The Haught guide to applying for jobs

Busselton Jetty (that's seriously how long it is)

Busselton Jetty (that’s seriously how long it is)

What a drag it is applying for jobs. The world would be a far better place if you could just walk into an organisation at which you knew there was a vacancy that suited you, crack your knuckles and tell those in charge: “I’ll take it from here. And my fee is $83 an hour.”

Reality is a sigh-inducing mistress/master, isn’t s/he? It dictates that if you’re interested in a job, you must go through near-paralysing rigmarole: peruse the selection criteria, tinker with your resume, toil over a cover letter, submit your application, wait with bated breath, prepare for any subsequent interview, talk about yourself at length with strangers, undergo breath abatement again, etc, etc.

Like Busselton Jetty, it’s long, time-consuming to travel down and occasionally gives you the impression you’re going to fall through perishing wood and plummet into the sea. Here are my tips for making it a shorter and more enjoyable process.

Ignore all job ads that aren’t funny or touching to the point where you can’t get to the end without crying.

If you’re bored writing your cover letter, others will be bored reading it. Illustrations, extravagant self-deprecation, sharp observations about previous bosses and reprehensibly foul language will all be well-received.

Go to the interview wearing only management buzzwords body-painted onto your naked chassis. Then instead of uttering them, just point to them as you answer questions. (Save “learnings” for your rudie bits.)

Whacking competitors is only illegal if you get caught.

Why trudge down Busselton Jetty when you can strut down St Kilda Pier?

Jonathan Rivett got this gig by pointing to a management buzzword. 


An edited version of this article first appeared in the MyCareer section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. You can read Benign to Five in those papers every Saturday.


Picture 43

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