Anyone who has had to address laborious and convoluted selection criteria will appreciate the imaginative tweaking required on a 21st century resume.
According to research published by Statisticbrain, about 53% of people lie on their resumes and 78% are misleading. This includes lying about age, responsibilities, skills, education level, salary and in one case the ability to read minds.
But it is hardly surprising that people exaggerate or lie about their skills.
Employment ads, particularly those for technology companies, are full of pretentious gobbledygook, leaving applicants befuddled.
Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, alternatives to lying on resumes or claiming mind-reading abilities are available.
The best alternative requires we accept reincarnation as valid and that the skills accumulated over many lifetimes are evidence of prior experience.
For example, if I applied for a job at a hardware store my experience as a WW1 wire cutter would be an advantage over those who were merely courtiers, archers, parchmenters and hairdressers during their previous lives.
I have numerous skills gleaned from WW1 including bolt cutting under enemy fire, familiarity with digging equipment, barbed wire construction, bayonetting sandbags, doing what I’m told and good goal-setting abilities. I’m also flexible and have excellent team-playing capabilities. In addition, my incarnation as a donkey in Ancient Egypt involved carrying heavy loads, being left in the sun for long periods of time and non-membership of a trade union.
Depending on the potential employer, they may agree to the addition of former incarnations or dismiss them as a nutter’s ravings. In which case you have legitimate grounds to sue them for reincarnation discrimination.
The next alternative is called ‘Collecting it backward.’
This is the opposite of paying it forward — not to be confused with the film Pay it Forward (starring Kevin Spacey) which describes the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of the benefactor. If this doesn’t make sense you might want to watch the aforementioned movie (starring Kevin Spacey) for further details.
Collecting it backwards makes you the beneficiary of your past life/lives.
It works something like this: Given that I was a WW1 wire cutter, a job undertaken in dangerous conditions, my current self and any future selves thereof are the beneficiaries of a war pension. The pension is in recognition of services performed on the Somme and the consequent post traumatic stress disorder which led to a drinking problem (though this could also be attributed to the gin and tonic supplied by the drunk WW1 cameraman).
Collecting it backwards also applies to non-human incarnations to avoid any discrimination proceedings. Which means all my cart-pulling and standing around in the sun in Ancient Egypt — only to be fed a few measly oats and bran for my troubles – qualifies me for a discount on anything with grains.
The weekly shopping bill would thus be minimal and any remaining sum could be settled with payment from my soldier’s pension (given that I may not get the job in the hardware store).
Collecting it backwards provides a good incentive to accumulate as many useful skills as possible during each incarnation and thus render all future tweaking on resumes obsolete.
It also means that Statisticbrain will go out of business because it will no longer be needed to gather statistics about dodgy resumes. In which case, the unemployed statisticians might like to apply for jobs in hardware stores.
This piece originally appears on Midlifexpress - where further works by Sue Bell regularly feature - http://midlifexpress.com/
ALSO BY SUE BELL