Gordon Stribling (@MagicToastUK) takes on THE RANT:
“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be employed in 2012. Admittedly my job is about as exciting as supervising other people watching paint dry, but at least I have some money coming in. That said, I am still hunting for that elusive ‘first step’ on my career ladder, so I continue to fire applications into the ether in the hope that maybe, one day, I will reach the dizzy heights of earning 15k a year editing curry house menus.
My situation probably isn’t helped by my incredibly Googleable name which would lead any prospective employer to a number of published articles (and even a blog, if they were to dig hard enough) complaining about the apparent futility of looking for work in the current market. However, none of those articles highlight the many new annoyances that job-hunters face on a daily basis. So here, for no reason at all (other than my own catharsis and maybe to make you feel less motivated to apply for a job that I’m interested in), here is a list of the unmentioned issues that make job-hunting today more frustrating than it’s ever been.
They probably won’t get back to you
Back in the old days, if your job application was unsuccessful most employers had the common decency to write or email you saying something along the lines of: ‘Thank you for your application. Unfortunately on this occasion you have been unsuccessful, but we appreciate you taking an interest in our organisation…’. Nowadays you rarely even get that. Admittedly some companies receive hundreds of applications for a single vacancy, but how hard can it be to send a bog-standard email to every unsuccessful applicant? Not very hard, in case you were wondering.
A CV and cover letter isn’t enough
Many employers these days require that you do all number of time-consuming things in order to get an interview. By far the most annoying, and the most common, is the online application form. While they are often kind enough to use software designed to import your CV and cover letter to populate their application form, it rarely works properly so you almost always end up spending hours reformatting everything just so that it makes some kind of sense. Then you get to the last page where they have the cheek to ask you to complete a ‘personal statement’ or some other nonsense that has you have already covered elsewhere. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!
An interview isn’t enough, either
You used to know what to expect from an interview. You’d sit in a nice room with your prospective boss and Marie from HR, reel off some bullshit about how your teenage job in McDonald’s provided you with transferable skills vital for the role of Management Consultant, shake hands and go home. These days though, even low-end jobs can require that you attend an individual interview, then an embarrassing group interview involving thought experiments and performance pieces about company values, and then (if you’ve sufficiently wowed your potential boss, Marie from HR AND an unidentified man with nicotine-stained teeth who shakes his head whenever you say anything), you get to do the entrance exam. And if you don’t make the grade…well, there’s no point in telling you, is there?
Job market and economic forecasting
I admit I have no idea how this works. But then I don’t think the ‘experts’ do either. One minute things are apparently picking up and the next minute we’re back in a recession again. I’d have to be an economist to see past the headlines, but then if I was an economist I’d probably have a job and wouldn’t care anyway.
So that’s it. Oh, and if any prospective employers are reading, please be reassured that none of the above applies to you. I think your week-long interview bootcamp would provide me with a wonderful opportunity to prove myself while learning about your fabulous organisation. And where did you get that shirt? The colour really suits you.”
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