The Requisite Monthly Rant: How Not to Get a Job
March 15, 2005

Just a few tips as pulled from today's experience in the recruiting department:

  1. Write your your cover letter by hand on college-ruled paper with a blue Bic pen.

  2. Use the word "pimp" at least one time on your resume.

  3. When the recruiter calls you for an interview, forget that you even applied for the job.

  4. Use an email address on your resume that includes the word "sexy" (e.g.,

  5. Make sure the outgoing voicemail message the recruiter hears includes music and the phrase "shake that (insert Biblical word for donkey)."

Posted by Ambra at March 15, 2005 7:55 PM in Requisite Monthly Rant
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I challenge you to suggest that I am incapable of using the word 'pimp' in my resume intelligently.

Cause I can. And you'd be dern impressed.

Thank you for the advice. I've been going with the, obviously, outdated "list my achievments and successes" route.

Keep up the good work on this blog; it's a welcome part of my daily surfing.

Amber, I'm sure I'm not the first one to ask this, but, how is it you're so wise at your young age? And, do you like older guys?

Just wondering.....

6. Wear your best RocaWear jumpsuit and largest, gaudiest medal chain to the appointment.

7. Make sure that the backward cap you sport in the interview is one with the logos of a particular major sports league's teams.

8. Offer a piece of your bubblegum to the interviewer.

What do you mean??? I thought the only way to get a job was by "knowing someone".

I ran into your blog on the small world of the internet. You're a good writer!

9. Under writing achievements, list only "tricked-out blog."

So this is the page that is responsible for all the spam going to my e-mail account.

I wish you'd have a little more consideration before posting my e-mail address on the internet.

Ambra, you are kidding, right? Especially about the word "pimp" in the resume? Speechless!

Interview and resume skills go wanting, as does phone decorum. I wore a navy blue business suit to the 6th grade writing workshop I teach once a week- because I had an interview immediately thereafter. A sixth-grade girl whom I don't consider "hard" noticed my attire, and my nonchalance about it, and told me " should say I'm a pimp..."

10. Claim intimate knowlege of a technical process and then be absolutely unable to speak intelligently about it.

11. Don't show up at the interview because you overslept. Then, because you "know somebody," get a second interview and show up late, wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

I must say I've never had anybody use "pimp" on a resume they submitted to me, but I guess I'm not too surprised. Haven't we been telling kids for years that they're entitled to use "bad" English because it's a part of their "culture," and that using "good" English is some kind of a sell-out?

Anybody remember "Ebonics"? I always wondered how the idiots who supported it thought people who learned to speak and write with Ebonics ever hoped to get a job better than night assistant french fry cook at the local McDs.

I attended a leadership training class a few years ago, and we were told "don't judge a book by its cover." The example offered was of a fellow with rainbow hair, tie-dye shirt, multiple piercings and tatoos, who applied for a job. All us horrible, beastly, old-fashioned types in the class said we wouldn't even give him an interview. SHAME ON US! Why, that young man turned out to be a great employee!

I'm sure he did. But, like it or not, there are standards of dress, speech, behavior, and writing that one needs to observe in order to have the best chance of landing a job.

And one last note while I'm on a tear (and this will be controversial, I'm sure):

People should NOT name their children with names like Shaquitha, Tanika, etc. While racism isn't as universal as it used to be, it's still present in some places, and a name like Raeneesha and Keisha are dead giveaway to a possibly bigoted employer that the resume belongs to somebody who is other than a white Anglo-Saxon.

Good post as usual, Ambra.

You HIT the mark, docjim505. (I call them) Ghetto names ARE a dead giveaway for someone that wants an excuse to do something evil. I have never understood the appeal. I mean, make that the MIDDLE name or something. You can call your child whatever you like at home. I guess that kind of thing bothers me because my mother was so against us being called anything other than the names she gave us. (I am becoming my parents).

On the "pimp" thing, I heard a certain young pastor in Baltimore use pimp as an acronym: PIMP for Prospering In My Place. I got a chuckle out of that.


People don't believe me when I tell them that many of the unemployed are unemployable.

But these are two funny.

You have the start of a book here.

So...can you get dooced (again) for writing about things that happen your new job?

Don't forget to punctuate each sentance with "naw mean?"

Amy, Gerard, and DocJim, you guys had me cracking up with your suggestions....offering Bubble Gum to the interviewer? Oh man that's classic.

Well....Personally, I think people should use discretion when they name their children because Aquanetta and Shaniqua just scream something (whether or not that something might be true) terrible. In the same breath, I don't think people should have to be named Mary or Suzy Smith to get a job either. Employers have a responsibility in screening and interviewing candidates based on qualifications and experience.

I do however challenge you to find me one Boonsheeka who's a CEO. Here in Seattle I met a guy named "Courvoisier." Again, not okay.

While I'm on the subject, I wish people would stop naming their children after liquors (e.g. Alize)...and then wonder why their alcoholics.

Sharonb: Actually, these are based on my general experience in recruiting/HR from all my positions combined. There's nothing here specifically tied to my current temporary employer. And if there were, at this point, I wouldn't care. I think I've burned out on having a traditional job.

Rafael: I don't have a problem with the word "pimp" per se. I mean, even I used it in a column before, but context is everything. It's a true word that has meaning (in my opinion, it has negative connotations).

But in the context of a resume....ehhhhh, no.

Bijan: I think what you're teaching is a valuable skill. AND YES phone ettiquette (or howevar u spell tha wurd) is also needed. ONe of my pet peeves is when I ask for someone and they say, "Yeah this is her." THIS IS SHEEEE. It's "THIS IS SHEEEE!!!!"

Dave: Seeing as how women mature faster than men....

12. Make sure the backward cap you wear has all the logos of some fictitious league's teams
"Jersey," "L.A.," etc. Preferrably one you bought from the local street vendor, without the official logo of a real sports team.

13. Bonus points if you wear your favorite Nascar jacket, the one you bought when it was fashionable for five minutes about two minutes ago.

14. Greet the company executive with "whazzup, Yo?"

15. Recommend changing the soundtrack in the elevator and waiting room speakers to 50 Cent, Jadakiss, etc.

16. 'Dentyne Ice, Ms. Smith?'

Ambra, another thing I teach is a resume workshop for h.s. kids. DocJim and Rafael- for the record there is a Condoleeza who is the third in the U.S. presidential chain of command, Leontyne Price was an impresario, and Detroit and Baltimore have had male politicians with ethnic-sounding names. As for the phone manner, "this is her" is grammatically correct. "Her" is the object, as in "'re speaking to her. Who's calling please." One cannot speak to she (the way to test when I doubt- you may say "I am her", but not "I am she".


Oh, no question that people with ethnic-sounding names can, do and will succeed. My point is that parents oughtn't place what I think is a handicap on their children.

I was also curious about "This is she / this is her." I was taught to use the nominative case ("this is he"), but as I'm always interested in improving my written English, I looked around the web for guidance. I found this:

>>> The version that you use, "This is she," is what linguists call "prescriptive grammar." This means that, rather than following the native grammar of English, it follows rules that have been imposed on English from outside (prescribed). In this case, the rule is based on Classical Latin. In Latin, two noun phrases connected by a form of "to be" are both given in the nominative case (the subject form). Thus Latin speakers would use their version of "she" (nominative) rather than "her" (accusative or dative). In English, however, the rule is different. English native grammar allows only one noun phrase to have subject case. All other nouns in the sentence are given in the object case. Thus, the native English grammar produces the sentence "this is her" ("this" is the subject and "her" is the object case).

Thanks for the tip. It won't be easy to overcome a lifetime of using the wrong grammar, but we persevere.

Ambra, I agree that 'pimp' is a real word. Shoot it even describes a few real people. Yes, it has a negative connotation, but that is actually changing among our youth. I understand that language evovles, but somethings need to be left alone.

On the name thing, I am just expressing MY pet peeve. Condoleeza IS NOT a ghetto name. It is a musical term. I am speaking of the EXTREME sounding tags some folks put on their children. Alternate spellings are fine, but names are supposed to MEAN something. Something that "sounds" ethnic doesn't make it ethnic. Incidentally, I know an Acquinetta (actual spelling) that is an MD, so it isn't necessarily a limiting thing. Talent and drive can overcome MOST obstacles. I am not, nor do I think docjim505 is saying that names should be antiseptic. Far from it.

Docjim505, you gave me a headache with the Latin LOL. I haven't declined nouns since Syracuse.

No wonder I didn't get that job. Now I know!

Aquanetta entered the lexicon because an actress by that name appeared in a Lon Chaney, Jr. film called "The Leopard Woman". If it matters, the actress was "Black".

She was also comely.

For those who are offended by parents who choose to give their childrens african sounding names; If an HR person will use a black person's name to discriminate against them, then what's to stop them from discriminating against them when they see them? In my opinion, discrimination is not based on a persons name, but the fear or disdain of that person because of their race. During slavery, the KKK, and the jim crow years the majority of black people had simple whitish names, yet it did nothing to stop the mistreatment and humiliation at the hands of the white citizens of our country. So, what difference does it make, what the childs name is. (As long as it can be easily pronounced and do not cause others to laugh at them...such as "bootyscoot.") Black people worry far too much about their being accepted by white people, Lord.
Foreign people donot hide their race, jews nolonger attempt to hide theirs, and the gay crowd is nolonger hiding in the closet. Lord, Lord. Get a good education in a reputable college. Learn all you can from those who have gone before you, regardless of their race. And use all that God has placed in you to make an impact in not only your lives, but those around you and those who will follow after you. If you choose not to work for others, you at least have the knowledge to strike out on your own and start your own business. Enjoy your life.
NOTE: I would not like to work for anyone who hates me because of my race nor do i wish that person to hire me based on afirmative action or filling their quota of black emploees; because regardless of how well i work or how much i achieve for that company, my contributions will never be valued. I would just be wasting my time and theirs. Its best to work where iam welcomed and respected for who iam.

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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