In the last 6 months, I have sent about 105 resumes. Figuring for my powers of exaggeration, but factoring a forceful and concerted attempt at accuracy, call it 97. I have a file full of resumes; one page summaries of my teaching and of my orchestral experience, two Curriculi Vitae, and dozens of cover letters. I write professional but personal emails to all and sundry. I provide these people with everything they could possibly need to know more about me than my stand partner. (Which is an odd position in an orchestra. They’re not always friends, but they know your quirks and habits as well as your family does.) I give a pretty clear picture of who I am, even before I walk into an interview.
I have had 7-10 interviews for my trouble. It’s not a great rate of return, but it’s a tough market. Everyone needs a job, and everyone is hiring, but nobody is hiring…me…. which is peculiar, but there it is. Perhaps companies are being choosy and I am too quirky. After all, I have deep purple nails, burgandy sparkly glasses, and a haywire sense of the ridiculous. Well, it’s no use crying over spilled milk, or 8 hour interview days that administer math tests and then don’t hire you.
The thing is, all these interviewers ask the Dumb Thing. Now, I have been an interviewer too. Some questions get you lots of helpful information, and some questions get you nothing you didn’t know by looking at them. But after asking questions that led to dead ends and misrepresentations one year, I changed the questions the next year. Seems a logical thing to do. Nevertheless, from these people who work for much larger corporations than I did, I get the silliest question.
Tell us about yourself.
I try reversing a lot. “What would you like to know?” Because really. I mean to say! It would be much easier to tell them them who I am not, than who I am. So I have made a list of the things I am not. I think it narrows the field considerably. You know the story of the sculpter who was asked how he created such a beautiful marble elephant? He said “It’s easy! I just chip away all the marble that doesn’t look like an elephant.” So that is how we shall sculpt an idea of me. I’ll show up like a negative on film.
I am not an entymologist.
I am not a herpetologist either.
I am not neutral. (hehehehehehehe)
I am not dull, bland or narrow.
I am not fond of mathematics, but arithmatic might be ok occasionally.
This is really working! So, my friends, who aren’t you?