Usability Specialist Needed ASAP!!!!

I received another article of career spam today. The recruiter was looking for a “usability specialist.” While she earned points for at least matching a relevant term in my resume (earning her a friendly-ish response), her client’s expectations were rather strange. An excerpt from the e-mail and my friendly(-ish) response are posted for your enjoyment.

The Inquiry

Subject: Usability Specialist Needed ASAP!!!!

The Contractor shall provide application and business planning, analysis, and requirements support, including business process modeling, …

My Response


I’m afraid your client has some bewildering requirements for the position you listed. This is at least several different types of professional that are likely to be the same person only for those often referred to as “free-spirited” (albeit in a rather disappointing “business nerd” abuse of the term) rather than “useful.” The likelihood of finding a passible “usability specialist” who performs these tasks reasonably well is as likely as “neurosurgeon who shall provide diesel engine analysis and repair, legal consulting, full business accounting, civil engineering, and farmhand duties.”

While I’m not saying this is impossible, I am indeed saying such an expectation is misguided at best, assuming “mediocrity” is not the type of bullet point your client is looking for on the resumes of potential candidates.

We may still be able to help one-another out, however. I happen to know an out-of-work grief counselor with an excellent construction background. She has a degree in business management and minored in pantomime. She’s not very good at grief counseling (which would explain her present lack of employment in the field), but since her resume frequently comes up as a match in qualifications and skills for the position of Horse Whisperer (because “horse riding” was innocently listed as one of her hobbies), I’m certain she’d be perfect for a grief counseling position. Perhaps even CEO.

I’ve taken the liberty of sending her your contact information. Don’t let her clingy nature bother you, just don’t give her your personal e-mail address, phone number, face-book page, or anything like that. In fact, you’d best not use your real name as she will try to “friend” you and send you pictures of herself riding what she claims is a horse. Please note: I’m unable to act as a reference for her at this time.

… Michele has not replied.

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