Monday, February 1, 2010

The Spartan's CV

Interviews, interviews.  Yes I'm out of a job and busily sending my CV off to potential employers. I wonder, where did this practise originate?  Did people in the 14th century have a scribe write their work experience on a piece of vellum, then seal it with some wax and send it to the Royal Court in the hope of finding work as a bathroom attendant? Did ancient Egyptian architects send the Pharoh a papyrus with hieroglyphs describing their latest tomb design?  If this person is alive can we put them on trial?

I recently came to realize that I don't need to recount how I started work in computing twenty years ago and that achievements I regard as important just may not interest anyone any more - like getting my A-levels in England 15 months after return from ten years in Israel.  That was an awfully long time ago.

So I've created a Spartan CV containing just the last ten years of my work activity and sent it out and things have improved, which is to say that I am now being invited for interviews. But what should I wear?  

I still have the same outfit for doing interviews I had ten years ago, and the Pierre Cardin trousers which looked quite stylish now deliver a strong has-been message. Fortunately my Oliver Peoples glasses have gone from being glasses made by an unknown designer to glasses made by a designer who was recently where its at.  So they are only a couple of years out of date.  The soles of my beautiful Timberland office shoes have simply disintegrated:  I guess the rubber couldn't stand being in cupboards for so long.  So I'm putting together new outfits, a bit at a time as more of my old wardrobes fall apart.

The other problem is that the interviewers look like children. I feel that I should really be preparing their lunch and giving them a quick tap on the back as I send them out to university.  Its hard not to tell them what to do or to say things like "Wow! you're so clever!  You're doing a really good job".  Mostly I'm about the same age as the CEO, but even that tends to be uncertain and I try to remember to shave before I go for a job interview because my white hair is largely in my beard and then I won't look quite so old.  

My job interviews start with me being invited to make myself a cup of coffee - I'm no longer important enough for the secretary to do it - and then we go and hunt for a room. Somehow the children interviewing me have never pre-arranged an interview room and lack their own office.  Then they say "but you seem a bit over-qualified".  So I sigh internally and say yes... but I am reinventing myself for a new generation and want to work on the internet...

Will I manage?  Necessity usually does a good job at mothering my inventions but who knows how long it will take.  I assume that at some point the right thing will turn up but will it happen before I go bankrupt?   
In the mean time I keep chasing my tail and hoping that the white shirt I have worn to too many interviews doesn't join the many other items I have been forced to reinvent.

Oh by the way if you're looking for a technical writer...


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