Job hunting. It's hard to think of a more frustrating, more humiliating experience.
Being reduced to a one-sheet and having to search through countless classifieds, for weeks or months on end, trying to figure out what you're qualified to do and how to make yourself sound more skilled and educated than you really are, is a process we all dread.
Yet we've all been there and we're all going to be there at some point in our lives. Alas, when you finally find the one job you think might be perfect for you, the starting salary is so low you may as well grab a cup and a sign and drag your butt down to the intersection.
The amazing thing is, with all the technology at our disposal, and the myriad of tools/sites that claim to make the application process easier -- e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Monster, etc. -- it seems the very act of applying for a job is still one of the biggest pain-in-the-ass-wastes-of-time there is.
You'd think by now someone would have developed a way to enter ALL your pertinent data with one click of a button, but despite all the services out there, at the moment, that doesn't seem to be the case.
Perusing a few of the bigger job sites in the past 48 hours, I was astonished at how ridiculous the application process gets for some of these companies. Even with the helpful assistance of LinkedIn filling out some of the required fields, it still took me upwards of 15-20 minutes to apply for a single job.
For instance, Taleo, a human resource company which was bought last year by Oracle for just under $2 billion, and which is one of the main sites you're redirected to when clicking the "Apply Now" button on Indeed and Monster, creates a bit of a nightmare for the user even when using a site like LinkedIn to auto-fill your data.
For starters, there's the little things: like your home address and making you scroll all the way down, through every-single-country-in-the-world, until you come to "United States." Seriously, folks, is that really necessary? How many people do you know that live in Afghanistan or Albania who are thinking of applying for a job at the Guggenheim?
Then, there are the countless boxes under each job title: Starting Salary, Ending Salary, Bonuses Earned (seriously?), Reason for Leaving, etc. If you've got five jobs listed over the past 15 years on your profile, you're going to have a heck of a lot of boxes to fill in.
Some sites ask your expected salary range and don't even let you type "Neg." in the box. There's nothing more frustrating on earth than having spent the past ten minutes filling in all these 'required' boxes, only to hit 'submit' and being zapped back to the beginning.
One of the more increasingly frustrating sites I found goes as far as asking you to create not one, not two, but four security questions. Obviously, in case you forget the answers to the other three.
1. Where were you born?
2. What's your favorite food?
3. What's the name of your best friend? (If you don't have any friends, you're a loser and shouldn't apply to work here)
4. What color underwear am I wearing?
And what's up with the Secret Service-type passwords these sites make you enter just to apply for a lousy job you won't even last six months at?
"Password must be 8 letters in length and must contain at least 1 capital letter, 1 character of your choosing from #$%^& and one chemical symbol from the Greek table of elements."
Do they really think a hacker is going to give a crap about the fact your last job was at Denny's? And what's with making you register all over again every single time you apply to a different company? Are you really going to come back? After applying for a job, have you ever in your life decided you needed to re-access the company's website for the sheer thrill of it? No. You simply either get a reply in your inbox or you don't.
The most egregious violation I came across when applying for a job was a site that made you jump through all the hoops the other ones do, but also asks for your Social Security number! Are they nuts?! What in the world would you need my SS# for when applying to be a men's room attendant? You already asked me 15 questions pertaining to the legality of my citizenship, so, surely we must be okay in that department?
Even Indeed.com, one of the biggest job sites around, knows this whole thing is a joke, as they offer links to select jobs which literally scream out "Easily Apply for This Job!" proving they're well aware how completely f$cked the entire process is.
I'm no expert on cloud computing, and maybe there is a site out there that currently exists that can enter all your info, for everything across the board, without having to register you every time you switch to a new application, but I haven't come across it.
For now, if you're thinking about applying for a job, the best thing to do is just suck it up and take whatever abuse you're currently enduring at whatever job you're presently at. Let the higher-ups insult and ridicule you all they want and stop complaining. Trust me, it could be worse. You could be sitting home in your boxers, spending six hours uploading pictures of your kids just to work at Subway.