653 Applicants

You’ve probably seen the story about the guy who decided he needed data to understand his competition, put up a fake job on Craigslist that was the kind of job he was looking for, and got 652 resumes back — 65 of which were from applicants with over 10 years of experience. (Though granted, the fake job was in NYC, so it probably drew applicants from a wider area than jobs around here.)

Yup, that’s exactly what jobhunting’s been like, this year. You can’t even get frustrated with it, because it’s too big to be frustrated about.

Thus my excitement about bagging any full-time job.



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2 responses to “653 Applicants

  1. Alan T.

    Yup, the job market sure is grim, and I think you live in an area with higher-than-average unemployment. Congratulations on being employed again!

    In April, 2011, McDonald’s announced 50,000 job openings, for which they received over 1,000,000 job applications.

    In October, 2011, brokers at the Chicago Board of Trade, looking down from their eighth-story offices on “Occupy” protesters below, posted a sign reading “We are the 1%” and dumped McDonald’s job applications out of their office windows over the heads of the protesters.

    Prominent conservative economist Robert Lucas claims that all unemployment is voluntary, because you can always sell apples on street corners.

    When will these people get a clue?

    — Alan

    P.S. Thanks for pointing out the inspiring article about Russell Kirsch! Kirsch quotes God as saying, “Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.” I find Genesis 11:7: “Nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” In the Tower of Babel story, God saw that as a problem to be fixed, but if Kirsch found inspiration there, good for him.

    • Well… the point of Kirsch is to do good things without being daunted by obstacles, whereas the point of Babel was to do bad things without regard to morality. (Which we’re supposed to know from extra-Biblical oral tradition.) It makes a big difference! And of course it’s entirely possible that Kirsch is into one of those “you can do anything you invoke with your mind” weird belief systems, especially since they were pretty prevalent among science and engineering folks of his generation. (One recalls the guy who founded JPL.) But I hope not.

      The amusing bit about the story of Babel, from a linguistics POV, is that it was both the inspiration for the first studies of Indo-European language families, and a pretty solid description of the divergence of languages in a big ancient Middle Eastern city. There’s tons of fun in various commentaries, although the most fun is the Irish bardic textbook story about one of the great old Irish poet ancestors setting up a university of languages in the wake of the confusion of tongues, and constructing Gaelic from all the most beautiful new phonemes. (There’s also a discussion of how, although Hebrew and Greek and Latin are sacred tongues, Gaelic partakes of the best bits of all three. No problem with national self-esteem in medieval Ireland’s literary culture.)

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