From the HML Archives: Resume Busters

Dear Everyone Who Wants To Work:

This is an open memo to my people. And by my people, I mean black, white, trailer trash, people under 30, people from Detroit, hoodrats, goons, vertically challenged individuals, and Golden Girls. Whether it’s selling themselves, rocks, Mary Kay, or the Corporate Dream, all the aforementioned groups have different routes that they take to achieve their own personal view of success. I’m here to give a warning to those people who want to go the corporate route.  I have witnessed an overabundance of HOT MESS going on in the working world, and I am not going to stand for it anymore.  Well, at least I’m going to get this off my chest.

Again, it may not be for everyone (refer to the goon reference), but there are millions of people right now in offices, sitting in cubes, committing way too many work-place faux pas.  And by no means what I’m about to tell you is what you NEED to do to succeed or will necessarily prohibit you from gaining employment. But I’m pretty smart, and if you want to keep your job at 9-5 International, you should do what I say.  And if you are offended, you’ve probably committed one of the following crimes.

“Tattoo No-Fly Zones”

I am appalled at the things people will tattoo on themselves. Expletives, dirty pictures, skulls, scenarios, etc.  These are the same people who are upset that the “Man” won’t give them a break and want to shout that they are being discriminated against. Well, let me tell you where your tats should not be if you want to go anywhere in the firm of Educated, Smart, & Paid:

  1. NECK-no one wants to see a pair of cherries and the word “Delicious” while they’re hovering over your desk, trying to show you how to use your desktop
  2. LOWER ARMS- Lights/Out. Thug/Life. Get/Money. 6 Mile Rydas/Fo Life. Harleys/Hoes.  None of these phrases have a place in the boardroom. Or any room for that matter.  How can anyone take you seriously when you have “Helter” on one arm and “Skelter” on the other?!  Now I know what you are thinking, who in the world would  put something like that on themselves? I once encountered a young lady at a prestigious, fast-food establishment who had a word that rhymes with “trigger” on her forearm and she was working the register!!  Can’t she open boxes in the back? I was genuinely appalled. I am not saying that working the grill and shaking salt is not a decent job, but sweet pea, you’re not going to get too far from the beef tallow and high fructose corn syrup with that crap in plain view.
  3. CHEST-I know, I know-you have this ridiculous urge to put a picture of your baby’s face on your chest. Perhaps even paw prints, a panther scraping down your chest cavity, whatever.  If you are going to this, wear a button-up, preferably with a sweater vest or even a jacket over it, so Panther’s claws don’t show through.
  4. LOWER LEG- This area is a tough one. Many people wear pants to work, so their regrettable ink of an eagle ripping through an American Flag is still under wraps. However, if you decide to wear a skirt to work one day, and your boss sees your ode to Jamaica wrapped around your calf, I’m not sure how serious she’s going to take you.
  5. FACE- This last one should be self-explanatory. Sadly, I have seen a few tear drops, crosses, hearts, and stars on the domes of people in lobbies with resumes in hand. You might as well throw your resume in the trash because that’s what the recruiter will do.

“Resume Busters” [rez-oo-may buhs-ter]

-noun. Informal.

1. any name placed on a resume which may cause its immediate disposal

This a term I coined a few years back when I was working on my resume.  I wondered if my name had been a bit more different, more eccentric perhaps, if I would not have been considered for a particular position. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a unique name (i.e. “India”), and certainly no one should be discriminated against because of their individuality. However, what do you really expect to accomplish with your need to be different( i.e. “Indianisha”)?

If you are unsure if your name is a resume buster or not, please follow the guidelines below to determine whether or not your job application may be in jeopardy:

  • 1-syllable: STRONGER- “Mark Jones”
  • 2-syllables: STRONG – “Anna Watson”
  • 3-syllables: WEAK- “Ayana Smith”
  • 4-syllables: WEAKER- “Dartavious Michaels”

There are many exceptions to this rule ( Diana, Alexandra are perfectly fine; Jax, not so much), but you get the jest of what I’m trying to say here. If you’re offended, I really don’t care, it’s just an opinion. This whole rant that I’m going on probably upsets you because your name is too long and you have tattoos on your face most likely your long name is ON YOUR FACE.

In addition to the length of your name, you must also be wary of combination names. This is a phenomenon in the Western world where parents think it’s really cute to combine their names so their children will be in jeopardy of failing kindergarten because they can’t spell their own names. Jeffrica. Frankeisha. JonMary. Hacienda. These are real names I have encountered. My mother’s name was Janice. Let’s say my dad’s name was Frank. How far do you think I would have gotten if my name was Jank?

And people, stop making up the meaning of the names you were given or the ones you give your children! Not every name has a Hebrew or African origin! My name is Michelle. When I looked it up, I found it was Hebrew for “Resembles God”. In Italian, it means “like the Lord”. Now that’s really beautiful. However, I was actually named after some girl my 11-year-old brother liked at the time. So every name does not have to have some fancy meaning. How do you expect me to keep a straight face when you try to tell me that your new-born LaBentley is French for “The Bentley”?

Keep It A Hot Mess

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