The weird world of job-searching on the internet

Published 6:27 pm Thursday, June 20, 2019


Contributing columnist

If you are searching for employment, this column will likely resonate with you. If you are an employer, please read this and analyze your application process. It’s hard being unemployed. It’s exhausting and sometimes defeating to slog through the burning hoops of online applications.

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There are two main sources I review to look for potential employment — and LinkedIn. The good news is you can use search filters to focus on the type of employment you are seeking, The bad news is that the filters don’t always work.  Job suggestions are also supposed to match your experience and resume. Today’s top three suggestions are Part-time Event Specialist, Paralegal, and Equine Science Instructor. I have planned events and am an experienced legal writer, but am not sure where my resume would suggest I could work for the American Farrier’s Association.

Completing applications online would seem like a quick, fill-in-the-blanks operation. If you upload your resume, the application program will sometimes auto-fill the blanks for you. It is imperative that you review the blanks. For some unknown reason, a bullet point on writing a presentation for a judge to present at the Ohio Judicial College keeps popping up as its own stand-alone job.

Every job for which I’ve applied wants a resume AND requires an application that asks for the exact information from the resume. Why is this necessary? A friend who is a human resources big-wig said that employers don’t make the job hunt easy. No truer words have been spoken.

A few weeks ago, I was in the process of completing an online application. I had worked my way through about 85% of the application when the screen froze. I hit the “Next” button and it happened. A notice popped up that instructed me to refresh the page. When I refreshed, all of my data disappeared.

Ninety minutes of excruciating work vanished at the click of a key. I really wanted that job so I took a break then went back and revisited that form. Thankfully, the second attempt was successful.

I have had two interviews. The first one was with the company whose application froze. The organization is located in Louisville. Instead of having to drive there, I did a virtual interview. It was fascinating. I was sent a link in an email, which took me to an online interview site. Questions appear on the computer screen and the candidate videos the responses. There was even a practice session to get me comfortable with the process.

The email said this process would take about 20 minutes. I would video my response to the questions. If I didn’t like what I said or I absentmindedly scratched my nose while answering, I could delete and try again. An hour and a half later, I hit submit. I haven’t heard back from them. I was probably too perfect.

My second interview was in-person. After I signed in, I was given a clipboard with several forms to complete. It was like being a new patient at a doctor’s office with each form asking for basically the same information. As with a doctor’s office, I guess each form went to different offices for varying information filing requirements.

I interviewed with a three-person panel. I’m normally a pretty confident interviewee but I might not have been at the top of my game that morning. On my drive, I thought of a million better responses to the questions than I could formulate while on the hot seat. It’s a job I think I could do for the rest of my working career. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I need to decide if I’m going to apply for the Licensed Massage Therapist position or for the Associate Dean for Practice/Chief of Practice Officer at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Decisions, decisions.

G. Elaine Wilson-Reddy, JD, is a professional educator, consultant and advocate. She lives in Danville.