If you are looking to land a job in this tough economic climate, sending a crazy-eyed picture of actor Nicolas Cage to a potential employer is not the stuff “How to Get Hired” books are made of.
If you are looking to gain instant fame online, it turns out that might be just the thing to do.
Such is the example of Vanessa Hojda, the Canadian college student who earlier this week accidentally attached a picture of Cage instead of her resume to an email inquiring about a summer job as an administrative assistant at her school, York University in Toronto.
When she realized her mistake, the 20-year-old posted the email and a frantic admission of her 21st-century error on her Tumblr page.
“As soon as I saw the thumbnail of the Nic Cage picture glaring back at me from my outbox folder I thought, ‘Ok…then. Time to screencap this moment and immortalize it on the blog, I guess,’” Hojda told Goodmorningamerica.com
Since her error went viral, the previously anonymous Hojda has appeared on a Toronto radio show, been photographed for her local paper, the Toronto Star, and been interviewed by the Washington Post’s celebrity blogger. She’s also gained more than 1,000 new followers to her Tumblr and seen her mistake blogged by Gawker and tweeted about by actress Elizabeth Banks.
For Hojda, however, all the attention has its drawbacks.
“I was really excited at first,” she said. “But then CNN contacted me because they wanted me live on national television and that’s when I took a step back and thought, ‘But think of your future children when they Google you and find this colossal mistake. How will you explain this to a fifteen year old?’”
“I went on CNN anyway,” she said. “I’m hoping that my future unborn children will be understanding and possess a sense of humor.”
A sense of humor is exactly how Hojda has approached her mistake, even though it cost her the administrative job she wanted.
“The employer got back to me hours later with a short, ‘I’m sorry Vanessa, I don’t see your resume, only a picture of Nic Cage looking terrifying. The position has been filled out, but thanks for being interested,’” she said. “I get the distinct feeling that she had an adverse reaction to my application and didn’t want to hurt my feelings by saying that instead.”
The attention did land the psychology major two internship offers but Hojda says that while she appreciates their trust given what happened, she “has bills to pay” so is still looking for full-time work.
Hojda says she’s not even a true fan of Cage, just his crazy expressions that have gained the actor his own Internet fame, which is why she had a photo of him saved on her computer and has poked fun at his often wacky hairdo.
She has not heard from the “Leaving Las Vegas” star himself but she has heard from someone supposedly inside his inner circle.
“I did get an email from someone who claimed to be a close friend of his reassuring me that he’s a very nice man and that what I said about his hair wasn’t “very nice,” she said.
“This kept me awake at night wondering, ‘What if I hurt his feelings?,’” Hojda said. “What if he heard about the buzz and whispered to himself, ‘But I won an Oscar…And I’m working so hard on improving my hairline…I wish people appreciated that more often.’”
The whole mess has taught Hojda a lesson, both in the powers of the Internet and the importance of organization.
“I learned that I have no control of what goes viral and what doesn’t and that it’s entirely up to the mysterious forces of the Internet,” she said. “And I learned that it’s a good idea to keep a folder separate for work-related documents.”