As someone who has generally struggled in the job search arena, it never ceases to amaze me how inane the process of looking for a new position truly is. My personal philosophy has always been that I hate looking for work because it generally involved a lot of work that I’m not getting paid to do. There certainly is a lot of time and effort put into finding a quality position for reasonable pay, and while you’re taking the time to do that you watch as your bills pile up and your bank account stares back at you with a big set of goose eggs.
Aside from the irritation of having to put effort in for no direct return, the process itself in this modern time is one of the most frustrating things we have to deal with today. There are thousands upon thousands of job listings on the various websites that are supposed to be helping us streamline the process of finding work that matches our skillset, and each one of them tends to be a novella of information that the employer expects you to sift through in order to determine if it’s something you should even bother applying for. They include long paragraphs of descriptive information that has little or nothing to do with the actual job itself, and is clearly driven by some innate need to sell us on the job.
Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Aren’t we as applicants supposed to sell you on our ability to meet the needs of the position you have decided you need filled? Why are you wasting our time with job post dissertations that fluff out your listing to make it appear more “professional”? Do you not realize that you are one listing in thousands of others that we have to sift through in order to find jobs that we can realistically apply for? Do you truly believe that most of us even read most of what you included in your listing?
Personally, I just scan job listing for key words or phrases that determine whether submitting an application makes any sense at all. At least most of the listings has a nice bullet list of job requirements, which is nice, but it’s incredibly frustrating when you come across one that is just blocks of text that you’re expected to read in their entirety to figure out what the job actually is and if you have the experience required to do it. I invariably skip these listings entirely, which is very frustrating because it might be a great job that I’m passing over simply because too many other jobs just aren’t worth the time it takes to read them.
And then there’s the unrealistic expectation that employers seem to have that we’re going to go through some long application process before we’ve even been acknowledged as an applicant. Long lists of questions requiring detailed answers or requesting personal contact information that I’m not ready to give to just some stranger on the internet. You have my work history and my list of accomplishments and that really should be enough to decide if you want to at least set up an interview.
The worst is this idea that many companies expect a job specific, detailed, enthusiastic cover letter for an application to a company in the vague hope that is somehow causes us to stand out in the sea of other faces that are out there looking for work. Why exactly should I spend fifteen to twenty minutes agonizing over a custom cover letter for your specific job listing when there are hundreds of other job listings to sift through? Do you truly think your job is so amazing that it’s worth putting effort into an application process we’re not being compensated for?
We have a serious problem in the job search market today. It seems pretty unreasonable that at this time in our technological advancement that we continue to have such ridiculous inefficiencies in the placement services we have available. Social media can connect you to an endless list of advertisers with nothing but your click history, but getting connected to an appropriate job based on your work history seems to be a virtually impossible task unless you personally put in mountains of effort to make it happen.
Why exactly is it that we can’t seem to come up with a service that automatically connects job seekers with employers looking for specific skills and experience? Is it really that hard to develop an algorithm that looks at resumes, categorizes them, and puts them on display to employers in a way that cuts out virtually all of the work on both sides of the process? Shouldn’t we have the ability to simply post a resume, get connected with employers looking for our skills, set up an interview, and get to work?
In an era when we are aggressively trying to cut down on wasted time and effort and costs, and when human resource departments are always worried about overspending on recruiting, it simply boggles the mind that we are still using a job search process that has been around since before the internet was even available. Sure, it’s dressed up shiny and new, and you don’t have to scan through a newspaper to find ads, but you still have to manually go through process that should really be automated by now.
Where are the tech people on this?
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