In my adventures of being unemployed, I received an immense amount of help from various sources. I received some well-meaning tips and “help” from my local government’s career center. (Yes, I seemed to get dinged for audit meetings more than the usual people that put in for unemployment insurance). I would occasionally have some decent connections or advice from someone at a career fair. This was not always true but generally it was okay. (I had spotty results from dealing with veteran’s organizations. I’m not sure that they were used to dealing with veterans with college educations, but god bless them for trying). The one misadventure I had completely forgotten about was what happened when I went to a job club meeting.
The local organization that holds the job club meetings do a great deal for both employed and unemployed people. I enjoyed the speakers and I felt like the people running the show showed a huge amount of respect for people in a bad spot. (Resume writing help and other services were offered). Networking was also nice. I met some people that gave me a few leads and didn’t mind having people email them for additional questions. Outside of these awesome parts, you got to turn in your resume so someone can “distribute” it. (Local HR and hiring managers actively poked through the resume binder, I’ve met a few folks that scored a decent position from it).
Guarding the resume book was a well dressed septuagenarian with a name tag that described his title and company. I liked the fact that he was sharply dressed and easy to identify. I felt like he might have a semblance of direction for me. I gave him my resume. Supporting every stereotype of a senior citizen still in the workplace, he did that “wrinkled nose” thing that old people do to look part angry and perturbed. (Not an attempt at trying to look polite or comforting at all). I thought nothing of it. He looks at my resume and doesn’t say anything anywhere near supportive. His words were near the following: These margins…you really need half inch margins…where am I going to write notes?
Yes, I have heard it from several different sources. One resume style is preferred over this one. This font over that font. Yeah, okay people. A person (Poppy) that can swing a cat and find a job, gave me damn good advice when it came to the margin size. “Poppy” was on several hiring committees and mentioned that “as long as your margins don’t mess with a resume scanning program, you are okay”.
I watched the career guarding snarling beast put my resume in the binder with a relatively disrespectful motion. He stopped to pull out one resume that he liked commenting that he “liked this one”, pointing at it like he had found some Holy Grail of the HR world.
I didn’t say anything although I wanted to tell him that plenty of hiring managers were smart enough to use a notepad or scratch paper to take notes. (Please note: I knew people that used the back of the resume for note taking, given that multiple copies of the resume were made when reviewing resumes).
I don’t hold it against the people that run the job club but I would dare to tell the volunteers that they shouldn’t put themselves amongst the gods, lest they be thrust back into the dregs with the hoi polloi of unemployed masses.
(Nit picking serves no one. It against the spirit of that job club. I imagine that someone might have wanted to talk to me about work and the lack of note space was least of my worries, right below gaps in employment)