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 “The Sweatpants of Career Advice”