Skip to content

Data-based ways of getting a job

Bart Turczynski writes:

I read the following blog with a lot of excitement:

Then I reread it and paid attention to the graphs and models (which don’t seem to be actual models, but rather, well, lines.) The story makes sense, but the science part is questionable (or at least unclear.)

Perhaps you’d like to have a look? This isn’t as important as paying attention to data fraud in cancer research, but January is really busy in recruitment and people are always worried about how to best approach their job hunt.

He continues:

It’s really hard to find good statistics about hiring/recruiting. The BLS provides too general a picture for individual job seekers to make sense of. Industry studies are usually opinion polls. Some experiments are pretty much ads in disguise (the neologism used to describe this escapes me.) A prime example of this is what I call the “6 second rule” [not this one — ed.]:

Apparently, an eye-tracking experiment suggests that recruiters spend just a few seconds on a resume. Sure, they have to sieve through dozens if not hundreds of resumes, but an average of 6 seconds? Not sure.

My reply: I don’t know what to think about all this. I clicked on the first link above and read the post (The Science of The Job Search, Part I: 13 Data-Backed Ways To Win, by Kushal Chakrabarti). I understand your criticism about the vague science, and I agree that the causal claims are outta control, but the post had data and graphs, and that’s a great start already. I’m sure it could be done better but it seems like a useful start. One thing, though: I am bothered by some of the advice being zero-sum or even negative-sum.


  1. Arnold says:

    I think the neologism you’re looking for (ads disguised as research) might be “sugging”.

    • Andrew says:

      “Sugging,” huh? I’ve never heard that one before. One of the amusing things about academia is that we’re typically not sugging; instead we’re promoting our methods with no direct hope of financial gain, just because we think our ideas are so wonderful that we want everyone to try them. I guess the term for that is “evangelism.”

    • Martha (Smith) says:

      The link didn’t work for me, but I managed to find out that “sug” means “selling under the guise” of something else (often market research)

  2. Mikhail says:

    “product placement”?

Leave a Reply