Re: Employment history low points

Subject: Re: Employment history low points
From: "Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 11:15:08 -0800 (PST)

Kat wrote:
> Most of the companies I've dealt with in the last year
> have had a standard web-based form for resumes, similar
> to the resume wizard. This doesn't allow for
> much creativity in organizing your experience in anything
> but a rigid, detailed reverse-chronological format. Leaving
> blanks (or trying to enter a year-year range rather than
> exact month/year dates) in any field often generates errors
> that prevent submitting your resume to the company's database.

These systems are evil and applicant-hostile. To achieve their
evil, these forms depend on you following their rules, so don't
follow the rules. Use your knowledge of web forms and databases
to game the system.

Every system is different, but here are a few ideas I have used
successfully in the past.

1. Usually these systems will give you at least one text field
where you can enter anything you want. That's where you paste
your ASCII resume, and anything else that fits. Make sure the
URL for your REAL resume is near the top of the ASCII resume.

2. I have about six pages of pure searchbait text... IT-related
keywords (acquired from the option lists of other application
forms!). Paste that in too. Just make it clear it's not part of
your resume. You can also use Word's formatting features to
compress the searcbait into a dot-sized glyph on your Word

3. If the system forces you to pick one option when you'd rather
choose more than one, set up multiple accounts (one for each
option). For example if you are looking for work in a broad
geographical region, create multiple accounts with different
home addresses. I usually choose the address of the Mayor's
Office of Information in the city where I want to work :) If
necessary you can even fudge your name to achieve uniqueness --
Mis-spell your name and blame it on their system. Or add a comma
or a dot or two; if they read it they'll just think it's a

4. If there is a required field you don't want to fill out (say,
"Reason for Leaving"), pick the most innocuous option ("Other"
is usually available). If you have to enter text, enter a single

Remember, your audience isn't READING the stuff you type into
the application form. They are just searching for strings
embedded in it. Usually a junior-level person is assigned to
contact all the resumes that match a certain string. If they
contact you, send them a proper resume.

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