Friday, December 02, 2005

you can't work for me

Dear potential job applicants and interviewees,
Hello. I have been going through resumes, reading cover letters, and chatting up potential new hires for quite some time now. At this point, I have a little advice for anyone else who'd like to be considered for a job working for me.

1. Punctuation matters. You tell me, "I promise you don't have to look at any more resume's after this one!" And yet I do. Do you know why? Can you see it? Obviously not, because you just left it in, glaring and wrong and insulting and honey? PASS.

2. Spelling also matters. Understand the difference between there, their and they're. Don't mess up your or you're either. Its and it's are two (not to or too) totally different things. If you can't get it right? Then I'm going to have to worry about double-checking every written piece you put in front of a senior executive or client, and baby, I so do not have time. PASS.

3. Format your resume. You're applying for a sales and marketing position. Sell yourself for god's sake. By the way, you know what I want to do when I see a bunch of random, un-matching fonts on the same resume? Send you a little note that says, "ARIAL, dumbass!" And also PASS.

4. Make eye contact in your interview. Seriously, have you never done a job interview before? Why are you always looking to the left? Is there a bear dancing with a juggling midget on that side of the room? Do I have some sort of disgusting creature dangling from my nose that you can't look at or you'll vomit? Do you think for even a minute that I'm going to trust you to perform well in client meetings if you can't even make eye contact with me? No? Well, you're right. PASS.

5. Try & stay positive, dude. If I ask you to describe your ideal work environment, and you take the opportunity to rip on the crappy office you're in now, there's a small chance I won't be impressed. Furthermore, don't bitch to me about how much you hate poor communication at work. EVERYONE hates poor communication at work. Communication at work sucks. Everyone thinks their communication style is superior, and even if it is, things will still slip through the cracks. It happens, you deal. When you try and blame poor performance or missed deadlines on bad communication, however, then that tells me that you are either a blame-shifter or you just have a piss-poor attitude when it comes to rolling with the punches. So, no. PASS.

6. Prepare answers for your interview question basics. I don't mind when people tell me they've heard a particular question repeatedly, nor am I surprised. I am, however, very much surprised when I discover that you don't have an appropriate answer prepared. What are the basics? They are:
-Tell me why you're interested in this position. (I want to know that you REALLY WANT it, not that you just need to escape your current hell of a job.)
-What job/projects have enjoyed the most? (I just want to make sure the things that blow your skirt up jive with the position for which you're interviewing.)
-Describe your ideal work environment. (See above.)
-Describe your ideal job. (I don't care if it's "rock star," as long as you can articulate it. If you can't, then you have no direction.)
-Why are you leaving your current position? (PREPARE. THIS. ANSWER. If you tell me it's because your boss sucks, then I'm immediately going to wonder if you're going to bad-mouth me when you're ready to leave this job. Your boss might truly suck, but you gotta at least go with the tried and true, "I'm looking to grow professionally.")
-Is there anything else you can tell me about yourself that we haven't already covered? (Yes. Yes, there always is. Here's the thing: job interviews are the ONLY TIME that you get to sit in front of someone and basically say, "I rock. I'm the shit. I'm amazing. I'm everything you wanted, and more." Or whatever. Do not sell yourself short. Take the opportunity to drive home the reasons for why you're awesome, whether I invite you to or not. I mean it.)

7. Don't bullshit me. I'm a sales and marketing professional: I am a goddamn bullshit EXPERT. The only jobs more experienced at bullshit than mine are that of publicist and lawyer. Have you ever heard the expression, "Don't bullshit a bullshitter?" It's excellent advice. My bullshit radar is FINELY TUNED. If you don't have the experience I'm asking about, just SAY SO. By all means, add that you're hungry to get it, that you look forward to training, that you have related experience that you think lends itself to that particular area, or whatever. But if you bullshit me? PASS, PASS, and oh, by the way, I will probably also tell every other department that might be hiring to also go ahead and PASS.

Follow my advice, kiddies, and we just might have a glorious future together. I'm not really that much of a hard-ass, I promise. But if you think you can get a job peddling laziness and mediocrity, well. You could probably work for the Bush Administration.

But you can't work for me.


Erika said...

Can I come work for you, Dinah? I promise I'll make you proud with my punctuation, spelling and grammar! Pretty please?

Becca said...

Ok, I honestly don't understand why you'd lie in an interview. The SECOND someone asks you to do that thing, they're going to find out you can't. It's so easy to just say you're really looking forward to learning new tasks. I don't get it at all.

My current pet peeve is people who try to prove they're overqualified for their current position by doing everything incorrectly. As in, they're so bored they can't be bothered. Yeah, and I can't be bothered to promote you. Gah!

PuffTrinket said...

THANK YOU! I have been trying to find a way to prove to my students that they will actually need English in their careers. They don't believe me, I'm just the teacher. I am going to use your blog as part of a lesson.

PS- Capitalization of both words is subjective. Overcorrection is dangerious. In Standard American English, God is generally capitalized and hell is generally not. Both, however, are the subject of some debate, and shoud. be handled as appropriate to the situation. Consider times when translators of greek texts insist on capitalizing the word God as though the Greeks were monotheistic... an anachronism born of overcorrection.) There, tell your "mom" that!

PuffTrinket said...

Uh, I forgot to preview my comment. I apologize for the typos.