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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Must One Lie To Be Hired?

I have never lied on my resume, nor have I ever knowingly misrepresented my achievements on a job application.

The structure of the modern hiring process, though, makes me wonder if lying about one's qualifications is not almost mandatory in order to get past the initial, mostly non-human, screening process. 

I have facility in many areas, but expertise in only a few--must I say I am all-around perfect in order to be considered for even the most humdrum work?  I filled out three job applications online today, two for lower-level administrative positions, and I was immediately informed that I did not meet the basic requirements, though I claimed, accurately, that I'd worked in such positions for 5-8 years, and was more than familiar (but not fluent) in the Microsoft Office Suite.  Who, pray, are they interviewing and hiring?

One of my friends who worked for the federal government told me not long ago that they'd had to "let go" several new hires for lying on their resumes.  I was horrified then, but now I understand the temptation (not that I will succumb to it)--why tell the truth when there's no reward for it, and when in fact being straight-forward about yourself counts against you?  And many of the questions about qualifications assume applicants know all the jargon and acronyms, whereas people like me would probably be very good at the work, but aren't (yet) familiar with the specific subdialect, and so can't respond affirmatively.

I am very discouraged.  There are no openings for Russianists at any of the government contractors whose websites I have visited (they are still hiring for Iraqi Arabic specialists!).  Our national CEO has dismissively declared the Federation to be merely "a regional power", simultaneously displaying a horribly shortsighted viewpoint and an unwarranted faith in the strength of his own eloquence.  And I am still unemployed.  And as far as I've been able to find out, NONE of the things I've consigned either online or in stores have sold in the past couple of weeks!  At least when Winston Churchill (not that I'm at or will achieve his level) was "in the wilderness" during the Chamberlain administration, he was producing publishable material--I've not written a new cover letter for the "Two Motherlands, Two Fatherlands" manuscript yet this year!  Dear Lord, let me accomplish something worthwhile.

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