All of our movie heroes are rebels and individuals who when told, "You can't do that," responded with, "Watch me," followed by a lifetime of success. What about a movie about an ambitious guy who works hard, is always prepared, follows a standard path to success, and then gets to change whatever system he's in from within? It's a much more boring movie than Steve Jobs or any other movie where our hero just can't play by the rules and wins despite all the doubters and haters, but it's much, much more useful.
Open Road Films
And not nearly as boring as that other Steve Jobs movie.
If you're applying for a job right now, here's something uncomfortable that I'd like you to hear: There are a lot of people applying for that same job, and the person going through every resume and cover letter is looking for a reason to throw your resume out. You can't blame them -- they have a shitload of things to read, and for most jobs, a hiring manager doesn't get extra points for hiring a good candidate DESPITE their bad resume and inability to interview well.
shironosov / iStock
"That accountant that shat himself when you asked about his references didn't
bankrupt us on his first day. Enjoy your bonus."
Here's one of the most common types of messages that come into the Cracked General Inbox every day (yes, I read all of them!):
"Yo Cracked, I love your site, I think I'd be a great fit for you, but get this, I don't really 'work' with the whole 'list' thing. My style is more like this in-your-face like big personality type humor, like everything I do is funny because I'M the one saying it. I'm funny 'cause I just say the shit that everyone's THINKING but no one's willing to say, and I just have all these IDEAS and I think if you paid me to just spill my white-hot HATE-ORADE all over your site it would do TONS of traffic, I just don't really do the 'Cracked thing,' ya know? Hire me, it's a big mistake if you don't!"
That's an actual message we received about four years ago. I saved it because a) it was the clearest example of the kind of message we get a lot and b) Honestly? I just really liked the phrase "white-hot HATE-ORADE."
"It's just a sodium-free Gatorade, because the haters provide all the salt."
Since this person was essentially applying to write for us, we can call that his cover letter. We did not hire this person.
The freelancers who stick out to me, the ones we've eventually gone on to hire, are the ones who early on demonstrated a clear understanding of the Cracked voice, responded to feedback well, and in general weren't assholes (see previous entry).
The thing is, if Mr. Hate-orade back there would have gone into our Workshop and demonstrated an understanding of what we are looking for and consistently executed on articles and scripts that reflected Cracked's voice, we would have noticed and we would have hired him. And then we would have said, "OK, NOW give us your weird, outside-the-box stuff."
In an interview, your job isn't to break the rules or change the system; your job is to get the job. You can do whatever you want when you get the job, you just have to make sure you get it first. I'm sure someone could attend a seminar or go to a special workshop specifically about writing resumes or cover letters or "How To Interview," but holy shit, why isn't every high school in America automatically including that in their curricula? Every student has to take four years of history and science, but there's no mandate to teach kids a class that would essentially be titled "This Is How To Get A Job"? What the fuck, right?
Daniel O'Brien is the Creative Director of Video for Cracked and author of Your Presidential Fantasy Dream Team and How To Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against The Badasses Who Ran This Country and maybe one day a book that isn't about presidents. He also has an infrequently updated newsletter/reading list that you can subscribe to right here.
What's The Best Fictional School To Attend? In the muggle world, we're not given the opportunity for a magical hat to tell us which school we should go to. Usually we just have to go to the high school closest to where we live or whatever college accepts our SAT scores and personal essay. This month, our goal is to determine what would be the best fictional school to go to. Join Jack, Daniel, and the rest of the Cracked staff, along with comedians Brandie Posey and Steven Wilber, as they figure out if it's a realistic school like Degrassi or West Beverly High, or an institution from a fantasy world like Hogwarts with its ghosts and dementors, or Bayside High, haunted by a monster known only to humans as Screech. Get your tickets here!
Learn how to coast through college (by cheating) in 5 Things You Learn Helping Rich College Kids Cheat (For Pay), and find the real Arkham Asylum in 6 Fictional Places You Didn't Know Actually Existed.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see what school product is toughest to move in The Hardest Product To Sell After Back To School Sales End, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
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