Resumes Gone Wrong

resume writing coverResume Writing: A Comprehensive How-To-Do-It Guide
4th Edition

Submitter: Resume Writing is an informational book geared at assisting job seekers with creating winning resumes to help them get the job. [We] thought this might make a good addition for Awful Library Books because of the suggestion to include personal data such as date of birth, marital status, sex (if name is ambiguous), state of health, citizenship, number of children, home ownership, height, weight, etc…  These would be an HR nightmare today! There is also an interesting paragraph on how women used to occupy positions where a resume was not a requirement such as nursing and secretarial work.

Holly: True story: I once had to tactfully find a way to tell a nice man (30ish, in the early 2000s) that the phrase “Don’t drink and don’t run around with women” wasn’t strictly necessary for his resume. He got a job delivering pizzas and brought the library a pizza. #Win

good health and superior physical coordination

age 22, single, healthy


  1. It surprises me that in 1990 they were still advising adding such personal data to the resume. By this time second wave feminism was old news and job candidates were supposed to be judged on their merit and experience alone.

  2. The sample resumes’ in these kinds of books are always too fakey. Either you’re a nobody padding out meager qualifications, or you’re have the experience of a Fortune 500 CEO.

  3. I think it’s weird that bit about personal data would be in a resume book published in 1990. Was this ever updated from its first edition? I wrote up my first resume in 1989 and, even then, including that kind of personal information was presented as a big DON’T in all the resume-writing advice I ever got.

  4. The advice here is awful even for the timing of this book’s publication. I started business school in 1991, and submitting work like this would have flunked me out of my business writing courses.

  5. Our job search resource room has a lot of books that are about this old. It drives me crazy.

  6. Last photo: “An employer would grab him”. Let’s hope not physically. I would definitely object to a (potential) employer grabbing me! But then, I’m not a him, and maybe I’m just being picky…

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