, Gloucester, MA

August 3, 2013

Don't let job search take a summer vacation

Max Messmer

---- — It’s often been said that finding a job is a job itself. Considering that it’s the middle of summer and distractions abound, it’s all too easy to “clock out” a little early.

Don’t let sunny skies, trips to the pool or the siren call of the ice cream truck divert your attention from your job search. You can bank on the fact that many of your fellow job seekers are as motivated and engaged as ever.

I can’t help but suspect these applicants lost focus when they wrote their resumes and cover letters:

“WEB SKILLS: Inetent Explorer.”

How about your spelling skills?

COVER LETTER: “In response to your company’s recent job posting, I find myself intriged with you.”

We wish we shared your enthusiasm.

“AVAILABILITY: I am available for jobs sort-term or long-term.”

Your effort came up short.

COVER LETTER: “Dear hiring manger.”

You couldn’t manage to proofread?

RESUME: “Together, we’ll create an increase dramatically in volume sales results!”


Homophones — words with the same pronunciation but different meanings or spellings —tend to trip up applicants.

Spell-check won’t necessarily flag affect if you meant effect, for example. So, you need to devote time and care to the proofreading process. Here are some funny homophone-related follies from the “Resumania” archives:

“WORK EXPERIENCE: Soul IT support for total of 100 users.”

Technician and spiritual adviser.

“SALARY REQUIREMENTS: $935 per weak.”

Not a strong start.

“OBJECTIVE: I am looking for a stationery position.”

Plain or monogrammed?

“JOB HISTORY: I work in the store’s men’s department, stalking shirts and pants.”

No doubt sneaking up on a bargain.

COVER LETTER: “I am a team-oriented individual in sink with coworkers and managers.”

How do you all fit?

Max Messmer is CEO of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing firm. Send examples to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International, 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Or, visit