I’ve had an application in with this international import/export company via a temp agency for a couple of weeks now. Then Thursday last week, I get a call around 11am that they want to do an interview that day. So I left my gardening where it was, came inside, got cleaned up and tolerated the agency’s back and forth while they struggled through coordinating and getting their shit together. (My main contact there has yet to send me a grammatically correct email, to give you an idea of the low level of continual frustration the whole experience has been thus far.)
Unsurprisingly, this agency has a pre-interview phone prep, where they give you a heads up on some of the things to expect and be aware of. Okay, so I tolerated this woman telling me in detail how I should dress and behave; somewhat rude, but not altogether unexpected. And then she got to the things I needed to bring.
“I’m going to send you our version of your resume. You must print out four copies and bring this version with you. Understood?”
Um… you did what? She sent over their version of my resume and after taking a moment to look it over, I was kind of pissed and I told her so. Why did they feel a need to alter my resume and submit it to their client as a representation of me, of my history and capabilities? They’d removed my formatting, half the information and the couple of social media logos at the bottom. The job history and education was still there, but it was boring and flat. I wanted to tell her, “Do you have any idea how much time I’ve spent on making this single piece of paper memorable? How dare you change it!”
I’ve worked with a couple of temp agencies in the past, though neither of them (at least not to my knowledge) altered my resume. They certainly didn’t give me their new and improved version and command that that be the one I use. My surprise and displeasure caused a big stink, and later hubby said, “I’m surprised you’ve never encountered that before. A couple of my past agencies did that.”
It’s taken me most of the weekend to diffuse the irritation, and I finally realized why. Most people who go into the job market really don’t care about the in between process; they just want the job. They want the end result, and everything, especially a resume, is a means to an end. But I’m a writer. That resume might not be in the genres I typically work with, but it’s still in my medium. That resume was one of my works of art. And they messed with it. And I took it personally.
Have you ever had someone alter your work, written or otherwise? What did you do?