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Archive for the ‘All things wordy’ category

Uploading your CV or resume

The online versions are often harder to read. Really.

This week I’ve read, scanned and skimmed 276 uploaded resumes. Yes, I’m in currently involved in the joyless and thankless task that is recruitment.

It’s a tiresome thing to have to upload your CV to an impersonal website. With the advent of outsourcing came the growth of crappy recruitment agencies and the disappearance of the humane from Human Resources.

Instead of a quick chat over the phone to clarify job location or verify desirable criteria, today applicants are faced with faceless websites that even the best marketing and copywriters can’t change then from what they really are: a people shredder.

Incomprehensible formatting = declined application

I’ve just spent the better part of two full day’s of work churning through candidates’ resumes. Two days after which I have incredibly bleary eyes and no longer any desire to drink just one more cup of instant coffee.

Very few of the applicants are going to the next stage of the recruitment process, primarily since they did not meet the essential criteria. However, after ploughing my way though countless screens of data, I think it’s worth making a couple a suggestion to those of you out there who do upload your CV from time to time.

Most importantly, keep two versions of your CV.

Strip down and go naked

The first can be that MS Word version with fabulous, colourful and inventive formatting. I enjoy perusing a considered CV that contains information in a consistent manner and that present a logical flow. Even better, it’s pleasant to come across a CV that has a personal touch; a dash of colour or a non-standard title font. This is the version you email as an attachment or present in person to that sour-faced recruitment agent who’s only after you for the commission he’ll make.

The other version should be naked. A stripped down, de-formatted, bare-bottomed resume that contains no quirks at all. The best way to create this is to copy your fancy word-processed number and paste it into Notepad. Hey presto, just watch the three hours of font selection and border choice disappear as the bones of your life are laid bare in black and white Courier font.

This stripped-bare edition should be what you upload. If you can make sense of the Notepad version, you can bet I’ll be able to work my way through it easily as well.

As I became progressively tired during the course of my second evening reviewing the resumes, it struck me that I was declining applicants without remembering any information about them. Why? Because at 1am I could no longer be bothered translating enigmatic computer code to decipher what had originally been expressed.

Sad, but true. At least 50-odd applicants didn’t make it because their unreadable tables, weird font choices, underlining, strikethroughs and a myriad of other formatting selections didn’t translate well during uploading. I refused to struggle any longer and just simply declined the applicant.

For those of you who upload your CV regularly, it’s certainly worth considering half an hour’s extra toil to save a neat, clean and boring Times Roman file. At least it promises to get you closer to the second step of the recruitment process.

Why this sentence offends me

Window shopping in Dubai

I’ve just finished reading an article that claims to investigate the increased application of social conduct laws in Dubai. The story commences, ‘It seems Dubai‚Äôs authorities are cracking down on public indecency in the city.’

Yeah, it seems they might be. Then again, it may not seem like that at all.

It’s a fair assumption that one of Dubai’s most prominent publications for the expatriate community would write about such a topical issue. After all, while the swank restaurants, luxury vehicles and sleek architecture place this metropolis partly in the sphere of western influence, it’s evident to any person with a shred of common sense that this society’s origins differ deeply to those of the international jet set quaffing cocktails in Jumeirah Lake Towers.

A lost opportunity

What could have been a thought-provoking investigation into the current barometer of tolerance of the scantily-clad and bejewelled women of Dubai turns out to be a series of possibilities based on nothing more than mere suggestion and inference. It’s a crap read.

Usually, even that wouldn’t bother me. Besides, the magazine clearly caters well to its readers and makes no claim to being a intellectual leader in news and current affairs. It’s a publication that informs its readership about the latest film releases, groovy hangouts in which to be spotted and whether Paris Hilton has recently been slutting about town. You get the idea.

Then I read this:

But the fact remains that this is a Muslim country and if someone takes offence to behaviour that conflicts with these laws and reports you, then you have committed a crime, whether or not plenty of other people do it and get away with it.

Put aside the fact that I’ve removed the phrase from the article and perhaps out of its context. Read the sentence again. And once more.

Yeah, show me your prejudice

What this says to me is that Dubai is a Muslim country. Here, the author states a fact I won’t argue with, since she’s right on the ball. Next, the author clearly means ‘break the law’ and not really ‘conflict with the law.’ So, what’s she’s saying is, should a person takes offence at my behaviour, action or deed, which contravenes the law, I have committed a crime, regardless of others who might exhibit the same behaviour yet not be convicted of the same crime.

So, let’s think of a law. Let’s take the ol’ favourite of monotheistic culture, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Killing contravenes the law. And so it ought to.

The sentence now reads: ‘if a person takes offence at the fact that I commit murder, I have committed a crime, whether of not other people get away with it.’ Umm, yeah.

You see where I’m going with this?

The true garbage-worthiness of this article comes from the niggling, ‘But the fact remains that this is Muslim country’. Hate it. It’s mean and it suggests the kind of thing I’d rather not think about people. To me, what the author is hinting at, whether subconsciously or not, is that living in a Muslim country of itself means modesty will be the overriding value, whether in dress, word or deed, and that somehow the laws are not consistently applied.

And that is not fair.

Try harder next time, or I’m assigning you to the fashion desk

Modesty is a relative term. And you’d have to be some kind of idiot to wear hot pants in a Dubai shopping mall and not really feel out of place. I say, wear what you want. And just like people on roller skates in public places should be drawn and quartered, a bikini worn off -beach almost anywhere is considered wrong and possibly offensive.

What could have been an educational, investigative exploration regarding the current application of social conduct regulations in Dubai tuns out to be a trash-heap, well-steeped in prejudice, which infers that the culture in which I reside could somehow be a little arbitrary and random regarding its application of laws with regards to its expat community.

I hope not.

After all, we are far superior to the locals, aren’t we?

Another reason to employ a good editor.

Or is it just me? That, I suppose, is possible too.