Thursday, December 11, 2008

face value - part 5

Where there's a part 5, there are usually parts 1-4 squealing for attention. If you'd like to save yourself some serious scrolling and math, click here to read face value - part 1.

If you’re one of those people who believe that life is never unfair, explain this.

When people put their careers on the line, they become the heroes of corporate legends. But when people put their careers in a line, they get nothing but sniggers and exasperated sighs.

Those who put their jobs on the line are rewarded with fables that, with time, grow as complex as a ‘let’s defrost the fridge today sambaar’. Every narrator of the tale insidiously incorporates himself or herself into the story as an influencer, a supporter or at least a drinking buddy.

On the other hand, those who put their potential in a line become the butt of funny stories, where their best friends describe them, at best, as third cousins of unpopular colleagues they’ve spoken to once.

This post is an attempt to pay a tribute to these unsung heroes. There are people who have tried to dissuade me, with the argument that these people are considered unsung because no one can hear singing above the blowing of trumpets. I believe that's just another example of the unfairness these hidden heroes have to endure. I will try to neutralise some of the injustice today.

The-CV-in-a-nutshell type

People of this personality type have never read books on how to write the perfect CV. They wrote the books you see, that too on grains of rice and Facebook updates.

To get a fair perspective on the people of this group, let’s look at some of the qualities a good resume is supposed to have, along with proof that this personality type is the master of each parameter.

Highlight your strengths: Easier said than done. It’s hard to do justice to multiple strengths, unless you have a spare hard disk handy. Or unless of course, you’re a CV-in-a-nutshell type person. Here’s an example of how this personality type packs all his/her strengths into a few snack sized bytes.

‘B.Rags hopes The Newsweak’s million readers like his cover story tomorrow’. There, you’ve got journalistic skills, people skills, a talent for numbers, democratic disposition, time management skills and modesty, all comprehensively covered in a mere 11 words. And of course, you can’t but help notice that wonderfully elusive quality – brevity.

Be honest: For those of us who are wary of admitting weaknesses on our resumes, there’s a valuable lesson to be learnt from CV-in-a-nutshell people. Just say it like it is, their updates demonstrate to us, time and again. Undaunted by fears of creating a negative bias, these personalities bravely call a spate a spate.

‘HooHa can’t seem to upload her best employee award pictures.’ Notice how courageously HooHa shows a lack of IT skills?

A lack of career planning skills is not swept under the carpet in this update - ‘Peter S. Principle is pondering… after CEO, what?’

Attach a list of references: This bit is usually relegated to page 2 in the crispest of resumes, but in a flash of brilliance, this personality type brings it to line 1.

Notice the sheer genius with which this one tells you ‘Chickenfeed is cooped up with the fortune 500 gang. Again. If you’re thinking of hiring Chickenfeed, you know immediately who to contact for reference checks. A whole list of referees, in a matter of words.

Keep it short: By now, you already know that the CV-in-a-nutshell type of personality excels in fat-free statements. But like all groups, this lot too has some individuals who outshine others with their breathtaking brevity. How much shorter can a list of achievements get than ‘'? One simple URL, and a click - and you have access to the potential of Seema.

Note: In recognition of the innate shyness that characterizes people of the CV-in-a-nutshell personality type, all names and contexts have been changed.

Next: Plato-on-a-plate type


  1. Priceless! I have to admit though that I've stopped updating my status on FB due to these posts..ha..ha...and I'm still trying to figure out which type I fit into. My last status update read: 'Mala thinks the VS models are in misery and that is why they walk around in elaborate lingerie.'

  2. I took the liberty of sinking my eyes in all parts of your Facebook status analogy. I find myself in a few brackets.

    What about users, who indulge in more than one of those classifications? Would that be a new breed?

    Interesting, otherwise. Let's see what you bring next.

  3. very cool status update mala, maybe we'd have to create a category to fit this one in ...

    rahul, :D and then some more of the same...

    To all your multiple facets, harprabhjot, thanks for visiting. btw, which one of you commented here? :)

  4. ha ha....superbly funny.....i agree with mala....I'll think twice and use all your types as reference, before updating my status from now on.

  5. This getting to me. Yesterday I put up a status asking for suggestions re a resort in Dubai. Then it struck me that this could be seen as the so-much-to-show-so-little-space type. I promptly cleared it. :-(

    This series is great and btw, good to see that you have switched to black text. My eyes send their thanks.

  6. awwww... sorry to have tripped up your spontaneity folks!

    ramesh, glad you like the new text colour. even though it's not black, but gray :)

  7. After a detailed study of the entire series of your face value posts I am too ashamed have a status on FB at all. I wonder what status you have.

  8. turns out i am the vertical split type..........and was very impatient to comment on the first of the series..guess i can blame my right hand for that one..though...... without checking out the others........ huh.. :P

  9. thanks for visiting mags, but no more status updates? i hope it's not infectious... how will i continue my series without fodder? :)

    wow aangtce, impressed by your analysis... :D

  10. Even this one was good .. Good observation:)