Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Hell That Is Job Hunting

What started out as an optimistic search for my next exciting, fulfilling career has now turned into the bane of my very existence, and yet, one I can't really get away from if I have any hope of getting gainful, full-time employment again: job hunting. It's driving me completely nucking futs. Here is the worst of it:

Long, drawn out applications
You know its bad enough being jobless but some applications are too daggone long. I've filled out applications for the government that have taken 45-55 minutes at a time. I'm exhausted afterwards. The most hair-pulling aspect being that most of these applications ask you to upload an electronic resume only to then ask you to fill out a tedious application where you then are asked to type in ever field from your resume all over again "name__address__ number__, school's name____, supervisor's name___, her number___, zip code___ etc). ALL of that is on the resume but they still need to typed a 2nd time. Grrrrrrr.

Being asked things twice
And I don't mean what I just mentioned above. I ran into this while filling out another federal job application last night. Because I was applying for two grades, I needed to send two applications. During the first, it asked me to write, in 300 words or less, of a personal experience on the job. I had two questions to answer. I gave it some thought and penned my best response at that moment. I then moved on to the next grade only to find out they asked the exact same questions. And there was no saving or back button, so I had to think hard and try to remember verbatim what I'd written 10 mins earlier. And usually the first time is more eloquent. Had I of known they do that, I would have saved my first response on the computer somewhere. Maddening!!

Faxing stuff
What is the point of this?? I applied to a job that then required you to print out a documentation form and fax it in for confirmation. All day long I tried to fax it while the fax on their side never picked up. Puh-lease! Stop wasting people's time with this. And why can't I stick it in the mail? Why fax anything?

Registering for sites just to apply to jobs
Another step that I swear will only create more wasted web space, but I continually run into this. I'll go to a job board like, find a job that looks promising, click the apply button, only to be redirected to some recruiter's website where I then have to register a user name/password and fill out my life story plus the story of my conception and birth just to apply for one stupid job. I have registered now for a dozen of them by now and I can barely keep all the names straight if I need to opt out later. Far worse is when you spend all this time registering and you're now ready to apply and the damn site hasn't even stored what freaking job brought you there in the first place. Hello?? Remember? I came here with the job already found? Webmaster?? Somebody? Whoever the hell, needs to check that site and stop enabling this nonsense. I just wanna apply for a job, not join another useless organization. Productivity people! We have a black president now! We can overcome shoddy webmastering too!

Fake ads
Probably my worst offense and most have come from Craigslist which I barely look at anymore (see previous post on more). But early on, I'd run into many ads that listed descriptive qualifications, education, duties and responsibilities only to find out its a work-at-home scheme, a scam to get you to enter your info in some site or get you to buy some service. Also in this category are marketing jobs that are really sales jobs. I'm not stupid, marketing and sales are very different and if its a commission-based job, just call it what it is, a sales rep position and stop trying to pass it off as an "marketing" position.

Old ads
Also ran into this problem early on and that is with applying to ads that have long been filled but somehow still pop up online. I found a wonderful position one night and stopped what I was doing to prepare a resume and cover letter to perfection only to hear from the hiring manager the next day informing me that it was indeed filled weeks prior and that some sites hold on to the ads indefinitely. Slightly heartbreaking, though I got over it.

Scammers and other time wasters
I've also had a few alleged recruiters calling me to discuss a potential opening at their company (or for positions not even created yet), speak to me for nearly 20 mins. only to never hear from them again. I had a recruiter email me about setting up an in-person interview for a position I'd applied for. He gave me two available times. I agreed to one of them. Never heard back. I mean ever! WTH!!

Well that is enough of my rant for today. It could always be worse right? I mean I could actually be employed and faced with dealing with all the discontents that comes with that daily.

Pfff, I only wish.


OM said...

I applied for jobs for six months and hated every minute of playing the stupid game. I remember in one interview they told me to sit in a chair and asked me not to move the chair forward toward the table. I guess it would have messed with their power games. Then the first job I applied to called and I got the job. (government, of course. You know state government jobs take their time).

Delaware Job Hunters said...

This article reminds me of this quote, "Seasonal unemployment was found to be a state which does not have much employment, for example, rural areas."

But there are career experts who conduct seminars giving concrete advice about the needed skills to compete in today's competitive job market.

and1grad said...

Now THAT is a rant. I feel your pain mama. Job hunting is the worst!

CC said...

Girl you aren't alone. Tips for applying for government jobs to limit your headaches. SAVE EVERY KSA (ANSWER) you give on a seperate document and then at some point in the distant future you can simply cut and paste your answers. This will allow you to apply to more positions quickly. You'll of course have to modify some of the answers but it's better than starting from scratch. If you ever need me to look at anything let me know. Sometimes it's all about how well you BS because they don't just look at the resume (I have been turned down for jobs saying I wasn't qualifed when in fact I do the same job they are hiring for, simply because I clicked the wrong number on the questionare of how I wanted them to consider my application or because my KSA wasn't detailed enough). It's like writing a college essay. Sorry!

Not Your Average Male said...

I haven't had to search for a new job in over 2 years now, thank Bob (old "Rugrats: reference, for anyone scratching his/her head) -- but when I did, I cannot tell you how identical our experiences were.

The only thing that I can say is this: I had to send in a fax for the very job that I still have now... and I make considerably more money now.

So, here's hoping that navigating the Bullshit Highway will lead to something sweeeeeeeeet.

Philly said...

Yeah, job hunting sucks. ALOT! Just so you know, this isn't spam. I actually did read your post. I have created a forum for frustrated job hunters.... and I kind of stole your graphic. Is that okay?

ericson said...

thank you for writing this article. i've come to the conclusion that these types of practices from prospective employers are purely UNETHICAL: requiring folks to fill out lengthy applicaions with questions barely short of bra size/length of penis; keeping job postings up for positions that have already been filled. no better way to spend time than applying for jobs that no longer exist; scheduling 'group interviews' that pin job seekers against each other & make us all feel awkward. HR people love that; outright LYING, telling folks they'll receive a phone call only to be left in limbo; failing to realize that OVERQUALIFIED means QUALIFIED; racking up over 100 applications for ONE position like dirty interet 'picture collectors.' i hope 2010 is more fruitful for those of us facing this agony, and that the sick, sadistic HR personnel face a shortage of applicants for positions that desperately need to be filled. until then, my job-hunting brothers and sisters, until then.