Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Evidence of negligence

I've been going through alot of resumes lately and the one common thing that I've noticed is that they all look really bad. Not the content, but the presentation. Terrible. This is just one of my evidence of how negligence and recklessness have become part of our culture.

Its not just on the Egyptian blogosphere as noted by Zoss, with its lack of proper spelling and punctuations. Maybe those who don't care to spell or punctuate their thoughts on the blogs don't think what they say is important enough to present it properly and clearly, or maybe they think those who read what they say aren't important enough to try to present their thoughts properly for them.

With blogs maybe, but shouldn't it be a little different with resumes? In a job market where the supply by far exceeds the demand, and with so few good jobs available and so few suitable candidates. Shouldn't we put a little more care and effort in writing our resumes to atleast be presentable, in order to encourage the skimmer to read it, and the reader to dig into that person further.

What does an engineer's resume that is full of typos, and is badly formatted indicate? Aside from being an unpleasant read, it says something about the author of the resume. If they are so negligent and careless with their resume, which is a piece of paper representing them in the job market, then how accurate and careful can they be in their work? Can you imagine how much harm a careless and reckless engineer can do. With a few such resumes I wouldn't worry, but with all of them like that, its scary. Its a cultural thing. An engineer can sure look up the words she's using to find out how they're spelled, and can sure know how to use a word processor to format a resume properly. If he can't, then there's no way he passed those college years.

The problem is we've learnt to accept it, and you're called meticulous and silly if you note those errors. Low quality work has unfortunately become the norm now, and so everything looks bad around here, and is hardly ever done good enough. Everything is half-cooked in Egypt. Everyone does the job here, but never does it right, even if it affects their own lives.

And here's my input to the list of funniest resumes; a resume I've seen with no name and no contact info except for the address!


MoonLightShadow said...

How sad that fact is!!

In one of the interviews I had, the interviewer told me that my resume was a very good one and it was from the very few which caught his eyes. Though I see it normal, I just followed the rules of writing a professional resume.

He went on saying that he received a number of resumes from graduates of my college, and almost all of them were copy cat from each other. To the extent that he divided them into groups according to similar resumes!

Later, I saw a resume of one of my colleagues, actually I didn’t like it. When a friend of mine criticized something about it, she told her I got that template from the Internet, and sure they know better!

Some people are too lazy to just put extra effort in writing their resumes and customize it to reflect their own selves. Though I believe that writing a resume should take extra care and effort, since it’s the only thing that represents you in the market. It should be distinct.

But the thing is, are bad resume writers aware that it’s bad, or they think it’s the best?! If they think it’s a good one, then I guess the problem is worse.

I’m the kind of person who tries my best to make things right, I won’t claim that I do everything right. I still make mistakes, whether grammatical or spelling. But I do my best to eliminate that error percentage. In that one day that I went to work, my colleague there did quite a number of spelling mistakes, each time I corrected it, but still I felt silly for doing that each time!

Evidences of recklessness and negligence are everywhere. Starting from those bad resumes, those who don’t cover bare wires, those who through garbage in the streets, etc.. and the question is why did it became a wide spread culture?!

Mohamed said...

Good question Moon. And how to fix it -- culturally -- is another one?

Abu Sinan said...

It just isnt in Egypt. I have been through about 5,000 resumes in the last 10 months and I can tell you they are no better here. It is amazing how someone can attend 4-8 years of school and not know how to write a resume. Another one in the bin.......

haal said...

Everything around us, as I said, pushes you to be reckless and imperfect. On the contrary, doing things 'right' will end up complicating your life and pushing you into problems. The system here will only help you and be kind with you, when you are twisted and do things the opposite way (most cases). If you ask for procedure, you will get lost in the spagetti logic--and by time, the right and wrong disappear, and we no more recognize it. If we happen to do recognize, we are faced by blurred faces that just stares at you, then you become passive, disappointed in urself, and thus teh defense mechanisim is: ignore and not recognize what is 'wrong' because I dont want to feel that I am 'unable' to do something about what I see/recognize as wrong.

Mohamed said...

How true.

And that's why I applaud those of us who don't accept it, and insist on getting things done right (usually stuff they have people do for them).

haal said...

I think it is our basic right to have things our way. I see the consequences of always being forced to accept things that u dont like (sometimes in ur own personal entourage, house, ...) has an effect on personality and identity. You time after time will forget what u really want, and thus tend to say, 'give me whatever u have. Ay hagah, moush far'ah. kollo helw. ma3alesh....'

Mohamed said...

Having things our way is important, but that's not always feasible (that's life). There is a basic quality standard that each one should try to meet (over here they call it conscioussness, and over there they call it law and good management), and this is what I should expect from work done for me, and it should go both ways.

MoonLightShadow said...

“ignore and not recognize what is 'wrong' because I dont want to feel that I am 'unable' to do something about what I see/recognize as wrong.”

I guess that’s the main reason why it became such a widespread culture, the bad part affects the good one. But why is that, is it because the majority are those who do things wrong?! Or is it because deviating from right to wrong is easier than deviating from wrong to right?!

roora said...

Mohamed , m3lesh off topic here , you told me before that you know someone who used to work in CIDA , so do you have any idea about how much should some one ask for a pay if he /she is a junior staff ? but not very junior , have 4 years experience , Any near figures ? I am asking for my friend

You are talking here about resumes , more than that , you should of see the weird applications that we should fullfill ,
every time I go to an interview , and they give an application to fullfill it is very boring , tayeb what is the point of my cv then ?
That is beside the weird questions that I should answer , one of them was questioning me of my points of weakness , so do they think I am gonna say ?

What irritates me the most asking about my previous salary and bearing in my mind so well , that if I said the truth this migh effect my new one ,
so I have to do one of both either to lie (and I hate it) or to say the truth and bear the later negotiations

Sarah said...

Hey Mohamed,
You know what you are absolutely right. Mistakes are there and whenever you notice them or try to correct, or even make a comment about them,. Then you are marked with the perfectionist silly stamp and you are fishing for others mistakes.
Shame really, specially if you think that if we did everything as it should, things would have been a lot different.
I mean the resume is something that speaks for you when you are not there. It is your image, reflection for God’s sake. I once read a resume for someone how had “Volleypole” as a hobby, her father’s occupation was “not there anymore” meaning so eloquently “Retired”
OMG, the question that scares the hell out of me is “Where do we go from here???”

MoonLightShadow said...

I hate these applications that you mentioned ya Roora. No point out of them. It’s either written in my resume, or I’ll be asked these question in the interview. I leave these applications empty and tell the interviewer I’ll answer the questions throughout the interview.

As for the weird question of your points of weakness.. I don’t think it’s a weird one. I think that such a question should be answered in a diplomatic way.. you say points of your weakness, but as well mention how you are working on them. What you mention should be a true point of weakness, and always know that no one is complete.. you have your strengths and weaknesses.

Mohamed said...

Moon, Roora; the applications are useful for ensuring the consistent data of all applicants. Resumes are just to present a candidate, and they present the information in very different ways (functional, chronological, etc.), plus some people leave some info out (such as graduation date). So if an HR admin for example is going to put together profiles of people, applications would work well for that.

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