Too Cool To Work Here

{ Dear Cookbook, I’ve been unemployed for over a year now. Needless to say, I desperately need a job. How do I convey my desperation to potential employers so they hire me? Thanks, Tony }

Tony, I realize you’ve been unemployed for a while now, but appearing desperate will not help you get a new job. Especially if potential employers can hear the desperation in your voice. You may not realize this, but it’s a proven fact that if you seem to want something too much, you probably won’t get it. You may not believe me, but I am speaking from experience. Almost twenty years ago I set out to earn enough money to buy my very first car. Excited at the prospect of owning a car, I applied for countless jobs. After being rejected by all of them, I finally realized the reason I wasn’t getting hired – no one likes an eager beaver! So I scaled back my approach and haven’t had any problems since. Think back to high school, wasn’t the coolest person the one who was “too cool for school?”

I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m comparing your desperation to my eagerness. After all they are conflicting emotions, right? Wrong, because both emotions are major hurdles to the job seeking process. You may not know it, but humans are wired to want that which they cannot have. So, if you seem desperate or too eager, you’ve just proven that you’re ripe for the picking. And as soon as the employer realizes that, your interview is over.

Think about it. When was the last time you dreamed about a used car in your price range? Never, right? You want a Corvette, a BMW or a Lexus. Not a beat up Chevy Nova or a Ford Escort. So remember this the next time you apply for a job and make the interviewer want you to work there, more than you want to work there.

Here are some tips to make that possible:

  • Don’t just dress one step above how you’d dress at work, think formal wear. Guys that means you need a tuxedo and gals, you better be thinking princess Barbie — the bigger the skirt the better.
  • Name drop all the celebrities you “personally” know. The cooler they are the better, but make it believable. And by believable, I mean have a prepared backstory about how you met them. This way if the interviewer questions your association with that celebrity, you won’t look like you are making the whole thing up.
  • Arrive late, so you can make an entrance. If the interviewer is with another applicant, burst into the room and refuse to leave until you’re interviewed. To ensure the other applicant leaves quickly, hand them a card that says you are with the police and the interviewer is not who they appear to be. That if they want to live, they will exit the building immediately. It is extremely important to make sure the interviewer does not see this card.
  • Casually mention that you have already been offered another job at NASA, but you would prefer to stay local. When asked which position NASA has offered you, casually gesture to the sky and nod.
  • When it’s time to bring the interview to a close, shake the interviewers hand and let them know that you will contact them if you decide to accept the position with their company.

By following these simple tips, you will effectively tune down your desperation and appear irresistible to potential employers!

Are you thinking about using some of this advice to find a job?  Before you do, let’s take a gander at Jobless Johnny and Hireable Hank’s results:

Jobless Johnny has embraced the NASA idea. It didn’t work out so well for him at first, but he’s got an idea that will make his casual gesturing really stand out.

Hireable Hank agrees with the Cookbook’s very first sentence, “appearing desperate will not get you a job.” Hank has adjusted his attitude accordingly. He was also amused by several of the tips in this article, but he knows better than to try any of them out during an interview.


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