Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dreams of Fortune

    I won't tell what inspired this right now.  I want to know if you, dear reader, can take any meaning from my first attempt at poetry.  Please, be critical.  Be insulting if you need to be.  I have no confidence in my poetic skills, so you won't hurt my feelings in the least bit.  Shall I keep things like this in my notebook hidden away, or should I share?

Dreams of Fortune
What dreams of fortune to come our way are worth the time to contemplate?
Yet stuck we are obsessed with fame, but all we want is them to know our name.
How long will it take to rise to power? And will it be worth the wasted hours?
We will fail, and we will fall.  Then, we will cry and take our fate.
Giving up is the hardest necessity, but someone has to work for the clock.
All the while, we have that dream that someday we will live the life where we can be the idol who sleeps worry-free.
But someday soon, our fire will die, and we will be left an empty shell wondering the streets doing our duties and admiring those who got that lucky break.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Idols. Those amazing individuals who can do no wrong. Those unerring, sinless role models. I am so sorry to burst your bubble, but such people do not exist.

I think it's wonderful to admire people. Take note of what impresses you, and try to better yourself with the quality as a goal.

I think it's unhealthy to idolize people. It hurts. As a matter of fact, it can hurt both sides.

I have been unfortunate enough to have idolized and to have been idolized. It will be easy to share the experiences in the later-mentioned situation, but it will be a struggle to admit my wrongs in the former. Nevertheless, this blog post will do no good if I cannot be honest.

I honestly don't know what they see in me.

Sure, I'm smart and have a talent or two, but the people I have in mind don't even really know me. We all love compliments, and we all love being appreciated, but it's just awkward when such things are unfounded or exaggerated yet sincere.

I'm no celebrity, so maybe it's just that I am not used to having a fan or two. I just don't have a clue about how I am supposed to respond. Do I sit down and explain things to them and risk insulting them? Do I joke about it and thus encourage it? Do I thank them for their compliments and implicitly admit superiority that doesn't exist? And what if I mess up?

I don't know what to do, but maybe I can find wisdom in my past mistakes.

In a time of struggle, hope can make the difference. When the world seems to be trying to knock you down, you need a solid rock on which to stand. If only there were at least one thing in this world that is perfect. God is hard to see, but what if there were a tangible physical something or someone on which you could rely?

Usually, it's someone in a position of power. Occassionally, it only takes someone who paid attention. Sometimes, an admirable quality starts the ball rolling. A combination of these things is perfect.

You try to better yourself, you try new things, and you do lots of stuff to get their attention. If it isn't good enough, why not try some self-destructive behavior just to see what happens? That doesn't work, so you go to more extremes. This isn't at all healthy!

Why did I stop? Was it the inability to carry out my foolish plans? Hah... no. Was it someone new? If it were, I wouldn't be stopping; I would be moving to someone new. No, dear reader, my self esteem improved.

The point of such an obsession is to have a reason to keep going in a world that resembles Hell. When you are able to take care of yourself in this world that, in my opinion, does sometimes resemble an evil place of torture -- only when you can take care of yourself in this world can you escape from the dependance on the idea of a perfect person.

So what should I do in the position of the one being idolized?

To be perfectly honest... I have no idea! Maybe trying to improve the self esteem of the idolizers? That probably won't work for the many of you more awesome people. Time just won't allow this approach! I'll keep a lookout and maybe ask a few more well-known people how they handle their fans.

I bid my regular readers a wonderful stalker-less life until next time. I do have one more thing to say on this topic to someone not currently a regular reader, though.

At the risk of being misunderstood as insincere, I must refrain from delivering this apology in a manner that ensures receipt. I must instead rely upon fate to bring you to this message.

I would like to apologize for my foolishness. It wasn't until I was in your situation that I realized why you made the decisions that you made. At the time, I was hurt and angry. Now I know that there simply were no good choices that you could make. Looking back, I know exactly why I did what I did. But even knowing the mind of the fan (I say fan because I don't want to label my past self with a harsher word), I know not what to do if one is the target of such admiration. You are blameless.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bad Resume Habits

    After perusing through tons of résumés, my hope for the future of humanity has almost all withered and died. In a last attempt to save our world, I am presenting a list of outstanding and too-common mistakes that are seen on résumés.

    Some of these issues are common sense. Some of them are funny. Unfortunately, I have personally seen every single one of these mistakes numerous times.

I'll be targetting résumés sent via email, but most of these tips will apply for hard copies as well.

I'll divide it up into categories, but first I want to list the most common problems.

  • Use correct grammar and spelling.
  • Have a professional email address. will only get you hired as a stripper.
  • Use .pdf format! Do not send your résumé in .txt, .rtf, or .htm format.
  • Only use fancy words and punctuation if you actually know what they mean and how to use them. And don't overuse them because, most of the time, your potential employer won't understand fancy stuff!

Now let me go into the rest of the issues, divided by category.

Person issues

    If they don't like you, they likely won't hire you. Make a good first impression.
  • If you put an email address on your résumé (which is a good idea), I suggest it be or something similar.
  • Don't put "Hi There!" in the subject line of an emailed application. It's unprofessional.
  • If you send your résumé three times and then follow up every single day with an email, you will definitely be remembered! They'll remember to redirect all of your emails to their junk folder. Don't pester your potential employer!
  • I'm sorry, but if your résumé is centered around your past work experience as a cheerleader and as a Hooters waitress, you'll only break the heart of the guy who tries to hire you only to have his superiors stop those plans. If you are trying to get an office job, then have some office experience.
  • Don't ask if you can send a résumé. Just send it.

File Issues

    If a potential employer cannot open your résumé easily or correctly, you probably won't get the job.
  • Use .pdf format. .doc is also acceptable but not as good. Never send your résumé in .htm, .rtf, or .txt format. If the reviewer is the least bit tech-savvy, your résumé will go straight to the trash.
  • Renaming résumé.doc to résumé.pdf will not turn it into a .pdf file; it will just make it harder to open. Google for "converting .doc to .pdf".
  • Please, don't send your résumé in the body of an email. You can't control the margins, you can't control whether they allow pictures or formatting, you just can't know how it will look. Most of the time, it will look absolutely horrendous! Send it as an attachment instead.
  • I recommend saving your résumé as your first and last name. This prevents potential employers from accidentally overwriting your résumé when saving multiple résumés to disk.
  • Use tabs, not spaces. With spaces, the alignment is sometimes not perfect, and it looks ugly.

Content Issues

  • If you can only type 35 to 50 wpm, keep that to yourself. I can type over 100 wpm. If you can beat that or come close (at least 65wpm), then put that on your résumé.
  • Use consistent formatting. Google "consistent formatting" if you don't know what I mean.
  • If you're a beginner at something, don't say on your résumé that you are a beginner. Let me say this again. If you are a beginner at something, do not say that you are a newbie.
  • Don't make it too short. We want more than work history, so list some skills.
  • Make sure that the written objective (if there is one) matches the job for which you are applying. If you say, "I am applying for a job in underwater basket weaving," and you submit that to Microsoft, do you think that you'll get a job?
  • Some words and phrases are overused. I get tired of all the "proficient in..." phrases after a while. Be creative and unique.
  • Don't use an automatic résumé creator. Most of them are no good.

Have any ideas?

    Okay, so maybe I'm no expert at what to do when writing résumés, but I have seen enough bad ones that I know exactly what not to do. I (and my loyal readers) would welcome any further insight, so feel free to comment.