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5 Biggest Job Hunt Time Wasters
Professional Job Hunter?
I carry the dubious title of Professional Job Hunter. I've been told I'm diligent, intelligent, and skilled – but these qualities aren't always a guarantee of getting a job you like or decent pay.
I've been employed in capacities ranging from retail cashier to trade professional earning excellent pay. At my peak I was flown all over the Lower 48 for training (and even an interview). Now my industry has dried up and I'm in a precarious situation. I've learned the hard way what to do and what to avoid when job hunting, and I'd like to share my findings with you.
Instead of trying to address every pitfall in one Hub, I will focus on the biggest time wasters. Because those bills aren't going to pay themselves, are they?
If you've been looking for a job for any length of time, you're no doubt aware that not every employment ad is legitimate. Even when an ad IS legitimate, some companies send applicants into a bloated maze of "screening" that quite often rejects good candidates along with less-than-ideal ones. Look out for these major time wasters:
The Time Wasters
1. Job Fairs. Not to say there aren't plenty of legitimate job fairs going on, but the legit ones are usually held at the hirer's place of business or have a well-known corporate sponsor. Job fairs to stay away from are those typically held in hotel meeting rooms. If you see more recruiters from "Universities" than actual job offerings, RUN.
If you give any information to these recruiters, they could hound you with phone calls and mailings for years; it has happened to me. And take the actual job applications with a grain of salt too. I spoke with an insurance sales agency that allegedly needed an 'office administrator', only to receive solicitations by mail regarding my home and auto insurance. These shameless bait and switch tactics can keep devouring your time long after the 'Fair' is over.
2. Placement Agencies. In all fairness, the recruiting agencies haven't always been the sucking black holes that many of them are today. Once upon a time, in a better economy, a person could walk into an agency and be placed in a tolerable job. Now, if you have a rare skill set and/or are completely up to date in all the software you will use in your profession, you might stand a chance. Otherwise the odds are not in your favor.
I sat in one agency for more than two hours filling out an application (after filling out basically the same one online). The recruiter – I'll call her Nancy – said she'd call me one way or another in two days about the position for which I'd applied. On the second day 'Jenn' called and asked me to come back in, so I did, and Jenn asked me to fill out the SAME APPLICATION I'd just filled out two days before. I couldn't believe it! When I asked where my original application went, she said, "Nancy isn't here today." So does Nancy take her files home every night? And you can't access my online files? Another nine hours wasted.
3 Entry Level Position. This used to mean: 'You have no experience, but we'll pay you a low salary in return for on-the-job training.' Unfortunately, all too often these words now mean SCAM, as in 'give us your DOB and SSN or your application cannot be processed'.
4. Use Your Own Equipment / Train on Your Own Time. I'm seeing an uptick in ads that are asking the applicant to use his/her own equipment to do the job, which is fine (Work at Home! Woot!) until the employer tells you that you MUST have certain equipment, and if you don't you must buy it (non-reimbursed, of course). Training on your own time isn't inherently a bad thing, especially if you have time on your hands and the training is free.
But now comes the reality: The investment in equipment and time are for a part time, temporary, or on-call job. And the pay is usually dismally low.
5. LONG Online Applications. These are common - especially in retail - and it seems that the more menial the job, the longer the application. It isn't unusual to go through page after page of form-filling, only to get to the last page and find that you cannot submit without revealing your SSN.
The Good News
It looks like more employers are hiring in 2015. If you want to stop spinning your wheels and get hired fast, take a look at how much time you're spending on time wasters and use that time in more productive ways. Keep trying, and may you find a rewarding job soon!
© 2012 trilobyte