Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Resume Rant: Seems I'm an Entrepreneurial Artist after all.

Dear, Professional Resume Skeweress:

First of all, I absolutely agree with you wholeheartedly, across the board. I want to sincerely thank you for your detailed critique of my resume and for your candid bluntness. Fortunately, communicating bluntly is also my favorite way to communicate. Therefore, please don't take my tone personally as I really do appreciate being bottom-lined, and so I shall express myself reciprocally.


You were correct in your assessment that I used the provided online software. I was limited by the options provided by TheLadders.com site itself; my hands were tied in not being able to post my resume in its current PDF format. When I went to upload it, I was frustrated to discover the site only accepted resumes posted in Word format. Rest assured, I am not alone in my disdain for this ubiquitous software program. Among its many maladies, the formatting varies from computer to computer, hence my conversion of the original Word document to my PDF format--I wanted to retain my designed format which contained my summary statement. I was, therefore, left to the task of painstakingly posting within the context of the rudimentary formatting alternative TheLadders.com provides minus providing a specific location where I could have readily posted my summary statement.


Along the same vein as my disdain for Word and the random, subjective process involved in seeking employment, and at the risk of sounding like more of an asshole, when I state I produced COVERS for a MAGAZINE, does that not qualify as an end result achieved by the tasks I so laboriously delineated? I suppose I have made the mistake of assuming my resume "end-user" has a mind with which they can draw obvious conclusions; however, you implied the present day hiring machine may sometimes be automated, well, you know what they say about "assumptions."

If that's truly the case, then with the kind of artistic field work history I have, my attempt to find executive work may just be a shot in the dark--no matter the fact that I have a business degree, nor how professionally improved my resume could be. For my own edification, and as "defensive" as it seems/is (granted, this is a weak area), I have attached my resume which is currently viewable to those aforementioned professionals. (I think you may have read one of my first uploaded versions--I continued to waste time attempting to improve it that day. Prior to receiving your suggestions, I did start to go in the direction of quantifying my achievements "with concrete results" gained through executing all my tasks/responsibilities.) As I plug away at my own rewrite--should a venture capitalist request my resume someday--I do intend to apply your helpful tidbit: "for your reference, the ideal job description briefly summarizes your duties in paragraph format and then uses bullets for your accomplishments and results achieved to maximize their impact."


I can come up with a number of reasons as to why in the world a site as esteemed as the one for which you work would offer such limited options for one to post their resume. At the risk of sounding jaded and/or paranoid, suffice it to say that when you concluded your warranted lambasting of my obviously incomplete resume with an offer to provide the professional fixes for the sum of $695.00, I felt I had been set up for failure by the site's inefficient software provided. I also assert that a resume is an ongoing work-in-progress--just like the people it is supposed to so neatly encapsulate. That said, it seems a fair expectation that that exorbitant fee should cover at least a few updates and rewrites.


Or maybe that could be a fee add-on once one is hooked on the service. There. There's my free profit achieving contribution for your employer.

Not only do I not intend to take advantage of TheLadders.com's professional rewrite services (though, to reiterate, I have no doubt my resume would be VASTLY improved with that assistance), I am debating about seeking reimbursement altogether for my recently plunked down membership fees. I am coming to believe my pursuing employment through utilizing the traditional and trusty old resume tool may very well prove to be, for me, an exercise in futility.

Limited-Time Bonus:

To further illustrate my point, I can think of no better example than by sharing with you a portion of text I added to my most recent blog post:

"I've been riding myself the last few days about having a resume I posted get torn to shreds by some professional who reviews resumes all day (cuz I wasted $ joining theladders.com when I panicked when Dan sent me this: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/los_angeles_metro/la-fi-rent8-2009jan08,0,6423879.story). X, the fucking thing has had me down since we got back. I have still not reconciled that I'm not, nor will I ever be, the kind of person who finds employment by having a random HR person look at my resume and have a light bulb go *bling* over their head. I am, and always have been, a not-always-practicing-artist-who-is-not-at-peace-with-the-impracticality-of-that-route. Thank you astrological sign, Capricorn."


The entire job search process strikes me as extremely antiquated when most people find work through who they know, not what they know. It seems to me, in my particular case at least, I would have more luck finding employment through a social networking site such as Facebook instead of playing craps in the Vegas-like dance of "resume-resonating-with-insanely-busy-HR-decider."


The above should clarify and corroborate my assertion that I may just need to bow out from seeking employment through the traditional route of stepping and fetching via a superbly written and designed document that is supposed to fully embody all that I would bring to the table for an employer. Frankly, if you haven't detected my resentment about the whole job hunt process, it makes me, to put it delicately, cantankerous. I am compelled to add, again--as clarified above--since I was forced to post within the constraints of the site, I was not attempting to create a "less is more" document. My overly lengthy response to you has probably illuminated the ironic humor that that was your misperception--which exactly supports my point--a resume's purpose is to pigeonhole a person into an easy, bite-size piece. That just pisses me off.


"Ask yourself the question: 'Why does the employer want to HIRE ME above all others, especially when there are dozens of resumes from equally qualified candidates sitting on that decision-maker's desk?' Right now your resume isn’t answering that question. Remember the purpose of a resume--to take an AGGRESSIVE approach in selling YOU to a potential employer. That means making an investment in marketing yourself and your skills through a professional resume."

And there's my real problem which I'm (not so?) passive-aggressively indulging in taking out on you:

Truth be told, as you have hopefully ascertained if you've read this much, I'm not so sure I am cut out to try to squeeze my square-peg self into the round hole that is the executive world. In light of that long-suppressed admission, here's my forthright and "aggressively assertive" pitch:

I know the work I bring to the table, consistently, is of such dedicated high caliber, that any employer would be blessedly lucky to have me in their corner. I'm SUCH an impressive employee, that I think I'd be wisest to continue to work only for myself so I can continue to retain all the profits generated from the blood, sweat, and tears I pour into everything I do, 100% of the time.

An entrepreneurial artist who comes to terms with the fact that they suck at trying to find a pigeonholed job, PRICELESS. If it shortens your life by one day, or results even in a 1% increase in sanity, it pays for itself.


I really did send my reply exactly as it reads above. Introduced as follows:

Dear, X:

What I'm about to post to you in return is highly unprofessional and ill-advised. But I'm going to do it anyway. Because this process has helped me to conclude something I already knew about myself. And for that, I am grateful.

I wrote this rant on my personal blog. This is more for your own entertainment value at this point--laugh over drinks with your friends about it:

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