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Never List 'God' as a Reference on a Resume

Mar 1, 2011 – 7:33 AM
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Advice for a successful job search often includes the tip that it is who, rather than what, you know.

Let's hope that explains some of the results from a study by an international recruitment agency that said one job seeker submitted a resume citing "God" as a professional reference, while another was written in rhyme.

Recent global surveys by and its British partner have revealed some of the more unusual resumes received by employers.

Across the United States, hiring managers revealed that one applicant included "God" as a reference -- but did not include a contact phone number for verification.

Another hopeful candidate claimed to be a direct descendant of Vikings; one listed "Master of Time and Universe" under experience; another used an e-mail address that included the word "lovesbeer."

Europeans applied similar unconventional approaches to employment, according to the survey. One resume was written in rhyme, while another included only the candidate's name and phone number with the message: "I want a job."

One candidate interviewed by videoconference did not match the photograph included with the resume -- the person was an entirely different ethnicity.

"You want to stack the deck in your favor when writing a CV," suggested Tony Roy, president of CareerBuilder for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "Make sure to highlight key accomplishments with quantifiable results."

Yet crazy behavior continued into the interview stage, employers said.

In scenes that could have been lifted from the television comedy series "The Office," reported blunders included one candidate who hugged a hiring manager at the end of an interview while another blew her nose and lined up the used tissues on the table in front of her.

Another wore a hat that said "Take this job and shove it" while one thirsty (but tidy) job hunter threw his beer can in the outside trash can before entering the reception office.

The U.S. survey canvassed the opinions of more than 2,400 hiring managers while in Europe, 757 organizations in U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Sweden provided their hiring experiences.

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