This is the CV of Red Newsom, aged 24 and in Manchester,
who is currently seeking a full time job somewhere
I am a human being and I am doing my best.
The Job Centre told me to lie about my education in case I came across as overqualified. I’m not sure how a dual honours English and History Bachelors and a Masters in Creative Writing could possibly over-qualify me for anything, except the painting and decoration apprenticeship I was turned down for. And McDonalds, who told me I wasn’t what they were looking for.
I think really all these degrees show is that I can read and write to a more-than-acceptable standard. I am also good at meeting deadlines (ie staying up all night) and am skilled at passing off other people’s opinions as my own, which is useful when you consider things like “company manifestos”. Basically, if you needed me to write or communicate with someone I could do that.
Because the only positions I have been successful in getting over the last three years have been temporary and part-time, my CV is a total mess and it feels embarrassing listing all the companies I’ve had to leave after a matter of months. I have never voluntarily left a job, except once in 2010 when I was made homeless unexpectedly. Does that count? I don’t like leaving jobs because failure disappoints me and change scares me. I’ll pretty much kick around forever if the work is interesting and the pay is reasonable.
I have had on-and-off jobs in retail since I was fifteen, ranging from hanging up old lady knickers in British Home Stores to managing a charity shop on weekends. So a lot of “using my initiative” there, especially with the latter. If the job I’m applying with you isn’t retail, I personally don’t think it matters because the skills I have are transferable and I am probably so bored from being unemployed that everything will seem exciting to me. I can learn fast.
One non-retail job example: I have worked as a Publicity and Marketing Assistant for two non-profit organisations. I worked for them simultaneously because the two directors “fought over me” because I gave a good interview. One of them calls me up occasionally to offer me the odd bit of work, so I must have been good at publicity and marketing. And admin. I’ve done a lot of admin.
At the moment I work at a bookshop, but they don’t have enough money to pay me so I will be unemployed again in January. I love working there because, as suck-uppy as it sounds to write this, I love ordering in books for customers and seeing their happy little faces when they arrive. Generally I try to be very chirpy and interact with my colleagues, although I am rubbish at the crossword. I try very hard not to take days off and recently worked an entire week whilst dying from the flu. I come into work even when I am hungover, which is serious dedication because my hangovers are really bad.
I was an editor of an arts magazine that a couple of friends and I brought over from Keele University to Manchester. I did a lot of marketing, editorial decision making and layout design. I only left because the magazine started to take a turn for the fashion photography and that’s not my thing, but I’m involved with another group now who are putting out an ebook and a print publication next year.
I podcast weekly on a show called Zombie Cast, which speaks for itself in terms of content. I do seem to discuss what I would do in the event of an apocalypse a lot, ie; I am very forward-thinking. It airs live at 12.30AM our time, so being a podcaster has taught me great time management (fitting in a nap before the show) and how to function on very few hours sleep.
I am a responsible person with two cats who haven’t starved to death or gone feral at the time of writing this. I am pretty organised and love making lists. It really bugs me when my flat is messy and I’m thinking of alphabetising my books. I definitely walk the right distance between “enthusiastic” and “desperate” when it comes to having a job. You know, the constant fear that if you say no to working a Sunday you’ll instantly get sacked, that kind of desperate. Generally I do honestly believe I could be good at whatever I put my mind to. Unless it was something to do with bees.
I hope you will consider me for a job, Potential Employer. I know this isn’t how you’re supposed to write CVs but I have tried everything else. Everything. I thought maybe telling you honestly about me as an employee and a person thus far would be more useful than using the kind of “stock phrases” and blatant lies which end up in you employing someone who turns out to be rubbish.