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Jewish World Review April 25, 2001 / 3 Iyar, 5761

Resumania by Max Messmer

Max Messmer
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Consumer Reports


Keep references to spouse, health off your resume

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- "MY wife is a traveling salesman."

A number of job seekers refer to spouses on their resumes or in cover letters. In virtually every instance, these references contribute little to a prospective employer's understanding of the candidate's qualifications. In many cases, they can work against the applicant.

"I am happily married to my fifth wife, who also happened to be my first wife."

So things have come full circle.

"My wife and I have four children ranging from 6 months to 5 years old. We hope eventually to have a large family."

They're off to a good start.

This next job seeker wrote in his cover letter, "I have been fortunate to be single all my life."

He was 19.

And this candidate from California mentioned his wife and children as his reason for leaving his most recent job:

"REASON FOR LEAVING: My wife has become fed up with the California lifestyle, but it hasn't been a wasted four years. She learned how to surf, and we always have roller skates in the trunk of our car. Our kids have an accent, and my wife has finally stopped worrying about earthquakes. But New York is where we want to be. We're Mets fans and proud of it."

Wagons east, please.

Health references should never be included on a resume. Nonetheless, some job seekers persist in giving a synopsis of their medical histories.

For example, under the heading "HEALTH," this candidate from Delaware wrote, "Although my health is excellent, and I never miss a day of work, my wife is always complaining about a variety of ailments like headaches, backaches and sinus congestion. However, this does not affect my ability to give 100 percent of myself to my job."

My advice: Don't let your wife read your resume.

Speaking of health, here's how a candidate from Oregon summed up his.

"HEALTH: Not bad."

Finally, this from the ultimate pragmatist.

"HEALTH: Excellent. In case of emergency, call 911 or the nearest hospital."

Thanks for the tip.


Max Messmer is chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc., a specialized staffing firm, and author of Job Hunting for Dummies. Comment by clicking here.


Up

04/25/01: Don't put too many details on resume
04/11/01: Resume spelling 'oopses!'
04/04/01: Avoid temptation to put personal details on resume
03/29/01: Resume mistakes
03/26/01: No need to say why you left
03/14/01: What not to say when applying for a job
03/05/01: Be smart on the job objective
02/21/01: Corporate warriors
02/14/01: Make sure resume reflects what you actually mean
01/24/01: Don't criticize former boss on resume
01/22/01: Resume bloopers

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