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Accepting Your Career Fair Fate

The annual GVSU career fair is just around the corner and students are preparing their resumés, strengthening their handshakes, and practicing their fake smiles for a chance at an internship for a company that would much rather hire a monkey on rollerblades. The following are truths and a little advice to avoid a downward spiral of self-pity while attending the good ol’ career fair.

 

Your resumé sucks:
Freshman year. Sophomore year. Junior year! Senior year!! Aaaand your resume is still shit. Sadly, this is when you realize that you have less distinction than an old Asian woman looking for work in a coal mine and you can fit your entire curriculum vitae on a café napkin. You listened when everyone told you that community service looks good on a resume, but  you forgot to listen when they said that mowing your neighbor’s lawn and holding the door open for strangers doesn’t count. At this point, you’ll regret not joining Student Government your freshman year instead of spending eight drunken semesters as a part of Alpha Beta Blah Blah. So increase that font size, shrink those margins, and maybe include your max bench press because your resume sucks.

 

Fake it ‘til you make it:
All hope is not lost; wear your suit or dress with the least amount of stains, use big words to describe your imaginary work ethic, and label your previous unskilled jobs in fancy ways. For instance, instead of saying you washed dishes all summer say you were a gastronomical hygiene technician, and you didn’t babysit, you were a freelance arbiter and human relations controller.

 

Don’t forget, first impressions are vital, so your best strategy at this point is to stumble past the introduction into a follow-up interview by telling them non-existent personal goals and impressing anecdotes from some of your more motivated friends’ lives. Advanced acting courses recommended.

 

Incompetence is your strong suit:
Unfortunately, like an armless juggler or a deaf 911 operator, you seem to fall short of the basic requirements. They’ll say they’re looking for people with at least two years of professional work experience when the only thing you have two years of experience in is making coffee at 1 a.m. And even then you’re a mediocre brewer. Future employers may even ask the crème de la crème of open-ended interview questions: What makes you right for this job? How can you benefit our company? Tell us about yourself? If you want a fighting chance you must avoid specific examples at all costs. Generalizing your strengths in bold ways is the way to go.

 

You’re wasting your time:
About 30 minutes and a dozen of awkward interactions later, you’ll realize the only thing you’re getting out of this job fair is all the free pens, buttons, and environmentally-friendly water bottles you can fit in your unqualified hands. You’ll come to grips with your lack of self-worth and feel life hit you harder than a blind kid during bumper cars. Maybe this whole “having a career” act or “using your degree” thing isn’t for you and your expertise could be applied to something more in your skillset such as managing a fantasy football team. It’s like that depressing piece of existential wisdom someone said once: “Sooner or later, everyone isn’t good enough.” Hey whaddya know! That time is now…

 

So if you forgot your struggle car, or struggle bike go ahead and catch a ride on the next struggle bus and ride it all the way home, to your parents’ house, to tell them you’re moving back in, indefinitely, because the career fair was a total bust.

 

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