Once upon a time there were three recent college graduates who were sent out into the world by their parents to seek their fortune. Armed with the best twenty year old advice from their parents and the best instruction of their college career services counselors from about a decade ago, they ventured out into the real world to find jobs. It was not long before they discovered that they were looked upon as fresh meat by the wolves of industry. Not knowing where to turn all of them dutifully produced a resume and one-size-fits all cover letter and began their quest. Technology was second nature so they also began to spray their need to anyone that would listen on the internet.
The first graduate created a marvelous image of himself by branding himself as the savior of all mankind with his passion, personality, and persistence. Buying a new suit and wearing a tie for the very first time to make the best impression possible, he showed up early for the interview and immediately felt a little uncomfortable with himself as he waited. Called into the interviewerâ€™s office he suddenly realized how unprepared he was to answer questions. Asked to tell something about himself, he related how much he wanted the job and how the company could help him shine. The interviewer huffed and puffed questions until the glitzy faÃ§ade of his resume was blown away. He left feeling as if he had been eaten alive.
The second graduate took a different approach at presenting himself. His application matched most of the buzz words in job advertisements and he soon rose to the top of the list and was invited for an interview. In his first interview he dropped the names of several world renowned professors who had lectured him. He also emphasized his college coursework, degree, and how much he had learned about the job from school. When the interviewer huffed and puffed questions about his practical experience, there was little to say other than that he knew how to do the job if only given the chance to prove it. He too felt as if he had been eaten alive by direct questioning about his skills.
The third graduate composed her resume listing accomplishments from summer jobs and internships showing her experience in using key principles learned in school. She provided a list of references of former supervisors who would all be willing to give a glowing recommendation of her knowledge, work ethic, and passion. When her interviewer huffed and puffed the same questions asked of others, he found that she had built a good foundation and was unshakable in her confidence. Being unable to break through any cracks in her story, he felt that he had met his match. The only alternative was to hire her to the open position.
The moral of this story is that bling and bravado alone is easily blown away when confronted with real life situations. Likewise, desire and desperation alone does not offer gratification to people looking to solve real problems. Only a rock solid foundation of substance and style proves value as a contributor.
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