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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A weekly column for those who live and walk in Silicon Valley

by Barbara Dahlgren

Fax In Your Resume
Column for the week of Jan 20-26, 2002

All we did was put a simple ad in the newspaper for a receptionist-type job. To be honest, I knew we were in a recession but I didn't know how bad it was until close to 200 resumes were faxed to our office last week. Our poor little ol' fax machine almost collapsed and so did I as I perused the mountain of information in front of me. Do you know how cross-eyed you can get reading 200 resumes? I mean how many times can you read "I'm seeking a challenging position that will utilize my skills and give me opportunities for advancement" without going stark raving mad? It's obvious that everyone was present the day they taught resume writing in class.

After awhile they just all blend together. Then I try to imagine what people with what I call "movie star" names would look like. I love names like Lily Lamour or Gloria Graceland. (No, these are not the real names but you wouldn't have believed the real ones anyway.) Some resumes have teeny tiny print that you need a magnifying glass to read. The ones that really crack me up are the person who is supposedly highly organized but lists jobs out of chronological order. Or a person who says letter writing is a strength but the cover letter is full of grammatical errors and misspellings. And of course the poor person who begs us for a chance to interview but omits the phone number which is not funny but sad. Well, actually it is a little funny.

After the "seeking a challenging position" part comes the real challenge. We have to know how to read between the lines. Being a "communications expert" means they answered the phone. Being "a technical engineer" means they can turn on the computer. Being "a people person who can interface with just about anyone" means they used be a bartender. You can't blame them for gilding the lily a bit. After all they've learned from the best. Corporate America calls downsizing "involuntary separation from payroll," "release of resources," or (and I'm not making this up) "strengthening global effectiveness." It's goofy world.

I wonder if people realize that when they send a resume in, it represents who they are. On the basis of that one little sheet of paper they are judged to be neat, or organized, or thoughtful, or creative, or intelligent, or qualified. It's impossible to look deep within that resume and see the essence of who they are. In a way, our lives are like our resumes. It's the outward showing that we give to everyone. And people stand in judgment of us based on one encounter or one glance. And we stand in judgment of them exactly the same way.

But our relationship with God is not like that. He reads our resume and has the ability to look deep within us and say, "I know you. You're the one with that 'movie star' name but you're not a movie star. You're just a regular person. Your penmanship is a little messy but that doesn't matter. You forgot to write your phone number down but that's okay because I know so much about you that I even have the hairs on your head counted. (Matthew 10:30) If you trust me I have a challenging position for you where you can utilize your skills and advance even though you might not be fully qualified. You see, I love you and care for you in spite of your imperfections."

It's a scary thing to realize that someone could actually know the essence of who you are and love you anyway. But then that's the wonder and awe of God. Fax your resume to Him sometime in the form of a prayer. You might be surprised to find out that you got the job!

©January 2002

Be sure to visit this page every week to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at bydahlgren@aol.com.



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