Recently at an interview for a company I noticed that when they pulled out my resume and were using it as the standard template for what to ask me about. I noticed that all of my job titles were changed! They were interested in a UNIX Sys Admin type and it seems the recruiter I was working through ended up changing my job titles to pass through the keyword searches.
This ended up causing a lot of problems when the interviewer asked me about my job history and what I had done. For the past few years I have been working as a Systems QA guy for network equipment. I used a lot UNIX systems and administrated them for our lab on the side to ensure we could get work done. My main job was doing QA of course but I ended up picking up the slack of local network admin and UNIX admin on the side. When asked about what my job title was I honestly answered I was doing QA which caused the interviewer to backpeddle as they were staring at the title UNIX Sys Admin on my resume and wondering what was up. I ended up trying my best to explain I had nothing to do with changing my resume job titles and explained it must have been the recruitment agency that changed it. I do not believe in modifying something like your job title just to get into an interview however it seems the recruiter I work with does. This really got me annoyed as I like being up front with where I’ve been and what I’ve done.
It made me start thinking, “Do people do this regularly just to get their foot in the door?” If so, that really disgusts me. The job search/hiring process is not easy for both ends of the equation (for both the employer AND job searcher) without having to add in the extra variable of what I feel is dishonesty. I have warned my recruiter that if they do this again I will not work with them as this is akin to dishonesty. At first the recruiter didn’t think so however I really pushed the screws into them explaining that your job history is you. If you change around your job titles JUST to get an interview then that is dishonest to oneself and to the company you are applying for. This is not a valid way to try to get your resume through the door. Yes it is A way but if I have to start distorting myself just to get a job with company X. Perhaps, I shouldn’t work for that company since I’d like to believe that most people want to do GOOD working for a company not bad.
In the end I didn’t get the job because of ‘experience’ as a UNIX sys admin working on super large systems. I feel a little bummed about it but I guess they wanted to take the safe path and find someone who can claim they have UNIX sys admin on their resume for X years on large systems rather than take a chance. I find my skills section sometimes the hardest part to explain to interviewers that interview me since they want to compartmentalize me as one thing or another based on JUST my job title I’ve noticed and expect when I describe my work history to back up these conclusions. I guess there are people that do have that experience but how do you get started working on ‘large systems’? This isn’t something you can all of a sudden get without having worked in that type of environment. But I guess from the employer’s standpoint it’s easier to just match up the checkpoints and decide. Ah well…
Whatever happened to the job interview being a chance to show why you would work well in that position in spite of what might look like obstacles? Perhaps that is more my fault for not showing them?
In the end I still believe in honesty is the best policy. Leave distortions to the politicians.