Monday, April 26, 2010

Resume trends for job seekers and the insane!

Today I spent a large portion of my day off today writing revising my brother's resume for him. Why you ask? Mainly emotional blackmail from my parents. They are convinced that since I was the one who benefited (? girl nerd is a benefit?) from being in all those AP and honors classes and, more recently, a fancy pants master's degree; and that my poor brother who suffered from popularity, hangovers, years of partying school and now has a mediocre job in retail -- well it's my responsibility to help him get a better job.
This type of thankless expectancy would outrage some, but at this point in my life I'm so over/use to it (after all, I did compose his college entrance essays for him). Revising his resume to fit this particular job he's interested in wasn't too bad, but this is largely because his resume is mostly my old resume from two years ago when I sent it to him as a sample of what a resume should look like. I don't know if there's anything more amusing than reading my old job objectives with suddenly my brother's job history attached to it. Or maybe anything more sad. I suppose it's not much different than the resume/job clinics that have been foisted upon us recently at work, where I try to delicately explain to a patron why they should try specifically tailoring their resume for a job at Pizza Hut differently than the job at Cash 4 Title Loans. At least with my brother I can just say, "Because I said so, asshat!"
With the resume/job clinic thing, I've been collecting information for handouts on resume tips and trends, but all my notes are back at work, so I decided to do some research at home to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything. One thing I was totally unaware of was the new trendy job description of NINJA!
According to The Wall Street Journal, "Ninja" is the hot new job title for resumes: "In 2009, the growth of "ninja" as a new job description far outpaced the growth of other trendy titles, according to LinkedIn Corp...While the numbers are still small on LinkedIn—some 800 current or former ninjas have public profiles on the site—their growth has skyrocketed past other fashionable careers such as "gurus" and "evangelists," says Monica Rogati, a scientist at LinkedIn who finds patterns in jobs data."
What exactly is a ninja? Well, it looks like it's mainly IT people using it to describe their skills, but some finance and customer service reps too. While the converted believe it's a fresh new way to phrase your mastery of an area (and the ability to disappear during a meeting?), I think it reeks of hipster fail. As if "guru" wasn't annoying enough, (the article says, "Guru is so Web 1.0." - barf!), what kind of crazy person puts "ninja" on their resume?! A resume is supposed to not only grab the reader's attention, but make them want to hire you, not pronounce you a complete idiot or consider calling local mental health facilities.

So if you must know, I did not use "ninja" as a descriptor on my brother's resume, nor will I advocate its use to my patrons who come in for the clinics. I believe its use would only appeal to other insane people or men in some state of arrested development, and would ultimately scare off more job offers than invite. However, I should also note that in 2002, while desperate for a job, I applied for a position at a nearby radio station and made it known in my cover letter that I had an unfilled prescription for oxycodone at my disposal. Just sayin'!


  1. As the older sister, I feel your pain. Like, it's my fault that I went to college (that I paid for--and still am paying for every month until I'm 89 years old) and got a degree, then a job, then a master's degree, then a real job while baby bro sat on his ass, got drunk every night, raked up ridiculous cell phone and bar bills? I guess maybe you can be hopeful that maybe he can get a real job and stop hitting you up for money?

  2. Yeah, I put myself through school too, but my parents didn't seem to mind supporting my brother become Van Wilder. I am thankful he doesn't ask for cash at least, just resumes and for me to extend the due dates on the video games he checks out.

  3. You think "ninja" is bad? It's just the next step. There are already businesspeople running around calling themselves "black belts." Yet this is totally acceptable. How long until some IT consulting firm creates a ninja certification? You can't just let anybody call themselves a ninja! They should be certified! I think I'll start calling myself the first accounting sniper.

    On second thought, these ninjas might just be afficianados of the Insane Clown Posse.

  4. That's it, I'm updating my resume to reflect my ninja status. I have no idea what the fuck that even means, but who cares, right? BUZZ WORDS, FOREVER!