Resumania™: Is It Worth Writing a Clever Resume?

By Robert Half January 13, 2014 at 8:00am

Any job seeker knows that it’s hard — and sometimes darn near impossible — to get a hiring manager’s attention. So some candidates infuse their resumes and cover letters with humor, unexpected analogies, and cute and clever language in an effort to stand out. But will a clever resume really give you an advantage? Probably not. If fact, it could harm your chances of being called for a job interview.

One big reason is that wordplay and humor don’t always translate over paper (or via typed words on a computer screen). You may think you’ve written a clever resume, but your wit and charm could be completely lost on the employer. Rather than trying to craft a clever resume, create a straightforward resume that clearly articulates your skills and experience. Save the snappy statements for another time.

The following job seekers were a little too clever for their own good:

COVER LETTER: “I learned everything I know from being thrown to the gators with pork chops tied around my neck.”

Lunch hour is a bit less exciting here.

COVER LETTER: “Sometimes referred to as a ‘Swiss Army Knife,’ I am skilled in accomplishing most any task.”

No doubt a sharp applicant.

“OBJECTIVE: Work to learn, not to earn, and earn from what is learned.”

The Benjamin Franklin of resume writers.

“EXPERIENCE: I eat computers for lunch.”

You might be “byting” off more than you can chew.

“OBJECTIVE: To reach the top of the ladder, where the rungs will be the meek and the mild.”

Spoken like a true corporate climber.

COVER LETTER: “I bring a fresh passion to any position. My interest in this job is like that of an adventurer who explores his work in a new territory.”

A modern-day Christopher Columbus.

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