Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Resume+burritos=job offers

After not needing a resume for 20 years, I still find it strange that I now need a resume, AND I've got to keep it updated. But then again, that's law school and the pursuit of a different career.

After the first semester of law school, the school's career services office puts on a duplicitous dog-and-pony show to get everyone ready for their first round of on-campus interviews (OCI). In one breath, you are exhorted to get the resume ready and try to get as many interviews as possible. However, in the next breath, you are warned that hardly anyone actually gets a job from OCI during the first year. Unless you are in the top 10% of the class. I wasn't. The whole process is humbling and painful. And in the end, it's much like hitting yourself over the head with a sledgehammer--it feels so good when it stops.

At this dog-and-pony show, students are encouraged to be creative in assembling their resume and touting their strengths. One may not have had any legal experience, but if you worked the lunch rush at a fast food Mexican restaurant, we were told that fast-food experience was transferable. Transferable to what? A Greek eatery? I had to slap my hand over my mouth to keep my laugh under wraps. This fast-food experience we were told, showed leadership skills and the ability to handle stress and multi-task. Strangely, when one of the folks in career services scrutinized my resume a few days later, I was told that I didn't have any experience that showed leadership ability, even though I had worked in the real world for 20 years, managed a staff of seven people and $750k annually for several years, owned my own business, and had served on several civic boards. This career "counselor" also said that all of my experience was in newspapers and not in a legal setting. Really? I certainly wasn't going to apologize that I had a non fast-food career, or explain the obvious--that I was going to law school to start a career in the law.

What was even more laughable was this person's reaction to the fact that I share a small slice of a Pulitzer Prize from the 1981 Hyatt Skywalk collapse in Kansas City. This person said I should take any reference to the Pulitzer OFF MY RESUME. Sorry, not in this lifetime. I guess the lesson I took from this is that I should have worked fast food instead of having a newspaper career the past twenty years.

All of this leads to only one logical conclusion: If I knew how to make a burrito under time pressure, the job offers would be rolling in right about now.

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