The tech job ad punchlines

If you are an IT professional, you get to see job ads even if you don’t want to. So chances are you have seen this stuff, you may know these meaningless lines from those mass mailed job ads.

Whether you are advertising a 10 lakh per annum IT job, or a 2-rupees-a-packet shampoo, some common advertising principles apply. One of those is, your target individual does not have more than a few minutes to read the pitch. And another one is, each word counts.

Must be a self starter – I love this one. Because I am always trying to guess what it means. Why don’t they want kick-starters anymore? Not all of us have kinetic-hondas you know. Jokes apart, really, what does this mean?

Willing to work long hours – Oh my god! It is like advertising the pesticide in your cola. Younger folks don’t say it because they want too much work and older ones wont tell you because they have too much life to handle. But, my dear headhunter, we all appreciate work-life balance more than you think. Yes, I do appreciate the honesty here, but if you must, please try sugarcoat that redundant bit of requirement!

CTC expected – Hello, do you even care about how good or bad I am? Or is it only about the money? Or is that a trick question – those who mention expected CTC get screened out, and those who don’t (like me) are called in!? I don’t yet know. But as Santa Singh would do, ‘yes’ is the best answer to the “expected CTC” question.

Strong analytical and problem solving skills – Find me an engineer who will raise a hand and say no to that question. It is like asking a terrorist to tick no for that visa question – “have you been involved in terror activities” :). Sorry, a terrible joke. But I for one, being an engineer, feel hurt by this “strong analytical …” requirement. You too?

Now, this fifth one is a serious one. Make no jokes about it, I really hate to see “your date of birth” along with that CTC question. I am surprised that asking a question like that, that too in the job ad itself, is still legal in this country. Next thing you know, they’ll ask your religion and caste as well.

I am stopping at 5. But there are more wasteful lines in those job ad emails they keep shooting at you.


29 Responses

  1. Sorry to be slightly off topic here, but the questions about CTC go further in most recruiters’ emails. In addition to wanting to know your expected CTC( a perffectly reasonable question), they want to know your current CTC. In fact, most companies will refuse too interview you unless you give your current CTC-this when all coompanies claim that compensation is confidential. This is obviously a double standard.

    The question still remains-why do they need to know your current CTC? In many cases, companies will offer you a new jobs with pay equal to a fixed increment above your current CTC,not a number based on your skills/experience. So much for pay for performance/skill/ablity.

    This also leads to unethical practices-I know persons who have inflated their current CTC to get a higher CTC in their new job. Then again, a company who pays according to previous CTC after claiming to pay only based on skills/performance is also unethical.

  2. Silk board avare,

    How do you think that Ads should be ? I mean just checking. I am not there in the recruitement division anyway, I see my company gives very catchy punchlines!! Wondering what made you to post this now suddently?

  3. George, I don’t mind the CTC questions (current or expected), but hate to see it being asked even before you talk to them.

    Veena, happened to get a job email with too many of these crispy lines so blogged. No, I don’t work in recruitment division.

  4. Ummm…never got one of these mails. So, I guess I am the dumb engineer ;)

    “Strong Analytical and Problem Solvign Skills”…really ? That IS insulting :)

    Had a nice laugh…cool post. Are you sure the post was suppsoed to be ‘serious’ ? ;)

  5. The joke is on the HR of the company. If they line up their existing employees and filter thru those punch lines including thier starwalts… i doubt 5% would come thru and those would have already been marked as bottom 5% to be chucked out soon!!

  6. DS, MOHAN, it was a half serious half joke sort of post. Recruiting is the toughest and most important job for IT companies these days. But many of these job descriptions look like half-baked jobs to me. Sometimes too much fluff (like above), sometimes too short. And sometimes they want all the skills in the world!

  7. silkboard,
    having seen first hand for the last 17years IT recruitment, so many times apart from the above “skill sets”, when the manager asks for J2EE platform, the cycle begins and by the time prospects come for induction, the project would have been quashed and a new project requireing IBM main frame skills come up. So the manager pushes the J2EE guys into IBM training the net results is most guys quit… The cycle continues year after year,moon after moon

  8. This CTC thing is very much a recent phenomenon. I guess, they might have been stumped by people asking for the moon, after going through all the interview rounds!! So Why waste time with Moon Seekers… may be the thinking.

    But then again, companies will miss out on the bright and good, if they start screening based on CTC.

    The worst part of recruitment almost always is where the HR folks have something to say!!
    – WHY did you change those jobs?
    – GIVE Me the contact number of your CURRENT Manager ? (This is a bloody joke, – they insist on talking to your manager about your recruitment – while you are still working at your present job.)
    – Are you a Team Player? (Yeah, Moron.. the last time i worked in 10 teams in 2 months, because 9 projects were scrapped).
    – WHY do you want to leave your current job ? (Hey! You are the one who called me.. i wasn’t particularly interested.)
    – WHAT are your Weak Points? (I go weak in my knees when i see sexy women.. is that Good enough Ms HR from XLRI ?)

    .. huh

  9. I havent a clue of this IT industry’s vocubulary . So please excuse my ignorance and enlighten me about this CTC. What on earth is it.

    BTW what’s wrong in asking for weak points- isnt the mangement formula – SWOT a mantra in the corporate world?

    Again in the intolerant world of Indian bloggers I beg this indulgence.

  10. Shashi,
    CTC = Cost to company = your annaul salary including perks

    In this modern era who would be a fool to tell the management his weakness?? Most intelligent types invent some ready made weakness with ready made answers (corrections)

    Hope it helps

  11. Ha Ha,, I am still laughing looking at shashi’s ignorance.
    If somebody ask me my weakness now.. I would surely say ‘Blogging’..
    My appraisal rating will surely go down.. I don’t know what productivity is defined as now :-)

  12. Please correct me if I am wrong but the underlying theme is to lie- never mind that they ask these questions knowing we would lie (They being prospective employees and we being applicants). I wonder if any applicants would be brave/foolhardy enough as to say they would prefer not to respond to the question. As for laughing at my ignorance hey isnt this the season for goodill to all men- so laugh on my freind.

    Well so turns the world I imagine – no wonder they say the people in IT(whatever that is) get paid so much since all they are actually doing is lying (misrepresenting whatever)

  13. “Ha Ha,, I am still laughing looking at shashi’s ignorance.”

    – that’s not very nice Veena…

    CTC is a relatively new term. Maybe 10 years old at the most, if my presumptions aren’t too off the mark.

  14. Veena, I too didn’t know what CTC was till about 3 years ago. To think of it, it is an overly technical and compact phrase for salary. Cost to the company, hmmm. Tell me my salary, a take-home number. Thank god CTC does not include the cost incurred on keeping me under an A/c, providing me chair and a cube, and running the nestle coffee machines.

    OI/Shashi, I would argue that it is a negative term. Sort of like saying the emp is a cost :) Rather, emp is an investment, esp for IT cos, isn’t it?

  15. @ silkboard

    I agree!!

    I learnt about this term in 2000. Seemed strange to me. Cost to Company – yes, literally I am a “cost to company” – but as you say, I agree, what about the value addition; financial or non-financial, that I bring to the company. CTC just seems a very technical, lifeless term.

  16. Shashi, CTC != your annaul salary including perks.
    CTC includes everything that the company is spending to retain you. This included your salary (take home) + perks + anything else that the company thinks is a cost incurred due to your employment with the company.

    CTC is never an accurate potrayal of what you are earning. I would rather know what my take home would be, than be bothered with what my CTC would be when I am looking at a job offer.

    SB, my apologies for this slightly off-topic post.

  17. CTC is fine Sajith. But just that the term is a bit lifeless and technical, as OI said.

  18. when i said laughing.. i meant smiling…
    I admire his humble thought of putting it across…

  19. Hey there was no ‘humble thots’ there- was only a naive curiosity at the shenanigans of this IT industry – just like a stroppy teenager- noisy and unintentionally funny- there Iam laughing not just smiling

  20. Good to see smiles all around. they say each time you smile you add 20 seconds to your life.

    Happy new year everyone!

  21. I learnt a word or two from the jargon! CTC! There you go!

  22. Actually the CTC is a way to make you feel that they are paying you more than what you deserve, where as you actually make more for the company than waht they pay you. So, People shoudl retort back with VTC or value to the company which is atleast 2 to 3.5 times the CTC. If it is not they will not even keep you long enough.

  23. veena:

    i was unaware of the full form of ctc. feel free to lol some more!!

    – s.b.

  24. I am hi-jacked I know now.. I had another hearty laugh!!
    Thanks SB’s!! :-)

  25. sir am narendrababu am compleating BSC

  26. Hi All
    I need All IT Companies Punchlines So please Send me on my email


  27. Hi…..

    I am Md Zahid Nasim, MCA fresher 2007 from pune university with 60%, I am also having through out 60% in my all academic life. I am well sounded with java technology. So anybody, can you please help me for fresher openning..

    Thanks and regards

    Md Zahid Nasim

  28. Thank you , I l;earn this term CTC

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