Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

why people write bullshit on cover letters


>>If you write "I understand the position also requires a candidate who is team- and detail-oriented, works well under pressure, and is able to deal with people in departments throughout the firm" then at best people will think you're a bullshit artist and at worst they will think that you were not born with the part of the brain that allows you to form your own thoughts and ideas.

Well, not always.

Sure, engineer and programmer types will immediately see that as bullshit and think "who are you trying to fool ?".

Unfortunately there're many drones in most medium and large companies who seem to be impressed by that kind of talk. Maybe it sounds really professional to them. Maybe it's an HR person who does not really understand the skills needed for the job, so he screens people by who cranks out the most impressive management bullshit.

You can actually see that kind of talk in many job ads, written by HR people and managers. That tells you there're many people in hiring positions who were not born with the part of the brain that allows them to form their own thoughts and ideas.

Anyway, what I do is look at the job ad and the company web site, and try to match their style and level of bullshit in my cover letter.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Well, I do admit it would make life a lot easier if the engineers/programmers put "I hate people and just want to be left alone in my cubicle" on their resumes.

So, what's worse? The bullshit, or the fact that many developers really feel that way?

Monday, January 26, 2004

It's a difficult predicament.

HR drones really get in the way sometimes.  If you put technical qualifications on your resume, the HR drone might throw it away because they can't understand it.  Very difficult to write a cover letter that both gets past HR and impresses the hiring manager.

When applying to FogCreek, you can find out enough about the company to know that Joel does not have the luxury of a clueless HR drone dedicated to screening resumes.  Thefore, you should write a technically sound cover letter.

Richard P
Monday, January 26, 2004

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the greatest load of Bullshit to ever receive recognition in MANAGEMENT, industry and society as a whole.

If you're feeding a bullshit function, you must talk the talk, and basically lather their ass well, if you wish to be 'successful'. There's no rocket-science involved, just common sense and a lot of Bullshit.

Read my book and find out more - After 15 years of delivering Bullshit, I gave it all up and became a writer

Jack Feeney MIMCI, MIQA, BA-Mgmt. Dip QA
Thursday, March 18, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home