How Not to Get Hired Via Craigslist

Guy Kawasaki posted earlier this week both How to Get a Job on Craigslist and How Not to Hire on Craigslist, and Sabrina Parsons posted a related piece Honesty is Not Always the Best Policy. Then today I received the following email:

Dear Mr. Berry,

I ran across a Palo Alto Software job posting on craigslist today. After reading it it occurred to me that perhaps it’s past time you fired your VP of Product Development (it’s probably already too late).

Judging from his post I’d say he’s about 25ish, knows very little about good software development practices, creating a true development team culture, and thinks very highly of himself. I could go on, but after reading his post (see below) you’ll probably agree. My background is in software development. I’ve over 20 years experience developing software including [I think it better to leave out the details, but he lists a few key points of his knowledge and experience here] . Based on this posting this is the last place I’d want to work.

He goes on to complain, with rather heavy-handed punctuation and phrasing, about two specifics in the job posting: a reference to programmers as rock stars and the phrase “aggressive compensation.”

So you be the judge. Would you want to interview this person? Could this possibly be a real effort to get a job? Have you ever heard of anybody getting a job by bashing the person hiring? I haven’t.

I do give him credit for getting my attention. I noticed his email and I might not have noticed any other kind of communication, because I’m not looking for somebody, the VP Product Development is.

And I give him credit for reading this blog. He’s referencing my post yesterday morning You Always Fire an Executive Too Late. I like people who read this blog. That’s an interesting tactic.

And that post in fact references Marc Andreessen’s post Hiring, managing, promoting, and firing executives, which includes the following paragraph:

Don’t disqualify someone based on ego or cockiness — as long as she’s not insane. Great executives are high-ego — you want someone driven to run things, driven to make decisions, confident in herself and her abilities. I don’t mean loud and obnoxious, I mean assured and determined, bleeding over into cocky.

That paragraph notwithstanding, I don’t think lists of tips on hiring people need to include the suggestion not to hire somebody who insults you, your company, or the executive who has the vacancy and listed the job. The VP Product Development in this case has been with the company 12 years and has delivered new 9 versions of Business Plan Pro on time and on budget. And, if my emailer who has apparently researched the company had just gone one step further, he would have seen that he was named VP just a few months ago. So we probably really like him.

All of which brings me back to the title of this post: how not to get hired via craigslist.



  • Rita says:

    In defense of your job description issue: As Indiana Jones stated many years ago, "It ain't bragging if you can do it."
    The "applicant" tipped his hand. He is angry, resentful and a know it all. So, he applied for the job and was turned down.
    The Coach.

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