Hiring may be serious business but reading résumés has its light moments. Not least because they no longer rely just on text. Today’s applications (at least the ones that come to media houses) take the shape of JPEG files, YouTube videos, screenshots from Instagram accounts, and complicated, technicoloured graphics. Clearly, Generation Y (aka the Millennials) believes the persuasive power of the written word is dead.
Some carry a section listing the software known to the candidate. Knowledge is not explained in words. Dots do the work instead. Five dots stand against the name of each software, with darkened dots indicating proficiency level. Those averse to dots use a temperature scale to denote the extent of their expertise. Hobbies and interests are expressed through emojis.
A colleague recently received a mail that she didn’t know what to do with: all it contained was a name, phone number, three pictures from an Instagram account and a link to a blog. Nothing else. The only reason she figured it was a mail from a potential candidate was because the subject had the word ‘job’ in it. Oh yes, there was also a less-than-professional email address with many ‘y’s attached to the beauty bit in the name.
Descriptive email ids are a big thing. Earlier, one checked in email ids like ‘divineatheist’ at the college exit and got a formal one for the working world. No more. Self-expression is key today. Why go with a plain-vanilla name when you can have an id that conveys your uniqueness far more picturesquely? Think ‘godofwriting’, ‘Iambright’, ‘beautyandbrain’.
Personally, I’ve always thought ‘Objective’ is wasted in a CV. Surely, the fact that you’re applying for a certain job conveys your immediate objective. But maybe not. How else would you tell potential bosses that you believe yourself ‘of being pragmatic and dynamic’ and are looking for a job opportunity where your ‘talent and knowledge could be best subjected’ to deliver your best ‘for the pride and passion of the organisation’? Gulp!
And while I’ve long scoffed at hobby-listers, thinking no-one’s interested, I know now that I was wrong. Because in the long-winded applications that do come in—where candidates boast about their communication skills and then wind their way through five-six pages without actually communicating anything—it’s only the Hobby section that gives one pause.
How could it not, when a wannabe reporter lists ‘Baking and listening music’ as her hobbies? (Guess she’ll be cooking up a lot of stories). I’m also very taken by candidates with the following qualities/skills: Has good body odour; comfortable with Photoshop, though haven’t personally used it; can type and talk on the phone very, very fast; and—wait for it—good at trousseau packing.
My top favourite, however, is the candidate who added the following irresistible sentence to his emojis and JPEGs: “I will highly appricate if you consider my resume & grant you the opportunity to meet me.” I don’t think the writer ‘appricated’ just how honoured I was by his suggestion. Sadly, my boss didn’t feel the same way.