After working for the last 10 years in a somewhat senior position for the organizations employing me, I had a jolly good time reviewing rèsumès from candidates responding to vacancy notices. A good number were such ribcrackers for days, not sharing would be criminal.
Hard as life is in Zimbabwe, with close to hundred 100% unemployment versus a highly “educated” population (with PhDs), an impressive rèsumè may seem to many as that all mighty master-key which could land them that dream job. Infact in my years of recruitment I have seen all sorts of rèsumès, some so well tailored to the advertised vacancy you would think the candidate was born for the job. Some so jaw-dropping you would swear you were on a reality television show and someone was just going to show up and tell you its a bluff. Be that as it may there a parts of the many rèsumès I reviewed that never failed to make my day.
Hobbies: Sky-Diving, SCUBA Diving, Skiing, Ice Hockey, Horse Riding.
What? Are you kidding me? Are those really your hobbies? Am sure this must be a cut and paste job gone bad. You and I both know that you have never been on a plane in your life let alone skydive. The only flying you have ever done is off the handle. Seriously SCUBA-diving? the only time your head has ever been completely under water was during your baptism with that apostolic faith church at a local river, the bucket you use for your regular bath does not afford you such luxury. The closest you have ever come to a live breathing horse is that mule you abused with an overload during harvest season. I can assure you that fantom-exotic hobbies you have never done (most likely will never do) will not increase your chances of getting that job. They will just make your rèsumè all the more rib-cracking.
Dearly beloved, verily I say unto you as a sincere brethren, it is perfectly normal and okay to mention real hobbies undertaken and indeed unashamedly enjoyed by ordinary Zimbabwean folk such as watching T.V, going to church, gossiping with friends and neighbors, abusing your spouse, boozers soccer, knitting, reading the newspaper etc. Purge that very thought of wanting to assume that your hobby is cycling, running or hiking, no no no, that is your means of getting to work, its not a hobby.
Experience: Highly experienced professional with relevant skills.
You are educated, yes, just completed your undergraduate degree which you undertook straight from high school, so no! no! no!, you are not “highly experienced” rather say “green as a green-bomber and willing to learn” . The only experience you have is writing plagiarized mediocre-mark assignments and assuming you are the coolest thing that ever walked through varsity, welcome to the real world!
References: Professor Johns ( don’t forget he was an octogenarian in 1980)
So with over 25 years of experience you did not think it necessary to check whether your contactable references are still with a university on this planet. Yes you have been working for well over a quarter of a century and the geriatric professor you put as a reference may just well be simply unavailable now. Okay lets look at a variation here, you still have your college professor of a decade ago as a reference, either you were extremely bright or supernaturally dull, otherwise they just wouldn’t have any good God fearing reason to remember you enough to be a character reference.
That said, the really smart ones are reassured by their own (water-into-wine) faith, that they can get away with reference dropping. Yes, that blasphemous act of dropping in a high profile figure as your reference, simply motivated by that single chance encounter you had with them and you said hello to them (trust me they really have no clue who are, neither do they care). And you can be as sure as hell your potential employers are not going to embarrass themselves calling them. Please disabuse yourself from that toxic fantasy. If you are really hard pressed, and need a reference with a bit of clout, that prophet fellow from your church, will also work just fine. After all, in a largely christian nation, am sure even companies would value employees that can pull a profit miracle now and again; what with all this miracle money flying around.
Just my thoughts, nothing personal!