Do you watch Scandal? If you do, you will be familiar with B6-13. For those of you that don’t, B6-13 is a special-ops group of assassins trained by the government to protect the country from domestic threats. They are a twisted bunch, with torture methods not for the faint of heart. Well, last week as I sat there watching my beloved Scandal, one of the characters began to reminisce about a time when she not so gently had her tooth extracted by one of these said B6-13 members. It was then that it dawned on me that the torture of job hunting is probably similar.
As of just last month it was reported that 9.3 million Americans are unemployed. People like to blame this on a poor economy and outsourcing of jobs. I beg to differ. I would guess that about 25% of those that are unemployed are not so because of lack of effort. There are plenty of jobs out there, I see pages and pages of openings on job boards every day. The problem lies in the fact that whoever comes up with these online application services that most jobs use must be criminally insane. Gone are the days where you create a bold resume that will catch the eye of a worn out HR rep, who has been flipping through resume after resume, bleary eyed, for weeks. Instead, it is highly likely that your resume or application will not even be read by a human. That is if you can even figure out how to apply for the position. Let me explain…
So you get on Monster.com or Indeed.com or whatever mass job posting site you may use. You find a position you want to apply for. Great! You click apply now, and start typing in all your personal information, you may even upload a resume. You click submit crossing your fingers for good luck as you shoot your credentials into the hands of your future employer… Wrong! No, instead you will probably get a message similar to Thank you for creating an account with Monster! Start applying for jobs now! Wait? Weren’t you just applying for a job? Ugh. Ok, so now your registered, great! Back to the search page, find the position, let’s try this again! This time you do get to the actual company website and begin the application process. Step one usually asks you to upload a resume. Great! You’ve worked very hard perfecting a wonderful resume! One look at that and you’ll be hired. You upload and hit continue. DUN DUN DUN! You have reached the agonizing part of the application where even though they now have a copy of your resume, you have to retype all that information (work history, education, skills), into little tiny boxes that may or may not have a character limit. So you start typing “asst. mngr.”, “morn.rest. Sup.” and a bunch of other jumbled up abbreviations you hope they don’t mistake as Morse code. You regurgitate all the tasks that you have done at those previous positions, wondering if you should use full sentences and correct grammar or just bullet points. You go to enter you educational information and they only give you a drop down menu of choices for where you may have gone to school. You end up having to select “other” which makes you feel like your education wasn’t good enough. You hit submit.
Great! All that typing is out of the way. But what’s this? Job specific questionnaire. Ok, fair enough. Please set aside 30-45 minutes to answer this required questionnaire. Huh? 30-45 minutes? Don’t they realize you are applying to this position on the sly on your work computer while your current boss isn’t looking? Whatever, bring it on! First question:How many years job related experience do you have? Well does that included classes taken at school or just hands on experience? And does it count if you gained knowledge about a position you are applying for by working near others who did that position? Hrumph! If you are lucky you get yourself through the questionnaire without your brain circuits frying. You hit continue and feel that this must be it. The end is here…
You fool! No, no, no! Now it is time for comprehensive assessment!
Remember the part where I said I would rather have my teeth pulled out by a trained assassin than apply for jobs? Well, most of that angst comes from having to complete the comprehensive assessment. This titillating tactic of torture can come in a variety of forms. First their is the psych test. Agree, Disagree, Strongly Agree, Neutral, Strongly Disagree.. Sound familiar? Hundreds of little bubbles that must be clicked in an effort to judge your sanity and personality type before you can even get a call back, never mind a sit down interview. But the psych test is the mildest form. The most pain inducing of them all is the SAT Retake Test (at least that is what I am calling it). The SAT Retake Test is so cringe worthy I have done all the aforementioned steps and refused to continue the application because they require one of these. This type of assessment is timed and literally doles out SAT worthy questions. Name the next number in the sequence, ___ is to ___ as ___ is to __, If Liza has 18 red apples and 44 blue apples and she is driving a green car, how many apple pies can she make? WHHHHATTT! Nope not happening. You have already (semi) passed the SATs and have gotten a degree. You have worked tirelessly at jobs that you hated just to prove yourself. So why on earth are you required to be berated by these crazy questions?
It has now been approximately 3 hours and you have managed to apply for 1 job.
This my friends, is why 9.3 million Americans are unemployed. Not because they are lazy, they don’t have the skills, there are no jobs, there are better candidates. No, it is because for some reason companies are making it impossible to fill out an application. An application that will be spit into a computer algorithm which will spit you back out as soon as you agreed instead of strongly agreed. Turn around on applications can be less than 24 hours with nothing more than an automated rejection email, if you are lucky. Other times there is complete silence, leaving you wondering if you even succeed in submitting your application correctly. *Sigh*
Overall, job hunting becomes your full time job, leaving you just as tired and confused as a double shift without your double latte.
So really, What’s the deal with that?