There’s always a silver lining in our struggles and for me, it happens to be comedic gold. Im not proud of my epic blunders, but I have to find the humor in this. Lately, I’ve been toying around with the idea of updating my resume and practicing answers to the most likely questions asked in interviews. Not only do I have 15 years of professional Graphic Design experience and coffee experience, but 6-7 years stuck in the mental health system is going to also pay off, one way or another.
Resume Tips and Tricks:
To stand out from the rest, a short and sweet, eye-catching header, displayed prominently at the top, always does the trick.
– Elizabeth –
BANNED FROM CANADA
Good. Now that you’ve got their attention, gear your objective to the job in question with a short statement describing why you’d be a good fit, while briefly summarizing prior experience. For example, if I was applying to a coffee house, I’d chose to highlight the following:
I have years of experience slingin’ drinks for the frazzled soccer moms of suburbia, brown-nosed corporate junkies and slick, red-eyed, hyper hipsters. I’m fluent in verbal diarrhea and my milkshakes have been known to bring all the boys to the yard with my artistic choreography skills. When ‘your theme song for life’ plays on the radio, I do the enthusiastic work for you and dance inappropriately. On counters. For tips.
Now on to the long list of Employment History. If you’ve been out of work for quite some time, rest assured that potential employers will ask what you did with your time, how you supported yourself and why you quit your last job. Prepare to answer confidently. If it were me, I’d say somethigng along the lines of:
After I resigned from my last job for health reasons, I took this opportunity to expand my freelance design and literary business. In that time, my professioanl artwork went up for sale across the globe and I contributed daily on a popular blog. I also enthusiastically participated in advocacy for mental health and wrote and illustrated many books detailing the nature of mental illness.
I’d highly recommend skipping over the details:
I quit my jobs due to a string of mental health crisis’. I quit mid-shift to go camping and run off to Canada to marry the first mystery man to manifest himself and bravely jump over Niagara Falls. Luckily, my passion and exuberance for the task at hand was noticed by paparazzi (police) and I was promptly secured in handcuffs and brought into immigration for a spontaneous interview that highlighted grandiose, world-wide infamy.
My freelance design business started off with a business card design and ended there. I became proficient in utilizing law of attraction techniques…day dreaming on the couch while taking my health into my own hands by self medicating everyday for 2 years.
My artwork did in fact go up for sale across the globe. I uploaded images to Facebook, where I have friends from Norway, Holland and Canada.
I did in fact contribute to a blog everyday. My own; detailing my struggles with alcoholism, bipolar disorder, psychosis, past trauma.
By ‘actively participating in the advocacy for mental health’ I really meant I was forced…by a court order for 9 months after spending half a year in psych wards across the area. I was also served a restraining order by my father. In a fit of mania-fueled rage, I slapped my father in the face also challenged him to fist fight on the deck in my undies, in front of all the neighbors. If you read my blog and trauma, you’d understand why.
During my time spent in mental institutions, I did write and illustrate 12 books detailing the nature of the broken system, heavy on psychotic undertones. My medium included markers and crayon borrowed from the art therapy studio. I sealed the pieces with the tears that fell from the heartache of unrequited love. I sent them off for publishing … to the middle of the wilderness in Yellowstone. Needless to say these masterpieces never made it to their destination…nor were they ever published.
Ah, details. No one has time for that shit.
On to inevitable interview questions.
Employer: Are you a risk taker?
Me: Very much so. I wasn’t banned from Canada twice by playing it safe.
Employer: Why were you banned from a country?
Me: My exuberance for life didn’t mesh well with the fear-based negativity of the immigration officers who hated their jobs. Plus, they didn’t believe in my capabilities to save the world, nor did they comprehend the fact that I was the beginning and the end of this Universe. I’m always striving toward becoming the best possible version of myself. My campaign is still a work in progress. The second time, immigration asked if I was traveling with anyone. I replied as honestly as I could, “Physically, no. Metaphysically, yes.”
Employer: Describe your strength and weaknesses.
Me: I’m creative and … I’m creative. I’m also an expert at giving oral. Presentations. I’ve been practicing for decades.
Employer: It says here that you have a successful blog. Do you have any followers?
Me: Yes, the FBI and local law enforcement.
Employer: How do you engage your audience?
Me: Mental Telepathy.
Employer: How prepared would you be if we hired you today?
Me: Seeing that I’m clairvoyant, I’d say I’m pretty well prepared. I saw this day coming.
Employer: What is your desired starting salary?
Me: Well, I told immigration that I was a billionaire. I believe in the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction, so we’ll start off there. Do you give raises?
Employer: Are you willing to travel for the job?
Me: Absolutely. Canada confiscated my passport, but it’s okay because I got a new one and carry it with me everywhere because you never know when you’ll put plan B on your parents credit card and jet off to Mexico.
Employer: According to records, it says here you suffer from mental illness. Is this true and how will it affect your performance?
Me: I prefer the term ‘Emotionally Action-Packed’ as opposed to Bipolar. And I don’t suffer from insanity, I quite enjoy it. If anything, my mania will have me working for you around the clock. I once made it halfway across the country on one hour of sleep and three pots of coffee. A drive that usually takes two days, took one. If that doesn’t say dedicated and efficient, I don’t know what does.
Employer: Do you have an Emergency Contact?
Me: 911. Don’t worry, they know me on a first-name basis.
Employer: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Me: Yes, can I interest you in a lil’ choreographed song & dance?
There ya have it! I’m officially the #1 liability for the job.