Experiences with job search sites

Anyone who has ever tried to apply for a job and registered on the job-search sites would know the pain that comes with it. Some of these seem to be common across the world.

1. No response

When one responds to a job listing, no idea who processes these resumes. AI BOTS in all probability process it for minimum-wage jobs potentially. When you look at LinkedIn, there is a message that comes up, Be among the first 13 to apply for this job. Yes.. it means 13 other applicants have already applied for this job. Be among the first 100 to apply for this job… yes.. we get the hint, the probability of one nailing the job is becoming lower and lower as the days go by. Did we get the job? No idea? If you did not hear from them, that means you did not get the job. I used to think 2 weeks was a good timeframe to hear back from the recruiter, however, that does not seem to be the norm anymore.

2. repeat listing

One of my colleagues had applied to a job listing from a reputed organization. 2 weeks go by, he did not hear from the recruiter nor the organization. However, a fresh listing for the same job got posted. Every other week, there is a fresh listing created for the same job and posted by the recruiter. No feedback/inputs or note to those who are applying for the job. It would help if a one-liner is sent to the applicant whether they made it or not, with a reason before fresh listings are created.

3. fake listings

There seem to be many job-search sites that have sprung up of late. Say company 1 creates the job listing and posts it online. All job-hunt sites mimic this listing and post it on their sites. The original listing might have been closed within a month of the initial posting. However, 6 months later, some other job site will post the same listing and send the listing to thousands of registered users that there is a job opening and when one tries to get back onto the original site that posted the listing, the listing would have expired months ago. Imagine the ray of hope and pain caused to the thousands of users of these job sites who potentially think there is a job opening and try to skim through all the processes and multiple site links to get to know the listing expired.

4. Found someone with the skillset that matches the listing

Consider yourself privileged if you get a response from a recruiter or an organization who says they found someone else whose skillset matches the listing. This email means there was someone else who fit the job listing better than you. You must have been a close contender for the role, else you would not have received that note. Focus on applying to similar job listings. Any additional feedback on these notes would definitely help the one looking for a job.

5. over qualified

Oh! You have all that experience. That is great. We are looking for someone who can perform the basic role. It is frustrating when someone gets this comment (mostly during an interview, never over email). It does not matter whether you are an entry level trainee or an executive looking for a leadership role. While everyone wants experience, they do not want over qualified resumes. Hmm.. treading the balance is hard.

6. We shelved the job (or department) for now

If you have applied for (or been approached by) any leadership role, new department, new positions, innovative opportunities – you must have heard it. 3-4 months of shadowing by key personnel, recruiters and finally the job gets shelved. When and who provides the clearance to open up a job without hiring approvals? Why create the hope in people for over 4 months and then shelve the opportunity.

7. More than 6 months break

Life happens! Everyone understands it. However IT systems do not understand it sufficiently. If you have a break in your resume for more than 6 months, then it becomes difficult to get considered for a job. Going through a recruiter to rejoin the workforce is a better way to get back into the field. If you also want to switch careers with the break, it gets even more difficult. Plan it one step at a time, join the workforce and then look to switch. If you do not like the job you were performing and are very particular about making a change, attend a training program that upskills you in the relevant field and leverage their connections/network to apply for a job.

Would be great to see someone consolidate a report on actually how many jobs were opened up, who were recruited against it, and do a D&I verification against it. It would truly be interesting to see the results. At least, fake job listings can be suppressed.

if you are seriously looking for a job, some tips to help you land one

  1. One size does not fit all
    • Your resume is not your lifetime accomplishments or a biography. The recruiter would like to look at your relevant skills that you would bring to the organization, that can help the team or organization be productive.
  2. Be okay to update your resume to reflect your skillset as it relates to the job you are applying to
    • For example, if you are a baker, do list only your experience that relates to baking in your resume. It is easier for software programs to skim through your resumes and filter you to move to the next step. Remove your experience as an architect, financial advisor and other roles that do not directly relate to that of a baker.
  3. Attach a cover letter that explains your background, relevant skills and why you are applying to this job
  4. Referrals are highly valued
    • If you have a friend in an organization, have them share your resume to the recruiter / job posting. The recruiter knows that you are real, and someone can vouch for you. It helps get a response or move up to the interview stage
  5. Connect with a recruitment agency
    • While they give you good tips about your resume and help you align yourself / your resume and skills (upskilling/reskilling as necessary), the money spent with them will be more focused and better at yielding results.
  6. Leverage your contacts
    • Do not shy away from reaching out to your contacts or those in your professional circle for help. If you have skills, someone or other would have a need and your contacts (or their contacts) can help your resume reach a wider audience. One-on-One connections work significantly to figure out your next move – especially if you have had a break in your career.

If you have experienced any other patterns, do leave a note below.

Good luck on your job search!

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