Columns

5 Required Job Skills That Are Actually Useless

97VP

We’ve all gone through the grueling and painfully repetitive process of applying for jobs. If not, then you’re either a lazy dick or too young to be on this site. It’s a really great time where you spend a few seconds uploading your resume and then countless hours filling in bullshit forms and questions which could all be answered simply by looking at the document you just uploaded. Are they trying to check for incongruence, or do they really just blindly hate everyone who applies?

Anyway, before you decide whether or not to waste all that time applying for a job you definitely don’t want, you go ahead and skim over the job requirements. The requirements for pretty much every job online are so generically boilerplate you wish they would just be replaced with “If you don’t look or act ridiculous, and if the boss’s kid is still in rehab, we’ll hire you at a competitive salary…if you’re competing amongst sharecroppers.”

1. “Excellent verbal and written communication skills.”
This is complete bullshit. The only reason you would need these skills is on the off chance you actually talk to somewhat literate or competent human beings during the course of your work day. The chances of that happening are slim to really, really depressing. Assuming you’re fortunate enough to talk to people who are passably fluent in English, chances are they really test the boundaries of our country’s joke of a public education system. “Hay, are u gunna finish that report l8r?” L8r?! Did you mean to send that to Avril Lavigne? I hate you.

Strong grammar and vocabulary may actually end up hurting you more than helping. No matter how intelligent you sound, if the idiots you’re talking to can’t pronounce your awesome SAT word and don’t know what it means, you’re not communicating effectively. Only in the workplace could the above scenario somehow be your fault, but you have to know your audience. Try sending emails to them in pretty colors or submitting all correspondence to them in Comic Sans. They’ll finally understand what you mean, and the pretty colors will put a smile on their stupid faces. It’s a win-win.

2. “Ability to multitask.”
Ninety percent of your job consists of doing one goddamn thing over and over again, so I’m forced to assume that by multitask they mean doing that and catching up on Netflix all day. This skill should be replaced with “Ability to recognize boss’s footsteps approaching and quickly hit Alt+F4 back to a pointless spreadsheet that hasn’t been updated since July.” All kidding aside, that is by far the best skill to master in the interest of remaining employed.

3. “Ability to work on a team and independently.”
What the hell does this even mean? Think about it: you’re always working either alone or on a team, so shouldn’t this just be replaced with “Ability to work?” Whatever.

Rarely does a team function as it’s intended to, so there are two ways a five-person team project can play out: you and three others literally do nothing, or you do everything. Remember college? You and your friends would wrangle up that one nerd who knew your plan but worshipped his GPA too much to force you to work? Some things never change. Team player Ronald over here is actually committed to his job, and he will pick up all the slack you drop him, so for old time’s sake, you and your equally unmotivated colleagues pack a massive lip in the conference room and watch this admirable little bastard do five times the work for the same amount of pay and exactly one-fifth of the credit. For such a nerd, you’d think he’d be better at doing that math.

The other side of the coin is that you’re Ronald the nerd. Hmm, I guess you really do need to be able to do work independently or on a team. If you can’t work independently on a team full of lazy assholes, then how are the rest of us supposed to beat Flappy Bird?

4. “Excellent computer skills.”
Chances are the HR dinosaur who made these job requirements is north of 50, making her by default a complete dumbass when it comes to computers. Her version of excellent computer skills is probably having the technology know-how to check the empty inbox on her match.com profile 15 times a day and subsequently fighting the urge to swallow a 12 gauge. Unless it’s building servers, writing programs, or something else incredibly nerdy and virgin-friendly, pretty much every millennial will be able to do it.

5. “Ability to receive direction from management to achieve individual and team goals.”
Rephrased, this just means “you have the stomach to get graphically shit on for the rest of your twenties and the self-control to avoid drawing a bloodbath for the entire floor.” It also implies that you have the invaluable skill of listening to supervisors who have no idea of what your job actually entails, and if you were to listen to them, everything would go straight to hell. The key is striking a balance between following their inane advice and putting enough overused buzzwords in your report to make them think you actually listened to their ridiculous directives.

Even though all of these “skills” are actually required, everyone on this side of 1975 is pretty much born with them. That being said, enjoy not being hired for somehow falling short of these intangible, unquantifiable word farts. It happens, man. It’s probably not your fault anyway. But if it is, the world needs more ditch diggers.

Email this to a friend

4 Comments You must log in to comment, or create an account
Show Comments

For More Photos and Content

Latest podcasts

Download Our App

Take PGP with you. Get

New Stories

Load More