Being a job seeker in today’s climate is hard. Yes, even with the supposedly recovered economy. Part of the reason is the type of jobs that are available, but the other reason, as I see it, is the increased level of digitization the job search has undergone.
Let’s take the ongoing argument over which font to use on your resume to make it to the next round. Fonts. It’s down to fonts, guys. If you really think that the only reason you got hired is because you used Helvetica and not Ariel I have no more words for you. Just don’t use Comic Sans or Wingdings and you’ll be fine. Unless you’re in graphic design, then maybe there’s some secret gateway font you need to design yourself. But then again graphic designers just showcase their skills via their personal websites nowadays anyway.
Which brings me to this fairly new trend of personal websites. I say “new” because they’re not just for artists anymore. I see articles recommending everyone have one, whether you’re in sales or banking or a copy editor. Wix likes to send me examples of the very best, so I can feel inadequate about a mediocre version of something I didn’t even know I needed until recently. Still, I’m proud of my little corner of the web. Does it work? I have no idea, since I made it after I landed my current job, but it’s out there, biding its time.
What really amazes me is that when we were kids we were taught not to share any identifying information on the web, and now we’re making interactive resumes with the goal of reaching the eyeballs of as many strangers as humanly possible. In the space of a decade we have gone from crafting elaborate aliases your boss or parents could never track down to studying up on SEO strategy so our life story comes up on a Google search.
Speaking of SEO, with all this new technology comes the inevitable demand for a workforce well versed in tech. Every website and headline seems to be touting the skills du jour you need now, or you’re never going to be hired by anyone again. I stopped reading these articles. It’s always STEM, guys. There, now you can stop clicking on them too.
Above everything else, what technology really killed was the ability to walk into a place and get a job application, or speak to a hiring manager, which apparently everyone was able to do in the good old days but unfortunately ended before I could even secure a paper resume for Subway. This is inevitably going to kill the job fair. Really, why even have a job fair if everyone is going to direct you to the internet?
So you apply online, with links to your website, your resume tailored to get past an algorithm, a perfected LinkedIn profile. Did you know that people are advising you publish articles on LinkedIn now in order to stand out in your field and, therefore, get a job? Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse a little bit? Do people still say that even though the automobile killed the cart?
And to think, back in our parent’s day, all you had to do was fill out a paper application. It seems so quaint, doesn’t it?
But look on the bright side; we’re all going to be slaves to our robot overlords in a few years. I wonder if they’ll offer dental.