Of assisting and ...

I won't be hiring this assistant soon, even if her resume boasts, "I'm a team player with 16 years of assassinating experience." - Cindy Donalson

Readers' Digest
(Referred by Qammie)


A close friend of mine shared with me this gem of a joke from Reader's Digest.

There's not much need for me to explain on the hilarity and punchline of this joke. Suffice it to say, please proof-read your resumes before blasting them out to potential employers. It's little hidden errors like this that kills your career.

Signing off,
From the Desk of a Recruiter

Dear Fresh Graduate...

Dear Recruiter,

I am Fresh Graduate from N** graduating with Bachelor of Computer Science (with Honors) . I am applying for Software Engineer position. My expected salary is 3,500 SGD/Mon.

As some companies are offering me some positions at the moment, I hope if you are interested in me please indicate me your intention within one week as possible.

From Fresh Graduate.


Dear Fresh Graduate,

If you think a Fresh Graduate setting a timeline/deadline for the Hiring Managers to respond to your job application cover letter is proper job-hunting etiquette, by all means please accept those companies who are offering you. I would wish them good luck and all the best. 

From the Desk of a Recruiter


This particular incident was written in a very agitated/bitchy pen sometime in 2009 when it happened. To those who might recall the Desk of a Recruiter back in that year, I was quite bitchy with my words here.

In any case, in view of the upcoming graduations of my friends currently attending local universities, this should be an interesting read. I do hope none of my friends or readers here make such a job-hunt suicidal mistake while writing their cover letters/job applications.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong in the context of the email. All jobseekers have in their rights to ask for any salary they seem deem fit. It wouldn't be the first time recruiters receive jobseekers expecting 50% increment.

It is that "setting of timeline" portion that kinda stretch the limits in a recruiter's tolerance. I'm not entirely sure I would even want to call this Fresh Graduate to assess his attitude when his email is so glaringly arrogant.

Geez, Mr Fresh Graduate, to be cruelly blunt, there's another several hundreds of your classmates and equivalent graduates who are as qualified or even better qualified than you, who write in better grammar, a more polite tone, more importantly shows better attitude, even if it is just written words.

I have more reasons to chuck your application aside after seeing your email than to even view your resume to see how fantastic you think you are to expect such a high salary range.

To all jobseekers, there is a time, and place where you can demand someone to respond to your email. Doing it fresh out of university for your first job ain't exactly a smart time to do it.

Like I said, people. There're better ways to do career suicide. Please don't do it this way.

Signing off
From the Desk of a Recruiter

I don't mean to be rude but this is...

In the first quarter of first year in recruitment, I had this rather interesting experience with a jobseeker who came in from our neighbouring countries to seek opportunity in Singapore.

(Note: The English is minimally edited. I spoke in such pretty language back then. ^_^) 


Adeline: May I know your availability?

Jobseeker: Hah? *pause* Oh... Social Visit Pass

Adeline: I mean, may I know your a.vai.la.bi.li.ty?

Jobseeker: Ah... So.ci.al Vi.sit. Pass.

Adeline: ... When can you start work?

Jobseeker: Oh, ooooh. Immediately.

Adeline: *sigh* Ok,  when will your Social Visit Pass expire?

Jobseeker: Im.me.di.ately!

Adeline: ... *facepalm*


The punchline of this conversation, this jobseeker holds double degrees from an esteemed university in the home country, one of them a Bachelor of Arts in English Language.

Having experienced this so early in my career in recruitment, I guess it was safe to say, I also stopped taking for granted that everyone is fluent in English in this world.

Welcome to Singapore.

Signing off,
From the Desk of a Recruiter

PS: Amidst assignment and work craziness, this blog is slow in its updates. But then again, I wonder if anyone notices it. ^^"

A wee bit bright

Dear Jobseeker, 

I understand the need in ensuring your CV attracts attention. However, your choice of font color #FF0000 is pushing it. Thank you.

From the Desk of a Recruiter


Remember in the previous entry, I mentioned one of the two suicidal mistakes when writing their CVs? Yeah, this is the second one. 

Yes, there is a very strong need to ensure your CV attracts the attention of either the recruitment consultant or the HR officer reading. 

But... having your CV in full #FF0000 color is reeeeeally pushing the limits on making a CV "attractive".

To those of my readers who understand HTML color codings, you probably should know what color I am referring to.

In any case, this is the color I am talking about. 

Yes, it is bright red. 

No, I am not kidding when I say I received a CV in bright red.

And please, jobseekers, please, do not do a job-hunt suicide by choosing the worst color possible. There are better ways to do suicide during a job-search. 

Signing off,
From the Desk of the Recruiter

A wee bit big

Dear Jobseeker, 

I appreciate your consideration in ensuring your CV is legible. However, font size 35 for the entire document is pushing it. Thank you.

From the Desk of a Recruiter


I do hope all jobseekers out there do not make this one of two suicidal mistakes when writing their CVs. Yes, there is a very strong need to ensure your CV is first and foremost, viewable on the screen of the recipient. 

But... Is there really a need to do up a 10 page CV with font size 35? *facepalm*

In case anyone is interested... This is a screen capture of font size 35. (Please click on the thumbnail to see the original size)

Why would ANYONE write their resumes in this font size is beyond me.

Signing off,
From the Desk of the Recruiter

State of Australia

Dear Jobseeker, 

My name is AdeL-I-N-E, not AdeL-A-I-D-E. I am not a state of Australia, thank you. 

From the Desk of a Recruiter



Following up from an incident with spelling errors, here's another one for laughs.

I wasn't entirely sure how to respond when I received an email from this jobseeker starting with "Dear Ms Adelaide." 

And the punchline? 

20 minutes later, he followed up with another email apologizing for attaching the wrong document. In this email, he still address me as "Adelaide". 


Ms Australia it is.

Signing off
From the Desk of the Recruiter

Spelling Woes

Dear Jobseeker, 

"Career" is spelled C-A-R-E-E-R. If you are seeking "carrier" advancement, please contact our Republic of Singapore, Airforce or Republic of Singapore, Navy. 

Or, if you're looking for an aircon, please visit Carrier Singapore Pte Ltd for a wide variety of choices. 

From the Desk of a Recruiter


More often than not, I receive simple resumes with a very simple email message, yet also, with a very glaring typo error in the email body. What started out with exasperation after reading these emails slowly became amusement.

As much as I'd like to be able to provide to every jobseeker's career objectives and needs, I regret to inform that "carriers" in any and all forms are beyond my abilities. If anyone should be interested to seek "carrier" advancement, please feel free to consult our Airforce or Navy. ;)

Signing off
From the Desk of a Recruiter

Photography skills apply in Jobhunts too

Dear Jobseeker,

I appreciate your efforts in inserting a photograph in your CV. But it is rather difficult for me to tell which of the five people in the photograph is you. 

From the Desk of a Recruiter


Welcome to the first of my series in "Resumes" boo-boos. These are real-life mistakes captured in my daily routine of screening resumes. It may seem funny, but, imagine what happens to your career if you should make one of such mistakes. 

A perfect resume is like a perfect man/woman. It does not exist. As long as it is right for you, it's a good resume - Desk of a Recruiter.

Right about 6 months into my job, I stopped taking for granted that every CV I receive will have a decent photograph of the applicant. It seems to be a lost art to find a photo-booth, take a passport-size photo, scan it and include it in the CV.

I have received, till date:

  • Group photos. 
    • Erm... Erm... I can see that these people had a great time at a BBQ, but... which one is the applicant?

  • Pair photos 
    • This wouldn't be too bad, except both models in the photograph are of the same gender. I still can't tell who is the applicant

  • Self-taken photos in the mirror showing full-body portrait of the applicant and the background
    • Right down to the cubicle doors of the toilet it was taken in.

  • Self-taken camera photos from a top-down angle, showcasing originality in displaying home-made fish-eye effect 
    • For an idea of what fish-eye effect is, please click here

  • Self-taken photos using a web camera, with an arrow drawn using a thick red brush in Paint software pointing to the head of the applicant
    • ?????????????
Welcome to the top 5 most eccentric photos I have received. (In no particular order) 

To all of those who had made the effort to do a professional shot, or just a very simple passport photo from any random photo booth (automated or otherwise), kudos to you and please keep it up. 

Note to all CV-writers there: If you don't have a decent photograph, please leave it blank. If you have to include in a picture for the opportunity you're applying for, please make a trip down to the photo booth. Taking any random shots from your collection of photos in Facebook or harddisk might not impress the recipient of the email. 

Signing off
From the Desk of the Recruiter

From the Desk of a Recruiter, to the Twitting Blue Bird...

Desk of a Recruiter Announcement:

Now available on Twitter!

Real-time craziness, coming in tiny blue-bird sizes!

Follow @ http://twitter.com/recruiterdesk

Just when I thought I was beginning to understand them...

One fine afternoon...

Adeline: Good Afternoon Mr Jobseeker, are you open to explore a career opportunity?

Jobseeker: Yes, but only in specific XXX technology as the IT administrator

Adeline: I have an opportunity here which is what you are looking at, but before I continue the discussion, may I know if there are any particular reasons for you wanting to leave your current company after only 6 months?

Jobseeker: I was hired as an IT administrator, but now I'm being tasked and designated to do IT development. Hence I'm only looking for an administrator opportunity in XXX technology

Adeline: I see. I do have an administrator opportunity in XXX. But would you be open to explore such an opportunity in a service provider environment?

Jobseeker: Vendor? I have attended interviews for almost all possible service providers for this administrator opportunity.

Adeline: Have you attended any interviews with my client, Company AAA?

Jobseeker: Never heard of them.

Adeline: If that's the case, would you like to explore an opportunity with them?

Jobseeker: But I have attended interviews for almost all service providers. I probably have attended an interview with your client before.

Adeline: Have you attended any interviews at Location BBB?

Jobseeker: Nope.

Adeline: If you haven't heard of my client's name and location, chances are, you have not attended interviews with them before. Since you are interested in this administrator opportunity, would you like to consider submitting your application?

Jobseeker: I have attended so much interviews for this administrator opportunity. I am interested in the opening, but I am just demoralized from attending so many interviews. I don't think I want to look for a job anymore.

Adeline: ...... 


The above conversation has been edited to ensure proper English decorum (i.e., grammar) is displayed on the blog, but of course, in real-life the recruiter and job-seeker alike don't talk in such pretty language.

The essence of the conversation, however, remains unedited, and yes, this very adorable jobseeker did say that classic line "demoralized from attending so many interviews".

After 36 months of recruitment, I was beginning to think I'm starting to understand the mindsets of jobseekers in general, but I guess, I have a very long way to go.

Signing off,
From the Desk of a Recruiter,

The New Year Brings on New Craziness

It has been a very, very long while since I had blogged on the ride of fun, laughter, craziness and jokes in the recruitment line. Doesn't mean they stopped though. As I embark on my 4th year in this business, I've came to realize, the insanity within is never ending.

Having experienced Twitter the past quarter of the year, I've decided to re-open this blog to share  more craziness on what goes on from behind the scenes, after you click the "Send" button while on a job-hunt.

This year, with new features in this blog, Adeline brings you craziness, in blog and Twitter style, as I trudge through hundreds and hundreds of resumes at work.

Enjoy the New Year. And may it be less crazier than the last. =)

Signing off
From the Desk of the Recruiter

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