Thursday, September 3, 2009

Job Seekers Are Starting To Revolt

Check out this article on WSJ.com by Dana Mattiolo: Brave or Brazen? Bold Tactics Don't Always Get the Job. It would appear that job seekers are trying to stand out more. You know why? Because companies are sucking the humanity out of employment applications.

Here's a few head-bashing experiences that drive job seekers to be some combination of brave and brazen:

  • A major retailer here in San Francisco asks applicants to spend 30 minutes to fill out an online employment application for entry level retail jobs. That's a lot of time to spend for a 99% chance of being ignored (I get over 100 applications per job I advertise).

  • Career fairs are full of recruiters that don't even accept resumes, but instead steer job seekers to the employers' web sites... are you kidding me?! I say just send cardboard cutouts of recruiters to career fairs (it'd be cheaper and more environmentally friendly)

  • Job boards pretty much just outright suck, at least for the job seeker. In 2008 I used job boards to fill 15 jobs, and in the process of advertising received 3000 applications. Sorry I couldn't help you other 2985 :( I'll try to do better this year.


To all job seekers out there... I personally would rather have 1 employer love me and 9 others hate me than have 10 not give a hoot about me at all. There's no magic formula for standing out, but you have to. The companies you want to work for are becoming harder and harder to interact with. Employers get so many online applications they can pick and choose people who require little to no training. Most importantly, your resume will never show someone how nice you look when dressed to the nines with a big smile on your face. Do NOT rely on the Internet as your only method for applying to jobs, because you will be mostly ignored and end up disappointed.

If you're looking for a job, tell all of your friends and give each of them an electronic copy of your resume. Your friend's inside referral is probably taken 10 times more seriously than your direct application.

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