The New Job Searching Reality

When I was a kid I had jobs that included mowing lawns, cleaning gutters and window wells, and delivering news papers, plus assorted odd jobs such as painting and pulling weeds or whatever. I came by those job via word of mouth, mostly.

When I was a teenager I just went from place to place asking if they were hiring and if they were they gave me an application.That was pretty much the deal for a long time, although when I was in college, attending Macomb Community College, they had a job placement office that had binders with job posting and you went through the different binders until you found something.

The last time I job searched was a little more than seven years ago. I created a resume and mailed them out along with a cover letter on really nice paper. I did find most of the jobs that I applied for via the internet, on Monster.com and careerbuilders.com. Now there are so many online job boards. I did find a few via the newspaper classifieds. Although the job I ended up getting, the one before my most recent job, was via family. Well, via my ex-wife’s family. My job at the library I found by visiting their web site.

Now, you have to submit your resume and cover letter via the internet, uploading your documents from your computer to databases. Although a more effective way to submit is to get a hold of someone’s email address and email your materials directly to them. That requires a contact usually, or some creative investigating, figuring out the email pattern and identifying a person and trying to create their email address. It can be a crap shoot.

Something else that’s different about the job search process I discovered  yesterday. It has to do with response time. When you mailed in a resume and cover letter you knew it would be awhile before you heard back. It was similar even with email, although the response time was  usually shortened. Now, with databases, the response time can be almost immediate. I applied for a job via a company’s web site yesterday and perhaps an hour or so later I got a call from a recruiter. And I had a phone interview right on the spot. It was a little jarring. I wasn’t really prepared for an interview. In my defense, the recruiter guy wasn’t all that prepared either. He asked me why I was attracted to the job, which was difficult for me to answer, but it was also difficult for him to “tell me more about the job” when I asked.  Perhaps because of that he cut me a little slack. I hope so anyway.

In any case, it was a response, which is always good. Yesterday was a good job-search day. I applied for 5 different jobs, got a call and phone interview with the possibility of call back later this week. Today: not so good. Was unable to find a single job to apply for. Sigh.

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