I applied for a job today on Craigslist. I don’t know why I do that; it never ends up well.
I applied for a “Front Desk Clerk” job at a hotel in New York City. I usually just search Manhattan; the job posting may have said Brooklyn; I don’t remember. I just wanted to see what was out there so I took the leap and sent out some resumes.
Now, I have been working for…17 years. I’ve been sending out resumes just as long. I generally am pretty good about keeping my resumes up to date and current and with the most recent job information. I had a full time job while I was living in South Carolina and that was just over a month ago. So my resume has been tended to quite recently.
I used to format my resume with BOLD HEADINGS and TOO MUCH INFORMATION but recently, within the last four or five years, I’ve changed it up a little bit. I yanked out all the extraneous information, and restyled it into a more modern look. I have the “company name, contact, contact phone number” all sort of truncated so as to not waste peoples time trying to match up information from the CONTACTS section with the most recent jobs.
It’s not rocket science, it’s a resume.
There is also an asterisk which says “additional contact information available upon request.” That’s pretty standard too, insofar as I’ve seen.
So then, this morning, one of the jobs I applied to, got back to me. I saw it on my phone and thought, “Oh boy! Maybe I’ll have an interview today.” I scampered over to my computer and this is what awaited me:
“Please re-do your resume is appropriate resume format. If you are unsure as to what that is, please feel free to research different templates online. Check Microsoft.com.
Natalie Del Valle
No, “Hi, thank you for applying!” No, “could you give us a little more information?” No nothing. So naturally, being who I am, I wrote back and said this:
“Thanks but no thanks Natalie. If you are unhappy with my resume format, you don’t need to hire me. If you need more information that’s not on there, I’d be glad to get that to you. But I don’t need any “resume help” – Thanks”
Looking over her note, I couldn’t help myself. So I added this:
“ALSO: Your sentence that you wrote to me is not in appropriate format. You MEANT to say – “Please redo your resume TO AN appropriate resume format.” or “Please redo your resume TO A MORE appropriate format.” What you wrote is not a sentence. (And there’s no hyphen in “redo”)”
Of course, the battle lines had been drawn. What came next from her was in response to my first post:
“With all due respect, I do this for a living and I am only trying to help you. It would be in your best interest if you have a professional look at it, and they will give you tips on what to improve. There is a lot that needs to improved in order for an employer to even schedule an interview with you. Just my advice. It’s always good to keep an OPEN and POSITIVE mind so that you can receive feedback. We all can learn something from time to time.”
Then she replied to my second post:
“You are the one looking for employment Ms. Schmitt, correct? Therefore, you should focus on that. But thank you for the correction; I have no problem accepting constructive criticism. Have a wonderful day!”
It wasn’t “constructive criticism,” it was the red pen. Her sentence was incorrect. Of course I didn’t even want to get into her grammar further, so I demurred instead saying:
“Sure Natalie, But that’s not your business. I don’t know you. All I know is you posted a job on craigslist and I replied. If you don’t like my resume, that’s fine. Don’t reply. If it’s objectionable to your eyes, dump it into your trash. But before you start a tete-a-tete with me you should maybe know who you’re talking to or what GENDER I am. If I wanted RESUME ADVICE, I’d go to…well…probably not you. Good luck finding someone to fill your position. Respectfully Yours, Jesse Schmitt.”
So if you’re looking for a job as a front desk agent in Brooklyn, you had better come prepared with a stellar resume. If you’re looking for resume advice…Well there is my new friend Natalie.