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Friday, 22 June 2018

I want to be elected (rejected)

Look it's a pain, a necessary evil, applying for jobs. Much like digging holes and then filling them in again but not as pleasurable or as productive. After all if I don't apply then I can hardly expect to get an interview. Even if I apply I can hardly expect to get an interview but that's a whole different barrow load of organic horse manure.

These click and apply sites, 'Apply straight from your phone', are a great pestilence upon the earth except they do, occasionally, have a job for which I can send in my CV. As I believe I've said before, they could cut out the middle man and send my application straight to the equivalent of the shredder or what passes in the digital world for dispersing the bits and bytes of a CV into nothingness. You see a job, think 'I could do that, possibly' and click. No more thought, fire and forget. And forget you do as you (very, very rarely) ever hear anything again. Not ever. We all know that's what happens.

The sites that I reserve a special place in Hell for though are those that have an on-line template for you to complete. I would put the members of HR who took bought these in-house systems (having never been unemployed themselves or had to use it) down the chute into the deepest regions of Chaos and make them fill in a different job application for eternity ensuring a rancid hell dragon comes and gives them a fiery blast every so often to perk them up or dribbles rank goo over them. Maybe both. And they would only be allowed out if they got a reply. So never then. Now it doesn't matter that they are all in the same sector, indeed the public sector mainly. I'm talking Universities here or the Police. They all have different systems. No wonder the public sector whinges about lack of funds as they all want to buy a different system which all asks for the same info so never get the benefits of scale. Doh. And they burble on about the health and well being of their staff and how wonderful it is to work there. Is it? Your application process tells me a lot about the care you have for the people you might want by taking so long to reply to people who've had to spend time and care constructing the CV on your unbelievably customer hating system. Where was I? I remember, toasting HR in the bowels of hell. That would be a great day out wouldn't it? For me. 

Anyway you have no choice but to use these freaking templates and so, through experience borne of many applications, I now have all my essential data in a Word template and can cut and paste the data in. 

But then, having carefully ensured your skills and knowledge very closely match the person specification, with some judicious and necessary spinning of experience to make it fit, you press submit. Invariably an automated email comes back thanking you for your application and letting you know it has been automatically shredded as there is an internal candidate who is just about to kick off if they don't get the job and who will get the unions involved and it's all too stressy to think about so we have gone with the easy option and appointed an inferior skilled person to the role because we really, truly believe in mediocrity.

Thinking about it a message like that would at least tell you it ain't happening. Move on, one thinks. But what actually happens is...silence. Look at the status of your application on-line and it sits at 'under review' for eternity. Even though the whole process is, allegedly, automated, no updates are received. In one of my accounts there is a job I never applied for and which has been 'under review' for two years. Careful deliberation clearly. 

I applied for a job a few months ago that I knew would not get me an interview. I'm not that daft, though many would disagree, but merely pre-populating the template for a role I would prefer when it arose. It was a quiet wet day I recall and took hours. It's still at 'under review.' The successful applicant will have started by now and is probably coming up to the end of their probation period so why can't which ever complacent, self-serving, self-important person in a narcissistic work bubble, just activate the rejection. It's not as if he/she would even have to speak to me. All you have to do is log on and go 'reject candidate.' There, that's it, easy isn't it?

I want to be rejected. 

Then you know it's over.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Latest podcast now available; dealing with age related questions during an interview.

I live on a road with a 30mph limit - the law says motorists shouldn't exceed that but, guess what, some do.

You shouldn't, except in rare circumstances, be asked age related questions during job interviews but, guess what...

My latest podcast considers what you may be asked and how you might respond (politely, though at times that's sometimes a little hard).

Listen here

Friday, 15 June 2018

Sanguinem infernum. Difficile est. Stercore

Well, just had another rejection for a job I applied for. 

Nothing new there you might say, I could show you a long list of rejections if you have the time, goes with job searching, move on.

What really puzzled me me about this one is that I'd worked in the sector for many years,  closely evidenced every skill and knowledge in the job spec and yet didn't even get an interview. Now I'll never know why that is but, sitting at home, and I'm being honest here, I'm feeling more than a little put out. I can rationalise not making it through an interview but really, there were other candidates 'more closely suited..? If I'd written the job spec myself my skills and knowledge could not have been more closely matched. My opinion natch.

How much has age played a part in this decision being made? Or am I just crap and lucky to have held down any job? Or are there other things going on in that organisation which meant the job was never really 'open' to outside applicants. Yes I know it's pointless to speculate but I was really quite put out. Had I mentioned that?

I've been working on a taxonomy of job applications to see if there is a discernible pattern to rejections or if it's all a giant misunderstanding with a brutal, uncaring, unfeeling universe. I think I know which one it is.

This is a ranked list of rejections reasons with (1) you know there was 'no chance' to (7)  'tolerable chance of an interview.'

  1. No qualifications for the job whatsoever - applications made with a 'click and send' borne out of frustration. Zero expectation.
  2. Tenuous qualifications for the job - might be able to spin the CV to look like there is a match but you know there isn't.
  3. Vastly over-qualified and low salary - experience and skills exceed the job spec but worth a go as there's nothing else in the pipeline. Zero expectations.
  4. Quite over-qualified and moderate salary - much as above, possible chance but, really, is there? Very limited expectations
  5. Skills match but different sector - possible chance but, really, is there? Deep down you know it's No.
  6. Close match - same sector and skill sets align - but no interview. WHY WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? Must calm down.
  7. Close match - same sector and skill sets align - no interview. Totally perplexed

As you may have noticed there have been very few of (7). None actually. There have been a couple of interviews following some (4) applications but they were a long time ago.

I seem to have found a special place between being far too qualified at one end and not getting interviews at the other.

I am perplexed. 

I have been unemployed for 6 months now.

Some days are great. Others not so much

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

New podcast; staying positive and being creative

Being unemployed is not a holiday despite the regular comments I get along those lines. 

My latest podcast is about staying positive during those sometimes long days and I suggest some ideas to stay creative. They've worked for me,

You can listen to it on iTunes, Soundcloud, Sticher and Tunein radio.

I'd love to hear from you about your experiences of unemployment in your late 50s and 60s. How about an interview for an upcoming Podcast via Skype or FaceTime?