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Monday, March 21, 2016

State of the Job Search

Now that I've tapped my networked resources and have a few things in the pipeline, I decided to check out the public world for work, just to see what I will be dealing with.

It's interesting, because some of my complaints from a 2008 post are exactly the same.


  1. Contracting Firms: I've applied to roughly 10 positions now. These are positions that sound perfect on paper and are written as if from the perspective of the company I'm looking at.

    Then I get a call. "Hi Dan, yes, this is Amanda with Gotcha Enterprises. We see you applied for a job at Blah Blah Co. Well, we don't actually work for Blah Blah Co, but are actually a contracting firm that they use. We'd love to set you up with an interview for the position. Also, can you sign this exclusivity agreement? It basically says you can't work with another firm and it gives us the right to schedule interviews with other companies we think we could get you hired.

    Beyond that, I've had two contractors ask me if I have a skill, I say, "not really." And they respond with, "Oh, I'm sure that's fine. It's something you can pick up on the job."

    And contract work has only been growing since World War 2. No PTO, no health insurance, and gives the company all the protection it wants. You can be laid off without notice or have your pay cut.

    This happened to me in my first contract job. "Dan, so sorry, your company wants to cut the amount it spends on you, so we are going to cut your pay by $3 an hour. You can either sign the new paperwork or lose your job.
  2. Terrible Web Forms: Please upload your resume.

    OK, we scanned your resume and found your name and phone number.

    Click Next.

    Please manually type out all of your job experience, education, skills, and awards that are also found on the resume you just gave us.

    To the Internet's credit, I did have a few applications that I could just click, "Apply Using LinkedIn" and it auto-filled everything which was awesome. So not as prevalent as it was in 2008.
  3. Insane Qualifications: We would like you to be a doctor, but also have three years experience in technology work, and you must be willing to work some weekends.

    Who is that person? If you're a doctor, unless you really hated it, wouldn't you rather do doctor stuff?
  4. LinkedIn: There is only one thing human resources like more than QR codes... and that's LinkedIn. It's unfortunately a necessary part of job hunting nowadays.

    If you just run with the default LinkedIn settings, be prepared to get 10 emails a day. "Hey see what this guy is up to. Ho Dan, someone endorsed your skills. Hey Dan, why not upgrade to premium so you can see who looked at your profile? Hey Dan, this contracting firm is contacting you about a pyramid scheme you just can't pass up on.

    Took me 10 minutes to unsubscribe from all email notifications.

    And they are a tricky bunch. When looking at potential connections, they hide people that aren't on LinkedIn with people that are. So if you just click connect on everything, you'll spam friends and family with invitations to join LinkedIn. 
I've only been really looking hard for a few days and I'm already tired. If this is the punishment for finding work, just let the robots replace us all and I'll join John Conner and eat bugs. I'd rather wield a laser rifle while I'm young and able than slowly die on our overpopulated, over-polluted, AI planet. 

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