Time to Resume the Job Search (pun intended)

 

Since my last blog about going to see The Dark Knight Rises, I’ve received a flurry of e-mails (ok, just 5 – and 1 that’s probably spam). They’ve all been pretty encouraging, with the exception of 1 (more on that soon).

One life-long reader wants to know more about me. She asked what I was doing to qualify myself for a position and how I’m currently making ends meet; though her tone was more like, “So what are you actually doing with your life, you lazy bastard?”

Well, since there’s no such thing as tone through e-mail, my subconscious probably read her e-mail that way. Anyway, it was a good question.

I’ll start off by saying that I am not unemployed; I work full-time as a Receptionist at a retirement home.

Seriously, with a job title like that — who needs pick-up lines? And how much do I make? Lets just say I can afford a Netflix subscription with 4 DVDs at-a-time, no sweat.

As for what I’m doing to qualify myself for a marketing position? Simple. I’m working on padding the ol’ resume like it was one of those K9 dog biting suits those FBI trainers wear.

Not by outright lying though,  that doesn’t work. I’d know.

A few years ago, I believed a resume was a magic sheet of paper that, whatever I wrote down on it, became absolutely true. I treated my resume like it was some insecure girl’s Facebook profile picture – I dressed it all up, coated it with fancy lines, and skewed everything on it at impossible angles. I thought speaking fluent Vietnamese sounded pretty good, so I put it in there in bold – like the final coating of mascara.

It worked!

I was called in for an interview to a fancy doctor’s office shortly after. To prepare, I proceeded to do everything just short of hiring a speaking coach like Colin Firth in the King’s Speech. I figured I could win them over in the interview and they would overlook the slight exaggerations on my resume.

My interviewer was a stern Asian woman who carried herself in a way that made you envision her running around as a kindergartner in a lab coat – she was all business. I sat down and put on my most ambitious smile, the one I practiced in the mirror so deftly at every traffic light getting there. She scanned my resume and stated, without a hint of a question in her voice, “So you speak Vietnamese”.

“Mm hm” I responded, vowing to myself to start learning immediately after I got home from the interview.

“Good. We’ll go ahead and conduct this interview in Vietnamese, then.”

…The remainder 20 minutes of that story is as squirm worthy as you can uncomfortably imagine.

Today, my closest friends suggested the art of just embellishing actual facts. You know, going from Receptionist to a Communications Coordinator, or from picking my nose to performing a precision extraction of nasal vestibule mucus – you get the idea.

So, in the past week, besides permanently changing my homepage to http://www.Thesaurus.com, I’ve read some really great articles. Resume tips are like the weight loss commercials of the Internet — there are a million of them, and they all say the same thing. After sifting through the same tired “proven tips”, these articles struck me as most practical:

This one from Content Notes titled, 15 Tips to Make Your Resume Shine in 15 Seconds, has everything from format samples to helpful tips like getting rid of the corny objectives portion of your resume. And this article from Vertex42, Action Verbs for Resumes, lists appealing verbs by industry to make you sound like a real big shot. Check these out if you’re working on your resume too.

And before I go, here’s that other e-mail I received from a friendly observer about my last blog:

Going to the movies alone is one thing, but going to IMAX alone is pretty low. I hope you get a job as a tollbooth operator, seems fit for a loner like you.

He does have a point. I forgot that IMAX was the carpool lane of the theater going experience, what was I thinking? And tollbooth operator? Sounds good. I’ll let your boss know that you referred me.

Just kidding. I love e-mails, so keep ‘em coming

How’s the job market in Gotham?

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I received some flattering feedback for my initial blog — or more accurately — my friends all had the same uncanny reaction of nodding and smiling a little too quickly when asked if they had a chance to read it. After chalking it up as being plenty productive for the week, I went to watch The Dark Knight Rises again, in IMAX this time.

Going to the movies alone has a certain stigma about it, which I never understood. I mean, it’s completely logical to want to take in a story without having to intermittently lean over and pretend to chuckle at whatever the hell the person next to you just indecipherably whispered in your ear, right? Well, I was sitting there alone when a father of two ushered his sons in and sat down, leaving a seat in between us – completely courteous of my date for the movie that will never arrive. I admired the quality time he was devoting to his boys, but my admiration quickly halted when they suddenly launched into a salvo of questions about whether or not the IMAX screen was bigger than the sky.

Aw hell nah I uttered to myself almost audibly. The first showing I went to, I sat so close to the screen, it felt like I was watching the film through one of those dash cam views you see on America’s Wildest Police Chases. It was disorienting and a bit nauseating; this time, I vowed to have the perfect viewing experience.

So I  found myself stuck at an internal crossroads of (A) making sure I was not disturbed in the least, and (B) potentially offending the father by relocating to a new seat so suddenly. Swift ingenuity kicked in as I instinctively whipped my phone out and up to my ear – “Hello? Yeah h-hold on a minute I’m in a theater, let me step out.” I made my way to the exit seemingly out of proper manners and essentially earning a redo of seat selection a minute later. On return, I picked a seat out of view of the man and his kids. Victorious now, with empty seats on either side of me, I began to feel like Al Pacino did in the hot tub in Scarface.

The film thundered along, as exhilarating as the first time I saw it. At one point after a Batman/Bane showdown, there was a kid sitting a few seats over from me who looked around the theater with an expression that begged the question “Was that F!@#$%& awesome or what??”

In return, I nodded back in a way that said “Yeah kid – that was F!@#$%& awesome.”

The Dark Knight Rises is triumphant considering the monumental hype surrounding it, but it had more going for it than against it. I mean, with Morgan Freeman (as Lucius) and Michael Cain (as Alfred) you’re about 8/10ths of the way to a great film already. Seriously, these guys are walking Oscar performances. I imagine bank tellers applauding Morgan Freeman as he finishes depositing a check and waitresses tearing up as Michael Cain finishes his breakfast  at IHop. There are very few actors that can be listed in a cast and have audiences immediately think “That shit’s goin’ be good” – and The Dark Knight Rises has about 4 of them.

Seeing as how this is a blog about my quest for a job, many of you are probably wondering how my search is going. I wasn’t able to find any inside that Air and Space IMAX theater, but of course, you guys didn’t expect this blog to conclude so soon, right? Someone once said procrastination is the…um…art of keeping up with something – I’ll look it up later.

If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises, I highly recommend it. And if you’re going to shell out 16 bucks, go to a real IMAX theater – you know, the one that shows all that educational crap in between Batman showings. The screen is just magnificent; I mean it’s almost like watching a movie projected in the sky or something…

Will work for…job

Imagine a reality show starring a fresh out of university chump who thinks the cameras are on him to show how charming he is as he tries to find a job – only they’re instructed to stand idly by and capture all the missteps that invariably lead him into oncoming traffic.

That sums up my blog nicely.

I graduated this past May from George Mason University with a degree in Marketing. To give you an indication of how sordid this journey will be, I had to attend summer school immediately after because I was 3 credits shy of fulfilling my course requirements as I walked across the stage and partook in the chummy celebrations, cap and gown and all. Despite feeling like I was part of the preseason celebration for the 2011 Miami Heat, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

My summer professor said to us on the first day:  “As a graduate, you are now part of an elite group.”  Inspired words — not only was I a graduate, but two days after finishing my summer course, I discovered that I am woefully unqualified.

The first indication was the internship I applied for with an agency in Chantilly. They responded by wanting to know me. Not typical employer stuff like previous experience or how much schooling I have had, no – they wanted to know the social media me. They requested my Facebook, Twitter, and any blogs I have been a part of to gauge my online presence.

Uh oh.

Now I am not a private person by any means, but my social media experience consists of me logging on to Facebook and clicking through scores of albums of people I don’t keep in touch with or playing spectator to the occasional spat between strangers in the comments section. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s just I couldn’t think of anyone who would benefit from my thoughts on Chic-Fil-A not tasting the rainbow (I’m all for human rights, so I’ll eat my waffle fries disapprovingly.)

Well, as you can tell, my first order of business is to get on this social media train and figure it all out. So, whether my friends like it or not, they better prepare to know what I had for lunch in graphic detail and how I feel when 5 Guys comes out supporting Gay rights (somehow I feel this is inevitable).

Thanks for reading this far. I will attempt to be as enlightening and interesting as one can be as they scramble to find a respectable job. If you think I am just another idiot jumping up and down waving my arms erratically for attention in cyberspace, I am. Feel free to ignore me, I won’t blame you.

However, if you decide to stick around, here are 3 reasons you should continue to read my stuff:

1.)   You are in the same boat as I am looking for employment

2.)   You think you have a sucky life and want to feel better by seeing someone suck even worse

3.)   You are a hiring manager that desperately needs a new employee by lunchtime Monday

Well I’m off to the intersection, wish me luck….

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You can almost hear me saying through gritted teeth: “I’m so screwed”