If you work in IT you don’t admit it when you meet people. They will inevitably reply, “Oh, really? I have this problem with my computer…” and you end up spending precious hours of your life telling near-strangers to turn it off and on again.
I hear lawyers and doctors get this too, but the advice is less “turn it off and on again” and more “you’re fucked, mate”. Writers aren’t immune to this phenomenon. I’ve been asked to look over all sorts, from award nominations to website copy to job applications.
…and, one time, an erotic story someone had written in which she had sex with her fiancé’s brother. In church. And, even though it was a fantasy, gave him a small penis. She commented on the penis’ smallness during foreplay. Honestly, I struggled to give it more than a 3/5 (the story, not the penis).
Thankfully, this blog is not about that story.
In this blog I’ve collated my expert advice on job applications and résumés/CVs into one handy post. I will get cards printed with this URL and refer people here when they ask for advice so I don’t have to talk to them face-to-face (there will be future blog posts about why I dislike social interaction and would prefer a world run by cyborgs. Look forward to that.)
I have a job and everything so you should definitely follow all this advice.
1. Clip art adds that touch of sophistication that will make you stand out from the crowd. If you don’t have access to a computer from 1995, you can search Google for fantastic clip art. Like this one, to prove you’re “an advanced IT user including familiarity with the full range of Microsoft Office software”:
Or this, to demonstrate that you “enjoy working as part of a team”:
Obviously you don’t want to go overboard. Six or seven clip art pieces should suffice.
2. Confidence is key. To show just how confident you are, list the job you’re applying for as your current employment. Under dates of employment, put:
FROM Very soon!
TO Whenever wild horses drag me away! Ha ha ha ha!
Companies like loyal employees who are going to stick around.
3. A sense of humour is everything. If all goes well–and why wouldn’t it, if you follow this advice?–the people reading your application will be working with you for many years to come. Well, until wild horses drag you away! They want to know that working with you will be FUN.
Ways you can show your fun nature include:
- write your application in comic sans;
- attach a photo of yourself wearing a clown nose;
- include ‘Turning Frowns Upside Down’ under your hobbies and interests.
What else is fun? JOKES.
Everybody loves a joker!
Include a short joke under your biographical information, just to set the tone and get them on your side immediately. If you like, you can borrow my favourite:
Q: What did the leper say to the prostitute?
A: You can keep the tip!
This will also show you’re not a prude. Nobody likes a prude.
4. Include well rounded skills and experience. Most applicants will tailor their skills and experience to the job description. For example, for a job as ‘sales director’ [HINT: THIS IS AN EASTER EGG FROM MY BOOK ‘UNTOUCHABLE’ – I HOPE IT WAS SUBTLE ENOUGH? GUYS, WAS IT SUBTLE ENOUGH? GUYS?] they might put previous experience in sales and management, and under skills they may include delivering presentations, organisation and excellent communication.
Therefore, to stand out from the crowd, you must be innovative. For example:
- How many of your competitors for the job will be able to boast that they once snorted cocaine then drove a motor vehicle 42 miles down the motorway?
- I bet none of your competitors have slept with their partner’s siblings without being caught out–unlike you!
- Only 76% of adults can roll their tongues–by stating this as a skill, you’ve already eliminated 3/4 of the competition, including Emma Watson (if she applies).
As an appendix, I recommend including a report card from primary/elementary school, when you were studying multiple subjects. Particularly if it has positive comments like “tries hard” and “could be worse”.
This is also evidence that you can pick up skills quickly, as you were probably fairly young when you were in primary school. If you repeated several years and graduated aged 28, fear not–this is evidence of perseverance.
5. IT literacy is essential. The world is moving online. Technology is developing at a rapid pace. I have successfully avoided interacting with a real human being since 2007 and my god, I’m grateful for it.
To show that you will not be sent a load of Grandma Finds the Internet memes (I send my mother several a week), try these handy tips:
- submit your résumé/CV as a powerpoint, and password protect it so they know you’re security conscious;
- under ‘key achievements’ state ‘I have had the same hotmail address since 2001’;
- find a photo of the CEO online and photoshop your head onto it. This will both display your graphic design skills AND reiterate how serious you are about a long-term career with the company.
Aspire to this kind of clever thinking:
I hope this post has been useful to all you job seekers. If you’d like me to look over your application and suggest improvements, or if you have any pseudo-incestuous erotica to share, please email me at my special job-hunting email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck with your application!