Day -24: Suit and Tie

Dear Corporate Canada – Or what ever any company with a Human Resources department is called,

No. This is not an “I just got fired and I’m going to expose my boss’s chronic bad breath condition.” And no, this is not my declaration that I’ve hacked into your social media – Facebook and Twitter accounts and have started to post hateful, yet cleverly thought  out insults. I’m not exposing your affairs nor am I suing for sexual harassment. Although…if I was in the States….

I did not get fired.

Nor did I get hired.

Quite frankly, how does anyone get employed? I mean unless they are flaunting the aphrodisiac of a resume designed to get your company hard i.e. graduated from Ivy League school with a g.p.a that simply numerically can not exist  (I thought a 4.0 was the best you could do) how does anyone get a job? And even when super geniuses are acquisitioned, aren’t they more of an asset than an employee – akin to a penis car, something the boss can show off? I.e. “Hello Tom, have you met our latest hire? She’s got a 4.7 g.p.a. from Harvard, then she received 16 PhDs from Columbia, then McGill, then Stanford…” you see where this is going.

Because I can tell you, looking at stats, the real minorities are not ethnically bound – but academically so. Seeing someone with a 4.3 g.p.a is as about as common as running into an intellectual barbarian.

So how does anyone get hired?

Resumes do not sparkle. They are either word or PDF documents that blandly state that a person has enough competence to put a list of things in chronological order – a feat my two year has almost completely mastered.

And then they say it’s all in the cover letter.

Right.

The letter that is supposed to summarize everything in the resume.

How is that even efficient?

I refuse to believe that my future is meant to be built on 400 to 500 words. There are so many things that I can bring to a place that simply can’t fit. Aside from the basic traits of boring i.e. diligent, work-a-holic and perfectionist, I am so much more. We are so much more. I’m passionate, I care about helping and fixing people, and more importantly, I bake like a mo-fo. Who doesn’t want to be welcomed at work every morning with banana muffins, sugar cookies, or chocolate cake with vanilla icing and sprinkles?

I am a mother, I have four dogs, I play the piano, I love dubstep and I am Goddess at Settlers of Catan.

People skills? I play computer games with thousands all of the world – trust me, I got people skills.

But rules are rules.

I’m willing to play the game.

Photo on 13-02-25 at 1.59 PM

So when Corporate Canada came calling – this is what I sent in:

I toyed with the decision of whether or not to apply to this position – mainly because the job posting itself was quite well written and amusing. It was between looking at Kate Upton’s leaked Sports Illustrated cover and finding out Jim Sweeney died, that I mustered up the courage and emphatically sighed “YOLO.” 
 
Ok, I didn’t sigh “YOLO,” I never do, and I had no idea who Jim Sweeney was until Yahoo told me he was relevant. That being said, my proficiency at decoding tricky online acronyms should most definitely be a resounding asset. 
 
I believe I am qualified for this position. I graduated with a degree in Journalism and have worked for various mediums of media. I have editorial experience and literally worship my thesaurus – once in the morning and once at 3 pm. I’m also an online entrepreneur and have social media marketing experience. 
 
I hesitantly say I have a blog. I say hesitantly, because today I received my first ever “Your blog is so offensive and sucks” comment. Obviously, I’m not healing well. 
I thought I sparkled.
I didn’t.
Our whole lives we are told to think outside the box, to embrace our creative voice, and to WOW – when the truth is the corporate world wants butch, and not in the kinky lesbian way- but in the strict uniform sense.
So.
Dear Corporate Canada,
What if your walls weren’t grey, and you had no dress code? What if creativity was not only embraced but also nurtured? Imagine how different your office would be if people actually wanted to be there.
The world wasn’t built on the backs of impeccable stationary, but from the minds of those who play with being different.
I am not a statistic, I don’t leverage things, and you can not aggregate me.
I am a human being.
You are the same.
Sweet Dreams World.

 

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138 replies

  1. The fact that you bake like a mo-fo should definitely be in the first paragraph. Do share when you get hired.

  2. This sums up my experiences applying for jobs very well. Thank you for putting it down in such fun words!!! Even if looking for a job is depressing! 🙂

    • Depressing doesn’t even cut it. I wake up every so often from my sugar induced coma, only to find an empty inbox and missed calls from my phone carrier. *Sigh* Things will pick up for us I’m sure.

  3. I’m also applying for jobs and feel frustrated. Just know that if I were in charge of hiring for any company, I would hire you based solely off that cover letter.

  4. I think the United States esp Connecticut should be highlighted some where in here too. I really enjoy your blog, I feel like I can hear your voice with pride, power and determination. Awesome!

  5. Sad truth is that we’re all either qualified/over-qualified for everything we apply for, and so happens to be everyone else we’re competing with. It’s complete luck or the you-knew-a-guy situation.

  6. If all else fails, You could be a stand up comic! Your writing is iconic! Love it!

  7. This was a breath of fresh air and off with the head of whoever called your blog offensive! I find it hilarious, informative and down right amusing!

  8. I will tell you what I always tell my daughters, clients, and myself for that matter. If doors seem like they are closing it is only because the perfect opportunity is waiting to manifest. Someone is going to recognize you for the gem you are and the door will crack wide open. Trust me.

  9. Stupid resumes aside, I think the great filtering has begun. The minimum IQ took two or three steps up, landing a good job will continue to require more distinction as the crowds grow bigger.

  10. Love your response letter.

  11. I sometimes feel that as time has gone on, the “proceadure” for getting a job has become extremely refined and clearly dictated. You have to structure your CV (resume) like this, cover letter like that, wear these colours to an interview say these things, don’t say these things. The very fact there in an industry that has arisen in “getting a job” makes me pause. I have to admit I have used some of the techniques, and as a result of those techniques have gained employment or come close. But invariably as I look back on my short career it has been more about luck, falling in the right place at the right time. It might sound wishy washy, but it sincerely feels like that.

  12. So you are a mo-fo at cakes, and you play games (which ones)…

  13. I’m not sure what your resume looks like, but since my job history is varied and awkward to capture chronologically (I worked at one job twice with a gap in between while holding a second job), I decided to try a suggestion of making a functional resume instead of chronological. I no longer list my past employers (they can go to LinkedIn if they want that), but I broke down my “professional achievements” into three categories (customer service, writing, managerial) and made bulletpoints of each. I think it looks a bit more impressive (and saves me from listing barista duties) and forced me to think about talking points for a an interview or cover letter. I would recommend thinking about how you could format your resume into a functional one to see if it helps—in the least it would help make yourself feel better about what you have accomplished professionally!

  14. Hey there! I wandered over after you liked one of my posts. I gotta say, anyone who excels at Settlers should be highly employable no matter how great or poor their stats are!

  15. Shareena, you absolutely sparkled. I have no idea why Corporate Canada could not see this, but you glitter like a Mardis Gras mask! Seriously, you made me laugh repeatedly. If I were Corporate Anywhere, I’d want you to work with me. ~Jennifer

  16. So true. I currently in the process of looking for something that is my fit.

  17. Love this! And wouldn’t have found it had you not read my Atwood post. Thanks. Keep seeking creativity in employment:) Scream when you find it-

  18. Shareen, Thanks for the visit and the like on my poem. You have a delightful style. I see a major economic paradigm shift in progress – we are witnessing the demise of cradle-to-grave corporate employment and defined benefit pensions. My advice, for what it’s worth: become an entrepreneur (or maybe marry a gazillionaire }:-)>). The shift is to self-employment and shorter-term / project-type employment. You clearly have the education and talent to manage social media. Start doing this for small businesses, charities, organizations, etc. This gives you work experience, which helps with future employment. It also forces you to understand business, initiative, and leadership. Again, future employers value these skills and experience. Lastly, by getting out an doing this, you’ll also be networking. People prefer to hire people they know, like and trust. It’s a Brave New World out there. Best of luck, S.

  19. I enjoy your post….
    Very engaging….and you do sparkle!!!

  20. Wonderful sentiment. You are hilarious. That took me away from the real world for about five minutes, because I’m reading this at work. A company that values creativity? … Only within their rules and their lines. Unless you create your own company. Then it’s your rules – as long as it earns money.

  21. Great post with sparkling wit. I hope I don’t dampen the tone with serious advice, but…

    (ps do not send me a note saying I’m insensitive or crass. I know that, its a positive trait in my job)

    I actually do hire lots of people and its mainly sight unseen. What I would say to everyone looking for a job – empathise with the people who do the hiring. Get an idea of the process and tailor your submission to suit.
    I spent an hour yesterday with a PHd trying to get him to write a CV that someone would look at and get past the first page. He blanked me.

    I’m not saying this is how it works everywhere but in general this is what happens

    1. Your submission goes to a department that hires gazillions of people. They have no emotion about people being unemployed or really needing a job.
    2. They process your submission, they usually start by throwing away the cover page or filing it under B1N.
    3. They check what the job the cv is for. If its not for a specific opening they file it alongside the cover letters in B1N.
    4. The person hiring gets the cv and reads it on their computer – they will spend around 3 to 4 seconds and will only scan key points. Experience and qualifications for the job in question is what they’re looking for. So have that up front and make it tidy and legible.
    Learning point, do not write it in a folksy manner (well ah says to myself, shoot Joe why don I write up a letter…) or in the 3rd tense (Joe is a fully formed member of the institute of…). No attempt at humour either please.
    5. The cv is shut down and another one opened or the reader goes to the second page.

    Learning point – what am I looking for? Solid experience with the right companies with the person in the right position. I don’t want to hear how you saved a trillion dollars just rejigging the toilet schedules.
    What do I not want to see? A cv where each job lasted 6 months (if you have done this then write it up that you’re a consultant sorting many problems – but I’ll still probably not hire you) or a cv where you were in 1 job your entire life. I’m looking for seasoned diversity. If you worked for 3 months at the gas company, don’t let me see that.
    I’m also looking for the worst kind of lie – someone pretending to be someone they’re not – they usually don’t lie outright but they shape the words (‘I review cost reports’ does not mean you are a senior cost engineer – if you were that the qualifications of the front sheet would have informed me of the fact).

    6. The cv is either binned or the reader starts at the front page again and gives it a proper read.

    Learning point. I want to know if you’re right for the job. I need someone who can walk in the door and start dancing. I’m not a mentor/ teacher/ educator. I don’t want someone over or under qualified either. Over qualified people are a pain in the whotsit usually with their abundance of advice. Note, if you are overqualified and get hired? Shut up and get on with THIS job.

    7. If the cv still looks OK its filed under ‘maybe’ but that’s a long way from ‘looks like a keeper’.

    I also have prejudices, one for each batch of scar tissue I carry. There are people from a certain city, people who have a certain habit and people who are from a particular background who will never get a job with me. No matter what.

    So, your looking for a job – the right experience, qualifications, track record and a short notice period will get you near the top of the pile. If you don’t have any of that use orange coloured paper – it will stand out if nothing else.

  22. I hope you find a way to earn a living away from Corporate madhouse – if we can all figure out how to do that, then they can spend 72 hours each week on letters, interviews and testing to beg those who make fortunes for them to come to work – 🙂

  23. GREAT POST and I think your blog ROCKS! Love your writing style and creative way with words.

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