Apr 242011
 
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

As a proud holder of a Bachelor of Arts in English, I’ve spent a lot of time job hunting. My resume was in hot demand; I must have sent out more than a hundred before landing a single interview. So I’d like to share my expertise and my confidence that your degree will get you where you want to go in life.

In my case, it would be back to school, for a less ‘fictional’ degree (pardon the literature pun. I took a full semester’s study on puns).
But if you’re done with school, or just looking for a job to make ends meet, I can help.

The trick is confidence and volume. Not that you should shout –– save that for the interview, very few employers are likely within earshot right now.

First tip: have an eye-catching resume. Don’t go overboard here –– I used to believe sparkle glue and macaroni pasta was a great way to stand out. Nowadays, I believe in a more subtle approach. A good resume should be like a good pickup line: laden with innuendo to get the attention of a potential employer.

People like being flattered and direct compliments are a great way to do so. Instead of writing, “Dear Sir or Madam,” try the more coy, “Dear hunk or hunkette.” They’ll know you’re not afraid to use your natural charms to get what you want –– and what you want is to be under them, making money.

If you’re not planning on a long-term commitment, make sure to let them know in no uncertain terms. Explain that you’re too good to work there for more than a few months, while you look for a real job –– unlike the interviewer, who you are sure is comfortable in a position like this. People say they appreciate honesty.

Make sure to highlight your skills. Your potential employer is getting thousands of resumes per day, and most resumes will get, at most, a glance before going onto a potential interview or certain ignominy. You need to convey in that single glance that you deserve special and immediate attention.

You can do this one of two ways.

The first way is to make your resume information dense. Put specific words and phrases that are of interest in your field. Keep in mind that your potential employer is very busy so don’t waste their time –– make sure to use the largest, most impressive words you can conjure. Don’t just say, “Multilingual –– Spanish,” or “Two years customer service experience.” Instead, “Polyglot –– studied a member of the Ibero-Romance group language (Spanish).”

It sounds smart, and just imagine how many of my readers were excited to read that word sandwich. Employers are the same way.

The second way to have an eye grabbing resume is with sparkle and glitter. Via a animated picture, of course. Most resumes are submitted electronically nowadays, after all.

Armed with a resume and the confidence that only a sparkling, dancing cat can bestow, the next step is to actually find jobs. I’m not going to lie, this next step is a lot of fun. Do you like paperwork?

Do you like searching difficult-to-use online databases? Great! Then you’ll love modern job hunting. Giant search sites, such as Craigslist, can provide a wide variety of potentials. Or you can go to a specific company’s website and apply directly. But what companies love more than anything is if you send your resumes directly to a few high members of their organization.

Don’t send it to any old human resources person, find the fax number of the CEO and make sure he has twenty or thirty copies of your resume (so the cat will still dance when the pages are flipped).

Keep in mind, college was all about prepping you for the real world.

Unfortunately, there were no classes on filling out silly paperwork, earning respect from authority figures, or writing for someone who has hundred of papers to read. You’ll just have to wing all that.

Johnathan Kastner is in his second year of his second bachelor degree, majoring in computer science. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:15 pm

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