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July 26, 2012 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Just how many applications does a company recruiting on Craigslist have to wade through? It turns out that in 24 hours, for a basic full time job with benefits, the answer can be as high as 653.
posted by ChrisR (71 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Heh. Well if the qualifications are "has humanities degree and a pulse"...

(Craigslist being craigslist you can be assured some of the applicants lack one or both anyway)
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on July 26, 2012


I find that belivable. It's Craig's List.
posted by Mblue at 3:51 PM on July 26, 2012


When I was looking for a job in NYC, pounding Craigslist for intermediate-level clerical jobs was my main strategy (mainly because I had no professional network to speak of and my college could give fuck-all about an English grad.) I actually managed to get a bunch of interviews, but every single place that interviewed me had something horribly wrong with them: insurance that caps out at $1000 per year, an inability to inform people who are interviewing me that I am coming. Hell, I even asked a friend of mine, totally off-hand if he had ever head of one of the companies I interviewed for and it turns out they stiffed him on an invoice. I'm pretty sure if I kept going at the clip that I was -- about 20 resumes a day, or so -- I would've found a decent place.
posted by griphus at 3:52 PM on July 26, 2012


I was honestly surprised the number was so low until I realized it was only for 24 hours.

I remember talking with a bus driver a couple of years ago in Spokane (when that was my sole transportation, at the time), who turned out to be subbing, and among other things, worked in their hiring office for new drivers.

He was saying how, back in the 90s, early 2000s, if they opened a position, they could reasonably expect to see 5 applicants with their CDL.

At the time of conversation (probably in 2007 or 2008? I misremember), he said they could reasonably expect 5,000 applicants with a CDL.

It's a sign that we have an awful lot of people looking.
posted by Archelaus at 3:54 PM on July 26, 2012


Also, recently I had the privilege of looking at a bunch of resumes submitted for an intermediate-level Craigslist job.

Many, if not most of them were awful: bad formatting, bad grammar, full of typos, no relevant experience. The company which I was leaving also had me cycle resumes and the only thing that gave me hope while emailing out slightly modified cover letter template after template was that Sturgeon's Law easily applies to resumes as it does anything else.
posted by griphus at 3:55 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


A year ago my SO put up a help wanted for a ab tech on Craigslist, it got 700 responses in three hours, and then roughly one an hour every hour for the next week or so.

I don't know a single person who got thier job via a job listing. I don't understand how anything works anymore.
posted by The Whelk at 3:56 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I found this amazing "we accept job postings via API as valid JSON" company last night. Would definitely cut down on your applicant pool.
posted by mathowie at 3:57 PM on July 26, 2012 [24 favorites]


My experience on the hiring side is that if you get only a few applications, the ratio of good to bad will be ok. But as the number rises, the proportion of good applicants drops sharply.
posted by Forktine at 3:59 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "...help wanted for a ab tech..."

I would very much like an ab tech some days. (I think...I'm not sure I know what one would do.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:59 PM on July 26, 2012


I don't know a single person who got thier job via a job listing. I don't understand how anything works anymore.

Not only did I get a previous job via a job listing, it was from one of those computer printouts at the welfare office. It was a pretty good job, too.
posted by DU at 3:59 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Lab tech.

An ab tech is a really muscly research assistant.
posted by The Whelk at 4:00 PM on July 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I suspect this depends on the job and the location. A teaching position in the Ann Arbor area garners about 25 responses, total.
posted by HuronBob at 4:03 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This makes me feel better about the number of interviews I landed.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:05 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Uh yeah same shit, new decade. I ran the search for my replacement when I left my very first job out of school in like 2002, for a skilled position with non-generic requirements. Several hundred applications per day.

It's been the same all the subsequent times I've used craigslist. As the positions got more senior and specialized, the less and less we'd bother posting to a public site like CL, because the signal to noise ratio would be minuscule. The last few times I've been involved in hiring have all been through personal network leads.

(Your Industry May Vary)
posted by danny the boy at 4:05 PM on July 26, 2012


...I have a Master’s degree and employers are more likely to at least acknowledge my résumé because of this. (Well, I hope so.)

lulz
posted by mullacc at 4:06 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe some of the Bachelor’s group should just obtain graduate degrees?

Yes, because clearly not having a Masters in English like this guy is what's keeping those admin assistant jobs just out of reach.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:07 PM on July 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


...I have a Master’s degree and employers are more likely to at least acknowledge my résumé because of this. (Well, I hope so.)

lulz
posted by Mblue at 4:17 PM on July 26, 2012


I've been on the sending-out-résumés side of this for a few months, and it's completely terrifying. Seems like every non-spammy listing has as the first requirement, "already have had this job for five years."
posted by droob at 4:22 PM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


"But what of the Bachelor’s degree? The Associate’s? The High School Diploma? My guess: the lesser the degree, the less likely a possible employer will schedule an interview. But that’s just my guess, as I am not an HR representative of any sort."

He should really be showing his resume to someone who's in his target industry to get an opinion. I thought the same thing until I showed it to an industry pro (who also passed it along to someone he knows in HR). It wasn't my skills or degree, but the formatting, which didn't stand out very much. He and the HR person said I'd be on the top of the pile, which felt pretty good.
posted by hellojed at 4:23 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've gotten all my recent jobs via unsolicited approaches from recruiters, which can be a bit of a pain in the ass until you need one and the position actually matches your skills.
posted by Artw at 4:31 PM on July 26, 2012


For some jobs, over-qualification is definitely an issue. An older person with a lot of education is going to be very unsatisfied and probably not any better at filing papers than a young person without a lot of secondary schooling.
posted by maxwelton at 4:32 PM on July 26, 2012



He should really be showing his resume to someone who's in his target industry to get an opinion.


It sounds more like he is applying to all kinds of jobs (including those similar to the position he invented for the experiment) in cities where he does not live. I do not predict enormous success with this approach.
posted by Forktine at 4:40 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I live in a very rural area near a few medium sized cities and one large metropolitan area. I've gotten my past two of my last three jobs off of Craigslist. (Data note: I've had three jobs over the past two years. I have a very specialized degree but a very wide range of work experience.) I've also submitted and an insane amount of resumes. To hear both relevant employers tell it, I got both jobs by being 1) in the first one hundred 2) Not utterly insane on my phone and in-person interviews 3) really damn lucky. Sadly, other than word-of-mouth

I have no idea where else general folks go to find jobs anymore. Anything online seems to attract a crazy amount of applications, and provides nothing other than an unending stream of crap, insanity and spam for the potential employer, not to mention the applicant. Newspaper ads are nothing more than breeding grounds for scams, and the stuff provided my my local employment office was pulled directly from the same websites I can find on my own.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 4:43 PM on July 26, 2012


Well, that was depressing.
posted by zardoz at 4:45 PM on July 26, 2012


I don't know a single person who got thier job via a job listing. I don't understand how anything works anymore.

Every full-time job I've ever had I got through a listing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:51 PM on July 26, 2012


(The crazy thing is that, out of all the dozens of applications I've sent out in response to want ads, I've only ever had one interview that didn't lead to a job offer. Apparently I fit a very specific set of job criteria very well, and nothing else.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:53 PM on July 26, 2012


My first two "real" jobs were both through Craigslist.
posted by kmz at 4:54 PM on July 26, 2012


I don't particularly agree with his second conclusion. If random HR guy/gal is selecting based on experience and fit then they will be mulching through resumes looking for something of even a passingly good fit.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:56 PM on July 26, 2012


My strategy recently (and I just started a halfway decent job in an industry I like, but hadn't thought about before), was to simply send out actual physical resumes to a bunch of related companies at once. By doing things this way, I could compile a list of, for example, every credit union and bank in the area, and do a mail merge in OpenOffice to run off a stack of cover letters and envelopes (on the printer at my Mom's work shhhhhhhh!).

The whole thing is a numbers game. If you send out more resumes and cover letters, you will get more interviews. If someone gets a physical resume when all they've got is an inbox full of emails generated by their HR software, they'll notice you. If you express interest in a position that isn't open yet, someone might set your resume to the side of their monitor for when you are needed. If they need someone, but they haven't actually gone about posting it or scheduling interviews yet, you're golden, because they might just call you up and hire you if you're halfway qualfied and not a bag lady. It saves them the effort of conducting interviews and reading through a lot of boring resumes (this is less true at places that have dedicated hiring staff who must justify their existence by interviewing dozens of applicants and making their decisions mostly at random).

So...that's what I tried. As a recent grad, and desperate for anything to keep me in rent, gas, loan payments, and beer, I was a lot more flexible than a lot of people can be. I also had access to free printing and the technical savvy to know that mail merge exists (not how to do it, which is easy, but a lot of people are amazed that such a thing is real when I explain it to them, as if it were black magic. "My God! A letter-writing machine!").

</special-butterfly-time>
posted by LiteOpera at 5:04 PM on July 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


I often use Craigslist to (try to) hire models. I generally get several hundred responses - mainly from people who didn't read the ad and don't fit the description outlined in the casting call. I've found a few reliable people through CL, but ultimately I generally end up hiring through an agency instead.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:09 PM on July 26, 2012


Bah, those numbers are garbage. I got way more applicants when I posted offering a great job with minimal requirements on Casual Encounters w4m.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 5:09 PM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


DU: "I don't know a single person who got thier job via a job listing. I don't understand how anything works anymore.

Not only did I get a previous job via a job listing, it was from one of those computer printouts at the welfare office. It was a pretty good job, too.
"

Same here.

CL is fine for job hunting when you can sniff out the scams. Also, employers could do themselves a big favor by offering a fare wage ($11.00/hour for an A+ computer tech? Fuck off) and/or not using flowery, bullshit dotcom-speak in their job descriptions. Reading half of those tech postings gives me a headache and glassy eyes. Cut to the chase and tell me what you want in oh, 12000 words or less.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:10 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know a single person who got thier job via a job listing. I don't understand how anything works anymore.

I've only once gotten a job by responding to an ad. Every other job I have had has come through some mixture of networking, contacts, and clawing my way in the door by sheer force of will. Now that I'm doing a certain amount of hiring and I'm looking at a big stack of applicants in response to an ad, if someone I know and trust has taken the time (and put their own reputation on the line) to say "So-and-so is applying, they are a great person and I wish I could hire them myself," that applicant is almost as good as hired.

The time I put into hiring would also be a lot easier if people did not do what I've seen suggested here and elsewhere -- applying blind to jobs in fields you don't know about, don't have experience in, and don't meet the qualifications for. The numbers of those people have gone way up recently, and it's both a pain and honestly kind of dispiriting to wade through those applications. I guess that like herbal viagra spam emails, some small percentage of them must pay off, so they are worth sending out, but I just don't buy that it is the best use of anyone's time.
posted by Forktine at 5:21 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I found this amazing "we accept job postings via API as valid JSON" company last night. Would definitely cut down on your applicant pool.

Applied.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 5:23 PM on July 26, 2012


I just posted a listing for an entry level/intermediate office job for my firm on Craigslist earlier this week, and have actually been surprised at how few applications I've gotten in response. It's a fairly paid office job with no over the top requirements in terms of experience/skills, and yet, I've gotten less than a hundred responses. I have a feeling my boss's requirement of a high GPA from a top university is what's whittling down the numbers. He also requires an unofficial or official transcript too, having been burned by a previous assistant who just flat out lied about his qualifications. Still, I've gotten a fair number of applications missing the required documents or from people who just did not read/respond to the actual requirements, and those go straight to the trash folder.

What's really depressing is the number of people applying who are wildly overqualified: people with Masters or JD degrees, even one PhD. We're a small office, and all we really need is an extra body to help with the admin/clerical stuff, so no, the Master's degree doesn't make you stand out in a good way.
posted by yasaman at 5:37 PM on July 26, 2012


Heh. Well if the qualifications are "has humanities degree and a pulse"..

Not even - the ad doesn't even request a degree and says they are willing to train you in "filing, copying, answering phones, sending e-mails, greeting clients, scheduling appointments."
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 5:44 PM on July 26, 2012


I found this amazing "we accept job postings via API as valid JSON" company last night. Would definitely cut down on your applicant pool.

Applied.
Got the interview:

Hi Tyler,

Thank you for you interest in Parse. We would like to schedule a 1 hour technical phone screen with you next week. Please respond with several time slots that you are available. Keep in mind that you will need computer access for the duration of the call. Thanks!

posted by tylerkaraszewski at 6:01 PM on July 26, 2012 [23 favorites]


He also requires an unofficial or official transcript too...

Yeah, if it's a entry level clerical position, that requirement would strike me as a "the person who put this ad up is insane." No offense to your boss, of course, but I can see why people aren't applying.
posted by griphus at 6:18 PM on July 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


90 to 95 percent of those applications are probably miles off.

That leaves 35 to 70 really good candidates.

Why it's hard to find a job these days, episode 7135.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:18 PM on July 26, 2012


I'm a little amazed that anyone has found a legitimate job opening via Craigslist, much less gotten the job. Here in Austin, their listings for general receptionist/admin type jobs are nearly 100% "multi-level marketing" and "sales appointment scheduling" and similar scammy bullshit.

I guess it's probably better for more specialized or skilled positions. (If you're running a scam, why would you insist that your marks need to know how to program or have a CDL or whatever?) But for someone looking for a basic unspecialized foot-in-the-door gig, their job list seems like a terrible waste of time.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:19 PM on July 26, 2012


Yeah Tyler... that's super cool. Good luck!
posted by ph00dz at 6:20 PM on July 26, 2012


... not using flowery, bullshit dotcom-speak in their job descriptions.

Had I the time and inclination, I would doctor up a fake resume to impress whoever put such an ad up, and then show up to the interview wearing leather pants, covered in dried vomit, and strung out on heroin.

"It said 'rockstar,' didn't it?"
posted by griphus at 6:20 PM on July 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Now that I'm doing a certain amount of hiring and I'm looking at a big stack of applicants in response to an ad, if someone I know and trust has taken the time (and put their own reputation on the line) to say "So-and-so is applying, they are a great person and I wish I could hire them myself," that applicant is almost as good as hired.

I think there is an awful lot of this. I recently transitioned into a new job, first by securing a secondment with a client of my law firm, and then applying for a position that opened up while I was there. No one in the entire process (other than some HR folks who were not doing anything other than collecting documents) saw my resume. I was recommended for the secondment position by a partner in the firm, and once I had my foot in the door and did decent work, I think it was just a hell of a lot easier to hire me full-time than to interview a bunch of external candidates.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:25 PM on July 26, 2012


He also requires an unofficial or official transcript too, having been burned by a previous assistant who just flat out lied about his qualifications.

I have seriously considered doing this. I saw an ad on some online jobs site for the Bay Area (not Craigslist) looking for a door-opener at an apartment building in downtown SF, and having at least a Bachelor's was a requirement.

Let me repeat that again: you have to have a fucking college degree to be qualified to open doors. I briefly considered sending a trolling resume saying how I had majored in Portal Studies at Wesleyan and in fact I open doors pretty much on a daily basis. But in the end I just decided it wasn't worth the effort. But you can be damn sure that I wouldn't have felt bad lying about having a degree.
posted by MattMangels at 6:25 PM on July 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm hiring for a mid to high level software developer at a cool company with nice perks in flyover country. I've posted the listing on CL and received 8 resumes in 2 weeks with 1 single, almost qualified candidate, 1 wildly overqualified candidate and the others should've done a better job reading the description.

I've received more emails from recruiters want to fill the position with their "candidates."
posted by Jacob G at 6:28 PM on July 26, 2012


Maybe some of the Bachelor’s group should just obtain graduate degrees?

About a year ago I interviewed candidates for an entry level software engineer position who would be working on my team. (This for a pretty prestigious company so adjust "entry level" up just a shade for that.) Unfortunately I did not select the candidates who would be interviewed -- the manager who did that chose from among the set with the highest degrees -- i.e., all Ph.Ds in CS. I thought this approach was terrible but there was no talking him out of it, though ultimately we did manage to get a look at his resume stack and found two B.S. candidates who looked right and demanded he include them as well.

The Ph.Ds were by far the worst candidates from a practical standpoint; the could not spot obvious bugs in first-year-level code, were unimaginative, and only got animated when reciting things they had learned by rote. Thinking on their feet came really hard to them. The very best by far "only" had a B.S., and we couldn't get him; someone else made him a better offer.

I realize there is a huge selection bias here and I don't draw general conclusions. But my specific conclusions about why this particular set worked out the way it did, which may reflect a common pattern:

The B.S. guy was talented and hardcore and left school to get busy in the real world as quickly as he could; that showed in a thousand ways and people wanted him. The PhDs were the ones who were perennially having trouble finding a job so kept re-upping their student loans and going back to school for more degreein'. (We ultimately hired the other B.S.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:52 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's been my experience, as a non-stupid with a relatively useless humanities-ish degree, that Craigslist is a great place to find jobs that pay between $10-12/hour and have no benefits (I've found two of them, very recently).

And sadly, as I'm getting into my 30's, I'm slowly realizing that I might not make much more than that in my life, unless by some miracle.

And as anecdotal evidence, every other job I've ever had, and ever job I've had to do the hiring for has totally gone to someone who a trusted-coworker vouched for. I was pretty sure this is the only way anyone ever got jobs until recently.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:59 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


you have to have a fucking college degree to be qualified to open doors

The degree is probably less about the qualifications relating to the actual work but about the soft skills a degree implies. It used to be that graduating High School required some proficiency - show up every day, behave responsibly, learn to read and write, and speak eloquently. Now it requires that you show up most of the time, usually on time, or have a parent that's willing to make a fuss. A bachelor's became what a HS diploma used to be... only that's moving up, too - I've read essays from students that passed college composition that are terrible. They balk at any hint of criticism.

To your point, I recently worked with two individuals with Master's who could not understand that, due to safety hazards, the door to the lab needed to be kept closed at all times. So despite M.S.'s these dudes did not actually know when to open and close doors.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 7:02 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Needs a Sha Na Na tag.
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:03 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The PhDs were the ones who were perennially having trouble finding a job so kept re-upping their student loans and going back to school for more degreein'.

A PhD in the sciences does not incur student debt; it is generally fully funded with a stipend. After years of specialized research, though, it is indeed possible to become worse at instantly solving toy problems based on things you learned as an undergrad.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 7:07 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


After years of specialized research, though, it is indeed possible to become worse at instantly solving toy problems based on things you learned as an undergrad.

Understood; bear in mind I have to shortchange my description of the interview process here -- so A) I'll just ask you to trust we're not entirely stupid and were looking for insight and skill in a lot of different ways and are not unperceptive, and B) you're right, and that bears out my position that the manager was being stupid in valuing "higher" degrees for an entry level position: an advanced degree isn't simply a higher point on a linear qualification scale. Which is one of the points I was making in response to the "just go get a more advanced degree" comment.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:17 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


CS is kind of culturally weird, too, about things like education and credentials. Compared to other technical fields, it still puts way less emphasis on that stuff.

Hell, not that long ago, people looked at a BS in computer science the way you're looking at a Ph.D. — "Why bother, kid? If you had any brains or ambition, you'd have dropped out and gone to work for some startup by now!"
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:21 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


CS degrees mainly seem to qualify you to solve whiteboard problems you get given in CS-orientated interviews and which, for me as a web orientated developer, never come up in real work ever. It drives me batshit.
posted by Artw at 7:35 PM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


The company that I work for doesn't bother advertising for candidates much because you just don't seem to be able to find anyone qualified that way. We pretty much just find people via employee referrals.
posted by octothorpe at 7:46 PM on July 26, 2012


(I also suck at trivia tests. Between that and not being able to pull a linked list out of my ass I've lost out on more than a few positions that I'd probably do great in. )
posted by Artw at 8:13 PM on July 26, 2012


To your point, I recently worked with two individuals with Master's who could not understand that, due to safety hazards, the door to the lab needed to be kept closed at all times. So despite M.S.'s these dudes did not actually know when to open and close doors.

Safety violations in laboratories are a thing. Ph.D.'s and M.D.'s do things like not closing doors, too.
posted by mlis at 8:31 PM on July 26, 2012


I had an experience similar to griphus' about a year ago, reading resumes for an IT job. I felt a little better about holding my own against the whippersnappers should I find myself competing for a job down the road but we did find two great candidates and hired one with good results. Most resumes were terrible in various ways; one barely qualified applicant listed his jobs in ascending chronological order,leading with a fast food gig at the top. I felt bad reading the worst and also entertained the idea of helping folks edit their resumes for at least a few minutes. We got a lot of super over qualified Mandarin speakers with engineering or mathematics backgrounds requesting 2-3x what we were offering and a few CIO / director types including a former manager of mine. This was an entry level position and it was an interesting and somewhat unsettling and depressing experience.
posted by lordaych at 8:36 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


(I also suck at trivia tests. Between that and not being able to pull a linked list out of my ass I've lost out on more than a few positions that I'd probably do great in. )

99% certain the Parse.com technical interview posted above is going to require you to answer something about a red/black tree.

I've found that companies that are more client focused (do software development for clients) ask realistic questions that see if you can get work done. Companies that do work internally ask the hard CS questions.

The problem is that client focused companies come to you with impossible deadlines and a smile.
posted by geoff. at 9:03 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got a job from USENET once. Once.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:00 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


The company that I work for doesn't bother advertising for candidates much because you just don't seem to be able to find anyone qualified that way.

Yeah, this is pretty much how my employer works as well. The only exception is job postings to the 'career center' of a few colleges where we do direct recruiting (go to job fairs, do on-site interviews, etc.). So there are basically two paths in: get hired directly out of college or via a personal referral.

This works really well from the perspective of the employer; it gets a much higher percentage of qualified applicants than I'm sure they'd get through a public posting. The downside is missing out on a lot of potentially qualified applicants who don't have access to the career center of one of the schools we recruit at, and also don't know anyone personally. But given limited resources to review resumes, it's not a surprising tradeoff. Even though it's practically a seller's market if you have hard IT skills, anyone putting a posting out publicly gets so deluged (in large part, by unqualified or questionably-qualified respondents) that it tends to invert the situation.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:18 PM on July 26, 2012


I got a job from USENET once. Once.

Had a sudden Johnny Dangerously flashback just now. Dang.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:31 AM on July 27, 2012


Had I the time and inclination, I would doctor up a fake resume to impress whoever put such an ad up, and then show up to the interview wearing leather pants, covered in dried vomit, and strung out on heroin.

Where do you keep your vomit encrusted leather pants the rest of the time?
posted by DigDoug at 4:38 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Increasingly I see CL postings that include some sort of shibboleth built into the message, such as telling how you like your eggs cooked in the first sentence. With so many unqualified responses you have to do something to make it easier to prune the list.

For my part, I've found it incredibly hard to get traction applying for small contract programming gigs. Years ago I could expect to get some dialog and win an acceptable fraction of the projects I inquired about. I've given up on all but the I-was-born-for-this-task projects because it goes into a black hole.

For what is worth, when I post to CL for some manner of labor assistance I respond to everyone. Mostly it is let them know that I have selected someone and I thank them for writing. The job market is terrible, but you can lift people's spirits a little by giving them the courtesy of answering their pitch.
posted by dgran at 7:46 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's awesome tylerkaraszewski on securing the interview. Let us know how it goes. I think it's pretty exciting that this thread lead to an interview.
posted by Carillon at 8:59 AM on July 27, 2012


Yeah, if it's a entry level clerical position, that requirement would strike me as a "the person who put this ad up is insane." No offense to your boss, of course, but I can see why people aren't applying.

I can definitely see that, and I know some applicants are put off by the transcript requirement. My boss puts a bizarre amount of weight on the transcripts and what they show about an applicant's skills and strengths. I wasn't too put off by the requirement since when I applied for my job here, I was also in the midst of applying to a bunch of federal jobs that required an unofficial transcript to qualify for the appropriate grade.

Which, talk about a byzantine, inexplicable, and opaque application process. I have no idea how anyone gets a job through USAjobs or what it takes to get to the interview stage for your average GS-5 position. I still apply when something comes up that seems like it would be a good fit for me, but no amount of careful tailoring of my resume and questionnaire responses to hit the qualifications/requirements word for word seems to do anything. I almost prefer applying to Craigslist postings, at least there I can be reasonably certain my resume will at some point reach human eyes.
posted by yasaman at 10:12 AM on July 27, 2012


I have no idea how anyone gets a job through USAjobs or what it takes to get to the interview stage for your average GS-5 position.

It's the same as most other jobs; you know somebody. The only difference is with Federal jobs, they're legally required to post them on USAJobs, so they do, and then I assume they just circular-file all the incoming resumes except for the person they intended to give the job to in the first place. This is hilariously obvious in some of them, where the requirements boil down to "have somebody else's resume" pretty much down to their junior-high dogwalking gig.

(See also: government contracting and the RFP process.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:24 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


/Ponders converting resume to JSON. (Not because I need a job, but because it would be cool.)
posted by bendy at 12:18 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have no idea how anyone gets a job through USAjobs or what it takes to get to the interview stage for your average GS-5 position.

For what little it's worth, I do know someone who applied with no connections for a federal job and got it. The entire process took most of a year, but there was a happy ending. But I'd agree with Kadin2048, in that I know a lot more people in the federal system who got in the regular way, where a position was flown with them in mind and the other applicants had no hope.

Particularly in situations where it is hard to fire people, it makes sense to be a lot more cautious on the hiring side. The easy way to do that is to rely on personal contacts and recommendations, but the downside is that you are pretty much guaranteed to hire people who look just like you and your peers -- this is part of how workplaces can end up entirely male, for example, without anyone involved having the slightest intention of creating a biased hiring process.
posted by Forktine at 12:25 PM on July 27, 2012


I'm kind of surprised that the thread hasn't gotten to the point of whether it's OK for this kid to post fake jobs on Craigslist. If five hundred of the resumes he received took five minutes to prepare and the other 153 took half an hour each, then he wasted 118 hours of other unemployed peoples' time writing his little article. I don't think that's OK at all.

What if he'd called a couple of HR departments and asked to participate in a first run-through of applications for a real job? He could have gotten answers to all his "I'm not an HR person so I don't know how much this matters" questions and some real insights from people who repeatedly post real jobs and deal with the real-world mess that hiring in the Craigslist and Monster.com era has become.

Heck, maybe he'd even have impressed them into offering him a job! Instead, he's sharing an account of deception, shoddy journalism, and poor ethics. Not cool.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 12:38 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I spent three years working professionally with resumes (and the people who wrote them) and still help out my friends when they ask. There was absolutely nothing in that ad that would take someone a half-hour to tailor a resume for. It's (purposefully) completely generic and just about every single clerical resume would fit that ad like a glove. Anyone who did take a half-hour to prepare their resume has considerably worse job-hunting issues than replying to a fake Craigslist ad.
posted by griphus at 6:20 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Griphus, let's stipulate that you and your clueless clients never customize your perfect generic resumes and either don't write a cover letter or send an unmodified generic cover letter ontop of it, and the whole process takes exactly five minutes.

(You guys are also the applicants who get shitcanned in the first round when there are 653 applications for a position. Nice work, "professional" resume consultant!)

The only way you get considered in a job search like this is by sounding like a real human being that actually visited the employer's website and actually modified her application to reflect a potential fit between the real human being and the real job. I'm guessing that at least a small proportion of the applicants for this fake position were aware of that.

But let's call me wrong and figure that all 653 applicants wasted only five minutes of their lives finding, reading, and responding to this guy's fake job application. And let's value their lives at the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.

That's still 54 hours and $395 of wasting other people's lives for a blog post. Which is still my point.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 8:03 AM on July 31, 2012


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