HEY WASSUP HELLO MR./Ms. FUTURE EMPLOYER?
My name is Beth Cormack. I graduated from a university that is (accurately) nicknamed the “Zoo.” I did an internship a couple of summers back that consisted of coffee runs and stuffing envelopes (quite literally)…although my resume states otherwise:
- Developed innovative social media marketing campaigns to assist in the restructure of the company’s brand.
- Coordinated outreach and successfully created partnerships with the nation’s top magazines, including People and Teen Vogue, in order to promote the company’s product. (Haha…yea! Go Beth!)
Hire me? Please? I swear I’m a cool girl. I’m pretty good at talking to people, and I still know all of the lyrics to “Where Is The Love?” by BEP circa 2003–that’s like over a decade ago!! Impressive right? I like writing (about boys, that is) and I’m pretty decent at it. I may not read the classics on the reg, but I can converse with you in depth about Horcruxes and flying broomsticks if you want. I love to travel and I know my Spanish isn’t as good as you hoped for, but if I had a decent paying job, I could totally fly all over the world and learn any language you wanted me to…I swear.
All that being said…am I hired yet? No? C’mon. Please. I’m begging you. I don’t have 5+ years in the PR field…but did I mention I’m pretty cool????
I don’t think I want to know how many of my applications have been ignored or simply sent to the “Trash” option on Gmail. I’d like to think that I’m the best candidate for the job, but unfortunately my flawless rendition of a 2003 BEP song doesn’t say, “I’ll make your company significantly better.”
So, what’s a Gen Y-er supposed to do in this day and age in terms of job searching? I have spent hours crafting clever cover letters..but not too clever or else they’ll think I’m forcing it. My resume is full of “power verbs” given to me by career services, but here I am…still jobless.
I’m torn between selling myself to you and losing myself in the process. I want you to notice me, but I don’t want you to define me by my generic “power verbs” and exaggerated bullet points.
And to be quite frank, Mr. or Ms. Future Employer, the sentence on my resume that reads, “Executes use of the branding, development, design, and editorial processes as tools for visioning, alignment and development for companies,” listed under my PR internship makes me want to throw up. Sorry about it.
I WANT YOU TO NOTICE ME, NOT MY RESUME.
But how am I supposed to do that? Well, folks. I think I’ve found the answer. I stumbled upon a dude named Alex Rosier who is pretty fricken amazing with a camera, and he has the dedication to prove it. He’s trying to apply to his dream job with Casey Neistat at Beme and he asked himself the question that I just proposed:
HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GET NOTICED?
Alex took it upon himself to take a different, less generic approach than a paper filled with power verbs and exaggerated bullet points. He put his skills to work and created a video application that says far more than a 1 page word doc. It’s titled A New Age Job Application where he walked around Boston and asked some strangers to stand behind him in his quest to land his dream job.
“It was in this moment I noticed you can’t just email Casey Neistat and expect a response. If you really want to be heard, you have to show your application and do something very different.”
Pretty sweet, right? AIex’s video is more than just an “new age application” it incorporates a message that speaks to all of the post-grads currently entering into the job market: we’re sick and tired of being ignored. An employer spends 10-15 seconds glancing over a resume (or at least that’s what Career Services has told me) before deciding if you’re worth a response in return.That means, somehow, you have to translate your $200,000 degree into something that says I’M WAAAYYY BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE!!!!
Be the applicant they want to spend more time on… Blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda. Like, duh Beth, we’ve heard that 6 thousand times. Ok, so maybe you have, but have you taken an approach that doesn’t involve spellcheck or a template you picked up from your career advisor?
We double and triple check our applications before sending them out, tweak each e-mail to make it sound more personal, and put so much effort towards “being different” that we often forget that everyone else is doing the same exact thing. So, again, I propose the same question: how the f*ck am I supposed to be different?
SIMPLE ANSWER: BE F*CKING DIFFERENT.
I have always been hesitant to include my personal blog on my resume because it’s…well, personal. But, it’s who I am. It’s what I’m passionate about and it’s far more intriguing to read than “deviser and researcher of optimal communication strategies in B2B and B2C markets,” (like, lol, wut Beth?).
Is there someone else out there who is going to submit a writing sample about her adventures on Nantucket with a dude she had only been on two dates with? Probably not. It might not be exactly what their looking for, but I can guarantee they’ll read it. Maybe they won’t agree with my views on gay marriage (although they should), and maybe they’ll roll their eyes when they read about how I don’t want my love story to involve tequila and Tinder.
IT’S NOT “PROFESSIONAL,” BUT IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S ME.
We’re all passionate about something. Even if you don’t know yet, you do have something to bring to the table, even if you don’t have “5+ years in the marketing field.” Be more than bullet points, folks. Be more than a cover letter, be more than the 10-15 seconds your future employers spend on reading your resume. Get rejected by a few strangers in Boston Common, submit your stories about getting screwed over by a guy. I don’t care what you do, but don’t define “different” in the same way that everyone else is.
DON’T LET YOUR DRIVE GET LOST IN THE GENERIC WAY OF DOING THINGS.
You could be the key that actually makes their company significantly better. Make the job market less about flawless grammar, impressive vocabulary, and perfectly constructed sentences on a cover letter and more about what makes you, you.
Share this and help Alex Rosier land his dream job. I encourage you to all follow in his footsteps do something different..and no, I mean, like something that’s ACTUALLY different.
On that note, Casey Neistat, if you read this:
ALEX ROSIER FOR BEME.
…and Beth Cormack for National Geographic or GoPro……..
Editor’s note: My resume is actually quite accurate, I didn’t make up the entire thing. However, I think you can feel my pain and know what I’m talking about when I use the phrase “exaggerated bullet points.”