Slap a panty resumes

My beautiful niece asked that I revamp her resume. She is a college student with new work experience. The resume she sent me was 4 pages long! It took approximately 30 minutes to delete 75% of the excruciating details into a one page, clean and tidy resume.

I was previously employed with a financial institution as an operations manager. Part of my responsibilities was to hire for all positions. Hundreds of resumes were received for all posted jobs. They came in the form of novels, perfumed paper, decorated with ribbon and sparkles and colorful meta tags. Obviously some of these formats would have been appropriate for the “Slap a Panty Boutique”, not a loan officer position. Reference lists had disconnected telephone numbers or people who could hardly remember the applicant. These would have been better served for the amnesia clinic. Including graphics and photos did not interest me. They hindered the process. I was expecting professional, to the point, information. I was not looking for glamor shots or cute bears. If I was advertising childhood daycare positions, maybe the singing elephants would gather the correct attention.

Times are tough and jobs are at a premium. The best presentation will be short, to the point and professional. We would sort them by appearance and volume first. The pile would be cut down to the one or two page resume, on decent paper with neutral ink color – black, brown, navy. The rest were archived. We were looking for the resume that matched the personality of the position. If a resume is 5 pages long it communicated to us that the applicant could not concisely convey information in a concise manner. If I wanted a “talker”, I would hire my mother. Save the QPA and specific college class lists for university positions. They like that stuff. Save the “greeting customers with a smile” lines. We all want happy, optimistic, charismatic individuals. This info is conveyed at the interview. All crying and somber people will be offered the appropriate counseling. Also, urgently important, do not name drop or tell us who you are related to by extended marriage or cousin-hood. Quite frankly, that lets me know you will be arriving with an entourage of importance and are unable to stand on your on credentials. Remember, even Franco Harris writes down that he is a professional athlete, instead of “Super Bowl Hero, Immaculate Reception, Pittsburgh Steeler, knows Dan Rooney”.

Clean, concise, professional resumes will get attention. The content is what matters. Oh, yea, save the metallic dollar sign cutouts that fall out of envelopes, all over my office floor, for the men’s club.



New Age vs Old Age Employmemt Challenges

Unemployment is difficult enough. If your previous employment spanned many, many years – the process is similar to getting a divorce after the silver anniversary. The interview process is in the same category as “What do I wear on the post-divorce first date and am I expected to sleep with them?”

Without going into the world viewing youth as intelligence and aging as demented, crazy and invisible, the interview process is arduous, at best. Interviewers are getting younger as you age in the lobby, surrounded by people your kid’s ages. Especially for the first five or six interview outings, you are most likely over dressed and lacking a nose ring. Your wrinkles and graying hair are secondary to the archaic briefcase or portfolio under your arm. Shoes with buckles and shoestrings are passe’. A good pair of flip-flops or any shoes made of rubber and dirty toenails are available for viewing. The employment opportunities for this scenario are not blue-collar. They are actually professional sales, financial and technological positions.

I had been laid off, for the first time in my long-term professional life, after the age of 40. One interviewer, who appeared to have just rolled out of couch, held his Blackberry up in front of me and asked, “Do you know what this is?” Another wiseass asked if I knew how to turn a laptop on. I informed him that I had the capability of not only turning it on, but take it apart, put it back together and re-program the entire thing. I guess he didn’t like my response because “Tiffany Cleavage” in the lobby, got the job. One of my friends, a current employee with this up and coming executive, was seeking new employment but was in desperate financial straits and stuck. She was also ten years younger than I was.

Being a bit outspoken, follow-up to an interview, always yielded jolly propaganda. I always asked what my deficits may have been. The ones who didn’t blow smoke gave me some true insight such as:

  • You look like a banker
  • I couldn’t picture you unloading product from an 18 wheeler – (This was not in the job description or mentioned during the interview!)
  • You would have my job in a day or two and I couldn’t risk hiring you.

One employment opportunity resulted in four interviews. The first three “show and tells”  allowed the escalation of executives a chance to increase expenses by flying into Houston from Boston – otherwise, they would have flown me and/or the other candidates to Boston! The position, up for grabs, was highly compensated and possessed an upper echelon profile. An assessment after Interview #2 yielded that I had an “extreme sense of urgency”! During the process, the company recruiter would telephone me and discuss the previous appointment and inform me of the “going forward” recommendation for yet another go around. A Don Draper, Mad Men type conducted interview #4.  He was the epitome of a well upholstered “suit”. Five minutes into the engagement, he mocked my responses which included one of my hand gestures. Looking back, I wished it had been one of my other hand gestures. He challenged each one of my replies to his questions in a most derogatory and demeaning manner. Fifteen minutes later, as the hair on the back of my neck stood up, I backed my way to the conference room exit while he continued to prattle. I ended the interview.

The recruiter called a few hours later. She asked why I exited the interview early. I gave her the generic response that I was not the right candidate for the position. She informed me that my competition for the job was only one other person. Again, I told her it was not a “good fit”. A few days later, she called me again. She was insistent in knowing why I left the interview. Was it my place to inform her Mr. Suit intuitively appeared a predator, woman-hater, wife beater and general asshole? Yea, Baby, I could just imagine a cross-country travel rendezvous business trip with him as my vice-president! The telephone conversation created the instantaneous response reflex of:

  • Do I assassinate his character and risk a lawsuit?
  • What are the benefits of telling the recruiter something she already knew?
  • Did she really want to hear my conclusions based on life experience, knowing of a bunch of gems like him and intuition?

I made a business quick wit and allowed the recruiter to conclude the outcome with the results of the process. A lot of time, money, travel, and dry cleaning expense to have a qualified candidate turn them down when the horses were coming around the bend and headed for the straight a way. They’re smart people. I think this may have been a déjà vu.

Appropriately, each of us knows when we are qualified and age was a non-hire condition. My personal experience with the hiring process yields the following direction with the interview process:

  •  Do not use Old Spice or Youth-Dew fragrances.
  • Do not be late – Especially a whole day.
  •  Do not have your significant other drive you and wait with the kids in the reception area.
  • Keep the cocktail wear for bar mitzvahs, wedding receptions, glamour shots and family portraits –  Send a photo to the Ellen Show.
  • Stay awake and sober for the interview.
  • Be yourself.
  • Be true to yourself.