Unless you’ve recently completed a stint at the local ostrich-syndrom-head-in-the-sand-shake-your-tail-feathers-and-run-for-the-nearest-denial-of-the-obvious clinic, you might have noticed that the economy reeks of month-old liver. For those out of work, my heart goes out to you. It can get tough. I’ve been there.
In my career as a human being, I’ve from time-to-time had the opportunity to interview and hire various breeds of wide-eyed job seekers. I’ve also witnessed curious trends in the job-seeking community. (“Hey, can you sign this paper saying I applied here?” “I suppose so. Would you like an application?” “Nah, but a buck for the bus would be cool.”) So for you eager-to-work-happy-to-join-the-ranks-of-the-gainfully-employed types who spend your hours pounding down the doors of would-be employers, I’d like to offer a few mildly-helpful, rarely-harmful, and even less-often fatal thoughts, insights, and speculations to aid you in your quest.
Let’s begin with first impressions.
Though a necktie and suit jacket may not be required interview apparel in our current more-casual-than-your-average-flea-infested-canine culture, there are still some basic guidelines when approaching people from whom you hope to acquire vast sums of cash. Those jeans. You know the ones. Your favorites. Yep, the ones with the big hole in the crotch, the blood stains from your latest “touch” football game, and “Slipknot Rocks” scrawled in marker on the right thigh. Leave them at home. Seriously. Leave them. Also, for those of you under the age of thirty: PLEASE, do not wear your pants down below your butt cheeks. Not cool, no matter what your also-unemployed buddies tell you. For those of you above the age of fifty: PLEASE, do not wear your pants up over your navel. Really. What’s with that?
When filling out an application, remember that playing World of Warcraft sixteen hours per day does not constitute previous employment.
Do not list McDonald’s “Hamburger University” under colleges attended.
If you smacked your previous boss in the jaw because he was a slime-of-the-earth-idiot-clod-dummy-stupid who insulted your mother’s integrity, your father’s parentage, and you sister’s somewhat suspect gender claims, you might want to reword this as, “Left previous position for better opportunity.”
Do not apply for positions such as nuclear physicist, brain surgeon, rocket scientist, or rodeo clown if you didn’t complete the eighth grade standardized placement test because those little gray dots on the page were “speaking to you.”
When stating your expected income do not write, “Will work for beer.” (Other no-no’s include, “Will work for sex, drugs, or rock ‘n roll.” The possible exception being if you’re applying as a roadie for Motley Crue.)
Should you make it to the interview stage, remember, deodorant is our friend.
When asked about your previous experience, don’t tell a potential employer that you have “mad skills.”
If your potential employer has a family photograph on his/her desk, you may want to refrain from stating that your future boss’s sixteen year-old daughter is “a hottie.”
Hope this has been helpful for all of you brave, job hunting fanatics out there. Best get some sleep, because soon you too might begin each day with the muttered declaration, “I hate my job.”
Copyright 2009 Thom Reese