We’ve all been there. The corporate drones that run your fur trading outpost are downsizing and your job is on the chopping block. Maybe you always specialized in tanning hide, but now you’re being asked to gut and skin too, and for the same pay. Perhaps your new riverboat captain made your job less fun than it used to be and you pushed him overboard where he surely met his icy demise. Either way, it’s time to spruce up that resume.
Let’s start with the obvious. If you want to be taken seriously, your resume should be neat, spellchecked, and completely blood-free. You might think a spot of beaver’s blood on the corner of your resume is no big deal. Maybe you’re even tempted to pen the entire resume in the blood of a rival to demonstrate your tenacity. But nothing turns off potential employers more than a blood-soaked document.
Next, choose a good name to put on your resume. How about Jacques? Jacques is a good name. Most French fur trappers are named Jacques. You’re Jacques now. Headings should also include an approximate address. Simply listing your wigwam as “by the big tree on the riverbank” won’t cut it. There are trees everywhere. What does the tree look like? A stovepipe hat? A ghastly spirit? The outstretched arms of Delacroix’s Liberty? Be specific. And if your brothel accepts mail, list it as an alternative.
A well-written objective section can make all the difference to hiring managers. Here’s an example: “Experienced trapper and stoic mumbler seeking leadership position at respected fur syndicate. Ideal role accentuates knack for tanning beaver hide and deceiving Native Americans, while affording opportunity to abandon wife, lay low from past transgressions, and travel to exotic locales like the very welcoming Iroquois Nation.”
When it comes to describing your education, honesty is the best policy. It’s just not worth the lie. Exaggerating on the other hand is almost mandatory. For example, no one is going to believe that a French fur trapper studied at Yale. That’s an obvious lie. But a B.A. from Cornell? That’s possible. Mention that you founded a fur trade-themed acapella group called something like The Alouettes or The Frere Jacqueses.
Onto the real meat of your resume—your work history. When describing your duties, avoid monotony by using power verbs. Try “flayed” in place of “skinned,” “snapped” as opposed to “broke,” and “eviscerated” instead of “gutted.” Painting a graphic picture for potential employers makes for a more exciting read. Who said resumes should be boring? It’s also necessary to indicate why previous jobs ended. Whether the rest of your fur trading company died off from syphilis or from mercury poisoning due to treatment of syphilis, mention that you’re available, clean, and ready to work.
Many applicants forgo a “skills” section, which could be to your advantage. If you have mercenary training from the French and Indian War, an employer might value your woodland combat expertise and entrenched prejudice. The ability to yank arrows from your own limbs while screaming curses into the night’s sky looks great on a resume. And resourceful problem solving is always a plus.
Ultimately, the job search is much like trapping itself—the more traps you set, the more likely you are to find a catch. Likewise, the more resumes your distribute, the better chance you have of obtaining an employer, who, ensnared by your guile and unable to escape, recognizes the cudgel in your grasp as the instrument of their ruin, and succumbs to their inevitable fate of being skinned and fashioned into a broad-brimmed hat pranced around in by a French noblesse and doffed for passing mademoiselles, before eventually being thrown into the air in drunken revelry and left in the street to decompose in anonymity, to return to earth, as must we all.
And just like that, you’re hired!