Recruitment 101: Lesson #3

Recruitment 101

Lesson 3:

Never take it for granted that cover letters are professional documents. It may contain other information, such as a summary of the childhood memories of the job applicant had of his/her deceased father, 3 siblings and family teachings. 


Let it now be said. In a cover letter:

We DO NOT need to know:

1) Who raised you
2) The age your father passed away
3) The number of siblings you have and/or have to take care of
4) How your family's teaching has influenced you to be who you are.
5) How your ex-employer has mistreat you
6) How your wife thinks you should get a new job
7) How the arrival newborn child is motivating you to get a better paying job

We. Are. Not. Matchmakers. Or. Family. Counsellors

What we DO like to see:

1) Written descriptive of your educational qualification
2) 2-3 paragraphs of your professional experiences
3) How your experience can value-add to the listed vacancies
4) Your contact details

Resumes and Cover letters are professional representation of one's self. 

Leave personal history, your ah-gong/ah-ma/ah-pa/mummy/hubby/wife's teachings to gossip or chit-chat-sessions with your friends.

Yes, it's been a long Monday.

Signing off,
From the Desk of a Recruiter

Preventive Mastur.. what?

Dear Jobseeker, 

Read your resume carefully before sending it out. 

"Preventive Maintenance" and "Preventive Masturbation" are worlds apart. 

From the Desk of a Recruiter


I am an avid surfer of For those of you out there thinking today is the worst day of your lives, please drop by the website. It's therapeutic.

This anecdote pops up on one of my daily views on the FML website.

Today, I found out that my resume contained the word "masturbation" in the skills section, courtesy of a practical joke by my best friend. I have been using this CV unsuccessfully for over two months. FML

Finding it utterly amusing, I forwarded this little anecdote to my fellow colleagues. After a good laugh to chase away the office blues, one of them decided to do a keyword search, to see if the word "masturbation" truly exists in the massive load of resumes we received.

And... yes, it did... on the employment history of an engineer

"Preventive masturbation of machinery...." 

Needless to say, we had another laugh.

Over time, I came to develop a mental list of "Top Weirdest Resumes".

Some of them were weird because of strange resume photos; others due to strange typography.

THIS particular hilarious gem, however, wins the new #1 spot on my rather disorganized list, all with a simple word.

Advice from the Desk:
Always, always, always read your resume two times before clicking the send button. Spending an extra 5 minutes won't kill your eyes.

Signing off
From the Desk of the Recruiter

Not too big, not too small, but juuuuuust right.

An incident shared:

Colleague: Any particular reason why you're looking to leave? 

Jobseeker: I'd like to move onto a bigger firm. The current one I'm in is too small. 

 Colleague: I have an opportunity with XXX (established property development company). Would you be interested? 

Jobseeker: Oh. That company is too big. I don't think I will be interested. 

Colleague: ...


Following last year's blog post on how I can't seem to understand job-seekers' mindset, here is yet another case that truly puzzled us on the mentality behind job-seekers.

 As one of my friends have responded:

Not too big, not too small, but juuuuuuuuust right 

Uh huh... Coming to you soon:

Goldilocks Staffing Consultancy 
 - Dedicated to finding opportunities that are juuuuuuuuuuuuust right. 

Rant aside, some jobseekers want bigger company, with bigger package, bigger basic salary, bigger responsibilities, we give them one.

Instead, they'd like to take the bigger package, bigger basic salary, but not the bigger company and/or bigger responsibilities.

On certain days in this job, I feel like I'm working in a food-stall.

"Aunty ah! I wan one wanton mee, extra wantons, got discount?"

"Alo ah! I wan one job, extra money, little responsibility!"

I'm not sure if I should feel sad/depressed that this is a growing mentality among job-seekers, particularly those who wants lovely bank-like paycheck, but not the heat that comes with that money.

And one would think the concept of 'no free lunch' should be instilled in all of us.

Signing off
From the Desk of the Recruiter

Recruitment 101: Lesson #2

Recruitment 101

Lesson 2:

Never take it for granted that application emails contains resumes. It may contain something else... a 439-page documentation developed for a school assignment, for example

Or, it may contain something more interesting. Like, blood-test results.


Often, I wonder what is going through the mind of job-seekers when they select documents to be attached in an application email.

I'm comforted by the fact that 98% of the emails I received from job-seekers do contain the relevant attachments, such as cover letter, passport-size photos, resumes/CVs, transcripts, etc...

The remaining 2% however, contains the weirdest attachments I've seen. More recently, I came across one who attached a 439 page documentation for a programming language. This attachment was accompanied by another 120 page documentation for goodness-knows-what, resulting in the application email to be a whopping 17MB, of which 69KB was relevant - his resume.

At least Mr 439-Page-Documentation submitted his resume. Just the other day, I received an application email with only one document - blood test result.

Well, Mr Blood-Test-Results, I am happy you were tested negative for Hepatitis A, B or C. But I still have no idea how your blood test is able to justify you were suitable for an IT Engineer role.

Signing off,
From the Desk of a Recruiter

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