Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Frustrations of the Unemployed

Happy New Year everyone.  Sorry I've been on a bit of a hiatus.  If you're unemployed, you understand the ups and downs of emotions.  Frankly, I just haven't had it in me to post.

Now, however, the new year is already bringing new hope and possibilities and I'm very excited about what the future holds.

Today, however, I wanted to take a peek at an article I saw on LinkedIn.  Initially, it caught my eye because the author said he wanted to be "raw" and "honest."  I couldn't help but agree with him that most articles about "how to get a job" have become rather cliche.  Unfortunately, Mr. Balmer's attempt did not improve much on what's already out there.  In fact, he was a bit brash in his tone.

View the full article here

More interesting than Mr. Balmer's advice, however, were the comments in the comment section, particularly the first comment by 'timgray."  Tim does an amazing job of pointing out the absolute craziness with the interview/job search process.  Employers are dictating all of the advice on how perfect a candidate should be while falling far short of perfection themselves.  I can't tell you the number of times I've scratched my head in confusion by the 'laws' that govern the job search and the reality of people and society.

In addition to Tim's suggestions, I've always been frustrated--as a Language major--at the articles written about attention to spelling and syntax in resumes yet find countless examples of error-filled job requisitions. 

How about the places that specifically state the position is an entry level position, yet requires 2-3 years of experience? 

We also constantly hear that employers want to see we are "go-getters" and "ambitious" but "No phone calls or emails please" to show that ambition to them and stand out among the thousands of resumes.

And what's with the cover letter requirements only to have a phone screener asking me the basics of what was in my cover letter?

Most importantly: my name.  If I wrote you a letter asking for a job and misspelled your name that was clearly written in the job requisition, would you throw out my resume?  Conventional wisdom says yes, because we weren't "paying attention to detail."  But, where is the respect when writing back to me and spelling my name correctly?  My name was clearly in the cover letter, in bold and large font at the top of my resume, in my email and as part of my email address.  I know you're busy folks in HR, but does it take that long to simply verify that you spelled my name correctly?

Mr. Balmer has some valid points, but his words can also be viewed as rather "picky."  It's no wonder that there are A LOT of jobs unfilled while millions who want to work remain without jobs and we continue to hover around an unemployment rate of 8.5%.

I recently heard on a major network that 2012 will be the year that employers hire more to train more.  Employers are going to help close the skills gap.  Removing some of those overly "picky" qualifications will help their process. 

Here's to a better 2012 for you all out there!

1 comment:

  1. Great point. I remember during my job search that I felt even though an employer made mistakes like you've mentioned - that I still NEEDED the interview. It's hard to be picky when it's an employers market and therefore is the problem.