By staff writer E.E. Southerby
May 23, 2004
“Where Dreams are Crushed for Fun and Profit”
Now Playing: “Hole in the Head” by Sugababes
If there is one thing Text-Heavy is about, it's expressing the author's irrational love for and fixation with Arbor Day. If there are two things Text-Heavy is about, then the second is tradition. Yes, we here at Text-Heavy are proud of our traditions, many of them dating back 1, even 0 years. It is in that spirit that we proudly present you with our annual guide to summer jobs, in convenient online newsletter format. So, without further ado (if there are three things Text-Heavy is about, the third is a strong dislike for ados), here's what happened:
-The classified ads in your local newspaper are a great place to begin your job search, unless of course you are looking for a job to which you could conceivably be hired. You should know that all the good jobs in the world have been filled either through nepotism or by people who are qualified simply by virtue of not being you. Therefore, the only jobs the classifieds advertise are “Carpenter with Minimum 15 Years Experience” and “Escort.” And if you're anything like me, you've got a better shot at the carpenter job. You can fake experience, but you can't fake cosmetic surgery.
-There is one other job advertised in the classifieds, and that is a job in telemarketing. Although this job is ludicrously easy to get, to the point where they'll hire ex-convicts and criminals who are still incarcerated, you should avoid this job at all costs for two reasons. First, you get paid on commission. Nobody in the history of the universe has ever bought anything from a telemarketer, so your paycheque could just as well be made out of construction paper, elbow macaroni and paste, validity-wise. Second, if you call my house, and I find out you're doing it because you read this column, I will personally saw your balls off. (If you are a girl, I will saw your boyfriend's balls off, because I in no way condone violence against women.)
-After you dismiss the newspaper as a potential job resource, and believe me you will, it's time to turn to the Internet. Yes, the Internet has changed not only the way we pirate music and snuff films, but also the way students find summer jobs. In the past few years, many job-hunting websites have sprung up with easy-to-remember, catchy names such as “Monster,” “Workopolis,” “WorkopolisCampus,” “OnlineJobShop,” “FindAJobOnline316,” “MonstersBallWithHalleBerryNaked,” “MoreJobsThanMonsterAndWorkopolisCombined,” etc. These websites, provided you are Rain Man and can remember the URL, are an excellent resource for college students to connect with employers who want to hire YOU. The best part about these websites is that, due to the global nature of the Internet, you will be able to search through jobs in Topeka, Kansas and then whack yourself in the head and cry out “I wish I lived in Topeka, because this job would be PERFECT.” Then head to the emergency room, because you were holding a fork when you whacked yourself. My God you're stupid.
-At this point, you've already failed at finding a job through nepotism, finding a job using the newspaper, finding a job using the Internet, and applying for welfare. You probably feel like a big old failure, don't you? Well don't fret! You're not a worthless waste of life quite yet. Chances are, your school has a co-op program, wherein, for a mere half of what you pay in tuition, they will help you find a job for the summer fetching coffee and photocopying, possibly in Topeka, Kansas. Yes, that's right: You are expected to PAY MONEY, in the order of hundreds or thousands of dollars, for the right to work. It's like Soviet Russia but without the funny hats and monuments. But wait, it gets better: Supposing you pay this ludicrous tribute to King University, they still WON'T GUARANTEE THEY'LL FIND YOU A JOB! In fact, on average, only half of the suckers who pay for the co-op program find work at all! There, NOW you're a worthless waste of life.
-Once you get talked down from the ledge with promises of candy and funny stories, your next step will be to hand out resumes in person. Of course, before you can hand out a resume, you must write up a resume. There are countless books, websites and experts who can give you advice on how to write a resume, and every single one of them is wrong. A lot of this bad advice contradicts a lot of other bad advice, so it is very difficult to know what the right way to write a resume is. Therefore, here is a list of resume DO's and DON'Ts: DO use correct spelling and grammar, unless you are applying to work at Blockbuster Video or Tower Records. DON'T include an objective statement that implies your life's goal involves Wendy's. DO list skills like punctual, dependable and honest, provided you look these words up first. DON'T make up any volunteer work, community service or previous job experience, unless it's really unverifiable. DO list every award you've ever received in your entire life, dating back to that second-place finish in the 3rd grade spelling bee. Potential employers really care. Honest.
-Before you can begin handing out resumes, you will also need a cover letter. This is a letter that you staple to your resume, to prove to potential employers that you really want to work for THEM and you're not just in it for the money. As you can see, the cover letter is just an exercise in how well you can lie. Apparently, you're not supposed to make a generic cover letter. Instead, employers prefer that you tailor your cover letter to their particular store/restaurant/office/place of worship. Nobody has ever done this, however, which is why nearly all cover letters include vague language that nobody understands, such as “heretofore.” One trick is to write up a generic cover letter, but then include the employer's name in strategic places, so you can easily cut and paste, as in: “This is one of the many reasons I would be a good candidate for a job at WAL-MART.” See? You can replace Wal-Mart with anything! Costco, Crazy Achmed's Discount Lingerie and Piano Repair, you name it! Just be sure you don't hand in the wrong cover letter to the wrong place, especially if you mention your attention to detail.
-Quote of the Moment: A lot of people write objective statements on their resumes. These are short sentences that explain, in a nutshell, why you would be a good fit for the job. Take my friend's objective statement, for instance, when he applied to work at McDonald's for the summer: “I want to make enough money to pay tuition so I'll never have to work at McDonald's again.” Naturally, he got the job, which means either honesty pays or nobody reads those damn objective statements. I'm going to put “Hail Satan” in mine just to test.
-So now you have a resume and cover letter filled with hate and lies (and just a touch of cinnamon), so it's time to start handing them out. Where should you go? What should you say? And just what in the heck did I mean when I said “cinnamon”? The answers are: Everywhere, “I'd like to apply for a job,” and nobody really knows but it's probably dirty. Like the Milkshake song.
-They say you can expect to receive one interview for every 20 resumes you give out. This may be true, except you can bet your ass that most of those resumes are never finding their way to the store manager (or overlord). The vast majority of the resumes you give out are kept by bottom-rung employees, who take them home and laugh at your pathetic “accomplishments” before they have sex with your girlfriend in the pimped-out Honda Civic their parents bought them for graduation while all you got was a monogrammed pen. Just like in that dream I keep having.
-The interview is the final step on your way to summer-jobdom. Here you will meet with a supervisor who's younger than you and has a name like “Skip.” He will ask you a number of serious and thought-provoking questions, such as your name and why your resume says “Hail Satan.” Under no circumstances should you ever tell Skip that you are looking for a summer job. In fact, don't even tell him you're in school. Skip hates hiring temporary employees, because it takes time and money to train them and also Skip is an asshole. Just pretend you want to be a lifer, and hope to God he doesn't notice that you get an involuntary twitch whenever you fib. If Skip says he'll call you when he's made a decision, it means he is a lying asshole and you'll never hear from him again. Skip never even learned to use a telephone, and instead communicates through a complex series of smoke signals, tin cans and yarn. If Skip likes you, he'll hire you on the spot and you can run home and tell your mom, or, if your mom is deceased, your legal guardian. Otherwise, fear not: You can always make a living writing an online comedy newsletter. Just kidding.