Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ain't No Valley Low Enough

My HR Director just called: "Come see me right now." This usually means one of two things: Either I've been busted for blogging at work (again), or he's received a spectacularly bad résumé and wants to share the joy with me.

It turned out to be the latter. When I entered his office, HR grinned and handed me a cover letter that began with the standard "To Whom It May Concern," but then...

My travels led me to where I am today. Sometimes these steps have felt painful, difficult, but led me to greater happiness and opportunities. -Diana Ross

That's right, folks. Instead of an introductory paragraph detailing her interest in working with us, the applicant in question expressed her cheerful disposition and ability to shrug off adversity through a Diana Ross quotation.

There are a number of hard and fast rules when it comes to putting together an effective résumé, the first being "Do Not Quote Diana Ross." But I've got a fairly evolved management style, and I firmly believe a strong wrong is always better than a weak right. So if you're determined to quote Diana Ross in a cover letter, just go big. For instance, had our applicant led with the following...

Started my life
In a old, cold, run-down tenament slum (tenement slum)
My father left he never even married mom
I shared the guilt my mama knew
So afraid that others knew I had no name

This love we're contemplatin'
Is worth the pain of waitin'
We'll only end up hatin'
The child we may be creatin'

Love Child
Never meant to be
Love Child
(Scorned by) Society
Love Child
Always second best
Love Child
(Different from) Different from the rest

(Hold on hold on just a little bit longer) Mmmmm baby
(Hold on hold on just a little bit longer) Mmmmm baby


...we would have had no choice but to hire her immediately.

9 comments:

Apocrypha Jones said...

I don't know, I think I'm loving the whole quote thing. That may be why I don't work in HR.

What about a Hakim Bey quote? Would that be better...or worse? I think that a prospective employer might want to know your anarchist tendencies right off the bat -- you know, establish that you are not really a "team player" right there at the outset. Also, the Hakim Bey quote I would choose would also call the entire resume into question. Better watch that background check carefully!

"Dress up, leave a false name, be legendary."
-- Hakim Bey

P.S.
WV = "broutch"
Isn't that a particularly butch brouhaha? Am I mistaken?

Evn said...

"Dress up, leave a false name, be legendary."

I believe I've found my new sig line.

Isn't that a particularly butch brouhaha? Am I mistaken?

You are correct, madame.

beweaver said...

Bwahahahahaha.

I want the job.

Evn said...

You're hired. ;)

Siobhan said...

It's funny, because there are all kinds of advice sites out there on how to get your resume noticed.

And it's almost certain she got the quote concept from one of them. But missed the part where it had to be appropriate to work,

FYI, I sent the button image. If you hate it, you can say so!

Evn said...

And it's almost certain she got the quote concept from one of them. But missed the part where it had to be appropriate to work

Well, we are a travel agency, so I can see how she thought it would fit. But still... Diana Ross?

I'm way behind on personal e-mails, but I'll get caught up ASAP. Thanks!

Siobhan said...

Well, we are a travel agency, so I can see how she thought it would fit. But still... Diana Ross?

Something from Camus, or perhaps Buddha, would certainly have been higher-brow.

Red Delicious said...

To Whom it May Concern,

"I had a big, rambling apartment in the city, and I fucked my girlfriend Jody in every part of it. So did a lot of other people."

-Maggie Estep

To Whom it May Concern,

"What do I care what people think? I ain't trying to get no Pespi commerical."

-Gary Sheffield

"It's like Auntie Mame once said, 'Life's a banquet, and most poor sons of bithces are starving to death.'"

-Bisexual Pornographic Proverb

Evn said...

Aaaah! I totally forgot about Maggie Estep. (That was an excellent prose piece; your judges were all Philistines.)