I completed my second graduate program in May 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Suddenly, the few interviews I had lined up were put on hold as businesses had to restrategize which meant reducing work hours, downsizing, hiring freezes or closing down. Hard luck to job seekers.
I have spent the last two years job hunting as an international student in the United States of America (USA) and it’s been a full time job looking for a job. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury of being unemployed beyond 90 days and could only apply to specific roles taking into consideration immigration rules (more on that in a later post). As a result, I took my job hunting ‘job’ really seriously because it is one thing trying to find a job and another thing trying to land one with a ticking clock.
To find roles, I would visit job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, GlobalJobs, Idealist, HigherEdJobs, Handshake or Google search. If I found a role that closely matched my skills and experience, I’d start the application with a process that usually followed these steps:
- Upload/Type/Paste a cover a letter
- Upload Resume/CV
- Add/Upload References
- Upload Writing Samples/Portfolio (depending on the role you’re applying for)
Aside the steps listed above, you would sometimes have to type in your relevant skills, education, etc, on your CV to the website from scratch. No kidding! You’ve got to put in the work to get the role. So in my 12 months plus of ‘unpaid labor’, I came across some websites that were an absolute turn off due to the lengthy application processes. (I see interview processes leave the chat)
If you apply for a job on Taleo, you will most likely have to create an account, upload your documents, type out your work and educational history and answer any supplementary questions.
The portal also gives you an idea of the various steps you have to go through to complete your application.
Paycom allows you to provide the requisite details, upload your CV before starting your application.
Can we stop here please? Paycom, thinks otherwise. After this step, you now have to go through the whole nine yards of reentering the same information on your CV.
Upload CV or use previous application.
Complete fields AGAIN!!!
PageUp is one of the talent acquisition softwares used mostly by higher educational institutes in the USA. You’ll notice the number of steps required in the header.
User experience best practices suggest eliminating or reducing user frustration however, these apps do the opposite by asking applicants to jump through hoops to complete a job application. Unlike other products, users of these sites have more to lose than gain should they discontinue their application as a result of this inconvenience.
Personally, I gave up applying to some roles depending on how much time I figured would be spent on the application or how close my skill set was to the job description. I was fortunate to have had a temporary role at the time I was being selective of the roles I applied to. Once the tables turned, I wasn’t as selective but I certainly didn’t apply to any roles that would take more than 20 minutes to complete.
Despite the cons listed, what I absolutely loved about these portals was the ability to apply to similar roles in the same organizations without having to complete the forms and the opportunity to see the status of your application.
In my next post, I’ll share my five favorite talent acquisition softwares. If you’ve been job hunting lately, can you share your experience?