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A comment on job searches
October 6th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

I orig­i­nal­ly wrote the con­tent of this post as a com­ment on anoth­er blog, but I thought it was worth includ­ing here:

With­in the last few years I’ve noticed a strong ten­den­cy for job list­ings to have incred­i­bly strin­gent require­ments that basi­cal­ly amount to “unless you’ve already spent at least five years work­ing for us doing this job we want to hire you for, don’t both­er.” I look at the list­ings that the com­pa­ny I work for now puts up, and can imme­di­ate­ly see that even the per­son who pre­vi­ous­ly had that job wouldn’t be qual­i­fied to be his own replacement.

Of course if you know the per­son you’d actu­al­ly be work­ing for and can bypass HR, or if the com­pa­ny is too small to have an HR depart­ment, great! How­ev­er, I’ve been work­ing for the same com­pa­ny for so long that by now pret­ty much every­one I knew at oth­er com­pa­nies now works with me. That leaves me in a posi­tion where I don’t have a chance at get­ting a job that reflects my expe­ri­ence, because the HR drone read­ing the resume will see that I have (to pick a ran­dom exam­ple) five years of CM expe­ri­ence using Per­force when they require five years of CM expe­ri­ence using Sub­ver­sion and am there­fore “unqual­i­fied.”

I real­ize that in this sit­u­a­tion you’re sup­posed to just lie and fake it, but I have a prob­lem with being hon­est when I’m not sup­posed to be, so I get to choose between sub­mit­ting resumes to jobs that I’m “unqual­i­fied” for (but in real­i­ty could do per­fect­ly well) or for jobs that I’m entry-lev­el jobs that I’m over-qual­i­fied for.


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