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Pool Cleaners Need Resumes, too

Mom on the Run: The Next Chapter

I recognize my son’s ringtone immediately. It cuts through any sound, any background, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I don’t like the ringtone, it’s a weird robotic kind of thing, but my husband set it a year ago when I first got my smart phone and I don’t know how to change it, so it stays. And it’s just as well, because my ears are programmed to listen for it; my son calling from college is rare and important, and every fiber of my being is eager to know about and take his calls.

So when the robot music starts I pick it up through the conversation and the radio and the road noise, and, “Wait!” I say, stilling everyone in the car, and bend down to dig through my purse for my phone. I grab it, hoping the ringing hasn’t been going too long, and slide over the blinking arrow. “Hello?”

“Hey,” my kid says nonchalantly, as if he calls me daily. “How are you?”

“Good, how are you?” I ask. I’m pretty sure he’s not checking on my general welfare, though, and I wait for the request that is sure to come.

“Good. Hey, can you do me a favor?”

Aha. Knew it. “Sure. What’s up?”

“I have to have a resume to apply for a job, for this summer, and I don’t have any idea how to do it. Can you help me?”

Aha! Perfect! Something I can do, something that I as a recruiter am uniquely qualified for among my son’s large list of contacts. For one brief and shining moment, right now, I’m important! “Of course,” I say, trying not to sound too glad he’s asked me. “I’m happy to. What’s the job?”

“Cleaning pools,” my son says. Instantly I wonder why he needs a resume to apply to a pool cleaning job, but I assume he wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t a requirement, so I hold my tongue. “It’s with Taylor, so it’s kind of a set thing, but I need to turn in a resume.”

“OK,” I say. For a minute I consider describing a resume format to him – name and contact details at the top, experience header, education section – but then decide nah, that conversation would take too long, and I’m in the car, with everyone being quiet while I talk, and it would be quicker for me to do it myself anyway. He will learn from seeing my finished product. So, “Type up for me all your jobs. The name of the company, the title of the job, your start date and end date, and email it, and I’ll set it all up and send it back to you.”

“Name of company …” his voice trails off.

Ah. Ok. I start again, more slowly: “Name of company, your job title, when you started – just month and year – and when you left the job. That’s it.”

“OK. I’ll get that to you. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” And then, because my son is almost 19 and he’s away in college and he’s almost all grown up but not quite, and because I will always, always be his mom and worry about everything, I add: “And wear sunscreen when you’re out cleaning pools.”

“Yeah, Mom, I will. Talk to you later.”

And my boy is gone again.

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  • Na

    Really??? 19 years old and you are writing his resume? Don’t you think he would learn more by doing one of the most basic job search functions himself? You could help by providing a few samples or a link or two to a website. And then even proof reading his draft. But at that age, do you really think it is in his best interest to just do it for him?

  • Seriously!

    I have to agree with the comments by NA at 6:56pm

    In your article you state “He will learn from seeing my finished product” NO, NO, HE WON’T (yes, I was shouting)

    You state that you are a recruiter, I’m not sure if this is true or if this creative writing. The reason I question if it could be creative writing is, in the next paragraph you state “Instantly I wonder why he needs a resume to apply to a pool cleaning job”. Surely you know the answer to this, if you don’t let me help you understand why.

    A pool cleaning company is a business. A business desires to make money. A business makes money from the product or service it provides. In order to provide the product/service the business will need employees. Pool cleaning is not a very difficult job and there are many companies that provide this service, so in order to stay competitive a business will look to its employees (among other things) to help the company shine above the rest of the competition.

    Stay with me here. A resume is a summary of background, skills and qualifications, which is sent to employers for review. Consider it a personal marketing brochure. In the case of the pool company, they require a resume because their employees will be the face of the company. They will want to know has the applicant ever had a job before – this will give an indication that they are used to workplace rules such as showing up on time, following direction, working independently etc. It will also show if the candidate has stayed with an employer or just started and quit repeatedly (are they dependable)

    I actually applaud the fact that the pool company requires a resume. Also kudos to your son, he asked for help, not for you to do it for him. Let him fly, he will soar (maybe)

  • JJ

    I thought it was just me that cherishes anytime my kid call me!

    I have been in Lianne’s shoes and I totally approve of her writing the resume. He’s got enough things to do with classes and school events. Helping him by doing the resume will not cause a life-long dependency for this! This resume will be a starting point for him to build on in the future.

    Plus, the few times my kid reached out to me I was happy to be there to help!

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