What’s in a name.. or title?

A colleague of mine resigned recently, so we were on a lookout for his replacement.  I sent out the job ad via email to my network and to a mailing list (which in turn must have cascaded to more mailing lists, judging from the response).  I was amazed by the response — no, not the quantity, but the quality of response.  Let me elaborate:

The title of the position is ‘Systems Engineer.’  Which was also the subject of my email.  Now, the job does entail a good bit of IT stuff, like networking, working with databases, and SQL queries.  The core responsibility, however, is supporting production information and control systems.  OPC, and Profibus expertise, among other Automation skills are specifically required.  So, the title does reflect the responsibilities fairly well, when read with the job description.  On its own, I admit, may sound like a pure IT position.

Of all the responses received (30+), only one of them was barely close to the skills required.  A majority of them were for IT positions.  (When I mentioned about IT and Automation merging in my previous post, I did not know I had so many readers.)  It was clear they looked only at the subject of my email and assumed it was an IT position.

The rest of the applications had nothing to do with IT, systems, or any kind of engineering!  Wow.  Is this how one applies for a job?  Without even reading the job description?  Another thing which blew me away was, how many of these were just blank email with only the resume attached.  Some were kind enough to add, “FYI..”

I quickly deleted all of them (FYI == For You to Incinerate.)  Not fun, but what else could I do?

Memo to self:  always read job descriptions — twice; never apply for jobs I don’t qualify for, and always include a concise cover-letter expressing genuine interest.  And, follow-up after a week or so (none did in this case).


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