You And I Do Job Hunting Very Differently
2019-03-11, 9:31 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
Today’s not-that-dramatic-for-a-change drama:
(1) New Girl got hired on in scheduling permanently, shocking no one. Good for her, sucks for this unit...which is exactly how life goes here.
(2) I saw my ex-boss today! He was briefly in town, apparently. Told him the good news about international mail and the Mike Otis disappearance of our former coworker.
(3) I got told that my outfit was like a museum...a compliment.
(4) I went to knitting group tonight and one lady, Carolyn, has been having A Rough Time Of It with her new security system. I related to this because dealing with my mom’s was a pain in the arse. She was calling tech support and ended up crying and having to get off the phone. She told me she got off the phone before she started screaming something like “My husband died a year ago and I shouldn’t have to deal with any of this!” Awwwwwwwwwwww. I think it sounds like she is doing pretty well, all things considered, but she said sometimes she does scream at his picture for leaving her. I hear ya, girl.
(5) GQ was job hunting today openly at work in the last hour of the day. This was...memorable. You see, GQ has a certain style of job applying that is about the dead opposite of what I do.
(a) He does not do so much customization of his resume and cover letter for each job. I skimmed his generic cover letter and while it is well written, it is pretty much along the lines of “I’m a go-getter.” Which he is, mind you, and I wish I wrote like that, but it’s not customized.
(b) He has pages and pages of resume. I have what I call a master resume that lists all of my job responsibilities since I started working. So does he, but as far as I saw he just puts ALL of it, along with photocopies of his degrees and letters of recommendation. This comes to about twelve pages.
(c) He applied to nine jobs within the last hour, just uploading all of that without any particular customization.
(d) I can’t speak for all of the jobs, but two of them he straight up had no qualifications for. Like one of them was some kind of SURGICAL job. GQ has 3 degrees, but none of them are medical ones. We attempted to talk him out of this by pointing out stuff like “You don’t have a license” but he’s all cheerful optimism and “Nobody can tell me what I can’t and can’t apply for” (yes, kinda like Locke on Lost) and “Hey, I could GET a license.” I was all, hm, well, they might want you to have a license already.... Again, this did not dissuade him. “Hey, for all I know only one other guy might apply for the job!” We pointed out that 400-500 people apply for each job here (New Girl beat out 399 others, I’ve been told, and she was already out of the dang job after 2-3 months.) so uh...probably not. He was not dissuaded.
If you apply to our giant organization, frequently the HR software has a “supplemental questions” section that they use to auto-rule you out of jobs. If you type “NA” or some such, as GQ did, it automatically tells you you’re not qualified and rules you out. This of course happened with the surgical job, as well as some science research one. GQ was not too bothered by this.
(I also cracked up when he said he quit doing financial advising because he didn’t like dealing with people so much. I said “so what about THIS job?” Nah, he’s fine with it here! HOW?!?!?!)
If GQ was a “permanent” employee I would immediately be directing him to go see the career counselor here, but I don’t think he’s eligible for that one. I guess if he’s happy taking shots in the dark like that, fine, and I doubt the HR system is going to notice or penalize him for blind job application. But I kind of wonder how well this works. Jackie says she applies for anything and everything, but I think she at least does it in areas she has qualifications in.
By comparison, this is how I job hunt:
(a) In my experience (which was verified by the career counselor), you have to have 95% of the job requirements to get an interview, and 100% to get the job here.
(b) Every time I read a job listing, I skim immediately to the bottom for what rules me out of the job, i.e. it wants me to do the budget and payroll or anything else financial, or involves phones/front counter. I don’t even read much beyond the job title and location, just skim down to “what rules me out of this one?” I don’t want to waste time applying for shit I don’t want and couldn’t get anyway. Rule it out now, is my motto.
I don’t even really care what the job is asking me to do much any more, I don’t bother to read it and think, “Can I do this?” unless there’s nothing that automatically rules me out. If nothing actually rules me out for the job, I will go back and see what else rules me out, or I can’t stand doing, or whatever.
I never see anything I’d actually want to do or care about at all any more. Haven’t applied for anything like that in at least 3 years.
(c) Should I find a job that isn’t awful, doesn’t require working with money and doesn’t mention running the front counter and phones* and doesn’t look super obvious that I would despise it, I may actually get off my ass and apply for it.
* note: I still get burned on this one with Surprise Phones And Counter frequently, even with jobs that don’t appear to have it at first.
(d) I spend some time customizing my resume for it (I actually enjoy this since that part is pretty easy), maybe around a half hour since I have this part nailed down.
(e) Then I spend too much time dredging through writing a cover letter that is customized for the job. I despise this bit most of the time because unless it’s a job that I actually qualify for with my experience (in those few cases, I’ve actually written really good letters), I have a terrible time arguing that I should get this job that at best, I’m an “eh” candidate for.
If I don’t think I’m a strong candidate among 399 other applicants, I really don’t want to bother, but I am more likely to bother to do this when I am in fear for my job again. For the jobs I am not an obvious fit for, I have a plug-n-play customizable cover letter that I do like the resume--just substitute in sentences per the job requirements. It’s not an awesome idea to do that, but it beats me trying to think of arguments for why I should have a job I should not really have. (And as you know, Bob, I can’t argue with anyone.) Either way, the cover letter takes 2-3 hours for me to dredge through writing usually. Even with the plug-n-play it’s probably an hour and a half hour of that is feeling guilty for sending in such a halfassed cover letter and trying to think of ANYTHING better.
(f) Then I spend the time filling out the supplemental questions with BS that won’t hopefully get me auto-ruled-out, etc. I have pre-written answers for these too to plug and play.
This is why I rarely apply for anything. I’d REALLY rather be using my time to do anything goddamned else than this, and if I don’t think I have any kind of shot at the job, realistically speaking, I don’t want to waste my free time applying. And I'm even less motivated to apply when I'm not at immediate firing risk and I just don't give any kind of shit about doing any of these jobs that are needed in the world.
I found that looking for jobs in other places actually made this a bit worse. It’s one thing to apathetically job hunt within my own giant org, it’s quite another to feel like this about all of the job listings and then add. “Do I really want to move to Weed for this job even though I mostly kinda qualify for it? Not really.”
I seriously just don’t want to be doing any of this any more, but I am very limited as to what I qualify for (especially by the high standards of my giant org and my experience being pretty limited outside of this business) and I don’t wanna run my own business and I’ll never win the lottery even if I actually bothered to play it, so...what else is there to do but solder on here?
Anyway, looks like GQ and I are textbook cases of “Guy who applies for anything whether he qualifies for it or not” and “Girl who won’t apply at all unless she meets 100% of the qualifications.”