Sound advice for the young job-seeker

I am loath to help you little bastards who have just busted out of school because eventually one of you will stab me in the back. That’s okay, though. I am prepared to die for the sins of the white man on condition that I am venerated as a latter day messiah albeit without the beard and no real disciples to speak of. And maybe a small drinking problem. Hey, even Jesus wasn’t perfect. He was? Sorry.

So listen up, kids. This could save your life. Or preferably mine. If you’re not going to study at a tertiary institution (and, let’s be honest, why would you want to after 12 years of hell?) you have a number of options. Suicide is just one of them but I wouldn’t recommend it because every day can be different with the help of beautiful, new drugs.

You could, I suppose, join the army or the police. Since you’re not going to university and your life is already in the toilet, you may as well take as many down with you as you can. Shooting evildoers is also a great confidence-booster and can do wonders for your popularity. Almost every head of state in the world has either killed people or had people killed.

Before you embark on your quest for employment, you are going to have to stop drinking and take a shower. Some people have a problem hiring reeking drunks. I don’t. Then again, I don’t run a business. It’s just me and this here bottle of … what the hell is this stuff? It’s made my lips turn blue. Maybe I’m dead.

After sobering up, you will need to get your curriculum vitae in order. Curriculum vitae is Latin for “little white lies”. This is not a colour thing. Black people should tell white lies without feeling they have betrayed the brotherhood. Or sisterhood.

My advice is that you avoid telling little white lies on your CV. It is far better to tell huge, steaming whoppers. This will indicate that you think creatively and are not afraid to take risks. Most companies these days are reluctant to hire anyone who is obsessed with the truth. Capitalism is a filthy business and nobody wants an employee who runs to the police every time there’s a bit of tender-fiddling or a homicide in the boardroom.

Right from the start, lie about who you are. This will work in your favour when the company lays charges against you after you’ve been there long enough for disillusionment to coalesce into criminality. It is an enormous advantage to be able to say, “There’s nobody here by that name,” then saunter past the cops and run like hell.

Make up a name that people are unlikely to forget. Here are a few suggestions: Adolf Hitler; Saint Francis of Assisi; Attila de Hun; Elizabeth Regina; Mary Magdalene; Cleopatra van der Spuy.

A lot of so-called experts will tell you to keep your CV to a single page. This is ridiculous. A proper CV should be at least 140 pages long. You are going to need every one of them to list your achievements and experience. Your groundbreaking work in stem cell research alone could easily run to several dozen pages. And that July holiday you walked from Benoni to the North Pole is worth a few thousand words. Don’t forget to mention your Nobel prize for physics and the seven gold medals you won at the Beijing Olympics.

A CV is your marketing document. From selling us sea monkeys in circus suits to telling us Coke is life, marketing had a monumental falling-out with the truth a long time ago and relations remain frosty. It is not up to you to get them together again. Don’t confuse “marketing” with “maak-a-ting”, which is something marijuana fiends say when they wish to get high.

Some suggest you make your CV easier to read by including bullet points. I have always found it works better to include actual bullets. That way there is no mistaking the message you are trying to get across. The drones who work in human resources aren’t always the brightest and you might need to spell it out for them. If they look at the bullets in a puzzled fashion, lower your head and paw the ground. Snort loudly and launch two or three mock charges. They will get the message soon enough.

Arrive late for the interview. By keeping the panel waiting, you will have sent a very clear signal that you hold yourself in exceptionally high regard and are not to be messed with. This will work particularly well if you introduce yourself as Vlad the Impaler.

Assuming that three million people have also applied for the position, you need to do something that will make yourself stand out from the crowd. You could, for example, go into the interview with one of your legs coated in petroleum jelly. Your cue is that wretched corporate lie, “We’ll get back to you”. Thank them for their time, then ask if someone has a match. Light your joint, then set fire to your leg and walk out. On your way out, brush up against something flammable, like the secretary. They will remember you after that.

I don’t know why, but some employers insist your CV is accompanied by a cover letter. Here is an example of what a winning cover letter should look like:

Dear Whatever Your Name Is,

Your company is rubbish and if you want to stay in business you would have to be retarded not to hire me. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Of course not. Who wants to stare failure in the face?

I have done extensive research on your company and whatever it is that you do, I can do it better. My mother says I can do whatever I want if I put my mind to it. So this afternoon I woke up, kicked the whores out of my bed, had a bowl of heroin for breakfast and put my mind to it. You should be grateful that yours is the company I have selected to turn into the wealthiest in the world.

It is only natural that you will want to reward me handsomely for my efforts. Where I come from, handsome starts at R10-million a month plus a helicopter and one of those sports cars that Jeremy Clarkson drives. I will also need a Swedish assistant (not Elin Nordegren).

I will be unreachable for some time as I must travel abroad to resolve a political dispute with the Duke of Wellington. However, I shall let you know when it is convenient for me to begin work.

Yours truly,

Napoleon Bonaparte

PS. Your offices are in Johannesburg and I am in Cape Town. Please make arrangements to relocate by the end of the month.



2 thoughts on “Sound advice for the young job-seeker

  1. Thank you for giving us something to laugh about (hysterically!) in this sad, sad world we live in!
    I eagerly look forward to your columns every week and they never fail to deliver!
    You are ‘right on the button’ so to speak and really do ‘tell it like it is’!
    I particularly loved your column on the 29.01.12 – ‘Sound Advice for the Young Job-Seekers’ and also your column entitled ‘I Beat the Budget Blues’ and ‘Big Ups On Putting Strike Down’ – both in the 26.02.12 edition I think. ‘Laughter is the best medicine’!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s