Here is an interesting thing: the best way to get a job is to network, correct? And the best way to network is to meet people, right? So why are so many companies now forcing applicants to apply online, away from managers and bosses? I find this awkward. Hastings did this, and other big companies do it too, and I don’t understand why, other than it helps decrease the amount of work a hiring manager does (if they even have a hiring manager). But this begs the question: what the hell does a hiring manager do? It seems like these days people who work to interview potential work candidates aren’t doing their job — they’re letting a computer do it for them. So instead of getting a handwritten application (handwriting tells a lot about a person, doncha know), they get a form e-mailed to them that states a person’s worth in nothing but words. Their whole life, in a sense, is condensed into a one to two page resume, with optional cover letter attached.
The greatest irony for me with regard to applying for jobs is that I have a great writing voice, and yet I have no place to showcase it on an application. I probably completed the greatest application online ever recently. It was for DirecTV. I got sick of repeating the same old stuff I’ve been writing for everyone, constantly looking at my lack of experience, my terrible job history, and so when I filled out this online application I noticed that they had actual text boxes for me to write in, instead of radio buttons or check boxes. So I wrote and actually injected a little humor into the whole thing. I hope it works. I mean, come on, those people know that there are millions of people right now writing out millions of applications, typing countless accomplishments into countless computers as they update their resumes on careerbuilder. They have to know that this process is time-consuming and generally shitty. They have to. It’s not about the job itself, it’s about the process of getting the job. The job could be fighting mountain lions in a pool filled with ice cream sandwiches (best job ever) and I’d still get pissy about filling out the application form. It’s just draining.
And, you know, when I do finally get an interview it will allow me to be cool with a real live person, but even that’s daunting. I have a good personality and all but job interviews aren’t having coffee at the Dawson Taylor’s across the street, you know? You have to sit in a room and impress someone within five minutes of meeting them. You don’t get a chance to shoot the shit, or get to know the person. You just have to say, “I have certificates in every type of Microsoft software known to man. I can decode Windows 3.1 in two minutes flat.”
I can’t imagine being a hiring manager, just because I would want to get to know everyone, and it would be impossible. Instead of asking them about their qualifications, I’d be askind them what their favorite soft drink was. Instead of their job experience, I would inquire about their abilities in making sandwiches.
I wrote a short play called “Myspace Resume” which will never ever be produced, but was about a young goth kid who used a myspace survey for an application. So the boss calls him in for a job interview just to set this kid straight and the kid’s such a sorry sack of shit that the boss hires him out of pity. I only bring that up because I think I’d rather read someone’s myspace survey than their resume. It just seems so much more personal, and I’d rather hire someone who I could like and did the job well than someone who was excellent at the job but was a complete jackass.
But then again, I’m the unemployed one, aren’t I?