I was 16 looking for my first job. I went from grocery store to buffet “steakhouse” to fast food emporium, speaking to humans, filling out applications with a pen on paper. There was communication and first impressions and etiquette as I had to walk into the actual store, hunt down the keeper of the application, smile, shake hands and learn to look competent and try to impress. There was back and forth dyadic interpersonal communication, verbal and non. It was 1987. I narrowly avoided employment at McDonald’s by getting offered the glamorous position refilling garbanzo beans in the salad buffet at Ponderosa for the Texas Rangers farm team.
Today, I spend hours crafting intelligent, concise, exciting-with-potential-and-experience resumes, go online and download them into a blackhole. Seriously, where do they go? It’s a vacuum. Nature may abhor a vacuum, but HR reps everywhere delight in creating them. Find a relevant position in an internet search site. Fulfill the “apply for this job” hoop jumping. Post resume. Hear the universe flush. There’s no personal contact, no way to really connect with a potential employer and impress them with my supergreat personality that I just know does not shine through my spotty work history resume. I’m a communication student, dammit. There’s only so much magic I can make with words and roughly 8 years of work history, I have to depend on my sparkling personality facade. I radiate competence at will. I cannot staple that to my internet resume.
Like most job seekers, I spend a quantity of time wasting time online. Gawker.com is a favorite place to lose chunks of unemployed hours. They have a weekly blog featuring the long-term unemployed with headlines like “Dear God, I’m eating from Garbage Cans and I Haven’t Landed an Interview in Six Months!” . I haven’t bothered to read these uplifting, inspiring tales from the front lines of Workforce but I’m sure they are full of helpful tips. I have read several resume help articles and interview trend blogs. If nothing else, once I land a job in my former and hopefully future profession as a job placement director at a career school, I’ll be that much better educated on what to tell students.
What I want to tell them is: Go storm the Gates! Get in there and shake hands! Unfortunately, It’s 2012 and we’re all just a bunch of dry facts on paper. So get out there online! Learn the buzzwords of the day! DO NOT LIE ON THE RESUME! Spell check! Buzz-words!! GOGOGO!! Good luck, kids.