2 October 2011

To Spin or Not to Spin?

On the tube home today I picked up a handy copy of the Sunday Times Magazine and Mr Robert Roland Smith, the 'To be or Not to Be' columnist (p.13, 02/10/11) was discussing the moral issues behind 'spinning' your CV to entice potential employers. Now, I believe that to spin, is just a cop out way of saying to tell porkies. When the MPs have their spin doctors whittle up some elaborate piece about the Iraq war, we all know that they are essentially, no matter how they put it, lying.

While Mr Smith may claim that it is "presenting the facts in such a way that they become more coherent than, in reality they really are", stating that you are a social and community interested person when you really mean that you frequent the pub on a regular basis is just preposterous.

For all us people who have actually worked hard to gain the type of experience and qualities an employer is looking for, the fact that someone who is essentially just a good liar could get the job instead of us is painful. Of course we should sell ourselves in our CVs. A job as a waitress for instance should never be put down to just a list of duties such as plate waiting, clearing and polishing. I learned fantastic organisational skills from the hectic kitchen (with a chef worse than Gordon Ramsey on a bad day) and fabulous people skills from the classy, picky and often drunk customers.

My point is, you don't need to lie on your CV, you just need to dig deep and pick out extraordinary things you might have learned from an ordinary job.

On the subject of CVs, I have come across just about every piece of advice out there now. With the job pool so full to the brim, it seems that we are expected to go to insane levels to promote ourselves, without even meeting the boss. www.thebiggeridea.com suggests a colourful visionary delight of a graph depicting your relevant experience to get you noticed. They then go further to suggest sending tape recordings of your hiring pleas and amazing qualities directly to your chosen employer. It seems these days that we have to practically date the boss before we can even meet them. Whatever happened to the good old days where employers would search for and really want us?

My friend is a perfect example of this very situation. In order to try and get a job - unpaid of course - where he can gain relevant experience in the filming industry (after having done a degree in the subject!) he has had to construct witty letters containing filmic anecdotes and references to his employer, alongside calling him several times a week. How come intelligent, hard-working and experienced young people have to basically stalk a boss to even get noticed for an unpaid job? My friend would have been arrested for behaviour like that a decade ago...not given the job!

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