Pudding in a Cup....
By marymarzano on November 20, 2009
Clearly, I’m job searching. I’m currently employed however it’s a contract position and the end of the contract is looming before me like the wide-open hungry mouth of the shark in “Jaws”. I have been, like a zillion other folks I’m sure, trying to ‘clean up’ my resume and ‘network’ to build my chances at landing that next job! Somewhere along the line I must have inadvertently clicked something indicating I’d like a “free resume critique”. Being mired in the day to day “point, click, fill out, submit” loop, who knows how it happened but regardless- like many things in my life, I’m now dealing with the lingering feelings by my actions.
A few days back, I got an emailed synopsis of my resume critique. Mind you, I’ve not only spent a good many years of my life accumulating the experience on the resume, but countless (wo)man hours writing the damn thing. I am not sure that Obama has to worry about competition from me on the next Pulitzer, but I thought it was certainly acceptable. I even had a few moments of “Hmm…. Nicely done, self”.
Then I met the virtual “Melinda”, my <insert name of provider> resume expert. I idly wonder what it is that makes her an expert, and then decide that I need to be open minded and such, remembering from my “Facebook” experience that it’s important to not be considered “antiquated” or heaven forbid, judgmental. After all, the provider certainly wouldn’t have strangers walk in off the street to critique resumes. I make the decision to overlook the fact that I have no information on Melinda or her background to make me feel confident in her abilities, other than the self-proclaimed and provider endorsed title of “resume expert”. I mean I have to believe she’s not a disgruntled, moonlighting DMV employee, right?
She starts off with something I immediately feel warm and fuzzy about “I should warn you about my style: I'm direct and to the point, so I hope you won't be offended by my comments.” I have been accused of being direct and to the point, so I feel a certain kinship with Melinda. I read on, feeling excited about the prospect communicating with a kindred spirit. She further fans the flame of my kindling rapport by her next line “…my first impression of you is that you have an impressive array of skills and experiences. You’re a qualified customer support professional, with a lot to offer an employer.” And of course, I do wonder (pesky cynic that I am) if she says that to ALL her potential customers. Yet since it’s the END of this contract, times are a little stressful on the current job, with a minimum of focus on a job well done and the overall feeling of “Wow, it’s going to be over soon, really OVER!” and my ego is feasting on any encouragement and kind words offered.
I read on, thrilled that Melinda actually SEES my worth and possibly is going to be someone who I can count on as a “mentor” type as far as resume writing skills. So WHAT if she says that to EVERYONE! She said it to ME too, and well, like I said, self esteem quotient a smidge low these days…
Her next couple of lines is certainly direct and to the point. “…However, your resume isn’t doing a good job saying that to an employer. I found it to be mundane and unlikely to catch an employer’s attention. If you were selling yourself as Crème Brulee, it’s as if your resume is saying “pudding in a cup”…..”
Ouch… I’m suddenly feeling as though my new “BFF” (my new urban language dictionary taught me that one when I saw it on Facebook, “Best Forever Friends”) just winded me with a well-placed kick to the gut. “Pudding in a cup”? Really? Did Melinda mean that as “direct and to the point” with or without the razor blade sharp sarcastic “gotcha”? Hmm. Okay, well, I decide to give her the benefit of the doubt and read on, trying to believe it’s my ‘vulnerable’ state, and I also reminded myself of the scores of people who have confused my directness with sarcasm. Besides, I kinda’ miss the Melinda of old, when we romped happily in mutual admiration. So I swallow back the chagrin and ignore the small lump in my throat, and read on.
“………………………………………..as I was reading your resume I was trying to imagine myself as a hiring manager, I then asked myself whether I’d have picked your resume, and whether it was memorable…I concluded that much of the information was superficial….
…..Simply put, I wouldn’t remember you.
Note to self; be SURE not to apply anywhere Melinda is working. Come to think of it though, I may already HAVE and she just doesn’t REMEMBER…
“From the way the resume is worded, you come across as a “doer” not an “achiever”. “
“Yes, Melinda” I think to myself, “My bosses have all been particularly funny that way, they have constantly kept me doing….and when I mention what I’ve done, they ask what I’m doing NOW”.
I’m thinking of the hours of rework ahead of me. The angst over selecting the best ways to phrase what I’ve done to show instead what I achieved, and how I can make my pitiful “pudding in a cup” rise to Crème Brulee status. I think of the fact that I just spent at least the better part of a week posting my unforgettable resume to a dozen or so job sites, and try to not be mortified that I’ve actually SHOWED the SUPERFICIAL thing to hiring managers. I look miserably at the rest of Melinda’s email. She’s a bit kinder now, reassuring me that after my feeble and useless attempt to write my own resume, she will gladly help me write a resume that will get me hired. I won’t have to hide my head in shame over my ill written and loser stamped resume. She’ll help me. For a great deal less too, than before, as they are having a sale….
“At $399 we are priced to be the best value service……or: Six (6) payments of $69.95 per month. “
I am still considering it. I might do it, just so if it doesn’t work I can yell a little at Melinda. Yelling might make me feel better, and she MIGHT remember me then, who knows. Alas, though, I’m stymied by one thing…
I actually LIKE pudding in a cup….
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