Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Limitations and Frustrations of Job Hunting in the Age of the Internet

This post might really show my age, but it's something I find very frustrating. Job hunting in the digital age can be difficult sometimes. It's practically impossible to walk into a place of business and leave your resume because everyone wants you to go through their online application process. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of gal who refuses to embrace technology [after all, you're reading my blog which I posted from my phone] but this lack of personal interaction severely limits the playing field which makes it more difficult for the job hunter. Not to mention the fact that it could blind an employer to a stellar employee because the human factor is removed until the last steps of the hiring process.

Even after one fills out all the requisite online forms and hits send, it's anyone's guess as to whether or not your information will be forwarded to the hiring managers inbox. Because these online applications are designed as a screening process, your fate rests squarely with an algorithm. If the right boxes were ticked or the correct combination of key words were listed, one might wind up on the lucky end with countless other candidates for a single job opening.

I won't even go into the nightmare of trying to follow up on an application when one has no idea with whom to follow up! It's enough to make my head spin!

I've had this beef with job hunting via the internet for a couple of years now, but I'm beginning to think it goes much deeper. One of my favorite bloggers just posted about how algorithms narrow the information which reaches us via the internet. You can read her blog about it here and I encourage you to follow her blog. If search engines and Facebook are giving us content based on what it has "learned" about us through our posts and searches, it stands to reason the same is filtering down to internet job searches we perform.

What if I go to jobdig.com and use their site to search for a public relations job in the Metro Area....the next time I visit the site, will it exclude certain jobs for which I qualify and might have an interest? My guess is that it probably will. This is the main reason I have taken a different approach to my job search this time around. I'm only pursuing solid leads which have come from personal acquaintances and it has made a huge difference. I've gone from sending 10 to 15 resumes a week with a 0% rate of garnering an interview to sending 4-6 resumes a week with a 50% success rate in securing an interview. That's an impressive improvement from just a small modification. And, one can't get the job if they never see your information!

There's so much I enjoy about how the world wide web has made the whole wide world a smaller, more accessible community, but I don't want it making too many choices for me. I want to look at the scope of ideas and beliefs so I can maintain a healthy balance personally.

Here's to mixing things up! [and to hopefully being gainfully employed again in the very near future!]


Anonymous said...

That must be so frustrating to separate out the hiring like that. I already felt bad for folks applying to my work because the application has to go through Harvard HR and get approved and only then do we get to see them. It's such a mess. Good luck.

Life with Kaishon said...

I can't even imagine how frustrating that must be. Truly stressful! I know God has the perfect job out there for you. Something greater than anything you imagined : )

Tarun Kumar said...

you are right... you can also search jobs opening details online.