Resumania: Over-the-top job applications can seem insincere

People seek or change jobs for a variety of reasons, the most fundamental being the need to earn a livable income and secure a position that is both personally and financially rewarding. It is understandable given these high stakes that job seekers sometimes go overboard to sell their qualifications. Unfortunately, going too far almost always works against you. Here are some examples:

COVER LETTER: "Hello. First off, I bet you're the very best manager in the building!"

Go on ...

"SKILLS: I like everything. Do you like to talk about your dogs, your children, the new iPhone, the financial crisis, exercise, cooking? I am great at relating to everyone because, like I said, I like everything!"

We've found the one and only fan of the financial crisis.

You want to present yourself as someone who's motivated, easy to manage and quick to get along with others. But don't pile it on too thick, or you risk coming across as insincere, like the following candidates:

COVER LETTER: "Hey, fantastic future employer! We're perfect for each other. I'm awesome, and you're awesome, too."

Fulsome flattery at its finest.

RESUME: "I'm willing to dive headfirst for you."

A job seeker who's eager to join the applicant pool.

"AVAILABILITY: I'm available 23/7. (Sorry, I require a one-hour nap.)"


"ABOUT ME: I am the kind of employee your mother would love!"

Only if you eat all your peas and keep your room clean.

And, finally, this completely illogical submission from a fan of Star Trek:

"OBJECTIVE: To be the Spock to your Kirk if you'll only let me, Captain."

(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

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,


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