date a guy who bakes. date a guy who bakes pies. date a guy that wears dark clothes and likes dogs. date a guy who solves murders in his spare time. date a guy that accidentally killed your father. date a guy who you can’t ever touch. date a guy who wakes the dead. date ned the piemaker
Basically I have been blessed to be close to people who work in hiring and were very, very willing to pass along their knowledge and tips and since a lot of people I know on here seem mystified by these things, I will share my vast wealth of knowledge with you*
*Some of this knowledge might be contradicted by specifics from your own field. If you’re a chemical engineer some of these things might not apply and that’s fine. This is just ~*widely applicable*~ stuff.
Cover letters are the stupidest part of a job application. The cover letter is really only there to show two things: 1) That you have a command of language that is both accurate and appropriate; 2) you read the job listing.
Your cover letter should be short. The hirer has likely read hundreds that day, and by read, I mean “skimmed over lightly.” You don’t need to fill up an entire page.
It should only contain pertinent information. Do not try to be cutesy or “creative” unless the job listing SPECIFICALLY asks for that. Trust me, I’ve had to hire people. Those people’s letters got passed around for mocking. DO NOT BE THAT PERSON.
It should speak to the job listing, but only enough that it shows that you read it. If the job listing emphasizes that they’re looking for somebody who is willing to work odd hours, throw in a line that in your past experience you have been noted for being flexible with time. It doesn’t need a Faulkner-length explanation.
If you know the name of the person to whom the letter is addressed, address it to them. If you it is a blind application, you don’t need to put “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam;” just don’t say anything.
Your resume should be ONE page. Just one. Not two or more.
You can’t lie on your resume; you can learn how to make things sound more impressive. If you worked at a hair salon cleaning up, don’t say “Swept floors.” Instead write, “Contributed to the efficiency and cleanliness of the salon by sweeping floors.” It sounds like bullshit to you, but to a prospective employer, it sounds like you’re happy being part of a team. Try to describe what you did in at least 7 words.
You can divide your resume if you want to highlight certain experiences over others. Making two sections such as “Relevant Experience” and “Other Experience” breaks it up, allows the reader to skip around, and let’s you highlight what you want to highlight.
Learn to weed things out. Unless you can make it look like it taught you something huge, don’t waste the space. At the same time, if a job sucked but you can make it appear like it really impacted you, use it. This is not the truth about how you felt about that last job. This is you advertising yourself. You’re trying to get a job, not a Nobel Prize for emotional honesty.
Now, what about the Skills section? You should have one, but as one friend said, “Nobody gives a shit if you went to France and had a great time. What we care about is if you’re proficient in French.” That should be your metric for things:
Only list experiences that would aid you in this job or a similar one—not things that were “cool.” This is the place for things that you’ve learned but perhaps can’t tie to a job. Examples: foreign language skills, clerical training, courses/certifications, etc.
List all of the software that you know. Even if it doesn’t seem relevant to that job, weird things happen. List any MS Office/equivalent software, if you are familiar with both Mac and PC, any graphics editing software you know…
SOCIAL MEDIA IS A THING THAT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY MAKE KNOWN. To people ~30 and under, social media seems like a given. But to many employers, it’s a mystical world filled with equal amounts of marketing opportunities and terror. Make it clear what social networking sites you know how to use—obviously Facebook and Twitter, but also LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.
Applying to Jobs/Interviewing
Unfortunately, I can give you less specific advice here because we are not likely working in the same field—but here are just some general things to file away:
If there’s a job listing that you feel qualified for but the listing says it wants more years of experience than you have, apply anyway. Those employers are unlikely to find that unicorn that has 4+ years of experience and is willing to work basically minimum wage. While more experience is a plus, they really just want somebody who can do the job. When it comes to applying to jobs, you really have nothing to lose by applying to anything that tickles your fancy.
Interviewing is an entire post unto itself, but I’ll give you the tips that I’ve been given by my people: be calm, be on time, and ask good questions. Always have some questions lined up, even if you already know the answer. “What are you looking for in the right candidate?” is a good example, or “Are there opportunities for growth within the company?” etc.
Accepting a Job
So you got a job offer; exciting! Before you immediately accept, really vet the place to make sure it’s somewhere you’d like to work. Months of unemployment make you desperate, but sometimes jumping at the first opportunity it isn’t worth it. THIS HAPPENED TO ME, LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.
Things you should think about:
Do I know ALL things about the job, including: what I will be paid/how often, if there are benefits and when I get them, what hours I am working, how overtime is handled, how sick time is handled, etc. These are all incredibly important to know and if your employer is legitimate they will welcome you asking them.
Is the distance commutable, or is it too far from home? (Think about how transit/gasoline will cut into your paycheck.)
Does the job give me the time necessary to do other important things?
Does the office environment seem like one I can spend at least six months in? (Every month at a bad job feels like an eternity—if you have bad feelings, trust them.)
Does the job offer me anything besides a paycheck? Will I be learning any skills at this job or making important connections that can help me down the road?
IMPORTANT: If an employer tries to give you a W-9 tax form upon your hiring and you are NOT a freelancer (independent contractor), RUN. This is tax fraud and is very messy and is entirely there to screw you. Become familiar with the legal definition of a freelancer so you know if you’re walking into a shady place. It happens more than you’d think, and it sucks, and is weird.
If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message or whatever, I’ll gladly answer to the best of my ability! GO GET ‘EM.
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (1983) Vs. Seven Nation Army (2003)
YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS IS LITERALLY THE SOUND OF COOL
Press play and you will find yourself wearing a long black coat on a windy city street holding a firearm that won’t be invented for another 50 years, your voice will be a full octave deeprer AND YOUR HAIR WILL LOOK PERFECT.
"So basically, all that they told me about the character was he’s super confident, perhaps overly confident, he needs to be able to sing with a "Broadway sound" and he’s really good with women, but he may have a dark side. I came into the sound studio and I was very nervous and I sang this."
A RECORDING EXISTS
YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, THIS IS WHAT HE AUDITIONED FOR HANS WITH
Lord Jesus what have I done
I THINK YOU FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HOW HANS THIS SONG IS
HE’S NOT SINGING “I feel pretty,” HE’S SINGING “I am pretty.”
AND THIS IS ABSOLUTE PERFECTION
NO WONDER HE GOT THE PART
hancest is canon
I’M LITERALLY CRYING I HAVE JOKED ABOUT HANS WORSHIPPING HIMSELF BUT ITS REAL
“Your name is Tasbeeh. Don’t let them call you by anything else.”
My mother speaks to me in Arabic; the command sounds more forceful in her mother tongue, a Libyan dialect that is all sharp edges and hard, guttural sounds. I am seven years old and it has never occurred to me to disobey my mother. Until twelve years old, I would believe God gave her the supernatural ability to tell when I’m lying.
“Don’t let them give you an English nickname,” my mother insists once again, “I didn’t raise amreekan.”
My mother spits out this last word with venom. Amreekan. Americans. It sounds like a curse coming out of her mouth. Eight years in this country and she’s still not convinced she lives here. She wears her headscarf tightly around her neck, wades across the school lawn in long, floor-skimming skirts. Eight years in this country and her tongue refuses to bend and soften for the English language. It embarrasses me, her heavy Arab tongue, wrapping itself so forcefully around the clumsy syllables of English, strangling them out of their meaning.
But she is fierce and fearless. I have never heard her apologize to anyone. She will hold up long grocery lines checking and double-checking the receipt in case they’re trying to cheat us. My humiliation is heavy enough for the both of us. My English is not. Sometimes I step away, so people don’t know we’re together but my dark hair and skin betray me as a member of her tribe.
On my first day of school, my mother presses a kiss to my cheek.
“Your name is Tasbeeh,” she says again, like I’ve forgotten. “Tasbeeh.”
Roll call is the worst part of my day. After a long list of Brittanys, Jonathans, Ashleys, and Yen-but-call-me-Jens, the teacher rests on my name in silence. She squints. She has never seen this combination of letters strung together in this order before. They are incomprehensible. What is this h doing at the end? Maybe it is a typo.
“Tasbeeh,” I mutter, with my hand half up in the air. “Tasbeeh.”
“Do you go by anything else?”
“No,” I say. “Just Tasbeeh. Tas-beeh.”
“Tazbee. All right. Alex?”
She moves on before I can correct her. She said it wrong. She said it so wrong. I have never heard my name said so ugly before, like it’s a burden. Her entire face contorts as she says it, like she is expelling a distasteful thing from her mouth. She avoids saying it for the rest of the day, but she has already baptized me with this new name. It is the name everyone knows me by, now, for the next six years I am in elementary school. “Tazbee,” a name with no grace, no meaning, no history; it belongs in no language.
“Tazbee,” says one of the students on the playground, later. “Like Tazmanian Devil?” Everyone laughs. I laugh too. It is funny, if you think about it.
I do not correct anyone for years. One day, in third grade, a plane flies above our school.
“Your dad up there, Bin Laden?” The voice comes from behind. It is dripping in derision.
“My name is Tazbee,” I say. I said it in this heavy English accent, so he may know who I am. I am American. But when I turn around they are gone.
I go to middle school far, far away. It is a 30-minute drive from our house. It’s a beautiful set of buildings located a few blocks off the beach. I have never in my life seen so many blond people, so many colored irises. This is a school full of Ashtons and Penelopes, Patricks and Sophias. Beautiful names that belong to beautiful faces. The kind of names that promise a lifetime of social triumph.
I am one of two headscarved girls at this new school. We are assigned the same gym class. We are the only ones in sweatpants and long-sleeved undershirts. We are both dreading roll call. When the gym teacher pauses at my name, I am already red with humiliation.
“How do I say your name?” she asks.
“Tazbee,” I say.
“Can I just call you Tess?”
I want to say yes. Call me Tess. But my mother will know, somehow. She will see it written in my eyes. God will whisper it in her ear. Her disappointment will overwhelm me.
“No,” I say, “Please call me Tazbee.”
I don’t hear her say it for the rest of the year.
My history teacher calls me Tashbah for the entire year. It does not matter how often I correct her, she reverts to that misshapen sneeze of a word. It is the ugliest conglomeration of sounds I have ever heard.
When my mother comes to parents’ night, she corrects her angrily, “Tasbeeh. Her name is Tasbeeh.” My history teacher grimaces. I want the world to swallow me up.
My college professors don’t even bother. I will only know them for a few months of the year. They smother my name in their mouths. It is a hindrance for their tongues. They hand me papers silently. One of them mumbles it unintelligibly whenever he calls on my hand. Another just calls me “T.”
My name is a burden. My name is a burden. My name is a burden. I am a burden.
On the radio I hear a story about a tribe in some remote, rural place that has no name for the color blue. They do not know what the color blue is. It has no name so it does not exist. It does not exist because it has no name.
At the start of a new semester, I walk into a math class. My teacher is blond and blue-eyed. I don’t remember his name. When he comes to mine on the roll call, he takes the requisite pause. I hold my breath.
“How do I pronounce your name?” he asks.
I say, “Just call me Tess.”
“Is that how it’s pronounced?”
I say, “No one’s ever been able to pronounce it.”
“That’s probably because they didn’t want to try,” he said. “What is your name?”
When I say my name, it feels like redemption. I have never said it this way before. Tasbeeh. He repeats it back to me several times until he’s got it. It is difficult for his American tongue. His has none of the strength, none of the force of my mother’s. But he gets it, eventually, and it sounds beautiful. I have never heard it sound so beautiful. I have never felt so deserving of a name. My name feels like a crown.
“Thank you for my name, mama.”
When the barista asks me my name, sharpie poised above the coffee cup, I tell him: “My name is Tasbeeh. It’s a tough t clinging to a soft a, which melts into a silky ssss, which loosely hugs the b, and the rest of my name is a hard whisper — eeh. Tasbeeh. My name is Tasbeeh. Hold it in your mouth until it becomes a prayer. My name is a valuable undertaking. My name requires your rapt attention. Say my name in one swift note – Tasbeeeeeeeh – sand let the h heat your throat like cinnamon. Tasbeeh. My name is an endeavor. My name is a song. Tasbeeh. It means giving glory to God. Tasbeeh. Wrap your tongue around my name, unravel it with the music of your voice, and give God what he is due”—