Wednesday, February 11, 2009

That little monster

The Monster.com tagline tells us, “Your calling is calling.” Why stop there? How about, "Your calling is answering."

And that’s only the second thing wrong with this site.

The first is their name, though I don’t hold their moronic name against them. Ten years ago, this shiny new job site pandered to those in their early twenties, looking for a dot.com or carpet-cleaning gig. Times have changed, and that profile no longer fits us, the great unwashed, but times changed in a very unexpected way, and we all had foolish thoughts ten years ago.

I say, call it anything, so long as it works. For those who have never had a day’s unemployment, the monster.com concept is simple. You post your resume and employers post job openings. Monster claims it will match your qualifications to job requirements. And voila, the perfect job for the perfect applicant.

My work history is pretty clear. So why do I get a match for Exxon CFO one day, and Arco cashier the next? And apparently I have some medical training – but only now and then. Thus I’m urged to apply for head surgeon of Kaiser Permenente on Monday and Rite-Aid delivery boy on Friday. I’m waiting to see an opening in the Obama cabinet, or alternately, an opening in cabinet making.

I’m not the only one pointing fingers around here. Recently Monster sent me an email titled “Avoid Common Resume Blunders,” obviously sensing disenchantment and trying to shift the bulk of the blame. I think my calling is calling me stupid.

But my answering is answering, so I clicked, and here are the resume sins according to Monster. And perhaps what they’re actually trying to tell me.

1. Too Focused on Job Duties
You’re boring

2. Flowery or General Objective Statement
You’re lying

3. Too Short or Too Long
They go on to say “There is no rule about appropriate resume length.” I’m supposed to figure out what this means? I’m calling my calling obtuse.

4. Using Personal Pronouns and Articles
“There should be no mentions of "I" or "me.”
Point taken. I use "I" and "me" in my resume, soon to be replaced with “a certain someone” or “herself.”

5. Listing Irrelevant Information
Strike, “I slept my way through Europe.”

6. Not Including Keywords
Sprinkle relevant keywords throughout the resume.” And they provide a list. I’ll save my retooled summary statement for a later post.

What Monster.com doesn’t seem to realize, and perhaps my resume failed to make clear, is that I’m trying to match my work experience with my love of the outdoors.

Something in landscape design. Or meter reading.


38 comments:

  1. 'a certain someone' or 'herself' are good but you can never go wrong with the 'royal we'

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  2. Would you like me to write a letter of recommendation for you?

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  3. I, too, would like to write a letter of recommendation. I understand that this is a bad economy, but what kind of world is this that your brilliance and evident merit are not univerally recognized? You are too good for all of them, but alas, even the too good need paychecks. Good luck.

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  4. Margaret, it was all in fun. No worries.

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  5. We could use someone handy with a leaf blower.

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  6. "You're throwing your life in the toilet!"

    I keep hearing that.

    Honestly, I've given up on the resume writing and the job finder sites. There is now an essay about a certain someone with my name that describes her life, dreams, and past accomplishments that she gives out to anyone in need of amusing reading material or a drop cloth.

    Funny you.

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  7. I've always wondered the rate of success job-seekers have with these kinds of sites. This is the time to reinvent your career!

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  8. Haha. I've had worse surgeons. and worse delivery boys.

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  9. Hang in there and don't give up your dream! Times are hard, very, very hard! Just hang on! My prayers are with you!

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  10. Or sleeping your way through Europe's camp grounds.

    Anonymous, you're funny. Are you buckin' for Karin's job?

    Yoga Gal, they got any job openings over there in Nirvana?

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  11. Very funny you. I always thought it was a very scary web site. I mean they do warn you - it is called MONSTER.

    So now whach-ya-gonna-do since so many are praying and pulling for you - must channel it all.

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  12. Heh, I just signed up with them.

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  13. Karin, this is hysterical.

    As for the name Monster.com, I remember when they came out. I didn't work on their branding but I wrote a bazillion websites back in those days and every client wanted the same sort of hipster voice for their brand identity, all content and copy. We all referred to it as The Smart-Ass Boyscout voice. This was where we all got big bucks for coming up with three phrase slogans with periods. You know -- "Best. Sale. Ever." Or "No hassle. No hustle. (No kidding.)" Also, if you dropped the term "detached irony" in a meeting, three or four corporate faces would light up and someone would say, "exactly!" Every company wanted to appear to be too cool to be part of the old business model. Then again, this was back when Pets.com seemed like a good idea and I actually lived for many months on my fee for writing a website solely devoted to selling pantyhose online. (That voice was more of a smart-assed girl scout, actually!) Ah, the good old days.

    You're so talented, Karin, they just want to snag you to do any job they have. I've always wondered if writers could find editorial staff positions through Monster.com. Now I know!

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  14. May I beg to differ?

    I like writing to have content, not simply attitude.

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  15. Oh my god, Laurie, you're the best sale. ever. girl? And wasn't there an icecube.com? (Julie, Laurie was agreeing, but in her own special way.)

    i appreciate all your comments, but really, I give myself another 6 months b/4 I worry that my calling isn't calling. Or maybe I'll take that attorney general job.

    Vanda, you're going to have to share some of your matches with us. (If job matches are this bad, can you imagine what they do to people on dating sites?)

    Petrea, what's this about campgrounds.

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  16. Oh, I was trying to come off your post (opposed to the previous comments). It didn't work.

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  17. I'm surprised, given your last name, that they haven't sent you job leads as an entomologist. Or maybe even an etymologist.

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  18. Karin, you are onto something. Maybe if job search and dating sites combined...

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  19. How about this Vanda: Your callgirl is calling

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  20. Yep Julie, I absolutely do agree. But back when I was grinding out copy for the new age of the internet, nobody would hire me to write their project with Proust's or Pynchon's content. A freelance writer gives the client what they want or she doesn't get her check. I really do believe that one reason people in advertising and copywriting are so burned out by the time they turn 40 is because they've been reshaping the same tired clay for so long they finally can't come up with anything new to make out of it. That sure happened to me. I even found that a lot of what was supposed to be purely educational copy -- for informative websites or magazine articles driven by ad revenue -- the producers/editors still wanted the same voice that sold Ipods and made Conan O'Brien a popular talk show host. Now, it seems, every company wants to sound like... bloggers! (Similar to the smart-aleck boyscout, only slightly older. Maybe the smark aleck boyscout's older brother...)

    Oops, I'm off on a tangent.

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  21. I'm going to work on this dating/job site combo. Maybe of the ashleymadison ilk. Your calling is calling your callgirl.

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  22. How about this slogan for your alternative site: We're here when your calling won't call you back.

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  23. When your calling calls, it only takes one pick-up

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  24. Your calling is unable to take your call. Please:
    Press one to leave a resume.
    Press two to speak to another calling.
    Press three to march to a different drummer.
    Press zero, and one of our expert callgirls will be with you as soon as possible.

    Your call is ... 2049th ... in line.

    We're experiencing a high volume of calls at this time. Please:
    Press one to leave.

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  25. This site is NSFWITL. I just screamed out with a gigantic laugh not realizing I was in the porking library~!

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  26. Not getting porked, I might add.

    My late, departed career in advertising was filled with dates and slaps on my fig. daily. Oh, if only I had liked those old boys.

    At least, I still have a good pair of running legs.

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  27. Okay, I'll bite. What's "NSFWITL"?

    Havisham, you are a screaming hoot.

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  28. Not Safe For Work In The Library


    I am not safe to work in the library. I am flirting and fantasizing about every man in here! Okay, every librarian man in here.

    Over 40. okay 30

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  29. No dear, I'm not a dyke.

    Not all of the green nuns are dykes.

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  30. AH - did you leave a comment on a wrong blog? It goes without saying that I'm awful & stuck up but what Q's am I not answering? Am I in PVE - no, I'm in RPVs townhome. Hmm.
    Valyermo? Have not heard of it. I'll look it up. I know where Lake LA is though. :)

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  31. A green nun is what happens after too much blue nun.

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  32. Has the green nun been partaking in a bit of the Green Fairy?

    (The pall of my calling's appalling...)

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  33. Now that you're looking into the job/dating combo, suddenly "I slept my way through Europe" doesn't sound so irrelevant, does it?

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  34. As they say in France, you can leave your chapeau on.

    So, what are you two cooking for dessert -- or did I miss that part? I'm pretty sure your girl is calling chocolate.

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  35. Well, since I already cooked the scallops for my post, I'm not even sure what we're doing for the main course. But you're right about the chocolate--anything non-chocolate has to be pretty freakin' amazing to compete with it. Although I wouldn't say no to a little crème brûlée.

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