Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Things to put on your resume...or not

I've often wondered about including PowerPoint on the list of computer applications that adorns my resume. This little item about the army's problems with a PowerPoint insurgency explains why.

Yes, I know. It's a keyword, and all Human Resources (HR) grunts live and breathe keywords. For many years, it has also struck me that no one in HR is capable of using any computer application. Observe the typical job description, and you'll notice that they include lists of apps presented without the least idea of what they do. Human Resources departments are notorious in IT circles for the common faux pas of requiring applicants to have five years' experience with a product that's been released for six months. That used to be funny, but the joke has grown stale.

When I see an unfamiliar product in a job description, I research it to see whether what I have is close enough to justify an application. I did this last week, and it turned out to be a piece of screen capture software.

I suppose IT hiring managers often are having a good time at the expense of HR, but can't we sit them down and explain a few things? All screen capture software I've seen (and I've seen plenty) works pretty much the same. The tweaks come in resolution, speed and things like that. People who have been around such products know what they want out of the product and, being doc people, actually read the manual.

Much the same is true of spreadsheet and database apps. The objectives are the same, the ways to get there are very similar and have been for a long time. [Commercial!] Mature workers know that, because we've seen many of these products come and go. However, someone of fewer years may not have seen any of these toys, ever. They don't have any more clue how to use them than the HR people who wrote the job description. Would it make sense to hire a few people who have seen it all before? Of course it would, but sense isn't in the HR job description.

Rant done: time for supper.


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