Resumania™: Prune the Exclamation Points!!!

By Robert Half on July 7, 2014 at 7:00am

We recently wrote a blog post reminding job applicants to minimize the number of questions they pose in a resume or cover letter. But you also need to be judicious in your use of the frequently abused exclamation point, which should be reserved for expressing strong emotion.

While prospective employers seek highly motivated job candidates, you shouldn’t rely on endless exclamation points to spotlight your passion for your profession. Many hiring managers will view this as amateurish or inappropriate for a business document. As the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once suggested, “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

These applicants didn’t heed the warning:

COVER LETTER: “You probably think I am crazy! And you are right! I am crazy with enthusiasm!”

We see that.

“OTHER: I love coffee!!!”

Have you considered decaf?

“WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE ME: I would kill a spider for you!”

Well, we are looking for web experts ...

COVER LETTER: “Don’t be shy … email me!”

About what exactly?

“OTHER: I own a new smartphone! Yes, it’s the best thing ever!”

We’re just happy you’re happy.

COVER LETTER: “Why are employers scared to death of hiring a yound thinker?!?!”

Ah, to be “yound” again.

“OBJECTIVE: To get a job. I’ve worked as an office administrator, but I will now do absolutely anythingggggggggg!”

You might start by fixing your keyboard.

COVER LETTER: “I have a business degree from an Ivy League school! Why can’t I get a real job!!!!”

You’re abuse of exclamation marks, perhaps?

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