Your Actual Resume

You can lose yourself in the job search. After the umpteeth delicately-tweaked cover letter, painstakingly curated resume and well-written introductory email, you begin to feel like you're faking it.

So I created the resume for who I actually am. Here we go:

MahEars, Philadelphia, PA Music Curator and Sonic Aesthetician1989 - Present Develop classic rock, sixties girl groups and sundry genres into bizarre yet pleasing playlists Retain a disturbing amount of recording trivia and factoids gained from late-night Wikipedia rabbit trails Alienate coworkers and friends with anachronistic song lyric quotes Disturb fellow commuters on the Schuylkill Expressway with morning drive-dancing
MahBrain, Philadelphia, PA Smartass in Residence1986 -  Present Create charmingly/alarmingly specific to-do lists and goals Actively collect strange facts to develop obscure jokes and stories Despises the patriarchy, injustice, inefficiency and ferrets Chief aficionado of tasty food and random Phil…

I Welcome Our Robot Overlords

Resume scanning software. Ghastly. Gone are the days of the whimsically written resume and the manual review. Toss in a handful of keywords, delete the word creative, and voila, maybe someone will pay attention to you.
Fortunately, the way to evade being passed over by the robots is to add more robots.
I popped my resume over to Jobscan and threw a few job descriptions into the other field. I haven't updated my resume in a while (whoops), so it was expected that I only matched the descriptions at about a 56 percent rate. If you're new to seeding your resume with keywords, this is a great place to test what words work for you.

In praise of an emergency fund

Today I came out to my car to find the front left tire completely flat. A bit of Fix-a-Flat later, I was off to the mechanic. In months past I would be freaking out, "I can't afford this!" But this time, I had the assurance of an emergency fund.
Building savings while unemployed or digging out of debt is horribly difficult, but it can be done. Best of all, it helps to break the debt cycle. It's not fun or glamorous, but it helps.
My mode was to automate my emergency fund and save spare change until I had enough to deposit. Not having the dull feeling of doom made it worth the months of scrimping.

Against DIY Gifts

You're un/under-employed, so you're cutting costs for the holidays. Cue the avalanche of Pinterest-flavored posts on jar-based gifts.
Lucky Charms marshmallows? Another take on granola? Pepper vodka? Spare me.
Why am I so Grinchy about handmade gifts? I love hand-knit beanie and scarf presents....
It's the lack of thought as to real cost. Yes, you might be able to give a thrifty gift by saving all of your spaghetti sauce jars and mass-producing your family gifts. However, the time that's required to put together all these glass container concoctions (not to mention the cost of materials) may actually be more expensive than seeking out a just-as-sentimental gift from Amazon.

If you're still bent on a whimsical DIY gift, here are a few more personalized suggestions:

Note cards that feature your (good) photography. A useful yet creative gift.Handcrafts exclusive to you. If you're a champion knitter, by all means, knit something spiffy. If someone knit me a sock mo…

Bad Boss

I've been wanting to tackle this topic for quite a while, but with much apprehension. One of the hallmark of bad bosses is you don't want to speak ill of the defunct, lest it affect your career. Nobody wants to be the whiner. And especially in this economy, unless you're in horrific conditions and subject to daily abuse you want to keep your job until you can flip to something better.
Tons of horrible boss lists exist, imploring supervisors to dial back that narcissism just a bit, please. Other articles warn jobseekers about managerial red flags.
But sometimes you just have a bad boss and you didn't recognize it at first because you were so desperate for the job. Or maybe you are the boss and don't realize how callous you are to your employees.

Are you a bad boss?
Do you:

Require inhumane amounts of unpaid overtimeTreat interns like slave labor to prop up your (dying) businessScream at/around underlings; making them your personal psychiatristsBelittle their educatio…

Wherein I Fire Facebook

In all the fallout from the Snowden and NSA scandal, I think the only surprise news was that journalists woke up and actually started doing investigative reporting. Checking sources?! Stop the presses!
I don't think anyone with a shred of discernment was shocked that many companies track users and communications. Information is currency and some companies' currency rivals that of governments. Nevertheless, I decided to delete my Facebook account for a few reasons:

I wanted to protest (in some small, futile way) the creeping disregard for privacy (Verizon, you're next on my list!)As a journalist, I shudder at the number of my colleagues citing sources from Facebook. Seriously. If you believe things posted on Facebook, I have some great swampland in Florida to sell you.From a job perspective, having a Facebook account doesn't help me. If I want to post public information for potential employers, I'll stick to LinkedIn or this blog.Facebook is incredibly hackable. Aga…

How To Annoy Via Email

Myriad keystrokes have been devoted to email etiquette, but in last few weeks I've found annoying emails reaching a critical mass in my inbox. If you're job-searching and are guilty of these grievances, you might want to rethink your employment strategy.

Infractions that make me want to chew glass:

Reconfirming appointments multiple times even though you use Gmail and can see the entire conversation. Google calendar. Use it.Extremely long signature lines with favorite quotes, apologies for clumsy iPhone usage, or "funny" job titles.Color fonts, weird fonts, overusedbold, italic or the cardinal sin, ALL CAPS THAT SCREAM I WANT MY PRUNE JUICE NOW, WHIPPERSNAPPER. I usually just hit delete rather than read. Smoke signals would be more effective communication.Forwards of any sort. If you sent me an email about our meeting, don't send me a follow up on how Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton use the blood of unicorns to condition their hair.Waxing philosophical when I jus…