The Fancy Wrap Illusion

Trickery… Deceit… Fraudulence… Imposture… Call it whatever you want! As long as it gets the job seeker through the employer’s door for a chat, it has achieved that which it was set out to do!!

Bright and catchy is the new white, and presentation is the new endorsement!!

I’ve had to shortlist resumes where I didn’t bother to get into qualifications because the first line of a personal statement or first paragraph of a cover letter left nothing to be desired. Tenses struggling for relevance, words abbreviated to slangs I had to pause to remind myself English was the expected language of instruction.

Sometimes, it’s even just the overall presentation. If you are anything like me, you will not eat a meal that appears as though it was thrown together from the dump. You want your portions small, neatly served, presentable and appetizing. Reviewing a document – resume or cover letter – for me is much the same; I don’t want to see uneven margins or various types, sizes and colours of fonts as though you are just learning to write or playing with a canvas. There’s a reason these things are expected to be typed, so to type it and still have a chaotic presentation makes you appear curiously hopeless and this is not a good sign. Imagine that a recruiter is attempting to shortlist 10 resumes from 500 already filtered and seemingly qualified candidates, what do you think will become the further criteria beyond the likes of relevant experiences, vocational activities, and the likes? Yes, you are right… Presentation!

A host of legitimate things (and some not so legitimate, just pure carelessness) can be wrong with your resume or your cover letter, or even the body of the e-mail in which they are attached; if you consider applying for any role, you better be ready to give the application the time it deserves or don’t waste your time nor anyone else’. Your resume, cover letter, e-mail, telephone conversation make up the first impression of you – you can never have a second first impression – don’t squander it because you couldn’t be bothered to invest an extra 5 minutes of your time to review. If your application is not worth your 5 minutes, why should it be worth mine?!

The Fancy Wrap Illusion, is that first impression (through whatever means you share it) that is given the time and attention it deserves; if you have to pay someone to write you a spanking resume, or an excellent cover letter, I couldn’t care less. In fact, I’d be impressed because I know you understand what it takes to woo me, and I feel you regarded me (the employer) enough to give it your best shot and put your best foot forward – even if you had to borrow the stilettos you adorned! At least, first and foremost, make it through the door with a remarkable presentation of yourself, and then share with me what you have or don’t have, but how willing you are to try.

Further, we are Nigerians, with over 521 local languages ever spoken across the country, at least 9 of which are said to have become extinct. Guess what? Our official language is still English, the former colonial language, chosen to facilitate cultural and linguistic unity across the country. Thus, if I am going to interview you for a job role in Nigeria, you are going to need to know how to speak the language. This cannot be over emphasized; no one says to manufacture an international accent, peradventure, you have an Ibadan accent, by all means use it to speak English! Do not expect to speak Yoruba with an English accent, it’s a convoluted expectation which will never be met.

I’ve equally also gone through conversations with superiors that considered hiring someone completely inexperienced for a ‘created’ role just because the person, following the fancy wrap illusion (that clearly took some measurable effort), presented him/herself willing and ready to learn and work. Employers see potential, so perhaps you are not there yet with all the experience nor qualification required, you would be amazed at how far that fancy wrap can go in availing you the opportunity to prove yourself even as you learn the ropes on tasks you have never done.

So, do not underestimate the power of the Fancy Wrap Illusion, but as elaborated above, it can only get you through the door. Whilst you prepare to present that fantastic first impression, also prepare yourself to be able to meet the employer’s expectations to the best of your ability!

But by all means, start by impressing us with that Fancy Wrap!

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