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Hiring is such a hoot. I really enjoy reading everybody's cover letters, and trying to figure out what someone would be like to work with. Anyway, for your entertainment, here are some highlights from our hiring process:

"When I saw your job posting I jumped out of my seat with excitement, literally."

"Hi, my name is ____ and I’m applying for the position of your future employee of the year."

"At the risk of sounding immodest, I am very good at what I do." (This did not end up being true)

"I’m not one of those “tortured artist” types working on my next masterpiece without regard to the bottom line."


  • God, I cringed at #2.
  • I would like to think that most of these are because they are young/inexperienced, and not because they're self-centered tools.
  • Yeah, that's how I take it.
  • Just reached the point in the hiring process where we realized that what we asked for in the posting isn't realistic. Uh oh!
  • And now I'm suddenly getting applications from Lagos, Sri Lanka, and Dubai. How are these people finding my job post??
  • A series of tubes
  • Hot tip: do not sign your cover letter, "Have a Blessed Day!"
  • I wonder how Panic is faring...
  • Interesting. I'm pretty done with the whole Digital Project Management thing. After 8 years I'm ready for a big change. It's interesting have interviews for jobs so far below my general competency, but it's interesting...
  • "Thank you for considering my application and your time for having read this obscenely longwinded cover letter."

    (Was a short cover letter, as cover letters go.)
  • This is the kinda stuff that has always made the job looking process so insanely nerve racking for me. You are just doing your best, trying to tell the person what they want to hear while being honest enough to find a good fit, and maybe you write something that sounds good in a moment that someone then later puts up on a message board to make fun of. Maybe that person who told you to have a blessed day has a great fit out there and it just isn't you, but that is their way of being a little true to themselves in their application. Maybe the "obscenely longwinded" guy was just insecure and nervous because the whole job application process is pretty nerve racking and he is just understandably uncomfortable in the process like many people are. At least their trying. I don't know.
  • Some of it's just youth/inexperience. But I can't help but feel like, since the majority of these kids are coming out of some kind of grad program, are those programs doing everything they can to help them present professionally? Admittedly, I have handfuls of outstanding candidates with pitch-perfect cover letters and gorgeous porfolios. It's just surprising to me to see some people miss the mark right away.
  • You learn a lot by failing! Boy have I presented myself poorly in some job interviews. One time I bombed an on-campus interview so bad, I was so unprepared and looked like such a fucking jackass, and wasted their time, and so much of their money bringing me out there, and it was so, so humiliating. And I cried and cried after; the chair called me on the phone to tell me I "really need some mentorship" and that I was "not ready to be on the market." I thought I'd never recover! What a nightmare. But after that I spent a year cramming on all the shit I'd done wrong and it totally changed my life and brought me to my new research project and made me smarter and I learned how to present better, and now I have a job I like better than I would've liked that one anyway. So I don't know. I think failure--and being told that you failed--can be very helpful. And being laughed at behind your back when you do something stupid seems pretty normal, just like a normal part of human society. I laugh at my students behind their backs all the time and think I would probably go insane if I didn't; it doesn't mean I don't love them and respect their humanity

  • edited April 2016
    I guess. Seems different when you are laughing at people you know and care about behind their backs. When it's just some anonymous stranger's application it feels like a frat mean spiritedly making fun of someone who's not "In the know" or something.
  • edited April 2016
    Frat? Really? So no one should say anything negative or snarky about anyone who is "trying their best?" Why not? They can't hear us. They're not trolling this board looking to see if we're joking about phrases from their cover letters. Yes, if they knew we were poking fun they'd be bummed. BUT THEY DON'T KNOW! And UHX is a safe and anonymous-ish space for it's members to cheer and question and vent about their lives. No one is being harmed. Freddy is, I'm sure, treating all candidates professionally, which is exactly and only what she owes them. I AM SURE that I have been the butt of jokes about my woeful waitressing skills, the confusing homework I send, the loud stories I tell at staff parties, and on and on. Strangers, friends, family members... everyone talks shit sometimes. Mostly the person being talked about never knows or needs to- often because the shit talker gets it out of his or her system among friends so it doesn't have to escalate into a big weird thing. Other times, like in YT's case, they get called out directly and it's mortifying and they learn from it and move on.

    WE AS HUMANS talk shit sometimes. Big deal.
  • edited April 2016
    I didn't say people should never ever shit talk.
    Be shit talkers then.
  • great!
  • Shit.

    (just practicing)
  • Christ, Anelle, Christ Christ Christ!
  • edited April 2016
    Hey does anyone have advice on hiring temps?

    We have too much in flux organizationally with possible major staffing structure changes (that I'm majorly excited about) to commit to the full-time hire we were going to attempt right now, but we need to hire a part time admin person to deal with some very basic administrative tasks and box-checking so we don't do something dumb like forget to pay me.
  • Be nice to them?
  • watch them like a hawk, because, if my copious experience as a temp can attest, they will steal anything that isn't nailed down, and will also find surprising ways to take naps on the job
  • edited April 2016
    Maybe position it as a *very* well paid internship? An intern that feels well paid is probably a harder worker than a temp who feels normally paid.
  • What is the advice you want? How to hire quality without being able to guarantee job security? I like to be up front about that. When I hire temporary positions, I try to pay more than I absolutely have to so that I can get top-notch candidates, and to make it more appealing for them to stick it out instead of bailing at the first permanent opportunity. I also find that if you can devote some attention to making the position a resume builder - both in terms of experience/professional development and in terms of networking - you can often offset the temporary nature.
  • Yeah, this is kind of the way contractor work goes, so it seems like it should apply here. Contractors get paid way more because they are essentially freelancers.
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