Things you can’t put on your resume.

(Looking for the Open Thread? Click here).

I may have mentioned that I am bereft of work. You know, a time or two. Ahem.

This is not, however, a post about that! No, it’s a post about resumes, or rather: the things I can’t put on mine, now that I’m thinking about it so much.

Like most people, I have skills — not to say skillz — that are finely honed, often unparalleled, and frequently dead handy. But useless on a resume.


  1. I can collate a messy pile of papers faster than just about anyone you might meet.
  2. I can likewise tap a messy pile of papers into a neat and presentable pile of papers right quick, without benefit of one of those automatic paper joggers (that I am not making up) with which I used to jiggle reams of paper into shape back when I ran a printing press in my youth. (Really).
  3. I have a freakish ability to divine from nothing but a movie’s trailer whether it will be good, or, in fact, suck. With, like, 80% accuracy. (Though I totally blew it, apparently, with Airbender. I declared it would be awesome. It is apparently most decidedly not awesome. I think I was blinded by my own fervent hopes).
  4. On rare occasion, I will have absolutely no idea what the time is, but for the most part, I can tell you the time, without access to a time piece, within roughly 5-7 minutes of the actual-factual time.
  5. I can measure a half teaspoon or teaspoon of salt, cinnamon, what-have-you, name your ground spice or herb, into my hand with stunning accuracy.
  6. Set me down in any building on earth, and I will find the bathroom.


How is that the job offers aren’t rolling in? I ask you.



  1. i LOVE it! i also share in some of those gifts, well, okay, only the last two. i actually had a phone interview today for a teaching position (went well, i’m now being recommended to the principal & english chair) and she asked me what qualities do i have that i’d like my students to emulate and i said, “integrity, honesty and oh, yes, i’m funny, but of course, i’m not being very funny now.” i’ve always wondered if i can put on my resume that the only people i can’t make laugh are dead….

  2. dmf

     /  July 29, 2010

    sadly there is little commercial demand these days for such menschlichkeit, just the gratitude of your faithful readers but alas no cash-value in yet in that

  3. Things I can do that don’t count, but should:
    baking. I’ve had coworkers tell me I should open a bakery. You hire me, you hire my baking skills, and the fact that my BF doesn’t eat them quick enough.
    Herd cats.
    spend 15 minutes on the phone with an insecure tech and do more good than a 50minute hour with a shrink
    make 50 people show up to union station at 3am ready to work.
    recall phone numbers with freakish accuracy.

  4. sounds like somebody needs to visit and vent!

    I totally get where you are at. I went to a Professional Placement meeting at the unemployment office yesterday, they had a motivational-“Hey Use My Website Service” speaker there and when I mentioned I was out of work since December 2008 his face was all “whoa wtf is this guy’s problem?”

    As for your skill #3 determining the quality of a film from a trailer… I can figure out the plot twists from the trailers with roughly 95 percent accuracy (you’re looking at the guy who figured out both The Usual Suspects AND Sixth Sense before even seeing either one).

    • Oh and the reason I’m not getting job offers? The motivator said pretty much “Dude you need a more professional email. doesn’t cut it.” And I was all NOOOOOOOOOO and he was all YEEEEEEEEEES and I was SNIFF WAAAAAHHHHHH and then I went to gmail and made a new one for, so there.

      And I updated my Comments options to allow Anonymous posters but to moderate comments.

      And I promise to post daily. Unless I get bored or distra… aaaah, laundry!

  5. sue swartz

     /  July 29, 2010

    I feel your pain, sister.

    I can squeeze twice as many dishes into the dishwasher as anyone in my household, thereby utilizing geometric skills and saving energy — but do I get paid for such a thing? Absolutely not. Also, I have the uncanny ability to know which of other people’s junk I can throw out or give away without them noticing. This also goes uncompensated. And, I can get lost in a parking lot within 5 seconds, thereby giving other people the pleasure of steering me in the right direction. As good as hours of therapy. Then there’s the writing and revolutionizing and skating on the edge of blasphemy — sometimes all in one sentence.

    If only we were Queen(s) of the world….

    • Spiffy McBang

       /  July 31, 2010

      “Also, I have the uncanny ability to know which of other people’s junk I can throw out or give away without them noticing. This also goes uncompensated.”

      Clearly “throw out” should become “sell on ebay” as often as possible.

  6. I am absolutely EXCELLENT at folding letter-size paper into thirds, and stuffing them into envelopes, and then labeling the envelopes so that the label is PERFECTLY centered.

    This is basically all I did at my first office job.

    Also, I can take a man’s suit measurements. At one time, I was able to size a man up on first glance, but now I can only get about 75% accuracy.

  7. dave in texas

     /  July 29, 2010

    With the possible exception of Jeopardy whiz-kid Ken Jennings, I hold more useless information in my head than any man alive. When Trivial Pursuit came out, we used to play it for money, and the only reason I’m not rich now is that the stakes we played for were too small. Now that there’s Teh Google, my skill, nay, my superpower, has been rendered completely unnecessary.

    Also, too, I can multiply large numbers in my head. But only if the multiplier is five. Does that count?

  8. Let’s see. You have a great eye for detail–you are meticulous to the core. You can gauge a situation and sum up what needs to be done. You are aware of time constraints, and you work within them accordingly. You don’t need directions to get where you are going.

    One of my mad skillz is spinning words into a prettier picture.

    • Paul in KY

       /  July 30, 2010

      asiangrrlMN, you should take a look at Emily’s resume & see if you can’t punch it up a little. Fine job making her skills sound completely professional.

  9. Spiffy McBang

     /  July 31, 2010

    I’ve noticed I can do the same thing with the movie trailers, but unfortunately, I don’t think we’re gifted. Movies are so based on giving in to customer expectation to make a sure buck that the only major variable is the quality of the production, which is pretty easy to glean from the trailer. I have friends that can’t figure it out, but where I used to think I had a neat skill, I’ve realized, through talking to them about certain trailers, that they’re really just not paying attention.

  10. I am insanely jealous of abilities numbered 4 & 6. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to find the bathroom and spent time dancing around because no one to guide me was immediately available.