Let's do a random test, shall we? Here is the very first job on Dice.com in New York metro area.
- Systems Development
- Systems Analysis & Design
- Systems Operations & Support
- Knowledge of Cisco LAN/WAN infrastructure
- Knowledge of data center infrastructure
- Knowledge of Windows systems environment
- Knowledge of Network Appliance
- Knowledge of Brocade SAN infrastructure
- Strong understanding of Oracle (both 10g and 11g)
- Strong understanding of DB2
- SQL Server 2005
- Experience in logical and physical design of RDBMS
- Strong understanding of .net technologies
- COBOL/Mainframe programming
- Expertise in desktop software
- 270 Terminal Emulation
- Experience in implementing IT Service Level Agreements
- Experience in team management
- Experience in change and asset management
- WMS including Medicaid, SSI, and/or Food Stamps issuance
- Collaborative skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- SDLC Project Management
- Commitment to public service
And hey - you know what I "chuckle out loud" about? When pretentious blog authors talk about themselves in 3rd person:
Another way the about page is misleading is that it almost reads like he helped develop Visual Studio.Net, and only after re-reading carefully, is it discernable that he's saying that he was one of the first to use .NET in pre-beta. In the end, it does not say if he actually developed anything with it, if he still uses it, or what the point of telling us the previous information is. Overall, nothing states what he has actually accomplished with all of his "eight years of professional software experience", and that is the biggest problem of all in many resumes.
I'd say when you tally it all, you get more points than you lose by listing non-core skills. Technical managers are usually the very last in the process and if your resume gets rejected upstream, you don't get to impress or un-impress them at all. Personally, I have never had anyone question my non-core skills. People usually look at several most recent projects to get an idea of your actual strengths.
If submitting to Inittech Corporation, I submit a keyword-optimized resume guaranteed to please the screening software (then swear never to do that again...)
I've seen ads that had listings like this:
- Expertise in Oracle.
- Expertise in Data Mining.
- Must know SQL
Additionally, this article fails to recognise that in a lot of scenarios there are recruitment agents acting as middle-men.. It's happened to me in the past that I'm going for a quite specialised role and an agent has said to me "but you don't have HTML on your CV". Basically they have a list and they're indiscriminately checking it off. Poor - but it's an unavoidable part of the system.
Additionally - having technical people write job descriptions isn't the answer. Technical people could have a tendency to overemphasise specific technical points, whilst ignoring the (more important) fit into the team and other aspects...
So whilst you call them "HR Drones", if you have a good one, they'll produce an excellent job spec - after all - this is what they do.
It's not a great idea to assume that a HR drone will know nothing about the area he's recruiting in. A good HR guy will know all about it. Will know about trends & moods & jobs & projects.
As you say, it is what they do. I know many do it poorly. But I'm sure many do it well.
Seems to work quite well, the way I see it. I would really rather have people from the team that's hiring write the job description - it is beneficial for both parties. They get to specify precisely the position they want to fill (as opposed to casting a generic net), and I get to know a lot more about the job that I'm applying for.
When you're asking for all that crap, you're going to get applicants that want to prove they understand all that crap.
No, I am not an expert in all the things I have put into my skills section. However, I have enough experience with them to know that I can deal with them like an expert in no time (< 1 week).
In fact, I don't think there are "experts" for programming skills. These days, the job mostly requires digesting lots of documentation fast, for new libraries, new languages, new tools, whatever. It is unlikely even for an expert to be confronted with exactly the same problems as in the last job, even with the same underlying technolgies. So focussing too much on the skills section is counterproductive for employers.
I have TONS of languages and skills that have been put to the side and unused for some time simply due to the lack of need, but that doesn't mean I can't restore my former competency within hours of jumping feet-first back into that pool. I haven't written C++ for months now, but give me a few hours in front of a terminal with an interesting problem and it'll all come back.
And you know what, if I'm applying for a job with VB.NET, and having not worked with it for a while, you can bet your ass that I would have taken the time to refresh my skills before I step into that interview. The author is complaining about a non-issue.
Either that or here's a really novel idea: Attend and present at local networking events. Find your next cofounder or job there.
My example is at http://willarson.com/ , but its simple to make your own ( http://lethain.com/entry/2008/oct/18/r-i-p-your-resume-site-... ).
You need to include all those skills, because so much headhunting is done by automatic keyword searches. I usually include anything where I would be comfortable writing code of that technology on the whiteboard with minimal reference support. I've dropped some skills over time (eg. Perl, which I last used when I was 19), but I try to keep everything that I wouldn't mind taking a job in. Otherwise, your resume will tend to get dropped on the floor of HR's automated screening machines.
You don't lose it, you just get rusty. I haven't coded in C, C++ or Smalltalk in years. If I started again, it would take me a few days to get up to speed. But after then I'd be just as productive as I was.
But I still see the raw list of skills as nothing more than SEO optimization for keyword searches on job sites. I'd expect any competent hiring manager to skip right past that and focus on the specific details that I mention for each of my past positions.
I once interviewed a guy who had HTTP on his resume. Just for kicks I asked him to name 3 HTTP verbs. He could only name GET and POST. I know that's petty, but if a candidate is going to list something on their resume, they better know what the hell they're talking about.
The most atrocious phone interview I conducted, I could hear the guy Googling the answers to some of the questions I asked. Towards the end I asked what his experience was with DOA web-services. He of course responded that he knew all about them and was very "familiar" with them. I quickly ended the interview and said, "thanks, but no thanks."
These things don't work: using HR, resume databases, keyword searches, creating an overlong and too detailed list of requirements and then treating them as a checklist.
Yet, this is the approach taken by far too many companies. The result, of course, is a stack of resumes a mile high that each contain a list of as many buzzwords and skills as possible. How do companies expect to find a good match in all that?
The way out is simple. Create a simple resume, with a small focused set of "skills". Leave out anything that's irrelevant to what you actually want to do. Then send it to a small handful of companies that run reasonable adverts. There may be fewer such opportunities, but I think a focused approach works better in the long run.