Wednesday, June 17, 2009

online presence

Listened to a story on NPR this morning about the modern job search. They said using LinkedIn and having an online presence is essential. They also said it can be difficult to take seriously anyone who sends in a paper resume. My wife uses Facebook all the time, I'll have to get her to use LinkedIn as well, apparently. She's looking for a job as a teacher. Of course, I doubt school administrators are LinkedIn. After all, they still think the same way they did in the 1950's. More on that later, complaining about the miserable state of the education system is one of my favorite soap boxes.

I recently was involved in a hiring process. It was for an intern and it was part of an organized program, so I'm not sure how similar that is to a normal full time hire. But it consisted of picking from a list of candidates on an internal SharePoint site, reviewing the electronic resumes that had been attached, and arranging interviews. The resumes were traditional resumes, just in electronic form.

One of the things that bothered me a little bit about that process was there was a minimum GPA requirement for the program. That doesn't seem right. Personally, I would rather not even know a candidates GPA. Because it's a basically meaningless number. So you can jump through the hoops and fit the higher educational mold of testing. So what? What does that have to do with skills you need in the real world? Nothing. I was talking to a relative who is a manager at another company and he said he never even considers anyone with below a certain Grade point average. That's just stupid, I see no reason why that would benefit either the employer or the candidates. It's just a lazy way to narrow down the list of potential candidates. Especially considering college is just a money making scheme that does very little to prepare you for your actual career.

Just so you know: I was one of those people who considered a C a failing grade and rarely saw a B. My grade point was 3.7 something. I fit the educational mold of testing. My experience was that as long as you showed up to class, payed attention, and made sure you completed the graded assignments, you would get at least a C and in most cases an A or B. But some people don't test well or aren't willing/able to pay attention and get work done. Or perhaps have some sort of learning disorder. Should those people be punished by being excluded from job market?


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