We’ve all done it, some regularly – which if you ask me must be exhausting! I’ve done it a few times, but only really fully faked it once. In my twenties. Afterwards, I concluded I faked it because I wanted them to think I was good. No not good. THE BEST they’d ever seen! There I was assuming it was an academy award winning performance, but in the end I’m pretty certain I got laughed at. Perhaps I was jumping around a little too much…
If you think I’m discussing something I might do in private with a lover, please bend over and pick your mind up from out of the gutter because what I’m talking about faking here is very much public. No it’s not fake boobs, or any other body part. It’s not fake tan either. Neither is it fake designer handbags or fake smiles; the kind that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are renowned for. Let me elaborate:
I was working for ABC television in Sydney as a PA and had heard about some auditions for one of my favourite shows. Playschool. The audition process was simple: Send in your resume and an audition reel.
Why, audition reel you say? Ummm. Can I use the video of my 21st speech? Because by all accounts it was rather entertaining.
Given that the PA job was my first full time position out of university; my CV included a few part time and casual positions in retail so I was left with only one option. Fake it.
I won’t bore you with the cringe worthy pile of BS I actually wrote on my ‘resume.’ Nor will I tell you about the audition video I made with my friends (as I referred to in my opening paragraph) where we transformed a room into a kiddie wonderland and I sang songs such as “Boom boom, aint it great to be crazy.” Because clearly – no.
But I will say this: Faking your qualifications and abilities to land your dream job CAN work… but mostly you get caught out.
Hopefully soon Australia will have a PM. However the problem with last month’s election was, the candidates who were applying for the job were in some ways – faking it. So we Australians, like a merciless recruitment consultant, informed them that they weren’t qualified and lacked the experience and skills required to fulfil the role on offer. However, we would keep their details on file if something suitable came up. Famous last words for the inadequate resume.
According to SEEK, 75% of all resumes include embellishments and lies. The main components we ‘fake’ are our skills, our education records, and our current salary details. Employers must know this, yet there are hundreds of websites and articles that tell you “how to…”
The guy who runs fakeresume.com says human resource types are looking for the slightest excuse to throw your resume in the trash, but a little embellishing convinces them to give it a second look. I’m not so sure you need to fib in order to stand out. A friend of mine used to attach a Cadbury’s TIME OUT bar and instant coffee sachet to her CV with a note reading: Thank you for taking the TIME OUT to go over my resume.
It’s a trick I used, and it worked wonderfully. Particularly when you consider most recruitment or HR professionals spend their day in a fluorescently lit office cubicle pouring over hundreds of resumes a day… many chocolate loving females who – as they came across my resume thought, ‘Ahhh… chockie. That’s noice, that’s different, that’s unusual.’ (Thanks Marns)
I’m pretty certain that if either political party had sent all their eligible voting constituents their policies in such manner: the election would have been a landslide.
Oh if only I’d known the chocolate trick back when I auditioned for Play School. Vending machines were hard to come by at the ABC. Snack time was only ever at about 10am when the morning tea trolley came around – and the best they provided were day-old blueberry muffins. If you wanted chocolate you had to haul ass to the cafeteria which shut by 3pm. So there’s a good chance the producers of Play School (4 x women) would have been loving a chocolate enhanced resume.
Instead, Miss Rhym-A-Lot here decided that just incase they realised my ‘performance resume’ was a total fraud, and that my ‘audition reel’ was better suited to Funniest Home Videos: I attached to my resume a poem. Because over at Playschool, they don’t spend their days looking at poems at ALL. EVER!
And so here is the third part of a totally embarrassing experience:
When I was a little girl of three or maybe four
I first tuned into Playschool, and I loved what I saw.
Humpty and Jemima, Hambel and Big Ted
And all those snappy rhymes and verses buzzing through my head.
I was so completely mesmerised by Noni’s fun and flair
And John Walters and John Hamblyn and Benita’s thick black hair.
I could not be distracted. I loved to play along.
I’d stamp my feet and clap my hands and sing the happy songs.
For Playschool was a magic place where everything was fun.
My toys could not compete so instead I watched with mum.
The presenters and their smiles and their story telling too,
Really had me thinking…. “That’s what I want to do!”
And at the age of five or six I made myself this vow.
That I’d get onto Playschool: Somewhere, some day, somehow!
Upon making that promise came desire to entertain.
I knew to be on Playschool, I would have to train.
(Confession: Even as I type this it’s very hard for me not to cringe in disbelief….)
So I danced my way through childhood. I sang throughout my teens.
I took the art of entertaining to most extreme.
(Clearly. I mean I was way too busy entertaining to study performing arts at NIDA or WAAPA. Please insert further cringing here….)
Then fate brought me to Sydney, and to the ABC.
And to hear about auditions? What an opportunity!!!
(Obviously. Let’s all thank fate. Not Qantas or my University transfer)
Now I’ve never been to NIDA, never worked on Summer Bay.
I’ve never done commercials… but I think that’s okay.
(Here we see evidence of my superiority complex!)
My experience may be limited, but talent though is not!
SO GIVE ME A GIG ON PLAYSCHOOL – AND YOU’LL SEE WHAT I’VE GOT!!
Oh dear! It’s actually quite cathartic reliving this moment of my life because it makes me realise that with age comes perspective. As in: Good grief, how much of a dork WAS I?
So the moral of the story?
Don’t bother faking it, especially if it involves lots of words.
Fudge your way with chocolate instead.