Tuesday 10 June 2014

Student Testing Resumes

A friend and myself were discussing the pains of screening hundreds of resumes for Software QA co-op applications. 

If you're not familiar with the co-op program, students basically do classes for a term, then work for a term, on and off for a 5 year degree program. There's often lots of pressure to get good jobs (or jobs at all), and the competition is fierce. Students often apply for countless jobs and go through many interviews to land a job.

Often as employers we have to whittle a list of 100+ resumes down to an achievable number to pursue for interview. If we're lucky, that's around 15 interviews. Reading that many resumes and attempting to make a good selection can be tedious.

So today, the idea was jokingly tossed around that we should have a script that does a text search of all the applications (such as a recursive grep search) for the word "test". Then we realized the word "test" exclusively would be too limiting, so we figured a search of the pattern "test*" with a wildcard behind it would be better (ignore the syntax, I know it's not correct). This would result in words like "testing", "tested", "tester", etc. We also realized there were some words that would sneak through the pattern, such as "contest". This called for a regex to ensure there were no letters before the "t", such as " test*" (again, ignoring the syntax please).

This experiment resulted in a *rough* number of approx 17% of applications resulting in a hit. Remember, an application can include resume AND cover letter. Let's allow that to sink in...


This is absolutely ridiculous. I understand the time pressures of applying to lots of job postings, and I understand lots of people who want to eventually get a developer role often use testing as a stepping stone into dev. But come on! You're applying for a testing job - you should probably have something about testing on your resume. I guess the whittling down of applications to a few interview requests isn't so hard after all.

Let this be a lesson: To be considered for a testing position, your application should probably make mention of testing.