As I think about what to do next with my life, I think about wanting to start an online business being able to work from anywhere until the fear of the unknown grabs me and I go online to search for the false sense of security in a traditional job. I have to admit the job search process is more stressful than dealing with my illness was! That may seem strange but think about it. With illness I was able to make decisions and had a say in what happened. A job search takes a whole different path.
The path begins with searching for a posting that appeals to me and fits my skill set. Then it turns to reviewing the posting and highlighting the keywords that seem important to the role and ensuring my resume and cover letter include those special words in hopes that my writing skills get noticed. Then I submit my specially crafted cover letter and resume into cyber space and hand off my fate to the hands of an algorithm behind something known as an Applicant Tracking System, ATS, yes another bloody acronym!!!
Now the waiting part. How long do I wait? What am I waiting for? A phone call, an email? Your guess is as good as mine. This part seems odd since most postings have comments along these lines, ‘no phone calls please’ or ‘only short listed candidates will be contacted’. Great! If you are fortunate enough to be contacted for an interview, you are doing well. So be prepared to answer questions intelligently and not be a total dork, like I recently was on a telephone interview. Oh well, live and learn. The alternative is silence in all forms or perhaps an impersonal email addressed to ‘dear sir or madam’ telling you that you didn’t make the short list. It’s an icy cold email yet at least it is communication. Hmmm…I think I have to step up my game!
This new world of online networking, creatively writing cover letters and the quest to write resumes using adjectives which describe ones accomplishments not just list job duties, not to mention searching online for ways to beat the applicant tracking systems…now one has to be smarter than the software application! Ugh! All this while checking ones ego in this competitive job market. The articles that come up when I search anything job or career related are amusing, I enjoyed seeing this title – resume optimizing techniques! Buzzwords abound! All of this leaves me wondering, where has the human element gone from Human Resources????
While searching and finding new postings that interest me, I go back into my resume to review and amend it for the next application. My heart sinks as I come across a typo! NO!!!! I am crushed!! After spending so much time on this document I can’t even read it clearly anymore. So much for the spelling and grammar check function!?!?! Damn! Back to my tracking spreadsheet to note my flawed resume and kiss those opportunities goodbye. Back to my old school style of reviewing a document by reading it aloud while tracing each word with my opposite hand! All is good now!
Having a profile on LinkedIn I receive job search threads where people post their concerns and comment on others questions. A repeat topic that turns up is titled ‘how to explain away a medical issue’… What?? No one asks to have a health issue! Why on earth is a person supposed to cover up a fact in their life! Unbelievable! Again I wonder, where is the human element hiding in Human Resources?
I may be dating myself here, but I miss the days when you could walk into a business, talk to a person and hand them your resume. At the very least make a first impression instead of having an algorithm assess the first impression of you as nothing more than an ‘applicant’. Perhaps technology has not changed the hiring process for the better.
I remain optimistic and am sure that things will work out just fine. In the meantime I will try to keep my sanity amongst the acronyms and algorithms. 😳
Still sparkling…one day at a time. 😊