Job Hunting: You Gotta Be Bold

My picture nameGreetings all, Steve here, back again, back on the horse, back in the job market. I should apologise, first of all, for not posting last week. Getting fired can do a number on your confidence and last Thursday I decided to treat myself for lunch instead of brown-bagging it and got some Chinese food. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the best idea to go to UpChuck Wok and I spent most of the weekend honking my guts out while trying to study for exams. I didn't actually get to go out for Halloween, but I did have an exciting weekend.

Having recovered, I resolved to find another job. Several people gave me very sound advice here a couple weeks ago, the salient point of which was: "Better get out and get another job before you die!" Touché.

I had to put together another résumé. Résumé is a French word meaning Total pack of lies in less than three pages. The question is, how do you make your limited skills and minor accomplishments sound intriguing to a potential employer? The secret is to be bold. Your model here should be Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon overcame many natural deficiencies, such as being short. And speaking bad French. And invading Russia at exactly the wrong time of year. I myself have never invaded anywhere and I'm not short, but... uh... I did once ride a horse. The key is talk nicely to them so that they don't suspect that you want to ride on their back.

This is also the key with potential employers. You need to approach them slowly, speaking softly so as not to alarm them, otherwise they might kick you in the face. You want to say calming, encouraging things, like, "That's a good manager, goooooood manager. That's right. Here, have a carrot. That's a good manager." You want to scratch the manager behind the ears, maybe give them some sugar. That way they'll never suspect that you want to put a saddle on them.

And even if putting a saddle on authority figures doesn't fit in with your lifestyle, you will want to sneak them your résumé. The key with your résumé is to make it so completely outrageous that it's almost unbelievable. Unfortunately this is necessary, since everybody else does the same thing, so to even make an impression you need to go completely over the top. You should go into résumé writing with the same attitude Hollywood filmmakers have: If it's too sexy and too over the top and completely unbelievable, then you're on the right track. If your résumé was a movie, it would get reviews like this:

The New York Times calls this résumé, "A Grand, Sweeping, Epic Flaming Bag Of Poop".
"I can't believe they had the gall to foist this bunch of foolishness on us.
If you believe this bunch of garbage, you deserve what you get.

It needs to be ridiculous, impractical and almost totally unbelievable. If your résumé has reached this level of insanity, you're ready to start job hunting. If it doesn't say that your speak 17 languages, can knit children's sweaters whilst whistling The Flight Of The Bumblebee, and that your hobby is pulling people from burning cars, your need to crank your résumé up a notch.

Well, that's it for this week. Next week, more on job hunting. Until then, gooooood horse.

Steve Sharam

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I know your pain. Let

I know your pain. Let yourself reel from the surprise of it all--looks like you've given yourself time to do so. Hang in there, and I'm rooting for you!

One piece of paper-related advice--I got so discouraged from simply writing the same thing over and over about myself on standardized application forms. I took a good application example (appl. to work for the state of Virginia), filled out all the school/experience/etc. stuff, and kept it as a template. I didn't have to gather any info--or remember it :D -- from step 1 each time I applied for a job in person or online.

Heliotrope for Men...

Jambo Steve!

Yes, Kiswahili is one of the seventeen languages listed on my CV.

Hmmm, I have always been lead to believe résumé was a delicious form of salad dressing. Thank goodness none of my candidate questions were on French cuisine. Napoléon, is an excellent example to follow. Originally named after a flavour of icecream, he changed his name and blazed a trail across Europe and parts of Africa. Rather than wear shoe lifts in his boots, he invented the metric system and in doing so grew from 5'.6" to 168 cm in a single stroke of his quill. Other great achievements listed on his CV or Résumé include Triage ( from the French verb - trier - 'to sort'), discovering the 'Rossetta stone' and 'Plaster of Paris' not to mention chic, French Navy (which is not at all like 'Prussian blue') and art galleries ... In fact 'The Little General's' CV reads very much like War and Peace.

However, let us not forget Napoléon eventually met his Waterloo, rather ironically at a place of the same name. If only he had used the D*I*Y planner (which incidentally contains a useful Job Tracker Template) a lot of heart break could have been avoided. Although in your case young man, I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who pay you, as it is the only pleasure I have left.(1).

BTW Steve, do you have any advice on use of chambons in employer training?

(1) Quote deftly plagiarised from Voltaire. :O

Difficult question

Hmm, that's a difficult question. I think he'd have to use 2-up. Hipster just wouldn't contain enough information for a whole compaign. Because, as they say, even Napoleon had his Watergate.

Steve Sharam