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Career advice from the “pros”?

So, occasionally I get emails from Experience.com. I don’t know when this started happening—I think at the end of my first year I got home and found that they had sent me some junky mail, and happened to think it might be interesting, so it’s probably my own fault. I generally don’t read their emails, but occasionally they suggest an article or whathaveyou that might look interesting, so I read it. Often for the mocks. Sometimes they’re so simplistic, I have to assume my cohort is comprised mainly of idiots. Other times, they’re just funny in and of themselves.

Take this one by Rands Pantelones (you can find his own blog here), entitled A Glimpse and a Hook: Confessions of a Hiring Manager. It has some good advice: people are reading your resume fast; everyone knows buzzwords are going to be fudged, so don’t be an idiot and put down something you can’t talk about; etc. It’s also full of hypocrisy.

Take this paragraph:

Sound like a human. Here’s a doozy, this intern says he “planned, designed, and coordinated engineers efforts for the development of a mission critical system”. ZzzzzzzzzzZzz. What did this guy actually do? I honestly don’t know. Let’s call this type of writing style resume mumbo jumbo and let’s agree that usage of this style is tantamount to saying nothing at all.

Okay, probably not bad advice, right? Indeed, rather good advice, as not only is this lacking in concrete information, but it sounds down-right suspicious, doesn’t it? This is an intern, after all. I would be very inclined to take Mr. Pantelones seriously if only for one thing. He can’t take his own advice. The entire essay begins thus:

While hiring phenomenal teams is the most important thing I do, I’m balancing that task with the fact that I need to build product and manage the endless stream of people walking into my office.

Product? Product? What product, sir? Mumbo jumbo much? “Product” probably tops quite a few of those lists about office mumbo jumbo that people despise (I just can’t be bothered to find them right now).

Oh, and “hiring phenomenal teams” sounds like something that comes out of every recruiters’ and employers’ brochure to make themselves better and more important than they really are, so they will get our attention (ditto “endless stream”).

Rands suggests that he’s made some pretty bad hiring choices, and he does seem to love his mumbo jumbo, as much as he claims otherwise. So, if someone were treating his resume the way he argues all hiring managers do, would he get a job? I think all Experience.com readers should think about that when they’re wondering how much credence to give to his depiction of resume consideration. What a shame there’s no comments section on that site…

That being said, I think Mr. Pantelones is probably good at his job. He just goes to show how prevalent all the ‘mistakes’ (embellishment, mumbo jumbo, etc.) really are in the job market-place these days, and you sort of have to laugh a bit at the irony, don’t you?

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