Dream Jobs

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There’s something about spring that brings about the desire for change. People begin dusting the cobwebs out of their homes for the annual spring cleaning ritual and then become inspired to dust the cobwebs off themselves. New hairstyles emerge. The season’s colors, inspired by the most recent fashion collections, begin to appear. New Year’s resolutions get a second chance at succeeding as fitness devotees head to local parks to run laps. The real estate market goes crazy as people start thinking about how they would love to have an outdoor area for grilling. And people take a long hard look at their careers and start to ask themselves if improvements can be made in that area, too. Seems like a lot of my friends are currently in this job hunting mode as I find myself editing and offering suggestions for a large number of resumes of late. Should resumes include interests or skills? Why bother to put an address if email is most likely the preferred method of contact? Should resumes be one page or two? These are all good questions that, depending on who you ask, could yield different answers. But if you, too, are currently in the job hunting process, it is important not to get overwhelmed. If stuck, take a break and get some inspiration from these beloved characters who took less than traditional routes to land their dream jobs.

“What, did she copy this out of a resume book?” That’s the question the jealous secretary, Caroline, asks of the new Executive Assistant upon being skipped over for the job herself. Yes, Sue Ellen Crandell – played by the darling Christina Applegate – did tell a tiny little white lie (OK, a whole page of little white lies) to get her foot in the door at GAW in the classic ’90s movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, but it was her sparkling personality – “I’m right on top of that, Rose!” – and keen fashion sense that made her of instant value to the boss-lady. Now I’m not advocating a false resume by any means (in today’s age, a simple Google search could render you busted.) But, I do think the lesson here is to do anything you can to get that foot in that door. Make your resume stand out by dropping a name, delivering it in a creative way or going the route of my next applicant hero, Elle Woods.

“Oh! And it’s scented! I think it gives it a little something extra, don’t you think?” A scented, pink resume is definitely one way to go and it was the way Reese Witherspoon’s character went in the adorable 2001 film Legally Blonde. Now this lady definitely didn’t follow the normal path as she applied to law school and ultimately an internship at a law firm, but she was a character who never took no for an answer. Lesson here, believe in yourself and know your stuff so that, at the end of the day, when all the smoke and mirrors have evaporated, it is clear that you possess the knowledge to get the job done. Or, you could just rely on dumb luck to land your next job, like this next applicant, Josh Baskin.

“It was called George Washington.” That’s the response that Tom Hank’s character gives when asked in a job interview what school he went to. Lucky for him, George Washington was not only a high school in northern New Jersey, but a reputable university that the interviewer had a connection to – his brother attended. The fact that Josh Baskin got the job in the memorable ’80s film Big is definitely a little unbelievable but if you remember, as the scene plays out, he happens to be in the exact right place at the right time since a position at MacMillan Toy Company happens to become available as he is sitting in the HR office. Two lessons here. One, don’t be afraid to decorate your resume with personal experiences as you never know who else might have experienced something similar. And, two, the only way you can be in the right place at the right time is if you actually go places. So don’t hold out for the perfect job listing… get interviewing! Make it known that you are interested and available and an opportunity just might present itself to you, like it did for our next applicant, Agent J.

“He’s just really excited and he has no clue why we’re here.” This is a line from Will Smith’s character in the original Men in Black movie as he and a group of Navy Seals and Marines gather for a job interview that they don’t even really know they are on. Smith’s character is there because Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) saw something in him – a real talent for chasing down aliens – that he displayed while on a routine NYPD bad guy hunt. While I can’t imagine many of us are interviewing to become the next man in black, the point is you never know who is watching you work, so always deliver your A game and, hopefully, good things will come.

So there are some tips from Hollywood on how to land a dream job. Good luck to you if you are looking and, if not, I hope you enjoyed the random movie references. Now tell us, which of these movie jobs would you want most?

Fashion Executive
Toy Developer
Government Agent

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