Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sometimes I have to scratch my head and laugh

I'm one of those people who really, really enjoys her job. I love working with college students and alumni, assisting them as they begin their career journey. But sometimes I just have to shake my head and laugh. I manage a small career center, basically I am the only person in the office who does career counseling, provides cover letter and resume writing assistance, mock interview, job search strategies, etc. My philosophy of career development is that I want to empower others, to provide them with the tools they need to be successful but ultimately they are responsible for the final product. Over the years I have had some real strange conversations with students Here are just a few:

Student - I hear you write resumes.

Me - No, sorry you heard wrong, but I'd love to teach you how to write your own and I'd be happy to assist you with writing one.

Student - Well you don't understand I'm VERY busy.

Me - (nodding my head, trying to show my empathy skills) I'm sorry to hear that,I'm pretty busy myself. I need to provide services to all the students and alumni here at the college so you can see I really can't write your resume for you. But again, I'd be happy to teach you how to write one.

Student - Well I just don't have time, I'd be happy to pay you to write it for me.

Me - Gee that's very kind of you, but you see the college is already paying me to teach you how to write a resume, so it would really be a conflict of interest for me to take your money.

Student (Leans close and whispers) I promise I won't tell anyone.

This volleying went back and forth for a few minutes before the student finally asked me if I could recommend a resume writing service to her. I couldn't of course because I had never had to recommend a resume writing service. Every other student I met was very eager to learn how to do this, it is after all the first step in a job search. This student did come back a few weeks later after learning what a great deal I was, or perhaps the time commitment it would take to tell her story to someone who was willing to take a lot of her money to write her resume for her.

Interviewing Skills?
Student walks into my office and says she is really nervous about an upcoming internship interview and asks if I can assist her in any way.

Me - Sure, I'd be happy to do a mock interview with you, but before that let me give you a handout on preparing for an interview. I give her the handout and she looks excited.

Student - Wow this has sample questions that an employer might ask?

Me - Yes, along with questions that you may want to ask the employer.

There is a few moments of silence while she is looking over the handout.

Student - Where are the answers?

Today's conversation with a student takes the cake though and I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.

Student - Did your assistant tell you why I made an appointment to see you?

Me - Well she make a note on the calendar that you had some questions about your job search.

Student - Yeah, I have not received any job interviews and I'm trying to figure out why.

Me - Okay well, can you tell me what sort of positions you are looking for and how many resumes you have sent out?

Student - (Blank Stare) I have no idea.

Me - You have no idea?

Student - Haven't you been sending out my resume for me?

Me - (Blank Stare) Why would I be sending out your resume?

Student - I thought that's what you did here.

Me - (Another Blank Stare) No, sorry and besides, how would I know what positions and organizations to apply to for you? You and I have never met before.

Student - Oh that's true. So maybe that's why I haven't been called for an interviews?

Me - Umm Yeah.


  1. I LOVE this!!!! I could add some with my adventures!! By the way, tell that student I'll write his resume for $50! :)