The job search: Titles and riddles

A while back I implored the warm bodies involved in job posting and hiring to improve upon a few aspects of the process.  After an attractive hyperlink led me down the wrong rabbit’s hole this morning I decided to expound further on one in particular: job descriptions.

The offender today was a listing for an Operations Coordinator.  As a current job seeker who has frequently found himself in such facilitating roles, even without the title, I eagerly clicked the link to view the description.  But they weren’t really looking for an Operations Coordinator at all– they wanted an administrative assistant for human resources.

Okay, by some stretch one could get there… using the same logic that promotes plumbers to Sanitation Engineers.  But wouldn’t HR Administrative Assistant be more accurate for the job seeker?

It reminds me of an anecdote recently related to me by the recruiter who helped get me into my original job with Nokia a few years ago.  He was supporting a client in finding a Packaging Engineer and was passed a resumé that just flat confounded him.  The goal was to find someone with broad experience ranging from product conceptualizing to marketing.  Instead he received an application from a big-thinking grocery sacker.

Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be an Easter egg hunt.  Once again on behalf of job hunters everywhere I am beseeching those responsible: for our sake and yours, please think these job titles through carefully.  The time you save may be your own. 😉

4 responses to “The job search: Titles and riddles

  1. Joseph Charpak

    After reading that wikipedia entry, I still don’t really get what that ter means. I’d call that the manager of a group that makes a specific widget. So the top person most responsible for the N800 would be a package engineer?

  2. Completely agree. Even though I’m happily employed at the moment I do get a few enquires which, if interesting I do look it to, not necessarily to pursue, more of a curiosity. But the underlying fact is that the majority of these job descriptions are sensationalized to the point where the day to day job is vastly different from what they actually advertise.

    Good luck with the hunt.

  3. Thanks for the feedback guys.

    It’s funny– a recruiter recently chided me over one of my job titles, Quality Analyst. She said that when recruiting agents saw such a description they would always automatically assume “software”. I explained to her that hard products enjoy quality assurance as well but she didn’t seem convinced. Anyway, I changed my Careerbuilder default resume to include “Process/Product” along with “Quality Analyst” so as to avoid at least a little confusion.

    As for the Packaging Engineer title, I’m not sure why there’s any confusion. The first few lines in the wiki article explain (emphasis mine):

    “Packaging engineering, also Package engineering is a broad topic ranging from design conceptualization to product placement. All steps along the manufacturing process, and more, must be taken into account in the DESIGN OF THE PACKAGE for any given product. Package engineering includes industry-specific aspects of industrial engineering, marketing, materials science, industrial design and logistics.”

    So while the scope of expertise is broad, there is a singular goal for this role: package design. 😉

  4. Pingback: Getting out of the box « Tabula Crypticum

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