Friday, February 12, 2016


Beginning a job search is onerous. Beginning a job search when you don't even know what job you want to do is even worse. How can you target your resume for a particular job when you don't even know what job you're looking for?

One article I read while attempting to nail down a direction was "Starting Your Job Search When You Don't Know What You Want, You Just Want More" by Carlota Zimmerman, a self proclaimed "Creativity Yenta." The basic gist of the article, as I interpreted it, was, "don't wait to figure out what you want or you'll end up in a death spiral of self-pity." Zimmerman has a snarky, sarcastic style that is as motivating as a marine drill sergeant. Her advice centers around doing something with what you know, rather than unproductively wallowing in the unknown. I call it "effectivity."

Thusly chastised, I began by updating my previous resume, the one I'd used prior to my pursuit of a degree. It wasn't much, but it did provide a small sense of accomplishment. One of the things that I found, while performing this task, was the plethora of conflicting advice about various aspects of resume construction. For every website advocating one particular technique, there was another advocating the exact opposite. In the end it would seem that it is a matter of personal preference. Do it the way you think best, within the constraints of standard practice.

Finally, I spent some time researching jobs that would allow me to leverage my English degree. seemed to think that technical writing would be right up my alley. Maybe, maybe not, I thought as I looked through the employment listings. I do have a technical background, so perhaps it will be a good fit.

It occurred to me while perusing the listings, that the requirements listed in the job postings might be extremely helpful when it comes time to target my resume towards such jobs. My resume would have exactly the right buzz words and qualifications that some HR professional is looking for. So I began compiling a list.

One criterion in particular caught my attention: "The successful candidate thrives in a demanding, fast-paced environment, and can deliver consistently accurate, high-quality work while supporting multiple projects simultaneously." Thrives? Really? Sounds like a recipe for ulcers to me. Of course, what should I expect, "The successful candidate thrives in a lackadaisical environment, and can rise above the tedium to produce some high-quality work when the muse strikes"?

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