Fun_People Archive
3 Sep
A guide to understanding Usenet help-wanted ads

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed,  3 Sep 97 12:05:11 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: A guide to understanding Usenet help-wanted ads

Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Forwarded-by: (Guy Harris)
From: (Rich Kulawiec)

Reading the various job-related newsgroups while searching for employment
can be frustrating at times -- there are mis-posted articles, duplicate
articles, articles without relevant subject lines, get-rich-quick spams,
and a hundred other annoyances.

I can't help you with those.  However, I can help you to understand the text
of some of the less intelligible help-wanted articles.  Enclosed below are
(1) direct quotes from articles which have appeared in
with (2) a translation of what the author actually meant to say.  The
company and personal names have been elided to protect my future job
prospects, if any remain after this gets posted.

Rich Kulawiec

This is not, repeat, not a position for an academic-type of internet hacker.
Rather, it is a need for a solid business applications developer type.

	"Even though we are trying to implement a cutting-edge
	web-based system, we are unaware that the academic community is
	precisely the place that such systems originated, and where a
	lot of the people who know how about them can be found. We
	would prefer to hire someone who still finds spreadsheets and
	accounting software exciting."
Due to the volume of expected responses, we are only able to contact
candidates who qualify for this position.

	"Although sending an e-mail response to a received cover letter
	and resume would only a take a few seconds, we are too busy to
	indulge in this basic, common courtesy. We're also not smart
	enough to automate the process. Guess you'll never know if we
	received and read your resume..."
HOT! Call today!

	"My project is a mess and I need to hire someone immediately
	who can either bail me out, or, by virtue of being the latest
	hire, take the blame."
Candidates should be able to start work immediately.

	"Don't bother giving a reasonable amount of notice to your
	current employer.  Of course, should you ever leave our firm,
	we'll expect 90 days notice.'
No relocation assistance available.

	"We're cheap. We think so little of you that we won't even pick
	up the $2K it'll cost to move your 1-bedroom apartment's worth
	of furniture 400 miles."
(Requires X years experience with Y, with X > than the number of years that
Y has existed, e.g.)

Wanted: Expert Java programmers, 5+ years experience

	"We're clueless, but very easy to impress."
Applicant must have a minimum of 10 solid years working as [...] Submit
cover letter, resume, and transcript to [...]

	"Even though this is a field where the technology turns over
	every three years, we think how you did in Organic Chemistry in
	college over a decade go has some relevance to your

	"Please teach us where the CAPS LOCK key is."
(Very short ad, with entire copy consisting of:)

Wanted: Unix/C programmers.

	"We think you're so hungry that you'll jump at any job with
	this in the title, even though we list no other qualifications,
	don't tell you what kind of work you'll be doing, or even where
	we're located."
[...] implementing new system on VAX/VMS platform with DECNET [...]

	"We still think VMS and DECNET are hot technologies and that
	this Unix and TCP/IP fad will be over any minute. you
	think we could get Ken Olsen?"
Skills: Pearl, Linus, Seashell, [...]

	"We're really clueless."
Title: Senior Unix Administrator
Location: New York City.
Salary range: $30-$45K.

	"We think you're really clueless."
Please submit resumes in Word format with subject "Lead Unix Admin" to:

	"Even though we are looking for a senior Unix person, we are so
	brainwashed by Microsoft that it didn't dawn on us that Word is
	a proprietary format used by a word processor almost completely
	avoided by Unix people."
[...] interfacing the Web with legacy systems including mainframes [...]

	"We want you to take the hottest technology available and
	shackle it to hardware and software that were obsolete before
	you graduated from college.  Don't worry, this will not damage
	your career."
Ability to carry pager and perform after-hours and weekend work required.

	"We're too cheap to actually hire as many qualified people as
	we need, so we're going to try to squeeze unpaid overtime out
	of you and everyone else on the staff at the expense of your
	personal lives."
You will work in a team with 2 or 3 other people in a fast-paced
environment. Adherance to strict deadlines is critical as well as the
ability to learn and be innovative.

	"We're behind schedule. Really behind schedule. We'd like to
	convince you to join these other poor bastards in hell."
Are you a programmer on a legacy/mainframe system and want to transition
your career into something new? Well the [...] Group, Inc. is looking for
mainframe programmers with experience in COBOL, DB2, IMS, CICS, and others.

	"Didn't bother to keep your skillset current? We think we can
	now hire you at a bargain rate because you'll do anything in
	order to get yourself retrained on technology from this decade."
New York System Integration company has short and long term needs for Sun
Unix admins. Competency Level 1500 and 2000 especially sought.

	"We think that you'll know what somebody's skill assessment
	system for Unix administrators will mean, even though we didn't
	bother to tell you here.  Bonus if you're clairvoyant."
(Entire text of ad, excluding boilerplate)

Position available for a *very* senior internet expert. Should have a very
solid education, experience and the potential to be an industry leader.
Position details are confidential, for qualified candidates only.

	"In fact, the position details are so confidential, that we
	haven't bothered to tell you just what sort of skills we're
	looking for (routers? protocols?  operating systems?
	programming? web site development? all of them?), where this
	position is located, or what it's responsibilities might be.
	Even though we've provided you next to nothing to go on, we
	expect you to figure out whether or not you're qualified. And
	since we're one of the companies that doesn't do applicants the
	courtesy of acknowledging resumes, you'll never know if you
	guessed wrong."
(Entire text of ad)

Subject: Need 20 Hardware and Software Engineers 2-10 years of experince

100k + Relocation Paid H1 visa ok

Our client is a big Semiconductor Company in Silocon Valley. Please email
your resume to [...] or fax it at [...] RELOCATION PAID H-1 VISA OK

	"Not only can't we take the time to provide any information
	about the positions, or the requirements that applicants are
	expected to have, we can't spell."
(Entire text of ad)

Subject: Wanted: HEAVY C++/UNIX/GUI APPLICATIONS DESIGNER - read on [1/1] 4


BEGIN --- CUT HERE --- Cut Here --- cut here --- read on

begin 644 read on
END --- CUT HERE --- Cut Here --- cut here ---

	"We're going to have the person we hire to teach us how
	and when to use uuencode."

Copyright Rich Kulawiec,, 1997.

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