Resumania™: Rumpelstiltskin Impersonators Need Not Apply

By Robert Half on September 15, 2014 at 7:00am

Poets and novelists often use complex metaphors to further a reader’s understanding or to highlight important ideas, but crafting a cover letter or resume is not an exercise in creative writing.

Use a straightforward approach when contacting prospective employers. After all, a busy hiring manager simply does not have the time to search for the hidden meaning of your message.

The following job candidates made some odd comparisons:

COVER LETTER: “I’m a storyteller like Rumpelstiltskin. Though slightly taller and better looking, I, too, have been known to spin straw into gold.”

Let’s just stick to the facts.

COVER LETTER: “I am a wedge with a sponge taped to it. My purpose is to wedge myself into someone’s door to absorb as much as possible.”

That sounds painful.

Beware of wordiness as well. While this next applicant didn’t use a confusing metaphor, he went into way too much detail to indicate that he has the “write” stuff.

SKILLS: “I know that in addition to the subjunctive and the pluperfect there exists a conjugative imaginative verb tense.”

“Pluperfectly” said!

OBJECTIVE: To find a career that will allocate dexterity from preceding experiences to perform a job to superiority. In addendum to facile and ardent task force will alleviate the work environment of unethical work habits.”

Evidently, the thesaurus should have come with an operating manual.

COVER LETTER: “I have repeatedly experienced potent synergies.”

This employer doesn’t know whether to be impressed or offer sympathy.

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