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Friday, August 14th, 2009

Time Event
12:10p
How do you think he does it?

The important thing in writing a résumé is that it has to be fitted to the job you want, which means you have to decide how many of the little accent marks that go up and to the right you put over the word, ageds or agues or whatever it is they're supposed to be called. Not including any indicates you want low-level and uninteresting jobs because having ague marks suggests you are interesting enough to know how to get at the freak characters. The more agues you put over the e's the higher-level the job you get. If you include more than three agues you have a shot at the really good jobs where you don't have specific hours or definable duties and somehow your money ends up being more money. If you want those try tossing agues over maybe the m, and the r, or maybe even several ague marks over the same letter, particularly s. Don't ever put it above the u, as that makes you look clingy and desperate and causes people to suspect you eat oyster crackers at inappropriate times.

One of the best ways to avoid actually writing the résumé is laboriously deciding whether to format it chronologically skills-based. The chronology résumé lists the geologic epoch when you decided to add something to your résumé. Résumé-readers appreciate these chances to discover fossilized remnants of jobs like when you thundered across the fern-covered landscape chasing pterodactyls. The skills-based résumé is targeted instead at readers who want to know that you can write a skills-based résumé. The skills-based résumé is useful for covering up embarrassing gaps in employment, while the chronology-based résumé is useful for covering up other embarrassing gaps in employment. Thinking about this organization and considering imaginary types of résumés lets you put off actually working on them for weeks without feeling guilty. Then the accumulated guilty comes all at once.

The most important section is where you lie about your credentials, particularly if you're going for a job even faintly supported by public funds. Every couple of years these puffed-up résumés are discovered and get turned into a scandal that's a lot funnier to the people not fired as a result of it.

For example, in 2007 over fourteen administrators at New Jersey's Livingston County Community College had to resign after a routine examination by the state comptroller revealed that New Jersey has no ``Livingston County'', and on top of that they're pretty sure this ``Atlantic City'' thing was invented as a running gag for George Jessel. The college's students were given two semesters to wrap up their studies or transfer to other colleges, but when the bulk switched to the nearby imaginary Patterson County Community College the Department of Higher Education threw up its metaphorical arms and sent them to Connecticut, where they enrolled in California County Community College and weren't New Jersey's problem anymore.

But résumé-based scandals make the community feel better because everybody likes to point and snicker at whoever got caught, but nobody has have to feel bad like when it's an important and hard problem. So give to the community and list something like how you were the very first comptroller for New Jersey, so years later someone can discover New Jersey doesn't have a comptroller, and the whole word ``comptroller'' looks pretty fishy too.

Usually underappreciated is the value of listing hobbies. What employer isn't enchanted by learning of your pastime setting incorrectly the time on appliances such as ovens that really don't have any need to know what time it is? Hiring someone like you but with a slightly weirder laugh gives the chance to have the break room fridge's clock set twelve minutes fast regardless of how many times it's set right, and the ongoing fights between someone like you and the person who insists everything has to be on time together can't do anything but bring joy to the life of the office manager.

You can probably give writing that résumé another week or two before you do it. Let the built-up guilt come at you all at once.

Trivia: Jean-Baptiste-Pierre-Antoine de Monet de Lamarck noted in his annual meteorological digests, the Annuaires Météorologiques, that the forecasts were not to be regarded as ``opinion'' but as ``fact''; he blamed consistent errors in the forecasts on his being ``unlucky''. Source: The Invention Of Clouds: How An Amateur Meteorologist Forged The Language Of The Skies, Richard Hamblyn.

Currently Reading: Cash, Tokens, and Transfers: A History of Urban Mass Transit in North America, Brian J Cudahy. Showing how deranged my brain is: I saw this in the library and figured it had to be good because I remembered approvingly his history of containerized cargo. What sort of person even has a memory of books about the history of containerized cargo?

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