Let’s be clear, no one likes to job hunt. The process of job hunting involves hours upon hours spent hunched at the computer, tirelessly clicking your mouse from one website to the next. There are emails to be sent, resumes to be tweaked, research to be done on whom to send it to, cover letters to be written specifically for each position; let’s face it, job hunt is no child’s play.
And if you happen to land an interview, well there is studying to be done, suits to be worn and god forbid you say the wrong thing. All in all it is clear that job hunting Sucks with a capital S, but here are the ten worst reasons why!
1. Writing Cover Letters
Remember those days when you could print off fifteen generic cover letters and distribute them to everyone? Those days are long gone! Employers have gotten trickier and they do not only set out unrealistic job descriptions, but they make you have to tweak your cover letter for each position you apply to, how dare they! First you have to tweak the letter to the job you are applying for, which basically means putting in “keywords” so that a) the computer program that scans it will pick them up and put it in the “read me” pile or b) so it actually sounds like you read the job description (You did read it right?). That’s not even the worse part though. The truly difficult bit is to find out whom to address it to, which means scouring the internet, websites and even Twitter. After you are all ready to go, two hours later, you hit the send button only to find that you didn’t read the fine print that said they would only accept submissions in pdf*, and you sent yours in doc*. Two hours of your life wasted.
2. Invasion of Privacy
Prepare to let go of any sort of privacy notions when you are job hunting as it seems employers can ask you whatever they want. Social security number, drivers licence, birthdate, date you graduated high school; all of these questions are apparently allowed. How about asking for personal references? Sure let me just hand over the name of my best friend who has known me since I was two, I’ll just let her know that some strange man will be asking about me. And all of these before the interview. Sheesh, and we thought the government was nosy.
3. Inaccurate Job Descriptions
You know those perfect job descriptions, the ones that sound too good to be true. Let us be the first to tell you that they are indeed too good to be true. When a job description says: must be flexible, what they really mean is you must be able to work at any time of the day or night and not complain about it. When it says: managing an office, it means answering phones and being the secretary who constantly gets yelled at. It would be a lot more realistic if companies wrote their job descriptions in the following manner:
Job Description: Working all hours of the day and night, being on-call and tending to our every beck and need.
Salary: Awful, and we won’t give you a raise like we promised to.
4. The Salary Question
"Send us your salary expectations". If I was being truthful I would send you what I really wanted to make, which is more than your CEO makes so that’s probably not going to land me the job. On the other hand I am so desperate to get off my couch and stop eating chips and watching Netflix that I might just throw a ridiculously low number down so I can get hired. How are you even supposed to know what they want you to say? Next time a job application asks me this questions I am going to answer "Whatever the job pays, that is how much I want to make", maybe that will land me an interview.
5. The Overqualified Speech
The job posting requires five years of experience and you have ten. You think you’ve got this in the bag, after all who could refuse someone who actually has more experience than needed. And then the unthinkable happens, the employer calls you up and tells you that you indeed have the experience, just too much. Wait. What? How is that possible? Getting hired because you don’t have enough experience can be understandable but having too much is like a kick in the face. Some people suggest dumbing down your resume if you are overqualified which leads us to the conclusion that we can now only get the job we want if we pretend we are stupid.
6. Talking About Yourself
One of the worst questions an employer can ask is “Tell me about yourself”. Seriously? What is it that you want to know? I promise that I have put a lot of time into my resume and cover letter explaining how I am perfect for the job. Now you want to know more? Should I divulge how I never go to the gym, or how I only eat chicken fingers on Tuesday or wait did you want to know if I have kids? Should I boast about my past job performances? Shortly after this, the inevitable “What is your biggest weakness” follows. So after boasting myself up for you, now you want to tell me what is wrong with me? Come on, give me a break here.
7. The Interview
Seriously this one we shouldn’t even have to explain, because honestly who likes going to interviews? An interview forces you to wiggle into those too tight dress pants, wear a blazer in the sweltering heat and answer to people who may or may not even see you again. Interviews with multiple managers are the worst and I’d compare them to parole hearings. You dress up, you study and then they ask you nothing relevant about the job. Sound familiar? There are hundreds of thousands of ways to conduct an interview and there’s just no way to know what you are getting into until you sit down.
8. The Post-Interview Work
Congratulations you passed your first interview and have been invited back for a second one. But wait, there’s a catch. The second interview is actually a twenty minute presentation that you need to plan and then present to a group of people. WHAT? Not only do you have to go back for another nerve-wracking interview, but you also need to go home and actually put the time and effort into planning something. And you won’t even get paid, while there’s still no guarantee that you will get the job. Plus we aren’t sure if they actually care about the presentation or if they just want to get free work out of it. You must want this job real bad to go through this.
9. The Frustrating Online Applications
How many of you remember your exact GPA at graduation? None of you? Not surprising, because if you did you probably wouldn’t be job hunting. Seriously though, the idiotic questions that the online job applications ask are seriously out of this world. What about those ones who make you fill out the last ten years of experience? Hello!! It’s already on my resume. Nothing irks us more than having to copy and paste all our experience and qualifications bit by bit, until we get to the last page, only to find that the internet has decided to break just when we were uploading the application and all our work is gone. Let’s abolish these applications and go back to only handing in resumes, please.
10. The Promised Call Back
"We will let you know" is one phrase job hunters despise hearing. Basically it means "We are never calling you back, you failed miserably". Don’t take it to heart if the employer promised to call you back and then didn’t; even after you sent them countless emails, called them numerous times and stuck sticky notes on their car windows.
What these points prove is that job hunting sucks, so if you already have a job just make sure you don’t lose it. For those of you who are in this process at the moment? You have our sympathy.