‘What Good is a Resume?’ by Victoria M. Johnson

poem read by author

All a resume does is give dates and facts.
It doesn’t show who I am,
or what I’m made of in a jam.

It states I was a budget analyst.
But it doesn’t mention I was bored to tears,
it says nothing about my intense hopes and fears.

I didn’t just balance the budget; I fought for new equipment to save the welder’s backs,
and while at the airport, I made sure no one slipped through with a bottle of anthrax.
At Happy Hollow Park & Zoo,
I worked with keepers who could tell who’s who.
Each and every animal had a personality you see,
whenever one passed on, I cried like a baby.
I found funding with my grant writing; telling a story,
so that donors would give money and I’d get no glory.

My resume is useless I think,
it doesn’t say champagne is my favorite drink.
Nor does it tell that I daydream in dull meetings,
wishing I were someplace else, writing a postcard with clever greetings.

I served in the Air Force, too.
Yes sir, yes ma’am—I learned to fire an M-16.
Never had to shoot anyone, but as a medic I dispensed vaccine.

My resume doesn’t boast how creative I am,
I can stay up all night cramming for an exam.
I’m not one of those drama queens,
nor do I go to work dressed in blue jeans.

Is there a way to express all this in a resume?
There’s so much more of me to portray.
I have many talents and traits I’d like to highlight,
you should know I don’t give up without a fight.

So light a match to your resume if you happen to agree,
that a flimsy piece of paper can’t possibly represent you or me.

The poet in one of her jobs, Victoria M. Johnson

Victoria M. Johnson grew up in a small city in California with many canneries, orchards, and dairies. Her mom was a blue-collar worker in the cannery for 30 years. Victoria is published in fiction and nonfiction. Her poetry and flash stories appear in online literary journals and print anthologies. When she is not writing, Victoria is a reiki practitioner, zumba instructor, and writing coach. To learn more about Victoria’s creative work please visit her website.

*Featured photo of three capybaras, selected by poet. She explains that these pig sized giant rats from South America were her favorite animals when she worked at Happy Hollow. Photo by Dana Ward, Unsplash.

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