Monday, March 5, 2012

My job search, an example

Here is an ad for the kind of job I would like. Whenever I find an ad for a job I might want to do, this is what happens. I read the description and say, that looks like fun. Then I read the Requirements and see how obvious it is that I will never get that job. For example:

On Figure Photographer, a leading online merchant offering top designer and name brand apparel and accessories at significant discounts, is looking for an On Figure Photographer to join our Production team. This position will report to the Director of Production / Photography Operations.
Responsibilities include:
  • Photograph Men’s & Women’s apparel on model in a fully-digital production environment for Bluefly’s online catalog, maintaining the quality and consistency of the Bluefly brand.
  • Team with others in Production to insure product is organized and efficiently moved through the production process, ensuring that the number of products photographed meets the needs of the business.
  • Work hours for this position will be weekdays and could include some nights and weekends.
Skills required:
  • BA Degree
  • 3-5 years of on figure photography experience
  • The ability to work with Photo Producer and Art Director to reach needed shot count
  • Similar consumer products experience a plus.
  • Must be up to date with current digital photography technology, have strong studio lighting skills and model direction.
  • Experience shooting with digital cameras tethered.
  • Knowledge of Mac applications including Photoshop, OS X, RAW file conversion, Capture One and basic photo editing skills.
  • Excellent communication, verbal, written, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work in fast-paced and growing environment.
In addition to providing a dynamic, highly motivated environment, Bluefly offers its employees: Competitive salary, health and dental benefits, 401K, commuter/parking benefits and an employee discount.
Bluefly is an equal opportunity employer.

Now, let me tell you how my qualifications compare with the above, item for item:

  • BA Degree
  • 0 years of on figure photography experience. This is the first time I've even heard the term "on figure".
  • The ability to work with Photo Producer and Art Director to reach needed shot count. (I guess. This is pretty vague.)
  • No consumer products experience.
  • Am not up to date with current digital photography technology, do not have any studio lighting skills and model direction.
  • No experience shooting with digital cameras tethered. What the hell is a tethered camera anyway?
  • No knowledge of Photoshop, RAW file conversion, Capture One and who knows what you even mean by "basic" photo editing skills.
  • Mediocre communication, verbal, written, and interpersonal skills.
  • Very little ability to work in fast-paced environment.

Well, would you hire me?


  1. So take a photoshop class at FIT or something just to enhance your skill set and apply away. Requirements aren't really requirements, just the employer's ideal.
    Apply enough places and you'll get something. I haven't technically met the "required" qualifications for 2 of my 3 jobs.
    (You might want to work on your spin, though. ;))

  2. I would, but those courses cost hundreds. You'd think tens of thousands worth of college tuition would be enough of an investment to find a job. I couldn't sink any more money into this if I wanted to--my credit cards are maxed out and I'll be lucky if I can afford new socks anytime soon.

  3. So don't take any more classes but apply anyway. Don't let the requirements scare you away.

    As for a B.A. as a job-getter...I don't really think that's the point. I think the purpose of a liberal arts education is to make you a well-rounded, open-minded person who can think critically. Now, those traits make for better employees, and the act of obtaining a college degree shows an employer you can work hard enough to achieve something. But those who want their education to lead directly to a job should go into a trade of some sort.

    I love my liberal arts degree. With it I have gotten a number of opportunities and still expect to benefit from it going forward. However, when I wanted to work in the fashion industry, I still sought out skills training.

    In the job market, you are the product you have to sell to employers. No product is perfect, but if you believe you should have a job better than the one you have, think about why you believe that, and use those reasons to help "sell" yourself to those better employers. I like the ability to objectively point to a certification, but other methods can be just as, if not more, effective.

  4. I know what education is for. I'm just saying that I'm done with "you have to spend money to make money". I've spent enough and I have nothing more to spend if I wanted to.