My spam is your spam

Times are tough. If you’re unemployed, jobs are scarce. And if you are employed, your job most likely sucks. Which is why I’m sharing this exciting job opportunity. Please forward along to anyone that’s interested in being a stay-at-home-courier:


OEDC inc has sent you the following message to offer you a job position. (Goody! I love job positions!! Wait, what’s a job position?) Your candidacy was chosen by OEDC inc internet recruiting team by your resume. (From Linkedin? Wow. That shit works!)

Overseas Electronic Dispatching Company inc was set in 2003 in Poland and provides service of buying and dispatching of different types of merchandise to European customers. We would be glad to offer you a position of courier clerk. The work is remote and only for people living in United States (Your company is based in Poland, but you need someone from the US to send packages to Europe? Isn’t Poland already in Europe?).

Schedule can be flexible, position can be done from home (or prison), no warehouse needed. Monthly payment is a minimum $1500 with sixty dollar per each package rate, so it can be more, but not less (It sounds like I’m signing up for an American Express platinum card.).

Position requires to be/have (the same requirements to be a decoy on “To Catch a Predator”):
-street type of address
-18 years age at least
-computer with web access, scanner and printer
-to have no criminal records 

Employee has rights to open the parcel to see that there is nothing illegal being shipped (I will remember this the next time I order from the Kitty Kat Emporium.).

We provide and expect your carrier growth from you (Well done.).

We also provide the privileges:
– paid vacation two times per each year (Travel provided if you are able to fit in a DHL box.)
– Apple, Sony and other products as gifts to successful employees after trial period (Just open the boxes and take what you like.)

* You are not required to pay any money to work. (*If I had to pay you, then it wouldn’t be work.)

Please reply at your earliest convenience. (Oh, I will.)

With a thousand sweet typos, I’ll cover you

I know first hand how hard it is to look for work. Finding a listing, preparing your resume and cover letter, waiting around for a call back or email. Then, that scary interview process where so many things are out of your control. I’ve since looked back at those cover letters and found small typos or grammatical errors in a few. Notwithstanding, I did receive call backs from those companies, despite the random teh instead of the.

Being recently employed again, I miss pajamas, I miss television, but not the job hunt. No way. That part flat-out sucks. A few days ago, I received an email soliciting work in my department. And it reminded me of that terrible struggle between sending resumes blindly and answering an ad. On those weeks that the newspaper’s employment section fit on one page, I resorted to researching companies and sending them unsolicited emails with my work history. So, I understood right away the urgency of this person’s email. I understood and decided to entertain their request – even though I have absolutely no hiring power.

For the purposes of this conversation, I’m only going to discuss the cover letter – which was awesome. Awe-some. It made my typos look amateurish and ill-conceived. The real fun was in the content of the letter. So, like the way my English textbooks would sometimes provide commentary for complicated classics, I too have provided you with my commentary alongside the loosely censored letter.

It should also be noted that each paragraph of this letter was in a different font. This cover letter came with your standard edition resume and three letters of recommendation. I can’t deal with those yet. I may just turn this into a series. Lastly, the cherry on top of this delicious sundae of goo was the person’s picture. It was a picture of a picture of the person with a jacket over his or her shoulder. Awe-some.

The art of the phone interview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida’s unemployment rate in October was 11.2% and in Miami-Dade County, where I live, it was 11.8 percent. Um. Yeah. That’s a lot of people. That’s a lot of people out clogging traffic in the middle of the day. That’s a lot of people competing for the same job. Every job listing gets dozens and dozens of inquiries the first day it goes public. Which means one discerning hiring professional must sift through the pile and conduct phone interviews to narrow down the process.

Before, a phone interview consisted of a brief hello with a couple of random questions. Its main purpose was to ascertain if you indeed had a pulse and if you were able to speak English and to make sure that you could formulate coherent sentences in said language. Today, the phone interview is something much more formal. And it could be the make or break of the entire interview process. You can’t “recover” from a bad phone interview. You either are exceptional or you will be hung up on and never thought about again.

Continue reading “The art of the phone interview”