Back into view III

What is the difference between those two statements?

‘Demonstrated ability to manage own workload proactively and to work to multiple deadlines’

‘Good at managing own time and workload’

Tautology, no? Would you expect both to crop up on the same job application form? Well, when university HR denizens generate these things, nothing surprises me anymore. But it still exasperates, nonetheless. (By the way, the subject of my previous rant along these lines did actually result in an interview. Which was very nice… but they didn’t appoint… anyone.)

Never mind that the repetitively sectioned skills descriptions boxes do not tally with the Job Description and Person Specifications. Such that you are not exactly sure which position you are actually applying for. Moreover, all skills being now considered ‘Essential’; merely ‘Desirable’ no longer applies. Baffingly, this latest HR nugget, as well as requiring your CV details to be transposed into all the relevant boxes, also allows you to attach the bloody thing! But, when addressing the ‘statements’, you are informed that stating ‘See attached CV’ is not acceptable as an answer.

I guess they want to assess how well you can write. On which, I suppose I am just going to have to accept playing this game. Because there aren’t that many jobs I want to do … being determined not to go back into the lab (which I don’t assume would take me anyhow). Problem is, then, what is there? Having entered the words ‘science’ and ‘writing’ into job search specifications upon registering with agencies and databases and job websites, every day I find my Inbox polluted with lots of this kind of thing:

Sales Rep, Sales Manager, Healthcare Advertising Agency, Healthcare PR Company, Healthcare Branding, Healthcare Advertising and Branding, Contracts Specialist, Consumables Sales Rep, Account Director, Client Services Director, Instrument Sales Rep, Bioproduction Sales Rep, Key Accounts Manager, Market Research, Liaison Executive, Sales and Marketing, Sales (Support) Specialist, Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist, Laboratory Business Manager, Account Director, Marketing Manager, Medical Educations and PR Agency… and so on and so forth, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Exhales long discontented “Sighhhhhh”.

Oh, didn’t get an interview for the tautological position.

If this continues, I might have to scratch that peripatetic itchiness. Except I can ill afford it.

2 responses to “Back into view III

  1. IIRC, HR types include the repetition deliberately, to make sure you are consistent in the way applicants describe themselves. Which is kind of cutting off a nose to spite a face, as it’s just more double-checking work for those academics who actually have to sift through the applications to decide whether they are appropriate.
    As a follow-up to your last post on this, I was offered (and accepted) a job from the Uni that had the least complicated application process. Not necessarily the snazziest, but certainly the least convoluted (no web forms, no misbehaving text input boxes). There was a lot of repetition though.
    Good luck with your own job hunting. Once you realise the repetition is more or less expected in applications, I think it’s easier to put up with.

  2. Not unlike a qualitative questionnaire, then; to qualify responses? Makes sense, I suppose; although doesn’t the latter’s repetition tend to be pitched conversely?
    Thanks – and good luck in your new job.


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