I wrote this and then didn’t want to post it because it’s a bit TMI and very me-me-me, similar to something I posted a while back and then privatised! But then I was thinking about it and actually… who cares?! It’s honest. And it’s my blog. It’s unlikely that a potential employer will find it, and if they do then so be it! It might even convince them to hire me. Or not. Hah.
Guidelines for the composition of a good Curriculum Vitae encourage honesty, obviously, but it’s not real honesty. If my CV could be properly honest, it would include some or all of the following information:
I’m friendly and easy to work with, but this probably won’t be apparent at first. I have an awkwardness threshold that I usually manage to cross after about three months, but prior to that I’m uncomfortable, quiet, and lack confidence to such an extent that I may seem unfriendly or sour. I will struggle to initiate interactions during this time, but I’m not too bad if someone else gets the ball rolling. I also think I might have a mild case of Bitchy Resting Face. But I’m actually a nice person, I promise! I care about the world and I care about the people in it. I have strong opinions. I’m a humanist, a feminist, an atheist. I’m sensitive to social injustice. I try to be the best person I can be. I don’t always succeed, but I always try.
I am enthusiastic and willing to learn new things, but I don’t always have the most impressive learning curve, particularly when it comes to computer-related stuff. I sometimes battle to get to grips with the basics of new skills or concepts, and I’m extremely awkward about asking too many questions. That said, once I have enough knowledge to work on my own, I’m good at it and I work hard.
I was a very good student. I got excellent grades from the beginning of school till the end of university. I might not have the exact qualifications you’re looking for, but I honestly think that my results are indicative of the fact that I’m not stupid and you should hire me anyway. I can be good at a lot of things, even things that I don’t have much previous knowledge of or experience with, because I have an inquiring mind, a good work ethic, and a lot of pride. Being a top student means that I set the bar quite high for the rest of my life, and I have a strong desire to live up to all the things I achieved in those days. This might not always be healthy, but you can rest assured that I care about my work, at least in part because I care about what other people think of me. I want to be impressive. I want to be respected. I want my work to matter. I work very hard. Aside from this terrible paragraph, I’m pretty humble. I don’t blow my own trumpet all the time, so you don’t have to worry about that either. I don’t think more of myself than I should. In fact, most of the time, I’m quite self-effacing and self-critical.
4. Work Experience
I don’t have much work experience and the experience I do have is not exactly appropriate for a lot of the jobs I’d actually like to do. I’ve had one job. I took it before I had decided what I wanted to do with my life. (I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, really.) I learned a lot doing the job, but I don’t want it to narrow my options now. I want to try new things. Similarly, I don’t want the fact that I have a master’s degree to hinder me getting an entry-level position. I’m looking for work. I’m looking for experience. I want to learn. An entry level position would be perfect. I don’t want to be turned away because my MA suggests that I’d want more money out of it than anyone is willing to offer me. That’s completely not the case. If I could be sure that the MA was causing this problem, I’d actually consider taking it off my CV and pretending I don’t have one. I want to start at the bottom somewhere and work my way up through experience and hard work, because that’s what feels right.
5. Physical Problems
Once a month, I get pretty severe dysmenorrhea, which is basically really bad period pain and it’s embarrassing to explain this to an employer, especially when I’m new. Often, it is so bad that I have to call in sick (or go home early) because I can barely walk, I groan involuntarily every few minutes, and I get very nauseous at the same time. For as long as I can remember, this has happened on either Mondays or Tuesdays, but usually Mondays, which makes it extra awkward because it looks like I’m just taking a long weekend. On these days, it would be great if I could work from home, where I can be near my own toilet, and near my bed so that I can curl up into the foetal position to get through the bad bits. I had an understanding with my previous employer, but it’s horrible having to establish that understanding, and it probably seems unfair, and I’m sorry about this. I’d be more than happy to take unpaid days off if working from home wasn’t an option. All I want is to not look like a slacker or a hypochondriac, because I’m neither of those things, I promise.
I stammer. Sometimes. It’s not just regular nervous stammering. It’s a speech impediment that I’ve dealt with on and off since I was a preteen. My reluctance to use phones is not because I’m lazy or antisocial or scared of other people, it’s because I usually stammer more when I’m talking on the phone, especially when I’m talking to people I don’t know or trying to sound formal. It doesn’t only happen on the phone, it’s just more likely to happen there, possibly because of the lack of visual cues. It can happen in any situation, and it can be so mild that nobody will notice, it can be bad enough that people notice but it doesn’t matter too much, or it can be so bad that I can barely speak and might want to burst into tears afterwards. When I can feel that it’s going to be bad, I try to avoid talking in those situations, even if I have something to contribute. I get stuck on particular sets of sounds, so certain words will be fine, but other words won’t be. I can sometimes get around the problem by using alternative words, but this isn’t always possible, especially when I’m too nervous to think quickly or there isn’t an equivalent alternative! Thinking of what to say in a situation that makes you nervous is one thing, but thinking of multiple ways to say it that avoid particular problem sounds is another thing entirely. Most of the time my speech is fine (and I reckon most people I know don’t even believe me when I say I have a speech impediment), but sometimes it isn’t fine. Sometimes it even happens when I’m feeling completely at ease. If it happens in an initial phone call or interview (two very likely contexts), please understand that it’s not a reflection of my intelligence or even my confidence. It’s just something that happens, and I’m sorry about this too.
I’m a good writer! Not the best in the world, but I’m working on it! I can do different styles and tones and registers and degrees of formality and… those all overlap, but you get what I mean. I have a feel for the English language, when I read it and when I write it. I understand audiences and I know how to tailor words to suit them. I am sensitive to nuances and subtleties. I have an eye for detail. Maybe I let a typo get through now and then if proofreading isn’t my primary objective, but I’m good at this. I really am. I’m good at writing and editing and general wordsmithing, and I can help you, and you should hire me!
Please hire me.
EDITED: Typos. HAHAHA.