Many people have sometimes found themselves either out of work or unhappy with their current employment. So the job hunt begins. There are some advantages and disadvantages of today’s methodology of job seeking.
In days gone by, a person could simply type up a resume, don their Sunday best, and physically take it to places where he or she wished to work. Fortunate people could even catch a busy manager for a few minutes and introduce themselves.
That quick first impression could leave a lasting one, and when an opening was available, the manager would have the resume, complete with comments about that impression at the ready, and give that person a call.
Years ago, I was one of those managers. I headed up a camera and photography store in a large mall when I attended college. It was so helpful to get a visual on the applicants so that I could either file or toss those resumes. People say the oddest things in resumes, and without meeting them in person, opportunities can be lost, or worse, poor hiring decisions are often made.
Nowadays, there are countless job service companies who do the “work” for both the job seekers and the employers. There are reputable places such as Monster.com and Zip Recruiter, where people can upload their resumes and cover letters on their sites, then cross their fingers that an employer who has an interest in their skills will take beyond a cursory look at what they’ve submitted.
There are also numerous other spin-offs of these services. Most of them simply want your information so that they can bombard you with jobs that are not anything like what you are interested in, or what are in your skill set, or are half way across the country.
The reason for it is so that they can sell you more “education” through some online “university” that you probably never heard of. But that’s not why you went to the site in the first place. You went there to look for job openings, probably in your area, that you are qualified for.
The problem is, that the employers who allow their jobs to be posted on these click bait sites are literally getting thousands of resumes a day through a second-hand data feed. They usually don’t even need to look at the feed because they can fill the openings either internally or via their own career tab on their corporate website. So the list becomes the property of the click bait site.
Another issue, is that companies have the disadvantage of not getting to meet with their applicants until they have weeded through the online applications and can invite the “desirable ones” in for an interview. In so doing, they likely miss out on a multitude of good applicants and end up interviewing many who are not. The human element is one hundred percent missing.
Instead, applicants are often required to take an online “assessment” to see what they would do in certain conditions on the job; to see how honest they are and what their temperament is. The tests are conducted by third party agencies such as Taleo, hired by the companies to sort out applicant responses.
These psychological evaluations are sadly lacking in assessing someone’s actual job performance. People often answer these questions the way they believe the employer would like to hear them to respond, and not with the truth. Even if they do answer with the truth, the algorithms in the exam may sort their responses to be as untruthful. It does not substitute in any way for an in-person meeting.
Since the option to apply in person has mostly fallen by the wayside, it is strongly recommended to always apply for positions directly on the corporate website of the firm you wish to work for. Skip the middle man entirely. Those websites are usually a waste of time and will clog up your emails with tons of garbage almost daily. Another option is to try and get to know people who work at the place where you want to apply and ask them the name of a department manager.
In addition to submitting your application online, send one directly to that manager, and tell him or her in a cover letter, that you have also submitted an online application, but that you are extremely interested in interviewing with their company and wanted to get your information in the hands of someone who may be able to help facilitate an interview.
Most jobs are acquired through who you know. That is neither good nor bad. It’s just how things work. It’s a big time saver for the company because the management trusts the recommendations of responsible people.
Finally, if there is any way to be creative, stop into a company to personally drop off your resume and cover letter, and ask for an introduction to the manager, it couldn’t hurt. Be sure to dress sharply. Many people dress poorly for interviews now, and dress reflects on image. This should also apply to just dropping off a resume. Companies want to have an image of success, not of tourist casual or grunge.
The key to landing a job is having an upper edge over the other guy. And that edge is no longer whether you went to an Ivy league college or not. It’s how you present yourself, and how you can get yourself in front of the boss to sell your ability to do the job.
Most importantly, don’t sit home and stare at your computer monitor. Think outside the box.