Monday, July 13, 2009

Job Search Techno Style

I have not interview for a job in 5.5 years. At that time, the interested employer found my resume on a resume site, called me and set up an interview time. I drove to their office and conducted an interview. They made an offer before I got out the door. This to me is normal. This is apparently “old school.”

Everything is done on-line. And I mean everything.

I’m looking for employment and admit to throwing my resume at anything that moves. I have posted on several job boards. I peruse the local businesses I would be interested in. I have even solicited my friends and relatives for any point of contact they might know. I certainly haven’t simply taken the first job that came around; otherwise I wouldn’t still be looking. However, there are endless forms. They want you to attach a resume and a cover letter. Absolutely. Once your resume is attached they want you to fill out their special form which generally is your resume all over again just in pretty little boxes. I’m punching so many buttons my job search is beginning to become a job in itself.

Some companies I have applied for that have teenagers working for them ask you a series of personality questions. “If Sally is talking negatively about Mark should you a) Tell the Manager on duty, b) Ignore her comments and continue to work, or c) Stir things up by telling her Mark thinks her butt is too big?” Seriously? Unfortunately this is not a joke. It is not word for word but a nearby amusement company asked over 30 questions just like this. By the end I was pretty sure I didn’t want to work there as I have already finished high school and have a diploma as proof.

In my quest for employment I have experienced technology running the system. Evidence for this is my very first live on-line interview. I was on the phone with the pursuing employer and half way through the conversation she asked if we could continue the interview in an on-line web conference. I use my web conference quite regularly to talk to family members so I agreed. She used a different service so I told her I would call her ID as soon as I had downloaded the program. Once hanging up I realized that I’m a stay at home Mom. This means I had on no make-up, my hair was in a headband and I was wearing a t-shirt with no bra. Ah, the picture phones down fall on the road to success. The only saving grace was that I had showered for the day. I was quick with the make-up and luckily the hair was cooperative. While downloading the software I threw on a blouse and bra. From the waist up I looked pretty good. We both signed in and began our interview. It was roughly the same whether it had been conducted over the phone or through the net. Eye contact was minimal as she was jotting notes the entire time and it made me almost question why the on-line conference to begin with. I have a second interview this week so at least the outcome was favorable.

My question is what happened to the people? I use to address a letter to a corporation with a point of contact’s name. Now I’m fortunate if I get a corporation’s name. I’m sure with all of the competition for jobs at this point it might save the company and hiring manager a lot of headaches to not be bombarded with calls and drop-in interviews. However it has taken a little civility out of the process. I feel more like a number than ever before. This number still needs a job so I will play the game but earnestly hope that our technology doesn’t eventually take the human aspect out of everything.

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