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MSN UK demands handwritten letters
November 8, 2005 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Microsoft is frequently the brunt of jokes in the computer world - not always fair. But now, MSN UK is asking for an editor for their front page - and wants the application letters to be hand-written. Oh, if it only were a hoax, but no... It was in the Guardian, too.
posted by SharQ (35 comments total)

 
Worst FPP evah.
posted by zeoslap at 11:47 AM on November 8, 2005


Looks like that ad was placed by a third party doing contract work for MS.
posted by ducksauce at 11:48 AM on November 8, 2005


What part is the joke?
posted by wabashbdw at 11:50 AM on November 8, 2005


job plz kthxbi
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:53 AM on November 8, 2005


I thought having hand written resumes and letters of application was fairly common in Europe.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 11:58 AM on November 8, 2005


Oh, I get it. It is funny because Microsoft is a computer company...and hand-written means not on a computer. ROFLMSNBBQ!!

And actually, it looks like saying "(preferably handwritten)" is boilerplate language for every job posting on Websters.co.uk site. So, yeah...this is not funny.
posted by tpl1212 at 12:00 PM on November 8, 2005


Bear in mind that we generally give priority to handwritten letters of application (including details of current salary or earnings expectation) that are accompanied by full CV sent to our postal address.

Seems like a non-story to me.
posted by MrZero at 12:11 PM on November 8, 2005


Huh!!??

What is the FPP about?
posted by Wilder at 12:51 PM on November 8, 2005


Stop making fun, it was in the Guardian too.
posted by gagglezoomer at 1:11 PM on November 8, 2005


ROFLMSNBBQ!!

You mean "ROFLMSNBBBQ!!"
The extra B is for BYOBB.
posted by signal at 1:33 PM on November 8, 2005


What's the extra B in BYOBB stand for?

I'm only rolling with the punches here.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:35 PM on November 8, 2005


I thought having hand written resumes and letters of application was fairly common in Europe.

(A) Why?

(B) Guess I'll never get a job in Europe, because my handwriting is godawful. My grandma claims I was lefthanded but forced to learn to write with my right hand, though I don't feel left-handed.
posted by Foosnark at 1:46 PM on November 8, 2005


What's the extra B in BYOBB stand for?

It's a typo.
posted by Bort at 1:48 PM on November 8, 2005


Handwriting analysis?
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:49 PM on November 8, 2005


"The looping l indicates that this person is most likely a psychopath"
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on November 8, 2005


You mean "ROFLMSNBBBQ!!"

Roll On the Floor Laughing MicroSoft Network Bring your own bath beads BarBQue!!
posted by tpl1212 at 2:00 PM on November 8, 2005


What does CV stand for?
posted by odinsdream at 2:04 PM on November 8, 2005


Crazy Voodoo
posted by bachelor#3 at 2:07 PM on November 8, 2005


What does CV stand for?

Resume.
posted by Artw at 2:14 PM on November 8, 2005


Yep, it's more than likely being used for 'Graphology', better known as handwriting analysis. Graphology is not considered by most people to be a science, exact or otherwise, but it is gaining in popularity.

In the UK, around 3000 companies use graphology as part of their hiring practices (at least according to This article from the BBC.

According to some sources (meaning, companies that do analysis for money) say that between 55 and 80 percent of European companies use graphology, compared to 13% for the US.

On preview:

Odinsdream: CV is short for 'curriculum vitae', which is the term used by the british for 'résumé'. It's latin for 'course of life'. Résumé is a french word meaning summary. The only countries that really use the word résumé are the US and Canada. Even the French call it a CV.
posted by aristan at 2:19 PM on November 8, 2005


According to some sources (meaning, companies that do analysis for money) say that between 55 and 80 percent of European companies use graphology, compared to 13% for the US.

*head asplodes*

Is phreneology making a comeback, too?
posted by keswick at 2:22 PM on November 8, 2005


Reallllly? Interesting about the graphology being used in UK hiring... What I always found unusual in Germany/German-speaking countries (not sure if this overlaps elsewhere in Europe) is their insistence on attaching a photo to your resume.

Can you imagine a US company doing that? They'd be lynched by the first....umm........how to say without getting lynched myself?........"unconventionally pretty" person to be denied a job. (Insert bias here: anti-fat, anti-tattoo, anti-brunette and who the heck knows what else?)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:23 PM on November 8, 2005


keswick, of course not. That involves touching another human being. Do you have to be an employee to sue for sexual harrassment?
posted by aristan at 2:27 PM on November 8, 2005


bitter-girl: they do that 'recent photo' thing here in Chile, too. It's a race thing, lighter skinned person wins.
posted by signal at 2:31 PM on November 8, 2005


signal, couldn't you fake it with photoshop? I'm sure some enterprising news reporter has done just that investigative reporting piece... right?
posted by aristan at 2:37 PM on November 8, 2005


FWIW I've never had to handwrite a cover letter in the UK, and haven't heard of anyone I've worked with having to either.

(A good job as I'd be in trouble)
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM on November 8, 2005


(I think odinstream was most likely joking, for what it's worth.)
posted by nobody at 2:54 PM on November 8, 2005


Previously unsuccessful applicants should not reapply.
Dicks.
posted by boo_radley at 3:03 PM on November 8, 2005


Is crayon OK?
posted by Cranberry at 3:04 PM on November 8, 2005


I'm pretty sure CV stands for Crazy Voodoo.
The last place I interviewed at asked for my CV, and I gave them some crazy voodoo. I didn't get the job, but they said they'd keep my crazy voodoo on file.
posted by bachelor#3 at 3:18 PM on November 8, 2005


Despite the racist/uglyist minefield that asking for attached photos with CVs, it actually benefits folk, like myself with foreign sounding names.

So as much as I disagree with the practise, I'm confident that I'd be a degree less employable if it weren't there.

At a previous job, when CVs (without pictures) were coming in for a vacancy, I watched my boss literally bin any with South-Asian names. Lord knows how I got in there.
posted by armoured-ant at 3:57 PM on November 8, 2005


As a guy with an Asian name looking for a job, this scares me somewhat.

and as a UK'er, I've never heard of any job requiring hand-written letters. But I guess it seperates the Internet geeks from the real hardcore journos, which is what they seem to be looking for.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 5:13 PM on November 8, 2005


Can't you just print your CV in Comic Sans?
posted by kika at 7:28 PM on November 8, 2005


Wasn't there a photo manipulation site making the rounds months back that let you see how you would look with the typical features of another race...

I do recall, in the US, back when college applications required a photo, a black person was "accidentally" accepted because his skin tone was not apparent from the black-and-white photo he sent. There was a bit of a kerfuffle when he first showed up for class.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:07 AM on November 9, 2005


signal, couldn't you fake it with photoshop? I'm sure some enterprising news reporter has done just that investigative reporting piece... right?

actually, in Chile (and most of L.A.), actual skin-tone is just one factor. Overall, the point is to not look indian (in the indigenous people sense, not the India sense). This is harder to fake in photoshop, plus you'd get 'caught' at the interview.
posted by signal at 7:35 AM on November 9, 2005


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