Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Resumes on Halloween? You bet your sweet bippy!

I've been wracking my brain for about a week now, wanting to come up with something a little different for this charming day as let's face it, who can concentrate on normal life when there's so much damn candy around and people are dressed like lunatics?

So for show and tell today, I would like to share a couple of things with you that I thought were pretty spectacular.

First-  a picture that one of my girlfriends up in Dayton, Nevada (yo Malinda!) sent me. If you've never had the privilege of visiting Dayton, Nevada, you're really missing out. (That was sarcasm people. Are your sarcasm detectors broken because you've been eating too much sugar? Because you barely got that one. Sheesh!)

Anyhoo- below is a REAL picture that was snapped on a Virginia City Ghost Tour. The person taking the picture was in Malinda's group and all they thought they were doing was snapping a picture of a mirror. What they found later after browsing through all the pictures they took during the evening was a little oh, how shall we say? Unsettling. 

Here is the picture- setting is an 1800's building that was originally a hospital, now they hold art classes there- sign me up for those classes!

So tell me- what do you see here? 
A young boy? 
A woman in an old fashioned dress with a bun on top of her head?
Or a man with a hat on? 

The opinions have been varied of course, and who the heck really knows anyways?

Here's another pic, this one is from my fearless co-worker Tammy who is being awesome and allowing me to share as it's kinda personal in a weird sort of way.

The photo was taken from her living room, looking out towards their back yard patio. The figure matches the exact silhouette of her deceased mother-in-law. When they went to pull back the curtains to see who was standing on their patio, there was nobody there.
Can you say freaky man???

I thought that in honor of the holiday at hand, I'd have a little fun and create a resume for ghosts in general as I think they deserve to have their own, don't you?  So I present to you, possibly for the first time ever in the history of internet stupidity:

Resume of a Ghost

To get the hell out of this building I'm trapped in.

Special Skills: 
  • Scaring the crap out of people
  • Creating footstep and banging noises on as many hard surfaces as I can
  • Slamming doors
  • Distributing goose bumps
  • Morphing into different sizes, shapes and shadows
  • Changing room temps
  • Showing up in as many people's photographs as possible by positioning myself across from every mirror in this God-forsaken building
  • Speaking into new-fangled silver metallic boxes on cue

Extra special skill: 
If I concentrate really hard I can pick things up and throw them at people, or run a penny up a wall.

  • To have my eyes show up accurately in a picture again
  • To have a conversation with somebody besides myself
  • To change my clothes
  • To get new room mates
  • To cause enough of a ruckus to have the TAPS team or Amy from Dead Files show up and investigate, then fool 'em and stay quiet in the corner until they leave

  • Avid people watcher
  • Goosing small pets- making them appear to their owners that they've totally lost their marbles

Previous Work History:
  • 1860's - ? It's been so long I don't remember

*And for those of you that even had the passing thought to get on my case about the fact that the ghost has an Objective listed on it's resume...because according to me and other resume gurus, Objectives are old-school right? So, um, yeah... exactly my case in point. Do you know anything more old-school than a ghost?
I didn't think so.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by and
Happy Halloween everybody!! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Email Signatures. A How-(not) To Guide for Resume Making Dummies.

Ahh the email signature situation.

Usually a relatively neutral topic, but not when it comes to job hunting. 

I briefly covered this topic back in this post I wrote when I had to bring up the Bouncing Jesus crap, but I feel the need to delve into the topic a little bit further as they've been driving me NUTS lately.

Here is a list of the unfathomable, head-scratching, bumble-fuckery email sigs I've been receiving. Please keep in mind, these are NOT direct messages to me, these are the phrases permanently right underneath the candidates' names:

"The future depends on what you do with it"

"I like to get super social"

"Absense makes the heart grow funder"

"I'm full of sugar, sugar ;0)"

"Please like me on Facebook!"

"I'll be speaking to you soon, somehow."

"Ask my about my dog! Ruff!"

"This message is approved by ME"

"Sent by me, from my totally awesome phone"

"Mother + 1 bun in the oven, caffeine addicted super woman extraordinaire"

"Travel often down memory lane..."

"Never forget the power you have in life to affect yourself!"

"Change is so good."

"When you were born, the people around you smiled"

"Phone (818) 555-3456 (Monday thru Sunday only)"

"Show me the feet!'

"Faith and virginity above all else."

"(805) 237-5555 Parents home"

"Executive Assiatant"

"Liaison Expert Extraordinaire"

"People transformation is where it's at"

"Clerical Connuseur"

"When you need something in a blink, count on Fink" (last name was Finkelstein)

"I've got soul baby!"

And last but certainly not least:

"Use my global international number to rich me"

Now if you'll please excuse me, I have some drinking to do.

Peace out my peeps!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Oh Mr. Whipple, Let's Have a Conversation

This week has been hot baby (hot I tell you!) in regards to stupid job seeker behavior. I added to my folder with glee tonight when I came home and unloaded the last few days' worth of goodies to share with all my peeps.

But there was a certain conversation I had with a candidate on the phone today that stuck with me and sent me thinking about things rather "indepthly".

(I'm sure that isn't a word. And I'm sure somebody will email me to TELL ME that's not a word, but whatever. I'm still using it.)

This gentleman I called to chat with was like uber skilled in the industry I recruit for. Which (just for the record so you have some reference) is kind of rare.

He was also slightly full of himself.

We'll just call him Chuck.

Chuck told me I had proven myself "unique" while talking with him compared to all the "other" recruiters he'd been speaking to, and thus he apparently felt compelled to explore the possibility of gracing us with his talents. (In other words, a slightly pompous jackass was impressed by my shenanigans and ability to verbally spar with him on the phone for 7 minutes and decided my *uniqueness* (read: fruit loopy goodness?) was worth rewarding by coming in to interview with us.)

Big la-de-freakin'-da, right?

He did ask me though how long I'd been recruiting (almost 5 years) and how I got into it.
Well that's another story for another day, but I told him the career just seemed to "gel" with my personality, and left it at that.

There is a back story however, and this is where that word "indepthly" comes up again.

Story time my little chickadees!

When I was little, I was extremely shy. *Gasp!*
(I know several of you, perhaps the entire handful of people that actually read this, are shocked!)
I'm talking shy beyond shy, like I would go hide under the table so people didn't dare see me or try to interact with me.

My mom, however, wasn't terribly shy, but perhaps more importantly, had "not so shy" friends that I was exposed to.

There was one incident I remember very distinctly that stuck with me over the years.
And that is the pivotal afternoon I went with mom to visit her sorority sister, Karen.

Dripping in diamonds, sporting the ridiculous long, fake eyelashes of the 70's, and constantly flipping her long, bleached blonde feathered hair back like the fabulous Breck girl on TV at the time (which can be seen here if you have NO idea what I'm talking about), Karen was a bit on the "extravagant" side. Going to visit her in her mansion full of Roman columns, white marble flooring, and groomed poodles larger-than-my-tiny-self always proved to be an adventure.

Setting aside her ability to flip her hair like Erin Gray, Karen had an uncanny ability to do 2 things exceptionally well : play the violin and talk to anybody about anything.

I remember driving away with mom after that particularly long gab-fest/coffee klatch I'd been forced to attend. I was maybe all of 4 or 5 years old and I had made a comment about how "there's only so many times I can throw that ratty tennis ball for Rocco mommy" before she launched into the various high points of her friend and her lifestyle. One thing I will never forget she listed was Karen's unique characteristic of being able to converse with anyone. She specifically said: "That woman could talk about toilet paper with somebody for hours on end if she had to."

Perhaps it was the image of toilet paper and my immediate association to the Mr. Whipple and the "Squeeze the Charmin" campaign that made this memory stick in the vault that was my little, impressionable mind.
But I never forgot that saying.

(Don't know who Mr. Whipple is?
Well you're about to get schooled: your second 70's/80's throwback lesson for the day.)

So now, all these years later, I'm no longer shy.
I've somehow come out of my shell.
Time frame on that would be sort of in high school but more than likely in college, when I became the President of my sorority. Being in front of 80 women will force ANYBODY out of their shell for sure. (Not to mention also teach them important life skills like how to sneak a guy through your bedroom window and how to suck down 4 Advil and drink a boat load of water when you're drunker than a skunk so you don't wake up with a hangover.)

So back to the point at hand: as Chuck so forcingly reminded me, I am a fairly decent recruiter.
I can now say with the utmost confidence, I can pretty much have a conversation about anything, with anyone.
Including toilet paper.

What's most ironic about this discussion this week is the fact that just the day before, I received an email from a chick that had apparently applied for MY recruiting job, had an interview set up with my boss and then cancelled at the last minute, way back in early 2008. I only know this because we use GoldMine, which can track the fact that somebody sneezed or had a bowel movement back in 2005, should you choose to be so gross and do so. (Note to all job seekers- yes, some companies track ALL of their interactions with you. Keep that in mind.)

I pulled up her resume to compare what she had sent me now, and discovered (with great disgust) it was the same exact damn thing.
She hadn't added anything to it.
And it actually went back to 2006- she hadn't even bothered to update it back in 2008 when she had tried to apply before.

I feel I need to clarify- she wasn't applying for MY job now, she was trying to work under one of our established agents.
In order to do that though, she has to first get past the gatekeeper (read: ME) to be considered for this type of position.
I knew I wasn't going to have her come in to interview, and figured in the back of my mind she's been a stay- at-home mommy (which is FINE but you stay-at-home mommy's NEED to put that on your resume) but regardless, I decided to have a little fun with her nonetheless because quite frankly, anybody that's going to let their resume sit for 6 years and not update it then send it out to the world? Deserves to be messed with. 

Here's what I emailed her:
Dear Alanna,
Thank you for submitting your resume for the job posting I have up on CareerBuilder right now for the position of _____________. I just went to put you into our system and it looks as if you'd already previously considered interviewing back in 2008, but cancelled at the last minute. We have your prior resume on hand as well and after comparing them, I noticed it looks exactly the same as the current one you just submitted. That leads me to the need to ask- what have you been doing career-wise since 2006? If you could fill me in on this, I would appreciate it.
Best regards,
Stephanie ________
Recruiting Director
for _________
etc etc

Here's what she wrote back- in all it's beautiful glory, punctuation, exact phrasing etc, left perfectly in tact for your enjoyment:

"ive been unemployed,going to collage as well as taking care of my children but its a long time since i've worked and always had jobs and always enjoyed working and always a hard worker.I know a long break and need highly to go back to work since being at work me very happy and whoel .i'm extremely  smart,kind,and hardworking.Thats why i've never had finding work.Where u located in simi too.i would love an interview with u."

Okay. There's so many things wrong with this, I don't even now where to start, so I don't think I will. I'll just let it sit and fester with y'all like it did me.

Oh alright, you guys know me, I can't help myself, I HAVE to say something, so I will say these 2 things: "extremely smart" my ASS
she ain't no Stephanie. My boss man dodged a MAJOR bullet there.
I'd place some pretty major money on the fact that she can't talk about no toilet paper for hours on end, wouldn't you?

Now go squeeze the Charmin!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's Crazy Resume O'Clock!

It would seem as if most of my posts as of late have started out with "Sorry I've been gone so long..." etc. 

Alas, it is true once again, I've been gone a bit, and for that I hang my head in shame and humbly apologize to all my faithful readers. 

People have been actually emailing me and saying "WTH? Where did you go? Are you alive? I am worried." and so on. 
One reader even sent me this adorable pic she was so concerned:

(Thank you Miss T!)

You have no idea how happy it makes me when people are fretful that this ridiculous blog might forever be abandoned. 
It's truly flattering that I'm missed. 
So thanks to all of you that have been concerned and because of that, I feel as if I should explain what I've been up to. 

The truth is, it would seem as if I have an ax planted in the left side of my neck, or at least what feels like about half an ax tip, as I have a herniation in my neck that's driving me BATTY. 
I walk around feeling like a newborn infant in an extreme amount of pain, unable to hold her head up properly. (For the record, if I were actually a newborn, I'd be a newborn on crack, with colic and some serious teething issues.) 

If you've never had a herniation in your neck then really, you're missing out. It makes life oh, how shall I say...? 


That's the best adjective I can come up with. 

Things become "less funny" when you have a chronic pain health situation, so being a writer of "funny" (or so I've been told I am) makes things a little challenging. Fortunately I've been squirreling away the stupid resume examples I knew I would want to write about because *at some point* I figured I would get better and I'd actually be able to hold my head up without crying, wearing an ice pack around my neck like a scarf, or being hopped up on narcotics.

Seeing as how I have an extensive history with spine issues (including multiple back surgeries and a spinal fusion 7 years ago), I'm rather versed in what would need to go down to make me better. Just to be sure as to what was going on, I checked with my back and spine doc, who had me endure a 2 hour neck and spine MRI/CAT scan session that could have sent me into therapy just by itself. 

Don't believe me and think I'm being overly dramatic about an MRI session? Try not being allowed to swallow for 5-8 minutes at a time while being heavily nauseated from the contrast dye they injected in you because you're already riddled with metal, all the while being trapped inside a gigantic smelly tube with a mask 1" from your face... you start to get a little panicky while trying to convince yourself you're not going to drown in your own spit. 

The whole session was "tainted" by the fact that about 30 minutes in I realized I REALLY had to pee and they wouldn't let me because they said we'd have to start completely over (oh hell to the no!). What made it even worse (as if that were possible) was the fact that they were piping relaxing nature sounds through my headphones in an effort to try and calm me down... nature sounds with lots of rushing water. When I had to pee. IDIOTS.


Upon perusal of the 7 pounds of heavy MRI films I carried into my doctor's office about a week later, it would seem as if I had indeed hurt myself and needed to be fused again. More fusing?
This is not something I want to go through anytime soon, so I told him unless I have complete paralysis of my upper extremities or spine itself, I was just going to "endure".

Easier said than done.

I had been managing the pain fairly well as my part-time, working from home set up allowed me to lay down briefly in the afternoon if needed. But as Murphy and his mocking-me law would have it, my afternoon replacement gal up and quit and boss man asked me to come back full time. I told him I needed to chew on it for a few days, but ultimately decided I didn't REALLY want to have to go through all the effort of finding another "Afternoon-Stephanie-Replacement" person, and then train him or her, only to have them possibly quit shortly thereafter. I also knew my teenage daughter was more settled with her school and heavily involved Color Guard schedule... what the hell, I'd give it a whirl. 

The first day I felt like a truck ran me over.
The second, I wanted to jump off the balcony of our 3rd story building at work.
By the third day, I was an all out bitch on wheels.

I knew something needed to be done, something that didn't involve fusing... something less "Western-medicine-esque". So for 2 weeks now I have been doing laser light therapy which basically entails shooting some specific, high powered wave length of light through my problem areas in the hopes of speeding up cell regeneration.  And guess what? 
It seems to be working!  
While the immediate hours after the treatments have been pretty awful, and I'm not completely pain free, I've got it down to about a 2-3 on the 1-10 pain scale. Without ANY pain meds, even Advil. 
This is huge.

So guess what that means?
I'm back in the saddle baby!
Time to bring on the resume funny!
You just endured reading all that (my hat is off to you for THAT!) so let's just jump in, shall we?

Here's what I've compiled in my trusty pink folder while you were all so patiently waiting... 

From Marvin- under his "Career Overview":
"In my past jobs I have qualified for a manager position which I completed thoroughly while thriving on the greatness and honesty I portray even while I am sleeping..."

From Shirley- under her "Skill Highlights" section:
"Have excellent filling skills."
(As in teeth? No... she is not in the dental field...)

From Rod- under his "Core Accomplishments" portion:
"I can calm down ALL customers while keeping them as a client. I enjoy telling them what to do and how to breathe to settle their nerves."

From Seda- in her initial email to me along with her resume:
"i'm a great worker and i interact with different people and personalities very well, despite their grumpiness. I just NEED THIS OPPORTUNITY!!!"

From Vanessa- in an email to me accompanying her equally confusing resume:
"I thank you for looking at my resume as it shows me there is great interest in me as a potential person with what i have to offer. i do reside in Northridge, and i currently have my life and accidental health (pending). i've been waiting for several months for my license and i don't know why it is taking so long to get it. Based on the financial world i would rather work on base as i am knowledgable in life, a great people person, and this industry hasn't been in my favor because my pending license and i have yet to see any one change in it, so it does effect my financial interest and assistant pending industry career. i do thank you for your time and appreciate that there is interest in me as a potential person with what i have to offer."

Cindy put this as one of her strengths:
"Very analytic to help notice my strong week points."

Mark said that he's "Talented in design anguls of communications."

Rebecca put this and ONLY this under her specific job description as an admin:
"Accomplished understanding how to use new technology to create a PDF."

Jonathan thought it important to highlight this crap, otherwise known as his hobby:
"Record and write lyrics based on my life experience to give different perspectives to other people, that may not have had those perspectives or experiences, themselves, before."

Jack wanted to be sure to put this under his volunteer service section: "Played basketball on my lunch break."
He also felt it necessary to point out that he "Swept sand in parking lot while it rained."

Nathan put:
"I have the keen ability to satisfy a customer, if you know what I mean."

Anthony (who currently works at a PIZZA HUT in GUAM I might add) emailed me this little diddy:
"I would like to be interested in your offer but I was told you would need a woman."

I was laughing so hard, my boss man came in my office to see if I was okay- when I showed it to him he said in his normal, non-PC kind of way "Why don't you write him back and say "it looks like YOU need a woman." 

Calm down boys, she's not even real ;0)

And last, my most favoritist one of the bunch lately, from Caroline, who sent me this lovely message along with her resume:
"As I am currently in Copenhagen, I would be happy to move as soon as i am guaranteed the position. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you could please pay for my travel expenses to fly in for an interview."
You read that right- she's in COPENHAGEN. As in DENMARK. And she wants us to foot the bill for her to fly over here for an interview.

It took everything in me not to write her back and say "Does this ever work? How many cool places have you gotten to travel to utilizing this method?"


Peace out my peeps!