The Online Black Hole
I came across an article from New Jersey’s Star Ledger that detailed the realities of modern day job searching. The article talks about Becky Cole, who lost her job two years ago due to the recession, and has steadily been looking for work since. Like most, she began attending every job fair she came across and didn’t like what she saw. Several recruiters refused to take her resume or give her a business card while others had plenty of brochures but no jobs to offer. Everybody told Cole to apply online instead, regardless of whether or not they had any openings. Cole didn’t get quick, in-person job fair interviews or have the opportunity to further discuss her resume. Rather, she received smug directions to the company’s career website.
The article suggests such practices are very common these days and are defended by HR managers as a means to process the plethora of resumes they now receive for a job opening. However, there are many job seekers frustrated and demoralized by the online process, as they have spent countless hours applying to jobs online only to never hear anything back. The article noted job seekers are actually happy if they receive a rejection letter because at least it’s something and proves that maybe someone actually looked over their resume. A recruiting firm noted that they posted a job for a front desk receptionist and received 500 applications in 4 days and larger corporations usually receive even more. HR managers are often overwhelmed and defend the online submittal process by noting they simply do not have the staff to look over all applications.
I’ve been there and done that. I went to a few job fairs only to vow never to return again. Not only wasn’t I impressed with the quality of the jobs being offered, but everybody directed me to their company’s career website oftentimes handing me a pre-printed card with the website link on it. There was simply no benefit to attending. Why bother traveling to a location only to be directed to a website that you already knew about? The online application process is garbage anyway because it’s essentially like submitting your resume and personal data into an online black hole, never to be seen or heard from again. I’ve submitted countless applications online and have only received a grand total of 2 responses, both of which were laughable. The only way I’ve gotten better responses was from having contacts inside a company.