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Job Applicant Who Put 'Googling' Under Skills on Resume Lands Interview

Newsweek logo Newsweek 7/25/2021 Jack Beresford
a man sitting at a table using a laptop: Stock image of a man at a desk - a job application that listed "Googling" as a skill has gone viral. © Atstock Productions/Getty Stock image of a man at a desk - a job application that listed "Googling" as a skill has gone viral.

A job applicant who listed "googling" among the skills on his resume has sparked a lively debate on Twitter after landing an interview for the role.

Irish software developer Cat McGee first alerted social media to the man's unique resume/CV application in a Tweet posted on Friday, July 23.

"Got a CV today and the guy literally listed one of his skills as 'googling,'" she wrote.

"We're interviewing him."

The post went viral, racking up more than 15,500 retweets and 182,000 likes as well as over 1,900 comments.

It also sparked off a big debate about the validity of including this kind of skill set in a professional job application.

Shahzad asked: "I think you are being too hard on him. Does writing googling mean that he doesn't know anything ?"

Web developer Vince Aggrippino replied: "Yes. CV is where you put skills which are the most relevant and interesting for the role. Since everyone has "googling", it shouldn't be there any more than "English Alphabet".

"Putting it there means the candidate didn't have enough skills, so they filled the space with a joke."

Clare Tollick was taken aback at Aggrippino's answer.

"Are you for real?" she wrote. "My husband can't Google for s***. I'll ask him to look something up, get bored waiting, do it myself and still find the answer way before he does. And he's pretty intelligent... googling is a skill."

Coyote Toledo, a senior developer, countered: "Yes, but. Say your husband is bad at directions, and has to ask you how to get somewhere. Are you going to write 'basic navigation' on your professional resume?

He continued: "It's a basic skill. I wouldn't put "makes good omelets" on mine, but I can. They're really good."

Cameron Schultz responded: "Googling is actually an essential skill for any profession dealing with coding. If you ask colleagues how to write a block of code that is readily available on the internet they WILL give you a hard time."

Toledo fired back: "'Staying awake' is also an essential skill for a dev but if you write something that crazy basic on your resume I am going to have questions, like 'Why the hell would you list that?'"

Web developer Catalin Banu, meanwhile, defended the inclusion of googling as a skill.

"You would be surprised how many people can't properly google," he wrote.

"I am not talking about technical use of browser and google. I am talking about writing the proper keywords, excluding some or try and test different phrases."

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Software engineer Sergio Solo agreed.

"Honestly I've worked with amazing engineers that can't google shit, once they get stuck they don't know how to unblock because they don't know how to google their problem," he said.

Edgardo Martinez replied: "Nevertheless, writing down "Googling" instead of "solution-oriented" talks a lot about their own conception of skills."

Felicity Parsons, however, disagreed.

"'Solution-oriented' is straight out of the management-speak phrase book.," she said. "'Googling' is simple plain English. I think it's commendably confident, straightforward and specific."

Peter Liu recalled a time his googling came in handy during an interview.

"During interview for an investment banking job the MD asked me a brain teaser that required knowing the volume of Mt Fuji," he wrote.

"He asked me how I would calculate that. I told him I'd Google it. I got the job."

Career coach Izzy Piyale-Sheard also ranked it as a skill worth promoting to any prospective employers.

"Honestly, it is such an important skill to know how to do right. I wish this seemingly obvious skill was more normalized," he wrote.

"Googling = Self-teaching - which is what the real underlying skill there is."

FIlmmaker Nathaniel C Carter agreed: "Knowing how to look for information on the internet is an incredibly valuable skill. I am consistently surprised at the emails I get from customers asking basic questions they could get answers to by a quick Google search."

Others, like Dr Elizabeth Craigg, were not so sure.

"I'm sorry, why would you interview someone who puts that as a skill and not Research as a skill?"

Glizzee Rascal also appeared conflicted: "I think it's dumb to list googling, but I've solved a lot of problems googling too. It's often the fastest way to solve something that's new to you, but you know other people have done."

Despite the debate sparked off by her tweet, McGee was keen to stress there was much more to the candidate's application than simply Googling, insisting "his CV was great on top of that."

The inclusion of googling also ignited something of a side discussion about what not to include in an application.

Tim Link wrote: "A hobbies section? Don't put that on a resume, kids."

A user by the name of Nick offered an alternative viewpoint: "My resume says I can juggle. I can't, I just want to know how closely my interviewer is reading it."

Kaka Dubu also shared a screenshot of a CV that bizarrely listed "love making" under hobbies.

Others like KJ saw the benefit of including some hobbies or interests.

"If I see any mention of team sports, for instance, I know they understand how important roles are to team performance and they can work together to achieve a common goal," they wrote.

"Likewise solo sports suggest the ability to work alone on something with their own drive."

In the days following her viral tweet, McGee has since returned to Twitter to express her disappointment at one aspect of her newfound social media fame.

"I am staunchly anti-Google and my most viral tweet is about googling," she lamented.

"Why, world? Why?"

Newsweek has since reached out to McGee for comment.

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