Many years ago, I got a call from A&E’s Biography magazine. I’d applied for an entry-level editorial job, so upon answering the phone, I was excited. “Yes, this is Vadim!”
“OK, I just wanted to check. Thank you,” said the caller.
“Oh, OK,” I replied.
She continued: “I was curious if you were a real person. Your resume was”—after a contrived pause—“interesting.”
“Interesting good or interesting bad?” I asked.
“Umm”—more silence to stir drama—”interesting bad.”
The conversation ended and I thought two things: (1) That call didn’t go as planned. (2) That worked out as planned.
A New Serif in Town
Let me explain: I’m thinking of this story because I’m once again looking for work. The other night, I spent hours researching fonts to use on my résumé. I discovered that Times New Roman is the sweatpants of fonts and conveys laziness (that’s me!), so I should instead choose a sans-serif typeface like Helvetica because it will show that I’m forward-thinking (hey, that’s me, too!). Except, I do love a good serif! But would picking one highlight my stupidity? Don’t I know that all those little hooks appended to letters can cause electronic scanners to misread a résumé? Maybe I should listen to my friend who suggests Futura because it’s gorgeous (totally me!). But crap, Microsoft Word doesn’t include that font, but there’s another one I like, but it’s too big, while another is too small, and yet another is—
Who am I? Goldilocks? And is it really 3:30 am? What the hell am I doing?
I knew exactly what I was doing. I was experiencing what every job-seeker feels at some point—insecurity. What if my résumé (which you may view here) turns off a lot of employers? It’s already a bit quirky, at least by HR standards. What if no one will hire the weirdo who also decided to dress his résumé in sweatpants? Continue reading