Welcome to the Machine

Sorry, again, for the long gap between my posts in here (thank goodness for Gordon's Wednesday entries!), but things have been “complicated” both with some development (i.e., unpaid) work that I've been tied up with, and a networking calendar that has been little short of brutal. Oh, and, of course, fighting off the “I've been out of work for three years now, and am no closer to having a regular job than I was this time in 2009!” depression that eats my soul every damn day.

Aside from making it hard to “triage” my schedule to pull together one of these missives, my calendar being otherwise-assigned leaves me very little time for doing my basic on-line research which both generates leads for jobs, and interesting links to bring you here, so while I might have been able to scrape up a good dozen to bring you last week, these were there waiting for me to get around to getting this out.

Speaking of networking events … I brought one to your attention last time that was happening out in Lincolnwood. I made the long trip out there and was generally disappointed (the main part was more of a “B2B” fair than a “job fair”), but there were various workshops as well, one of which I attended on resumes. As those of you who have been reading my book features here know, I have developed a deep cynicism to the “resume industry” and feel that most of the books and services out there are delusional if not outright scams. It was a breath of fresh air to find that the lady running the resume workshops, Andrea Meer-Storz, was every bit as cynical as I've become, and she works in that industry.

As you my recall, I've opined that the folks writing resume books who imply that real human beings are ever going to look at your resume are living in some unicorn-filled fantasy land or are simply lying to make their readers feel better. Meer-Storz was talking about the influx of ATS – Applicant Tracking Systems, and noted that 80% of companies are now using these as the “intake” funnel for resumes. That means that by definition 4 out of 5 resumes going out the door are never going to be subject to human judgment, intuition, rapport, etc. unless it's lucky enough to be in the handful that the Hiring Manager tells the Intern to pull from the “best matches” as determined by the software.

I've also never been a big fan of the (almost universally-recommended) idea of writing unique resumes for every job applied for (I get out dozens a week, and still only have 24 hours to dole out in a day, dammit), but her advice to load up the exact terminology used in the job posting, along with associated “key words” suddenly started to make sense. After all, you're NOT “talking to a person”, you're trying to get into the right file on a computer, because if you're eliminated by the ATS, no matter how strong your qualifications are, no human being is going to know or care. Essentially, in the current job market, the only way to even be considered for a position is to go “black hat” and totally “game the system”. Which really, really makes me angry. Once again, it's the scum who succeed and the virtuous who watch their world be crushed around them.

Anyway … I do have a dozen good (and relatively fresh) job search links for you today … hope you find them useful:

How to Get Hired Fast (recorded webinar)

The 10 Critical Questions to Ask When Scheduling a Job Interview

9 Things That Make Your Resume Look Too Old

The 6 Most Common Body Language Mistakes That Jobseekers Make, And How To Correct Them

Seth Godin Is (Still) Wrong About Your Resume

5 Interview Tips They Don’t Talk About at Career Services

Some Friendly Reminders for the Frustrated Job Seeker

Five Steps to Finding a Job Through Social Media

The Best Way to Land a Job? It's Still Word of Mouth

10 Overused Phrases Interviewers Hate

A New Era of Job Hunting: 79% of Jobs are Posted on Social Media

Hope is the Genie in the Employment Bottle

As you were no doubt expecting, these have been merged into the ever-expanding Big List O'Links, now up to a whopping 56 pages … the handy .pdf e-book version of which can be obtained with a simple click here: TJS-LinkList-120615.pdf

By the way … I was tempted to include some Pink Floyd lyrics at the top of this, but I'll leave it to you to Google the title.

P.S.: If you want to try to wrap your head around how horrific things are in the current job market … a couple of days ago I saw a post by a “job consultant” who opined: If you wouldn't be comfortable discussing it in a job interview, do not say it online. … how's that for “authenticity” … live your whole damn life like you're being interviewed???

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