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Published: Saturday, 1/25/2003

Find out why they didn't get the job

BY TOM GEARHART
BLADE FEATURES EDITOR

Achievements: “I have a current passport.”

Background: “28 dog years of experience in sales (four human).”

Position desired: “Profreader.”

Qualifications: “I am meticulate about derails.”

Experience: “Twin brother has accounting degree.”

The above quotes were taken from actual resumes and cover letters submitted by applicants seeking employment. They are among hundreds of bloopers and other bone-headed errors collected on a Web site called Resumania.com. Thanks to the Internet, the number of submissions from employers and companies from around the globe keeps growing.

A fellow named Robert Half started publishing the job-seeker goofs in a company newsletter. As he points out on the site, the bloopers evoke lots of laughter, but the purpose of Resumania is to stress the importance of care and professionalism when preparing a resume.

The well-intentioned Mr. Half suggests avoiding “personal information, attempts at humor, misusing or omitting words, extraneous or inappropriate information, and awkward phrasing.” But if everybody followed his advice, we wouldn't be nearly so entertained. Fat chance that will ever happen: To paraphrase the writer H.L. Mencken, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the public.”

The format of the site is simple: Each dumb comment is followed by a one-line rejoinder, presumably written by Mr. Half, who may be a successful employer and adviser to resume writers, but whose own sense of humor appears to be pretty lame. I'd skip his comments and concentrate on the boners.

Here are a few more favorites; you're sure to find your own.

Personal: “Excellent health, except for ingrown toenail.”

Salary desired: “Starting over due to recent bankruptcies. Need large bonus when starting job.”

Bad traits: “I am very bad about time and don't mind admitting it. Having to arrive at a certain hour doesn't make sense to me. What does make sense is that I do the job. Any company that insists upon rigid time schedules will find me a nightmare.”

References: “Bill, Tom, Eric. But I don't know their phone numbers.”

Objective: “To obtain an entry-level position after I get my beachler's degree.”

Reason for leaving (previous job): “Pushed aside so the vice president's girlfriend could steal my job.”

Cover letter: “It's best for employers that I not work with people.”

Accomplishments: “Flunked CPA exam with relatively high grades.”

Cover letter: “My intensity and focus are at inordinately high levels, and my ability to complete projects on time is unspeakable.”

References: “I have over 30,000 national references available upon request.”

And finally: Additional skills: “Able to whistle while pretending to drink water at the same time.”

http://www.resumania.com

Rome's Colosseum

Want to know what the world's most visited archaeological site is? It's the Roman Colosseum, which recently established a Web site that features a photo gallery, streaming video, and text (in various languages, including English) describing the efforts to rehabilitate the ancient arena.

The photo gallery alone is worth a visit. Color pictures of the Flavius amphitheater, seating areas for Roman senators, and various views of the colosseum arena are a sight to behold. The individual photos can be enlarged to full-screen size, showing lots of detail but not much text. Still, the site is new and expansion plans are under way, including the installation of 40 Webcams that will let Internet spectators enter the arena through the Emperors' passage and climb to the top seats.

http://www.colosseumweb .org

If you have a Web site to recommend, send an e-mail to tgearhart@theblade.com



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