Friday, December 07, 2007

will work for job

Job hunting is an exercise in humility and confusion.

I like writing and like to think I'm a decent communicator but I usually have one or two things defined: exactly what my intended reader wants or free reign to write what I want. The rules of job hunting here in America have changed and resumes have to be adapted and articulated specifically for each position to make you appear to be the perfect and only possible candidate. In my case I have about 350 words to summarize sixteen years worth of work, education and achievement.

That's less than 22 words per year. Tough task if you have to sell yourself but don't really know exactly what the person on the other end is looking to buy. You've also got to figure that someone on their end has condensed who their company is, what it does and what the position should be ( not always what it ends up being ) into a couple paragraphs as well. In fact the space is so limited in job descriptions that they never have room to mention the subtle requirements of superhuman skills, things like fixing problems left by your predecessor who was overworked and left a trail of wreckage as they beelined it through the door, the ability to cram 55 hour work weeks into 40 hours, tackling challenges with the mental strength of ten men and so on.

All kidding aside, it's crazy work finding a job these days. Every HR person and recruiter has a different idea on what your resume should say and look like based on their particular openings. They typically project their expectations onto every company in North America assuming resumes and job specifications are standardized. Crazy.

I might have to go back to school to get some of the positions I'm looking for but for now I've still got freelance work and am paying the bills. I know a lot of people in the media biz who can't say the same so I guess I'm lucky.


At 10:14 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I agree with you. In fact I'll go so far as to say I hate the job hunt and recruiters drive me absolutely crazy. They are one step away from the ever-annoying car salesmen, which unfortunately is something I have to deal with right now being that I'm looking for a new car.

In my experience recruiters have tried to fit me to a roll instead of the other way around. Finding the job that fits me perfectly instead of trying to pigeon-hole me into something I don't want to do. Like financial analysis. Doesn't tha sound crappy? more likely boring too.

So I just wanted to send out this message and say, "Yes, job hunting is crappy."

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Melissa O. said...

Thankfully teachers are in such high demand that I haven't had to worry too much about recruiters. I would actually suggest that you look into teaching high school or adult ed. Film and computer classes are in high demand here in california. My friend's mom use to work for the local news station and now runs a film department for a local charter high school. Just an idea for you :)
Oh BTW - i will get to your tag once i blog again. i'm in the middle of comverting my windows xp computer lab to an edubuntu thin client lab so i have been super short on time.


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