Tag Archives: job search

How to Live in a “Keyword Society” – Part II of “Making ‘The Former You’ Matter”

(Someday, I’ll insert keywords here)

For those who can't bother to "see" me, keywords are how I'll make my mark.

Continuing on my journey to make myself more relevant in an anti-personal communication, algorithmic-based society and following up my recent post on joining a collective, (possibly Borg) (http://offtopictim.com/2012/06/the-need-to-be-part-of-a-group-die-personal-pronoun-die/),I have decided that the next step is to slightly differentiate myself slightly from those groups by “pasting myself” with keywords. You see, I’ll need these keywords to create attention and make myself easier to find inside of those groups by marketers, employers, and potential mates. Hopefully, they are all not one in the same…

My entire life is associated with keywords – from multiple forms I’ve filled out on the Internet, to my Facebook profile, my LinkedIn page, my resume, and of course my old Match.com profile and my new eHarmony profile. I’ve gotten all my bases covered. And when I learn the ins-and-outs and even the smallest of nuances on SEO keyword marketing, I’ll be the most popular person at this keyboard…


Before the advent of the Internet (thanks, Al Gore!), and its use as a mass-marketing tool, the term “keyword” meant words which academics used to understand an author’s reasoning in a written work. Of course, this was BEFORE everything was beaten to death by over-analyzing things in a 24-hour information overload.

Today, keywords are one of the primary factors in SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, a field of marketing research that has been around since the mid 1990’s, when everyone started taking the plastic off their free 20 hrs. of AOL service disk that they got in the mail and dialed up the Internet. The idea of SEO is that keywords inside page copy (NOT the META, which all search engines abandoned by 2005) rank a page higher in search results. While I am not going to try to rank myself in a Google search at number one -because it’s annoying and I’m classy enough and old enough NOT to be a Kardashian (aka whore, attention whore) – I do want to be at the head of the pack.

But, in an attempt to help fold myself into the groups that matter while at the same time be differentiated just enough to be noticed, I am going to include keywords in my resume, my job seeker profiles and my online dating profile. I’m starting with my resume.

The June 2012 Tim Barley Resume

My resume is full of VARIED career EXPERIENCE. I’ve always had a DESIRE to be in entertainment and got off to a good start as an EDUCATED and SMART and KNOWLEDGEABLE page, or tour guide, at PARAMOUNT PICTURES, which quickly led to WRITERS’ ASSISTANT work on the 4-CAMERA SIT-COM “Sister, Sister.” After a break, I worked outside the entertainment industry as a DEDICATED and HIGHLY EFFECTIVE INVENTORY CONTROL SUPERVISOR at an electronics company where I MANAGED MULTIPLE STAFFS across the U.S. and INSTITUTED POLICY to save the company money. Then I returned to the entertainment industry in a MARKETING AND BRANDING & INTEGRATION capacity as a SENIOR BRAND AGENT at Hollywood Branded.  I’ve done other work as well, like PRODUCTION RESOURCING, BRAND ENGAGEMENT, SOCIAL MEDIA and BLOGGING.

So, this should at least put me in a narrower group of job candidates. It might not set me apart, but that will happen when they click on my job candidate profile and call me in for an interview. There, I’ll spring the personality trap on them and I’ll slowly move toward that corner office… Bring it on, employers!

Looking for love with keywords

Apparently, if you're going to a movie musical, you are all set.

It’s occurred to me that the reason I’m single is that I’m just not using the right keywords when dating. I could tell you that it’s because no one likes to talk about “things” anymore, but would rather repeat what they saw on “America’s Got Something They Do” or “Listen to Me!” I could also tell you that I can barely put up with people’s shit long enough to put in an educated word. Hell, I could even tell you that my expectations are a little high. (Rocket scientist AND funny AND attractive/sexy AND outgoing/sporty AND not full of attitude are not keywords found in conjunction a lot of the time when looking for the fairer sex). But, I do believe that I have just been using the wrong keywords in describing MYSELF while trying to find a mate/running-around partner/fun-lover/best friend/muse/shoulder rubber/joke teller. So, I went into my profile and did a rewrite on some parts. I’ve added notes where I felt necessary:

“I am always a GENTLEMAN (which is NOT a lost art, ladies), kind, upbeat and outgoing. But, I work a lot as well. I work hard and I play harder, so be ready to play, HARD! I am more at home in casual wear, yet I own my own tux and have gotten some mileage out of it! I’m usually dressed “dress casual,” but damn if a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt doesn’t feel right on the weekends! Golf will always be my sport, but volleyball is where I feel the most alive (sun, sand, sweat and ocean = “living!”).”
Here it was necessary to showcase that I am a nice guy, but not TOO nice. Chicks apparently dig a guy who’s of quality (golf), but not a lapdog and will, at times, forget they had plans and go out with the guys (and then texting later to say “I’m sorry, can I come over?”). By sharing that I own a tux, this hints again at my social status, but the casual clothes reveal “a real guy who likes to get down and dirty!”
“I’m funny and have lots of useless knowledge that serves me well at parties, and I love actual conversation over email, and never texting unless you are in a board of directors meeting and you can’t talk. I’m just that great puzzle that is missing a final fun, playful partner-in-crime.”
At this point, I felt it necessary to explain that I am not just a good-looking man with great kissing and other skills. It’s also necessary to explain to the babes that I’m smart and can be taken anywhere. By including the phrase “unless you are in a board meeting,” I’ve also indicated that I am seeking a woman who is advanced in her career. No freeloaders here, baby! I also read in a book somewhere that the ladies are looking for a playful and fun person, so I added the last part to heighten my online appeal…
Now, let the quality women flock to me!

Continually evolving keywords and phrases

Sure, it’s a work in progress. Keywords and phrases change all the time. Once people catch on, they’ll all want to join the fun. The trick is to keep one step ahead of the game and staying in the head of the pack just enough to be noticed, but not so much that I am forgotten by those searching for the group and include me in great Groupon offers.

It’s hard out here for the lonely and jobless; “You can’t be a pimp and a prostitute too.” Thanks, Jack. Thanks.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

How Searching For a Job Has Become MY Job

(“Forgive me if I ramble, it all makes sense in my head.”)

I got up before “work” today and went for a walk. Not a run. There was no polar bear, cheetah or axe murderer chasing me. Just a nice stroll down the Strand and back.

It’s a standard practice for me to get up one minute before my alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. every morning, and going for a long walk (or on alternate days, going to the gym) is a great way for me to greet the day with highly-caffeinated blood flowing through my veins.

One-half hour later I returned, made a quick breakfast, took a shower, got dressed and left for the office…

Four feet away from my front door.

My work station consists of my kitchen table, conveniently located within arm’s reach of the refrigerator and cupboards for easy access to a 2-liter of Coke Zero, Tostito’s Black Bean & Garlic Artisan chips (Costco sized!) and Sabra Hummus (again, thanks, Costco!). You can see why the early morning walk is more of a necessity than a want… Spaced in various piles around the MacBook is a menagerie of bills, partially illegible story notes, blush-inducing passwords for EVERY username/login I have, and various pens, pencils, sunglasses and other parts of my life that encroach upon my workspace, even though I KNOW I have moved them into the living room time and again (four feet away).

For those of us who have been unemployed for a certain length of time, it’s necessary to keep a semblance of a “normal” life. I have chosen to treat my days like they are work days, in by nine, out by five with a two-hour lunch. If I drank, I am sure I would subscribe to the “three martini lunch” as I discuss career tracks with other “unemployeds.” Then bitch and moan about how my boss is “dick-faced tyrant.”

Today, I applied to four jobs before 9 a.m. PST. It’s a trick I learned from a recent fellow graduate from the University of Wisconsin. She said that because most jobs these days are done through applying online and hitting send, it’s necessary to apply so that the “application” arrives on a hiring manager’s “desk” when they open their email in the morning.

Within the last four months, as the search for a job has taken on a more urgent tone (freelance and contract work have only so many charms), I have applied to approximately 200 jobs ranging from “desk assistant” for an indie producer to PR account executive and even applied to be the President, Creative for a major cable network. Who knows? I HAVE creativity. I HAVE great writing skills. I HAVE killer social skills. I HAVE a high IQ (or did once, but I’m f*cking confident of my smarts anyway, so shut it). And, I HAVE adaptability to learn new stuff.

So, WHY don’t I have a job? (A question that my mother asks a lot and is as cringe-inducing and perplexing as, “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?,” which is a topic for another day…)

Apparently, I am in that “dead zone” of un-hirablity that combines broad career experience with age.

But, I am going to persevere. I don’t have a choice. I’d rather be seen as “unemployed” and looking for a job, than not be seen at all and classified as “given up looking.”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter