July 12, 2016

Dear Job Applicant...

Dear job applicant,
Thank you for your resume that lists your stellar qualifications as a self-employed handyman for 37 years. It's a pleasure to see such a stable work history.
Perhaps you didn't realize that you applied for the position of inventory planner. I'm looking through your resume for the 8-10 years' experience in demand planning and ERP/SAP system knowledge that are listed as requirements on the job posting, and I'm not finding that anywhere.
Did I miss that?
Samantha Hoffman

July 10, 2016

Theatre Review: Between Riverside and Crazy *****

I saw Between Riverside and Crazy at Steppenwolf Theatre on Friday night, right after the events in Dallas, and it was such a powerful and timely show. It's the story of a black cop who was shot by a white rookie cop. I stayed for the discussion afterwards and so I know how emotional it was for the performers. This is an amazing production, on all levels; the writing, the direction, the stellar acting, the set. I loved the subtlety of the directing – these characters could have easily been over the top, but all of the performances were perfectly understated and believable, and drew me in.
This is an amazing production, on all levels; the set, the direction, the stellar acting. I loved the subtle
finesse of the directing – these characters could have easily been over the top, but all of the performances were perfectly understated and believable, and drew me in.
One scene, in particular, stands out in my mind; it’s in the first act where all the action is at the table at the left side of the stage. Only Junior sits off to the right, alone, not engaged in the conversation, checking his cell phone, but listening, and his reactions to what he’s hearing are beautiful to watch – his face says so much with so little, without a single word. It's a gorgeous piece of acting
James Vincent Meredith
by James Vincent Meredith; the kind of acting that’s so authentic and adds so much dimension to a production. Eamonn Walker (above, who plays the Chief on Chicago Fire) sets exactly the right tone as "Pops." 

Five stars out of five for Between Riverside and Crazy.

July 6, 2016

Dear Job Applicant...

Dear job applicant, 
If you're looking for a position outside of your field of expertise, I get that - I've been in that position myself (a hundred years ago). 
But you're going to need to sell me. If you send me a resume for a customer service position and your only job experience is the drive-thru at Burger King, write a kick-ass cover letter showing me how that experience translates to my position. I promise you'll get a phone call.

And here are my top 10 tips for job seekers:

  1. Create a resume that’s easy to read, concise (bullet points are always helpful) and professional-looking. Avoid large blocks of run-on text. I will not read them.
  2. Put your resume in a professional format. If you can’t use Word, have your eight-year-old do it for you. Do not put your picture and/or graphics on your resume.
  3. Don’t list photocopying as a skill on your resume.
  4. Do not put three phone numbers on your resume. Unless you are Barack Obama or George Clooney I’m not going to chase you down. Give me one number to call and make sure you check it for messages.
  5. If the ad says send a cover letter, send a friggin' cover letter.
  6. In your cover letter, omit the phrase, “I am excited about your position…,” particularly when you’re over 25. Your excitement is of no interest to me.
  7. Don't grill me about the company in the phone interview. There's an assumption you actually read the ad you applied to - don't burst my bubble.
  8. When you're going on an interview, be on time. Do I really have to say this? If you have a problem, call me to let me know you're going to be late. 
  9. When you go on an interview dress as if you care. Even if you’re interviewing for cashier at the Stop ‘n Go, wear business attire, meaning a jacket and tie for men and a suit or dress for women.
  10. If you’re looking for a job, clear your damn voice mailbox. If I call you and get a message that says your “mailbox is full, please call again later,” you can be assured I will not be calling again later.