Gone, are the days of ‘pounding the pavement’ and ‘knocking on doors’ to find a job. “Who you know, not what you know’ used to be the way of to secure a job, but thankfully, today, the search is MUCH easier. In today’s modern world, the jobs come to you! What more could one ask for? A simple solution, to an old school problem. We’ve come a long way!! Or have we?
Employers need people. People need jobs. Traditionally, ‘who do you know?’ would get a working relationship started, but in our fast paces world, time is a precious commodity. What was needed was a marketplace. A marketplace where the exchange of needs and skills can meet, merge and be agreed upon. Hence, the birth of the ‘job board’. Like the stock market, the job board is a place to exchange needs and wants and the best part? No one needs to move from their desk. It’s the perfect set up. Brilliant right? Not so much!
Technological advancements like the Internet, company websites and job boards bring opportunities 24 hours a day, seven days a week; all at the touch of a button (okay, a few more buttons are involved than just one, but you get the idea…) At first glance, it appears as though you are really putting yourself and your talents out there. But how effective is it? Really?! Are we truly saving time or just hiding behind a lot of smoke and mirrors. Are there any real results? Or are we just kicking up a lot of dirt, putting on a good show and merely fooling ourselves?
To the seasoned job seeker, job boards are nothing more than a modern day form of cruel and unusual punishment. A form of cyber torture if you will. Job searching is a full-time job. Anyone who has experienced it in the past few years, will be quick to tell you, it leaves you mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. It’s the full-time job, minus the benefits and warm fuzzy ‘feeling of accomplishment ‘ an actual job brings.
From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that posting a resume on a job board or applying online, is one of the most time consuming exercises and tests of patience one can ever engage in. After spending hours revising resumes to adhere to the preferred terminology of each hiring manager, seekers go online to apply, creating logon IDs on virtually every company site on the planet; jumping through hoops; filling in the blanks and required fields, and once again, re-formatting their beautiful Word document because the ‘text’ setting on the site, doesn’t recognize pretty fonts and centering. So, you fuss over the details, AGAIN, and when you are finally satisfied with the end result, you cross your fingers, hit the “send” button and 99.9 percent of the time, your efforts are rewards with, wait for it…nothing!
Your beautifully composed summary of all talents, strengths and skills has now, officially, entered into the proverbial ‘black hole’ of resumes, never to be heard, seen or looked at again. THIS my friends, is the way of the modern job hunt!!
In all fairness, occasionally, to reassure you that you are not totally wasting your time, and restore your faith that there actually is ‘something out there’, an email, thanking you for your interest and confirming receipt of your application, arrives. Those, lucky enough to actually receive this special gift, are so grateful to be acknowledged at all, that they actually want to thank the company for responding at all, and most importantly, confirming that there really is ‘something out there’. Prepare to be disappointed folks. The e-mail, is generic. One you can’t reply to. So you can’t even thank them for even acknowledging you in the first place leaving you wondering all over again,
‘is anyone out there? Anyone?’
It’s been my experience, that 90 per cent of the time, the posting is actually just a technicality anyway. The suitable candidate has long ago been selected but in order to appease those who want the job, but can’t have it because their co-worker already quietly ‘got it’, the posting is merely a politically correct move to silence the masses.
With over 10,000 jobs listed on one site alone, I ask the question, ‘How is it that after 10 months of job seeking, hours of re-vamping, re-wording and re-formatting resumes, my job hunt via job boards has had no success? Not even a nibble! To be fair, I have, on a few occasions, received a response stating that surprisingly, the job (posted three days ago) has been filled. ‘Thank you for your interest’ the note stated. Interesting! The job was posted, all resumes were reviewed, interviews ensued and the ‘right person for the job’ was hired by the morning of the third day? Amazing! A miracle really….
Naturally, this begs another question. Of the 10,000 jobs posted on one site alone, how many of those jobs are actually really ‘open’ and, are the required qualifications reasonable, or just an employers wish list?
Naturally, employers want the best people in place. Therefore, a job posting is a test of how close employers can get to ‘the ideal person’. That’s right! Job postings are merely an employers’ wish list. The ideal candidate will have this, that and the other, and oh, just for good measure, a bit of that too, if you please. The use of words like, ‘must have’,’ a minimal of…’ and’ expertise knowledge of….’ are all meant to weed out the weak and test the brave. Those who have 70 per sent of the ‘must haves” feel they don’t qualify for the role because the need for a ‘BA/ Degree or minimum of 5 years experience in the industry…’ is required to succeed in the role. Turns out. Not true! The International Association of Business Communicators has indicated that a huge gap exists between intermediate and junior roles. Why? Junior level staff sees the ‘wish list’ and are deterred from applying because they are intimidated.
A career management program I took two years ago indicated that 80 per cent of the job market is hidden, and that only 20 per cent of job hunters know how to tap into it. How you ask? Simple. Networking! ‘Who do you know that I should meet?’ After 17 years in the banking world, I had no idea what networking was, and worse, no clue how to do it. I’m still not entirely comfortable with it. Yet, after ten months of looking, I finally landed my first interview and hopefully a new job. How? I knew someone, who knew someone, who needs someone.
Networking. This back to basic approach, this old school way of landing the right role is the best-kept secret of the 21st century. So, as the masses lose themselves in the cyber ‘black hole’ of resumes and databases, successful people are utilizing networking and advancing at record speed.
So turns out, that going back to the basics is the way to go, because after all that, when the dust settles and the smoke clears, it all boils down to one thing. ‘Who do you know that I should?’
Recruiters? Now that’s another story….
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