It’s the final countdown. When people say “how much further to go?“, we now answer with the more-than-a-little-trepadacious “8-10 weeks“. We spent the Monday afternoon of our long-weekend actually In More Than One Baby Store, debating the benefits and challenges of the buddha vs. the moby vs. the balboa and very nearly (very nearly!) buying a sleeper to bring this little girl home in. Not quite ready to commit, but almost. And no, we don’t have a crib yet. Soon.(this was our shopping and walking day… unfortunately, unlike our East coast friends and family, we didn’t have a super warm and sunny weekend; however, we took advantage of the few non-rainy moments to get outside to enjoy some of the amazing spring-time colours)
What I did achieve this past week was to shortlist applicants and arrange interviews for my maternity leave – I’m preparing to temporarily let go of not one, but two jobs that I love (I have a full-time position, and a part-time gig. I am passionate about both) a process that was simultaneiously exciting, interesting, intimidating, and more than a little humorous. Every time I have an opportunity to go through resumes, I experience the same recurring feelings of amusement, empathy and disbelief. No doubt, we all know it’s a tough job market out there – at the same time, there are some terrible resumes “out there”, too!! Please allow me to divert from my prenatal musings and share from this point of minor privilege:
5 resume tips and bits that may actually help you (or at least, make you laugh…)
these are real quotes from actual resumes that were submitted.
1. “I’ve always wanted to work at a not-for-profit“. Well, that’s awesome Jilly-Jobhunter, and I think it would be just swell if you went and applied at one. The thing is, we are very much a for-profit television station. Whoops! This could be a case of simply misunderstanding the job posting or company description (despite our logo, company profile, highly-publicised portfolio, etc. etc.) or (more likely) a detonation from the minefield of the machine-gun job-application approach. Similar, yet possibly more confusing than the “I always turn to (insert competitor here) for my evening news” or the subtle-yet-still-embarrassing attachment resume file that has been named resumefor(otherstation).doc. Honestly, we know it’s a tough fight out there – hec, at this very moment my husband is looking for something permanent and more conducive to being a dad, but at the same time, oversights like addressing your cover-letter to “the hiring manager at (unrelated company)” isn’t helping anyone.
2. “I look forward to hearing from you… ” as soon as you figure out how to find me. Shockingly, I see this crazy omission every single time we have a job posting. There is simply no contact information attached to the cover-letter or resume. And I hate to be old-fashioned, but by “contact information”, I still mean plain-ol’ phone number. Land-line, ideally – or at the very least, one that will not be diverted to a message telling me that “this number cannot be reached at this time” (which we all know really means “this person did not pay their cell-phone bill for the last 2 months“. Personally, I have no problem following-up with an email – I understand that you may have a life / be out at your current day job, etc. – but I prefer email as just that: a follow-up. On a related note, maybe consider changing your email address from “email@example.com” to the more standard first firstname.lastname@example.org, or some derivative. Finally, remember that not all companies upgrade their office-desktop suites on an even moderately-regular basis. How does this affect you? It means that if the only place your phone number appears is in the header and footer formatting in your fancy-pants mac-home-word-2012, I can’t see it because we’re running on MS Outlook c. 1979. Be safe – include your phone number in the body of your email intro and your cover letter attachment (for when i’ve printed it out and lost the original email. it happens).
3. “I’m a detail-orientated person”. Yikes. So, I read this sentence and it just seemed… wrong. I googled “orientated”, and this is what I found:
The illiterate way to say “oriented.” While technically a word, you sound like a moron when you say it.
That’s basically how I saw it too. The thing is, a girlfriend of mine then told me that “people in England say “orientated” all the time.” And then I felt bad for judging. So here’s the bottom-line: If you’re going to commit a bold and bulleted point to your detail-orientatedness, at the very least, please pay attention to the details of your resume – even if that means having a second pair of eyes scan it (particularly if you’re new to the area or not applying in your first-language, just to make sure it jives with current vernacular). Also, an other resume listed a job-seeker’s current place of employment as having kept her from “November 2012-present“. (it’s May 2012). Details, details, details…
4. “Objective: to work with a harmonious team of people who actually appreciate me and value my contributions“. Huh. Well, to be honest, that’s probably Everyone’s objective, the thing is, there’s something about this that reeks of weekly therapy sessions by the water-cooler. “Objective” statements are tricky at the best of times – because by it’s very existence, your “objective” explains to me what you feel your life is currently lacking. Do you want my first impression of you to be that you feel under-appreciated and mis-valued? I say, if you’re going to include an objective statement, make it a zinger, or at least give it some humour, because let’s face it, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist (even if that’s the job in question) to figure out that your objective is to get the job. A confirmation or acknowledgement of which position(s) you are interested in (resumes are often left on file and scanned for later openings) is sufficient.
5. “How much does it pay?” Congratulations! You’ve made it to the moderately-shorter list (fyi: I scanned 230 resumes, called about 30 people to chat, and we actually ended up setting up interviews with 9) and earned a phone call from the assistant to the assistant with the responsibility of aligning calendars and monitoring updated interest. At this point, you know we’re fans of the facts and figures appearing on your resume, this is your big chance to nudge that passing first impression into “i’m really looking forward to meeting this person” territory. Help me help you by
- a) sounding happy to hear from me.
- b) avoiding sounding confused or asking me to repeat where i’m calling from – realistically, I know you’re applying all over the city, but i’d love to preserve the magical thought that you’re at least as excited to hear from me as I am to be calling you.
- c) asking relevant questions that don’t convey a sense of desperation or entitlement.
It can be a tricky balance, sounding eager to hear from a potential employer, yet not so eager that I note, “this person sounds like she’s looking for ANYTHING” on your resume. A simple, genuine, “I’m happy to hear from you – this opportunity really seems to align with my skill-set and experience” goes a long way. Conversely, “How much does it pay?” should never be asked at this point. Sorry, but Never. Never.
First of all, the only person whose business it is how much you earn is yours, the government’s and your HR manager at the moment you sign your contract. Additionally, it just looks bad; I enjoy getting my paycheque every two weeks as much as anyone does, and I get it – we’re not showing up to be volunteers, but it really is just a piece of the overall compensation and experience. At the same time, the job posting probably listed a salary range, which must have looked acceptable at the time you applied. If it didn’t, just consult the google-gods of the interweb to discern what standard going-rate for the position and field is. At this point, we’re still trying to determine if we want to commit to an in-person conversation, let alone whittling our interview list down to possible candidates. Don’t worry, if you’re as awesome as you seem, you’ll have your opportunity to negotiate a salary and you even get the free-will to turn the offer down if it doesn’t line up with your expectations. Frankly, if you’re too busy and important to sit in a room and chat for 30-45 minutes without knowing what the exact weekly take-home might be, you probably need to reassess your job-search.
Life at 30 weeks.
maxi dresses!! ohhhh… this felt so lovely, summery, light, breathable, airy and gorgeous. And it’s fitted for maternity! So it has extra room and length built in to accommodate the bump and the chest, and gathered in a pretty yet genius way that will allow it to flow into late summer, early fall as my post-baby body returns. As a reminder, I’m 5 foot 11.5. On most people, this dress is floor length.
baby size: Cucumber. Average size: 15.2 -16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8 lb. Baby’s strong enough to grasp a finger now.
mummy size: 171 pounds. -3 pounds from last week. Is that even possible?? I literally haven’t done anything different. Quite the opposite, we’ve been eating ice-cream and home made brownies. Interesting, and definitely something to keep an eye on.
what’s going on? I’m feeling nauseous in the mornings again… not necessarily full-on puking (yet), but definitely churn and queasy.
Outside of that, things are just chugging along. Honestly, i’m surprised it doesn’t feel more dramatically Something – I’m not sure what, but Something. When I think of someone else being 30 weeks pregnant, 2 months to go, however you want to say it, I think, “wow – that’s amazing! They should rest/relax/take it easy/ be “nesting” “ or whatever. For me, at this point, it still just feels like life as usual. I got stuff to do, and it’s the same stuff I have to do all the time, namely, Work! Only, with a little extra when you look at me from the side.
maybe i’ll feel more… something… next week?