I am political junkie and election time is my Superbowl. (Only it goes on for MUCH longer than the Superbowl, which I'm sure drives sane people nuts but actually just gives me months and months of weird pleasure).
So anyway, we're getting close to a general election and so my TV is pretty much constantly tuned in to cable news (this despite the fact that most of it makes me want to pull my hair out in clumps as a distraction). But it's the Olympics now apparently, and that means my usual channel of choice, MSNBC, has dropped its daytime news programming in favor of people swimming and running and jumping over things.
No biggie - this morning I flicked over to CNN and caught them during one of the ad breaks, where a deep-voiced announcer told me that "CNN is the place for politics." Well great! Because that's totally why I'm standing in my kitchen eating cereal and staring at this tiny little portable TV. Guess I'll hang on and see what's going on!
So I hung and I hung and I hung. I hung on for 11 minutes while they talked about: (1) a child who fell down a chimney somewhere I've never heard of; (2) Some bad weather somewhere far away from where I live; (3) Which movies did well at the box office this weekend, and (4) The Olympics.
And that's when I remembered why I stopped watching CNN. Because this is what they do pretty much all day. Now maybe all these things are more popular than politics. Maybe they bring in viewers. Fine - I get that. But don't call yourself 'the place for politics' if you're not. Don't think that if you call yourself that, I won't actually notice that you didn't show any politics the whole time I was watching!
I used to see job seekers make the same mistake when I worked in HR. I'd read a resume filled with words like 'dynamic' and 'high-energy' and then at the interview I'd meet a quiet little person, who could not, by even the wildest stretch of the imagination, be called either dynamic or high energy. And I'd know they just wrote that because either they hoped it would magically just become true, or they copied it from someone else's resume.
If you're not dynamic, don't say you are! Say that you're dependable, professional, dedicated to the company's success or a team player. Then when you walk in for the interview, there won't be a disconnect.
The worst thing about pretending to be what you're not isn't losing out on a job - it's getting the job. If you fool people into hiring you based on qualities, skills or experiences that you don't really have, how will you do the job effectively?
For me this is the biggest argument for being honest. You may lose out on the odd job but ultimately you will win a position that's right for you, thereby laying the foundation for the rest of your career.
As for CNN, if they're going to act like "The Place for Little Girls Who Fell Down Chimneys" then they should own it and make that their slogan (or perhaps they could come up with something a little more catchy).