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Job Hunt Blues

Still throwing resumes around the place. In the old, pre-Internet days, job hunting usually consisted of hitting the Want Ads in the paper and mailing off cover letters and resumes. If you were higher up the food chain, you could go through recruiters and headhunters. And there were the temp agencies, which could help you keep the bills paid, or find you a long-term hitch. Either way, you'd usually have a stack of resumes Xeroxed, and depending on your typing and wordprocessing skills, the Cover Letter was either a simple matter or a pain in the ass.

As usual, though, the Internet and market forces have conspired to make the job hunt even more difficult for people.

As you all know, the most common strategy for job hunting it to hit a couple of the big job sites: Monster, Beyond, Indeed, etc. Maybe you'd try an online temp agency, such as OfficeTeam or Robert Half. And nowadays there are lots of sites devoted to smaller gigs, Craigslist ads, e-lance jobs, and such. And-- here's the important thing-- many large companies run their own HR-department job sites, like Comcast or the University of Pennsylvania.

The core problem is having to enter your resume into these sites. Yes, many sites do offer the ability to simply upload a resume, and their system will "parse" the info into their database's data fields. This would be great if the parsing was accurate: more often than not, I've found that the parsing system has changed my job as "Free-Lance Videographer" job into two, "Free-Lance" and "Videographer," and borrowed freely from the details of other jobs. Start and end dates are wrong. Job duties are truncated to fit character limits.

In other words, one frequently has to hand-edit the resume details. In other words, one has to re-type one's resume over and over, with the added work of correcting machine-made errors. (The Penn Medicine website is probably the worst offender, failing to even store my corrections.)

Compounding this problem is a practice used by big sites like Monster and Indeed. Much of the time, when you click on the "Apply" button, the system takes the resume info you've stored with Monster and transfers it to the company you're applying to. But, far too often, the site merely sends you to _another_ job-hunt site. Maybe Monster sends you to Indeed. Or to Comcast's HR site, or to Penn's. And if you don't have an account there, you have to create a new one, which means _re-typing in your resume_.

And every time you create an account on some job site, you start getting a flood of emails. That's because the data you enter is now a commodity, which the job-hunt company sells to other job-hunt companies. They announce that they've found a job for you, but they're never right. I've gotten notifications for jobs as EMT techs, app programmers, User Interface Design... and frequently, the jobs aren't very close-by. Like Orlando. Or Des Moines. Or, in once case, Managua.

So, you wind up doing a lot of unnecessary and frustrating labor. More often than not, the effort doesn't even get you a rejection letter. Your email's flooded with worthless job announcements. And you know that this is earning money for someone else. And the alternative is to give up looking for work.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
lawbabeak
Mar. 4th, 2015 02:30 am (UTC)
You could totally commute to Managua.

That's the nice thing about applying to federal defender gigs - human beings looked at everything. Most other jobs? Nope.

Hang in there. Something will come together. Are you willing to do something shitty, provided there's opportunity to move up into less/not shitty once you show you are competent?
mauser
Mar. 4th, 2015 10:58 am (UTC)
The other important trick is to make your resume Buzzword Compliant. The first level of filtering in any HR department is to screen out any resume that doesn't have the proper keywords they're looking for. This is done automatically before any human being even looks at the thing. Fortunately the job listings often have the clues you're looking for.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )