Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Resume

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If they tell you not to judge a book by its cover, then why does the potential world of employment judge us by a resume? If I am a book, then my resume would be the cover...or would the cover letter be the cover? I have to wonder if our system of finding and attracting employees based on our perceived notion of their resume is somewhat flawed. We use a piece of paper to draw out traits from a person before we have even met them. We draw an ethnicity and gender out of their name and automatically assume they fit into what ever stereotypes apply. You resume is the most important piece of paper you will ever write, it is what the world will think of you. You are the book and it is your cover, so when you sit down to craft this delicate outline of your life's accomplishments, it is hard to sum up what kind of a person you think you are. Then the employer judges you on the person you think you are. I put down that I bring my analytical skills to the table. Maybe that is valuable..maybe they are looking for someone who is skilled in the art of pressing enter and printing perfect margins. Job descriptions are constantly looking for self starters, organized and a multitasker. Yikes, I would describe myself as needs to be pushed, disorganized and can barely concentrate on the task at hand (aka ADHD).

What if life had you write a resume. Your friends would only allow you to the group if you had a certain skill set they were looking for. This skill set changes as you get older. In middle school it is: Can speak to the other sex. In high school it is: Own a car, can beer bong, has a late curfew, makes me look cool and lets me borrow clothes. In college you start to get picky: Isnt' a 75, has fake ID, would let me live with them. When you reach full blown adulthood, you start to pick your friends based on similarities: have children, swear, likes music, doesn't think I am weird. We seem to value what people bring to the table whether or not it is a desirable trait...or a work friendly trait.

Maybe we need resumes to date. I am Kristen...I like music, art, reading, long walks along the beach and I tend to get clingy after date 3. Think about the person you are with...how would they stand up in your resume test? Josh: 5'2 on a good day, likes video games, Yanni, and drinks with little umbrellas. Yes..that is my husband. I am really unfamiliar with the online dating world...I found my husband the old fashioned way..in a bar. My relationship was not one that was mapped out by compatibility features. My husband proposed to me the old fashioned way...by getting me pregnant.

I guess I am a little unnerved by the way we find jobs. We turn in a piece of paper and hope it is better than all the other pieces of paper in the pile. We don't know what makes it better than the other pieces of paper, it could be the font we use or our ten years of customer service. Then if our piece of paper moves on to the next round we have to sit in a room where a stranger asks a series of questions we hope to say the right answer to. Then if they like our answers we are brought back to the room to ask even more questions. If this round of questions is acceptable..then they will dig into our background. They call our friends and ask them a series of questions we can only hope our friends know the answer to. Then they check our criminal records, our credit score, our driving record and even in some cases (gasp) our urine. ALL this at the chance that we may be a good fit.

I guess I read a bit too far into it...but for anyone who has been in the job hunting game it is a nightmare. It is the kind of thing that keeps us in jobs from graduation until retirement. We say we don't like change, but what we really don't like is the idea of our life being once again brought into question by strangers. If you are like me, you put a bunch of stuff on your piece of paper that you thought that people wanted to hear. You added skills and qualifications for an imaginary position you hoped to get. For me the only reason I like interviews is the interview outfit. It is the only time during the whole process where the other person is going to judge you based on the picture you painted. If you wear an outfit that is polished and professional with out looking too stuffy, you are going to have a better shot at that job. I am the kind of person who would wear a Calvin Klein dress to an interview at McDonalds.

This morning when I tucked my head into my navy BCBG shirt dress, I felt like I was putting on my resume for life. The dress paired with a cardi one of my favorite brick red/ navy combos with a scarf and tights..no that is something that defines me. I think getting dressed every morning is writing your resume for life. You never know when a potential employer is out there. You may hold the door open for them at the Mall or you may let them borrow a pen. I don't necessary buy that I can be summed up on a piece of paper (or by six months of blogging). I can be summed up by a navy shirt dress.

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Dress: BCBG
Cardi: JCrew
Necklace: Homemade
Tights: Kohls
Shoes:MIA (DSW)
Scarf: The Limited
Coat: Modcloth
Purse: Fossil 
Earrings: Charlotte Russe



1 comment:

  1. I'm glad my son is "old-fashioned". He brought you and ultimately two more beautiful girls into our family.

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