Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Keeping the Hope Up

I have a second follow-up interview today at three with one of my prospective employers. The job would pay well and I could get close to full-time hours; plus, two of my housemates work for them already and love it. Fingers crossed.

Here's a poem about résumés by my favorite poet. It's called "Writing a Résumé."

Writing a Résumé

What needs to be done?
Fill out the application
and enclose the résumé.

Regardless of the length of life,
a résumé is best kept short.

Concise, well-chosen facts are de rigueur.
Landscapes are replaced by addresses,
shaky memories give way to unshakable dates.

Of all your loves, mention only marriage;
of all your children, only those who were born.

Who knows you matters more than whom you know.
Trips only if taken abroad.
Memberships in what but without why.
Honors, but not how they were earned.

Write as if you'd never talked to yourself
and always kept yourself at arm's length.

Pass over in silence your dogs, cats, birds,
dusty keepsakes, friends, and dreams.

Price, not worth,
and title, not what's inside.
His shoe size, not where he's off to,
that one you pass off as yourself.
In addition, a photograph with one ear showing.
What matters is its shape, not what it hears.
What is there to hear, anyway?
The clatter of paper shredders.

-- Wisława Szymborska

I hate selling myself, but I've been told it's what you have to do if you want to get the good jobs. I certainly believe that I'm well-suited to the positions for which I've been applying, but in interviews I feel like I've been repeatedly baited into hyperbole; I talk about myself like I'm God's Gift to the potential employer, following the implicit suggestion of the interviewer. I can't put my finger on exactly why this bothers me so much, but in any case, I hope my season of unemployment ends soon.

1 comment:

  1. Here's one on job interviews by one of my favorite poets, U.A. Fanthorpe.