor Leonardo da Vinci who was attempting to attract the attention of the Duke of Milan, wrote what is generally considered to be the first resume ever created by a job seeker. The hand written letter detailed some of the highlights of the then thirty year old’s career in designing and constructing military apparatus, and offering to put his skills at the duke’s command.
Recognizing that there might be some question about his ability to deliver all that he promised, Leonardo offered to back up his promises. He wrote, “And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am most ready to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever place may please your Excellency.”
A lot has changed in the last 500 years, and the resume is more important than ever for the job search. Yet despite their importance, resumes are often carelessly done, filled with errors, and even in this day of ubiquitous printers, sometimes still handwritten. While a crossed out line in Leonardo’s day may have been acceptable, today there is no excuse, but it still happens…and sometimes far worse.
The resume is the first impression most prospective employees make on their potential employer, and yet every human resources professional has a horror story or six about the amazing, silly and unbelievable things that have been committed to writing by people who presumably were attempting to make a good impression and secure a job. Here are a few classic real world resume blunders.
Abby Kohut, president of Staffing Symphony, LLC: “People have sent me résumés with the words ‘fast paced’ spelled incorrectly. I have seen ‘face paced,’ ‘fast paised’ and my favorite one of all times, ‘fast paste’.”
Rinkworks.com lists these head-scratchers:
- “I am very detail-oreinted.”
- “I have a bachelorette degree in computers.”
- “Graduated in the top 66% of my class.”
- “I worked as a Corporate Lesion.”
- “Served as assistant sore manager.”
- “Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel.”
- “Objective: To have my skills and ethics challenged on a daily basis.”
- “Special skills: Thyping.”
- “Special skills: Experienced with numerous office machines and can make great lattes.”
- “I can play well with others.”
- “I have exhaustive experience in manufacturing.”
From the English site responsewebrecruitment:
- ACHIEVEMENTS – “Being sober”
- ABOUT ME – “My favourite colour is Toupe, cos it rhymes with Dope”
- REASON FOR LEAVING – “It was hard work”
- PERSONAL PROFILE – “I be no stranger to double-entry. I loves numbers, and my wife and I loves journals and ledgers! Can also do tricky sums when I puts my mind to it. Computor litrate.”
- COVERING LETTER – “This is my CV I am intrested in any job opening use have avaiable if u could please send a vercation that you reciceved the email”
- PERSONAL PROFILE – “I do have convictions (drug offences) which are spent some 30 years ago for when I was 16-18 and have a caution for 4 years ago for criminal damage”
- HOBBIES – “Marital Arts” (Possibly meant martial arts?)
- KEY SKILLS – “Perfectionist with a keen I for details.”
Sue Thompson, Set Free Life Seminars, LLC: “I once reviewed a résumé that was handwritten on lined yellow paper. One of the jobs was listed as ‘Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, VA,’ and the description of the job was, ‘I’m not authorized to divulge the nature of my job duties while in the employ of the CIA’.”
Theundercoverrecruiter.com: “My dream job would be a professional ballet dancer, but once I figured out I couldn’t do that, I settled on Metallurgy.”
And finally this gem from Buzzfeed to make you weep for the future:
Somewhere near Amboise, France, seismic monitors just detected the ground movement caused by Leonardo da Vinci rolling over in his grave as he realizes how far his brilliant invention of the resume has declined.