Updated: Apr 1
True confession: the inside of my car glove box looks like Costco’s snack aisle. I could live on the contents of my car's emergency snack supply for a week. So maybe you can imagine my horror when a new-ish friend tells me I can’t eat an apple in his car. “Apples don’t even have crumbs!” I thought. “Are you serious?” I asked. He was.
I can’t remember his name. Let’s just call him “Car Control Freak.” What did he think I was going to do, chuck the core in the console between the seats? Spit the seeds wantonly on the floor? From the parking lot, where I ate my apple (outside the car), there was a stunning view of Howe Sound. I envisioned throwing Control Freak into it, then gleefully driving away in his car, apple in one hand, drink with no lid in the other. It’s not that I don’t care about cars. I do.
I have felt deep and abiding love for all my cars over the years, for one simple reason. Cars mean freedom. ("I don't like it here, so buh-bye and v-room v-room." freedom.) Growing up where there are no sidewalks or public transport, your car is your lifeline. For this reason, I’m vigilant about keeping mine (mechanically) well maintained. But the more superficial elements? Let me put it to you this way. Would I eat an apple in my car? I’d eat a slice of apple pie a la mode, while driving a stick shift in rush hour traffic, tuning the radio and occasionally taking a sip of hot black coffee which I'm holding in my thigh (not really a) gap. Take that Car Control Freakboy! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like my bumper is duct taped on. I'm just not what you'd call, fastidious. Last summer, a friend's seemingly harmless stand of pines, dripped clear sap onto my car. In case you hadn’t heard, Pine sap is the Gorilla Glue of the forest. Soap and water won’t touch this stuff. Smoky Bear could apply his Lee Press-On Nails with this stuff (if Smoky chose to wear them, which would be fine with me. I don’t judge)
And I’m telling you, they’re stayin’ put. “Rubbing Alcohol will take that right off.” The Pine tree stand owner offered.
"No way!" I thought, but didn't say. Nevertheless, armed with the magic elixir of 91% Isopropyl alcohol from the medicine cabinet, I headed to the driveway. As the familiar aroma of alcohol wafted off my car, the baked-on sap dots, impervious to the weather of four seasons and 20-plus car washes, magically disappeared. My car was restored to its sap-free splendor.
How easy was that!?!
Why didn’t I do this ages ago?
Who knew this simple fix existed? (Not me, for the better part of year!) Now I’m at the end of the email where I’m supposed to twist my bad-apple-meets-sap-on-car story into some clever career metaphor that makes you think,
“Oh my God! Courtney is freaking brilliant. If she wrote a book, I’d pre-order it!” We're going to skip that part and go right to: There’s a simple solution for things that seem like they have to be horribly hard work. Yet when you don't know. You don't know. Your resume: learn a few copyediting tricks to edit yours you’ll save months of avoidance and the $1500 having it rewritten every time you job hunt.
Really, like five basic rules of thumb you never break and one three-letter editing trick and you're done. Like Isopropyl alcohol and Pine sap. Get the solution once. Use it forever. Cover letter: never (ever!) more than 275 words. No exceptions. Use a template. These are so easy. Did I mention, no exceptions?
(Let me put it another way: if it's longer, you're driving through your career with your bumper duct taped on.) LinkedIn Profile: It matters more than the other two combined – read that again. If you’re job hunting and not being contacted by the 97% of recruiters on LinkedIn every day, it’s not your age, your gender or your experience (too much or too little). Most of the time, it’s your “meh” profile.
You can eat an apple in my car any time, and reach in the glove box and grab some peanut butter crackers to go with it! They're delicious! Here’s to your sap-free ride and Happy Independence Day!!!! Courtney Want more? Grab my 12 Top Strategies & Actions and get started today.