Resume Killers

Liz Ryan is one of three HR writers I follow on Twitter, and I agree with all of her picks for “Ten Phrases That Are Killing Your Resume” on Forbes.com. Here is another resume formulation I’d like to see less often:

  • “Seeking to advance my career”

Not that I begrudge anyone the opportunity to advance, but that’s not why I need to hire someone. I need to hire someone because I have an unmet need in my organization. Candidates who demonstrate awareness of that fact and pitch themselves accordingly warm the cockles of my bureaucratic heart.

My pet peeve as a federal hiring manager is when I can’t figure out from a narrative descriptions of position duties what someone actually did at a job or how they demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities* I’m looking for. Five thousand characters gives you enough space to simply say what the job was and how you did it before you start plugging in all the key words and phrases from the job announcement text to satisfy the Hiring Manager Algorithm.

For federal employees, I recommend keeping a human-language version of your resume on hand. It will give you something to share when a prospective boss or mentor wants to see your CV. It also helps in customizing your USAJOBS resume(s) when you’re applying for positions.**

*Yeah sure, they say they got rid of KSAs on federal job applications. What they really did was eliminate the KSA essay you had to include along with your resume on each job application. So instead of having a resume you could use for multiple job applications …

**Now you have to weave the KSA language from the job announcement into the narrative for “position duties” for each job on your resume. In other words, you have to customize a resume for each and every job application. Thanks, OPM!

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Rope-A-Dopamine

I have largely trained myself away from checking my social media while I’m waking up in the morning. That is good. However, I continue to spend an inordinate amount of my screen time at home clicking between Facebook and Twitter like a food pellet’s going to come out of the USB port on the laptop if I do it right. That is bad. It does not contribute to my sense of well-being. Once a day, sure – that’s input.

Star_Trek_The_Motion_Picture_poster
V’Ger needs input. V’Ger, c’est moi.

Once every 20 minutes, that’s messed up. Chain-clicking – that is, reading 20 minutes’ worth of FB updates and then clicking over to Twitter to see what happened there while I was reading my FB feed, then clicking back to FB to see what updates appeared while I was reading my Twitter feed – that’s downright compulsive. It’s better than eating a half a bag of SweeTART Jelly Beans (which is better than eating a whole bag of SweeTART Jelly Beans). But that doesn’t make it good, or even satisfying in the moment.

sweetart jelly beans
Unlike eating SweeTART Jelly Beans.

Did I have a point? No, actually, the point of all this was to make myself stop chain-clicking and finish the 2015 taxes. Mercifully, it worked, and we don’t even owe money this year. Good job, self. Nice going. My next project was going to be installing Water Hammer Arrestors* on the washing machine, but I will need the assistance of another adult-sized person for that since moving the washer-dryer stack unit solo is a bit beyond my physical powers. Maybe I’ll try one for the toilet instead.

*My landlord’s idea of solving our persistent plumbing problems – to wit, the violent knocking sounds that emerge from our pipes every time we flush or use a high-demand water appliance – is to turn down our water pressure. That doesn’t work so well.

 

More

In the midst of more process-building and re-building in my office (October and November have lasted a long time) and parenting at home (Mouse on the mend but still seeing therapist twice a week for the foreseeable future), it has been a month of Improving Literature (my preferred term for self-help books) here in the Dino Nest. This is partially an outgrowth of my reading the month before for the philosophy essay that didn’t happen and partially the result of my Facebook correspondence with a college friend on the topic of self-loathing. Somehow I went from continental philosophers‘ views on fame and the self to revisiting The Second Sex and The Feminine Mystique while mentally arguing with a bunch of old Camille Paglia interviews. Then I read When She Makes More by Farnoosh Torabi because I was looking for popular models of new-fangled Salary Mom marriages. What I took away from the book was that Salary Wives are more likely to stay married if they don’t go out of their way to defer to their husbands and that the most marriage-protective way a Salary Wife can keep from being overwhelmed by disproportionate demands for domestic and/or emotional labor is to outsource that sh*t to the greatest extent possible. Thinking about how useful that advice and some competent financial decision-making might have been in my life circa 1996 plunged me into a place where I was particularly open to Unworthy: How To Stop Hating Yourself by Anneli Rufus. And I have to say, it helped. So did Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.