3 – Internet Hiring: There’s An App For That

I just finished submitting a job application to a local company’s web site.  At least I think I submitted an app.

I intended to apply for three positions.  Each online job app consisted of approximately eight pages.

The first few pages were “yes” and “no” questions:  do I need a visa to work in the U.S., any felonies, little things like that. Then came employment background which asked for job titles, supervisor’s names, salaries … the kind of info you rattle off when you’ve had jobs that have job descriptions.  There was no provision to define anything that did not fit into a neat little pigeonhole, aka me.  Even though I had uploaded my resumé, the online app required that I enter my employment history, which was fine except that excerpted portions of my resumé had automatically been inserted in the blank spots.

So I deleted everything and started from scratch.  First I listed my advertising business, which I’ve had since 1984.  Technically I’m still in business although these are the leanest times I’ve ever experienced.  (That’s why I’m spending my time filling out online job apps.)  The form required a start date and an end date.  I don’t have an “end” date.  So I picked July, 2010, and typed “still working” in the “reason for leaving” box.  Then the form asked for my supervisor’s name and phone number.  I typed in my name and phone number.  Below that was a box to check whether or not it was okay to contact my supervisor (me).

I scratched my head, checked the box, and moved on.

Next came the salary requirements section.  There was a list ranging from $20,000.00 to $100,000.00.  Now there’s a yes or no question, I thought.  Yes, I’d like a salary.  Right now any salary would look good.  And, no, I didn’t choose the $100,000.00 box. I clicked the one in the middle.  A little voice told me I could stop right there.  I figured I had pretty much taken myself out of the running when I didn’t select the lowest salary.

Almost every time I completed a page and clicked the “move to next page” button, I was sent back to the preceding page with a message that I had not filled out a required field.  Instead of arguing with the computer, I thoroughly pored over the page looking for the blank spot.  After much searching, I found that part of my address was missing.  So I re-entered it and tried to move on.  I was sent back again.  After three or four more tries, the cybergods accepted the info and I was allowed to move on.

An hour later, I had finished one application.  I hesitated as I considered whether or not I wanted to apply for the two additional jobs.  I calculated the odds of getting a response from the employer.  I came up with three categories: they’ll call for sure, app lost in cyberspace, and slim to none.

I checked the “slim to none” box and turned off the computer.


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