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Re: [xml-dev] Urgently need a reality check on the job market forXMLdevelopment

9/20/01 4:52:24 PM, Ronald Bourret <rpbourret@rpbourret.com> wrote:
>Add to that a proven ability to quickly learn new skills. Personally, I
>wouldn't want to work for a company that hires based on skill set,
>except at a minimal level, nor have I ever hired anybody on that basis.
>HR departments generally seem incapable of understanding this -- they
>tend to screen for specific words that they don't even understand (XML,
>Java, Fortran, Widgety-Wodgety 2000 Bobble Processor) -- but a good
>engineering manager knows it, so try to route your resume around HR if
>at all possible.

That's probably because it's fairly easy to determine a candidate's skill set by doing an SQL 
query against a table derived from an OCR scan of his/her resume.  Determining the important stuff 
requires an experienced human to read the resume, and humans with the right kind of experience to 
do this cost money.

>Also, the job dates on your resume should tell the reader more about the
>economy than you, and anybody who dings you for it probably isn't worth
>working for.

Once again, no existing database engine that I can think of can understand the economy.  The idea 
that job longevity primarily reflects desirable character traits on the part of the candidate 
rather  than external factors like the state of the economy is a pretty well-ingrained one in a 
country that regards itself as a land of unlimited opportunity.  When the startup someone works 
for goes belly-up, we still speak of that someone as having "lost his job" as if he just couldn't 
cut it.  In fact I suspect that most of us, if we had the choice between a candidate coming from a 
profitable operation and one coming from an operation that went bust due to an unrealistic 
business model, would have to make a conscious effort *not* to favor the one from the successful 
operation, even though probably none of us can name a startup that went bust due to poor quality 

What's really happened, of course, is that the job market itself has changed fundamentally in the 
past couple decades, but the understanding of many decision-makers is still stuck in the period 
between the end of WWII and the first oil crisis.  Back then, the probability that "left job after 
six months" meant "fired for inappropriate job behavior" was pretty high.

One thing that *could* be derived from an SQL query against the OP's resume is that if the company 
hired a lot of people like him, their group health premiums would probably rise sharply.  Of 
course, it's not *legal* (unless you're a state government) to practice age discrimination based 
on that, but how do you prove it?