This week I realized that I had been applying to jobs the wrong way for years. I'd nervously write a self-aggrandizing cover letter and create a carefully tuned resume in hopes of grabbing the eye of an employer. Turns out, all I really should've done was send out a creepy Nicolas Cage photo.
Before you scratch your head until it bleeds and give up on this blog, here's the back story: Vanessa Hojda, 20, a psychology student at York University decided to apply to a job opening at the school for a receptionist position. As we all do, she wrote a nice note to the prospective employer in the body of an e-mail, and attached what she thought was her resume and cover letter file, then clicked send.
Seconds later, Hojda went to her outbox to see if the application went through and discovered that she had accidentally attached an image of film actor Nicolas Cage in which he is donning a frightful, if not downright menacing expression on his mug. Such a look from anyone would have me gone in 60 seconds...wink, wink.
Instead of panicking and having a mass freak out, Hojda went to her blog and posted a screen caption of the e-mail - the note beneath it reads: "Jesus Christ I accidentally sent my potential future boss a picture of Nic Cage rather than my cover letter+resume, which was a zip file titled with a bunch of numbers like the JPG I accidentally attached oh my god."
Beneath her explanation is another screen caption, this time of a Google search she did for "is there any way to take back an e-mail?"
Soon, the Gawker blog network, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and Yahoo! picked up her blog entry and Hojda has since made many more headlines (including this one) since. Most importantly, Hojda has received numerous job offers.
What lessons can be learned from this?
A) Always be sure to double check which file(s) you're attaching to an e-mail.
B) Be more specific when titling your files.
C) Don't store Nicolas Cage photos on your computer at any time, for any reason.
D) Ignore resume building all together, gather ridiculously memorable photos of celebrities or dogs riding skateboards, send them out to employers, go viral and get job offers without really having to do anything.
While a lot of you could build a solid case for choosing A, B, or C, the correct answer is in fact D. In this era of being able to share just about anything with anyone online, and build a following as a result, it makes a hell of a lot more sense to follow in the footsteps of Hojda's accidental genius.
Send out a picture of Charlie Sheen. This will show the prospective employer that even after the many self-inflicted and externally influenced bad situations that you have found yourself in, you are still talented, hard-working and motivated enough to be "winning" in your life.
Or, if Sheen isn't your speed, maybe attach a picture of Apple CEO Tim Cook. This will prove that you respect great leadership, ideas, casual, yet professional attire, and are quite okay with...umm...succession plans.
The point of the matter is that we all now have the opportunity to find employment by having our embarrassing, private moments promoted online for an infinite number of audience members. How else do you think Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton were able to enter the working world (even if the term "working" is used loosely)?
So, here's to you Vanessa Hojda - let's hope that one of these job offers pan out and that Nicolas Cage asks you to play yourself in a future film documenting his life. At this point, you are arguably the biggest thing to happen to him in the last 10-15 years.
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