Friday, January 8, 2010

Casting Pearls Before Swine (A.K.A. Seeking a Job in 2010)

“What the heck happened to the “Help Wanted” ads?” I complained to my husband, Fred, one Sunday, “the section is tiny.”

“Most jobs are advertised online now,” he said.

“Why? Does the tedious process of locating individual jobs sites, typing in statistics, and pasting resumes into vacant fields sort out the “men” from the “boys”? If you’re not internet savvy, you’re up “Unemployment River” without a paddle, aren’t you?” I ranted.

Fred cowered.

Job descriptions online are ridiculously specific now. To have all the qualifications they ask for it would be a bloody miracle. I read one on Fred’s behalf a few months ago:

MBA, BME, Lean Six Sigma. Applicant must have 14 years experience in FEA software and trimmed sideburns. Size 11 feet are a preferable. Must have off-road drilling vehicle experience and a credit rating of 750. Spouse that bakes brownies (no nuts) on Fridays—required.

If Fred’s feet were smaller, he’d have that job nailed.

If you manage to get past the “Letting your Resume Loose Online/Pray it doesn’t Show up in Arabic on the Other End of the Web” step, and do get a phone call to schedule a “Phone Interview”...don’t get too excited. They usually assign that task to the office Plant Lady. You’ll be lucky if she puts her leaf duster down to write down your answers.

If you get past the phone interview, you might get another phone call to schedule a “Face-to-face-to-face-to-face-to-face” Group Interview. These meetings definitely make you feel like a “detainee” having your cerebellum probed. I once went to a Group Interview for a lousy, 9-hour a week church secretary job and faced a grim panel of church people firing questions at me like BBs. I did so poorly, I thought they were going to yell, “WITCH!”

If you get through the “Group Interview”, you’re still not home free. With so much competition for open positions these days, managers can take their time, tease you and keep you waiting, like a rotten boyfriend. During the weeks, maybe months of waiting, it’s always good to write “Thank You” letters to all the "inquisitioners."

If a prospective hiring manager does call you in, wear a different outfit, have your references on alert and bring a pen or pencil so you can hand-write out an application with all the same information you already provided weeks ago.

Remember: You’re the “pearl” they’ve been looking for....but make sure your shell is closed.

No comments: