Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dealing With Misleading Job Descriptions

All jobs suck.  And most employers will lie on their job descriptions.


mts1 said...

This clip is a classic for the ages. I'd like a Bogus Resume Company where you can go in and actual OJT in simple tasks that everyone can do, but employers are asking for credentials out the yin-yang. CERTIFIED forkllift driver: WTF? I go to Clarey School, learn the basic controls in 15 minutes, and the trainer sees that I won't kill someone, then bam, give me 3 years forklift experience on the resume at Acme Anvil Company, and I get the job. Video rental store cashier needed, 3 years experience required? Here's the software 95% of places use, here's the basic commands, now you have 3 years, go to Family Video (or whoever is still left out there) and you're in.

Job Hopper!!! The evil bugbear that everyone from the guidance counselor to mock interview experts to HR people always warm you about. If you don't stay at a job for a minimum of 2 years, you render yourself as unemployable as a convicted pedophile with a pyromania fetish and a heroin habit. Hell, those type probably have some government program where HR needs X number of pedo heroin addict firebugs in a company of Y number of employees for inclusion and diversity, so you're even less employable than them!

Used to be, company saw you walk in under your own power, there was a Labor Department, nothing called HR, and the guy (always a guy, usually came from the factory line and knew who'd work out) figured you'd pretty much do since you're here after all, and it's, "What are you sitting there for? Get to work!" Now, you have to prove to some HR dame that she shouldn't disqualify you because you worked your third to the last job for 22 months and not 24, and you didn't know that your charcoal gray suit and red tie remind her of her ex husband, and hope she doesn't hold THAT against you.

Does no one in hiring actually go by if the person can do the job anymore, or are all the metrics for non-job related stuff? I've been passed over for jobs that should've been a shoe-in (how can you say I'm overqualified for a well paying job with all sorts of perks, and insist I stay in minimum wage, no benefit-ville because I'm too talented to make $20 an hour?) and see people get jobs where all they do all day is work hard at staying out of the flow of work, and no one notices they contribute zero to the place's production.

Anonymous said...

How about misleading graduate programs? The following reminded me of your book 'Worthless'.

A few excerpts:
(1) Academia: It’s Not Science, It’s Business
Very quickly after your initiation in the academic world, you learn that being “too honest” about your work is a bad thing and that stating your research’s shortcomings “too openly” is a big faux pas. Instead, you are taught to “sell” your work, to worry about your “image”, and to be strategic in your vocabulary and where you use it. Preference is given to good presentation over good content – a priority that, though understandable at times, has now gone overboard.

(2) Academia: Work Hard, Young Padawan, So That One Day You Too May Manage!
I sometimes find it both funny and frightening that the majority of the world’s academic research is actually being done by people like me, who don’t even have a PhD degree. Many advisors, whom you would expect to truly be pushing science forward with their decades of experience, do surprisingly little and only appear to manage the PhD students, who slave away on papers that their advisors then put their names on as a sort of “fee” for having taken the time to read the document (sometimes, in particularly desperate cases, they may even try to steal first authorship)

(3) Academia: The Backwards Mentality
The real problem is that this habit can easily carry over into one’s postgraduate studies, until the student themselves becomes like the professor, with the backwards mentality of “it is important because I’ve spent too many years working on it”.

(4) Academia: Where Originality Will Hurt You
The result is a gigantic literature full of marginal/repetitive contributions. This, however, is not necessarily a bad thing if it’s a good CV that you’re after.

(5) Academia: The Black Hole of Bandwagon Research
Either the researchers begin to think up of creative but completely absurd extensions of their methods to applications for which they are not appropriate, or they attempt to suppress other researchers who propose more original alternatives (usually, they do both). This, in turn, discourages new researchers from pursuing original alternatives and encourages them to join the bandwagon, which, though founded on a good idea, has now stagnated and is maintained by nothing but the pure will of the community that has become dependent on it. It becomes a giant, money-wasting mess.

(6) Academia: Statistics Galore!
“Professors with papers are like children,” a professor once told me. And, indeed, there seems to exist an unhealthy obsession among academics regarding their numbers of citations, impact factors, and numbers of publications. This leads to all sorts of nonsense, such as academics making “strategic citations”, writing “anonymous” peer reviews where they encourage the authors of the reviewed paper to cite their work, and gently trying to tell their colleagues about their recent work at conferences or other networking events or sometimes even trying to slip each other their papers with a “I’ll-read-yours-if-you-read-mine” wink and nod.

(7) Academia: The Violent Land of Giant Egos
Perhaps the most common manifestation of this is via peer reviews, where these people abuse their anonymity to tell you, in no ambiguous terms, that you are an idiot and that your work isn’t worth a pile of dung.

(8) Academia: The Greatest Trick It Ever Pulled was Convincing the World That It was Necessary
Perhaps the most crucial, piercing question that the people in academia should ask themselves is this: “Are we really needed?” Year after year, the system takes in tons of money via all sorts of grants. Much of this money then goes to pay underpaid and underappreciated PhD students who, with or without the help of their advisors, produce some results. In many cases, these results are incomprehensible to all except a small circle, which makes their value difficult to evaluate in any sort of objective manner.

Anonymous said...

Great video, especially the part concerning job history.

I have no scruples about lying to HR and would fake my employment history in a heartbeat, if I saw a way.

Unfortunately, you need employment reference letters here and faking something like that is punishable by prison.

It really is a shame that many great people who just had a bunch of bad luck are deemed untouchable by HR, just because they have a gap in their CV.

newrebeluniv said...

Our office hires only very highly qualified and experienced people. Then it uses them as gophers and menial assistants to people with authority. Huge waste of talent.

Anonymous said...

mts1 said:
"Does no one in hiring actually go by if the person can do the job anymore"

Probably because:

1) anybody can do the job.
2) there are more applicants than jobs.
3) HR ladies do the hiring and they screen applicants like they would screen dates.