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Here In the House of Mirrors

The Art of the Job Hunt: A Comedy In Seven Acts

By ROB HERHOLZ - July 4 2024
The Art of the Job Hunt: A Comedy In Seven Acts

So, you’re ready to embark on the grand quest for employment, armed with nothing but a clunky resume, a dodgy LinkedIn profile, and a Tim Horton’s dose of double-double optimism. 

Welcome to the Great Canadian job hunt, a place where rejection thrives and where applications and auto-replies flourish like weeds in an untended garden. Let’s take a look at the journey from wide-eyed applicant to bewildered interviewee. Is it really that bad? 

1. The Perfect Resume: An Exercise in Fantasy Writing

Creating a resume is like designing your own personal teleportation spaceship. You start back in the time of your education, sprinkle in some magical internships, and wrap it up with a happily ever after of skills you hope you possess. But beware, the job market is full of resume buzzwords. Suddenly, you find yourself “maximizing the efficiencies of your synergies” and “leveraging core competencies” like a corporate Yoda. 

2. The Cover Letter: The Unsolicited Love Note

There has been some debate in recent years about whether cover letters are even necessary in this day and age. You pour your heart out, trying to balance professionalism with personality and end up sounding like a robot with feelings. Spoiler alert—-your heartfelt prose will be skimmed for keywords and fed to the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) beast. And your chances of securing any extra points due to charm, charisma, or good-heartedness are immediately castrated by this soulless resume-tracking device. 

But in the end, for me the correct answer is to provide a separate cover letter because if done properly, the resume/cover letter combination offers a unique perspective on a candidates past work history, plus a glimpse of their personality. 

3. The Application Portal: Welcome to the Machine

You’ve spent hours perfecting your resume and cover letter, and now it’s time to upload them to the company’s job portal. Simple enough, right? Wrong. These portals are designed by sadists who delight in turning your dreams into digital confetti. You’ll encounter pop-up error messages and dropdown menus that don’t drop down. Plus, there is a captcha that seems to question your very humanity. Finally, after sacrificing your sanity, you hit submit, and the portal gleefully informs you that your application has been received—and filed in the back of a massive black vortex. 

4. The Waiting Game: A Masterclass in Patience

Now comes the fun part: waiting. You check your email every five minutes, convinced that your dream job will magically appear in your inbox. Days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into a panic. You start to question if your application got lost in cyberspace or if you’re trapped in some twisted version of Groundhog Day. 

5. The Interview: An Odyssey in Awkwardness

Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview, the job hunt equivalent of winning the lottery. You dress to impress, and you practice your answers to potential questions, from “What’s your greatest weakness?” to “Why do you want to work for us?” There will be several other similar questions which makes it relatively easy to prepare for. A simple Google search will provide you with many interview questions and answers to help you get ready for your interview. 

On the big day, you strut into the interview office with the confidence of a lion. Five minutes in, and you’re sweating like you’ve just run a marathon. The interviewer asks, “Tell me about a time you failed,” and suddenly, your mind is a blank canvas of regret. You mumble something about a high school science project and silently curse your past self for never failing more spectacularly. Until now, that is. 

6. The Follow-Up: Stalking with Style

You send a polite follow-up email, trying to strike the perfect balance between enthusiasm and desperation. “Dear Hiring Manager, I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to discuss my qualifications…” Translation: “Please, for the love of all that is holy, hire me.” You wait again, fluctuating between hope and despair, until you finally hear back. But Spoiler Alert: it’s another auto-reply!!

7. The Offer: The Holy Grail

Just when you’re about to give up and become a Monk you get the call. They want YOU! You dance around the room, celebrating like you’ve won an Oscar. But wait, there’s a twist: the salary is less than you expected, the commute is long, and the benefits are minimal. Still, you accept, because after all this, any job feels like a victory.

And so, dear job seeker, remember that finding a job isn’t just about securing a paycheck—it’s an epic saga of perseverance, resilience, and a willingness to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Keep your head up, your resume updated, and your sense of humour intact. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the one writing the hilarious article about your own job-hunting misadventures.

Cheers to gainful employment, one pratfall at a time!

by Rob Herholz

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