Dear Prospective Employers (or College Admissions People),
In the past few weeks I've filled out dozens of job applications to you, The Man. The past has also held some wonderful experiences. In order to make your work more efficient (and because nerd points couldn't hurt in getting me hired), I have the following suggestions to change your hiring practices:
1.) I know a lot of people that work very hard on their resume. I've even heard of people that pay to have others create resumes for them. I have at least three different kinds of resumes myself, depending on what the job is. We spend extra money for the good, heavy paper to print them out. So I guess my biggest beef is your general application. If you require a resume, why do you require filling out a history of past jobs, education, and a list of skills on the application? It's redundant. The worst is when employers write "You must attach a resume" AND "You must fill out this section even if you have a resume" at the top of the form. While we're at it, if a placement file includes a contact list, recommendations, et cetera, remember that some places charge to send those out and I have no intention to ink them in or find you new copies, either. You'll just have to wait a day for those to come in. When it comes to the real application, other than the essays and the "Are you a convicted felon" question (which is kind of unfair, if you ask me) there's not much else to know, let alone know twice.
2.) If you're not really hiring, or "not sure what positions will need to be filled yet," please don't invite me to an interview that makes me have to miss a day at the place that's actually paying me. When I take a morning off, they get a little upset, you know? And then they don't want me as an employee, either.
3.) If I can B.S. an answer during an interview, you should be able to as well. In my first ever group interview, I was grilled on a couple of questions I didn't provide detailed answers for. Fair enough. But when they asked if I had any questions, mine was simple: "What would your staff say is the best thing about working here?" Person #1 said "diversity". So did persons 2,3,4, and 5. You pride yourselves on diversity and you all think alike? Oh, but your skins are different colors. Suddenly I didn't feel so bad about messing up the interview.
4.) It would be splendid if I'd get notification that all my materials had arrived and were "under review". At the very least, tell me you hired someone else. You don't even have to send letters or call anymore, what with E-mail. It's free! And it beats thinking I might have "other offers" to consider when my second or third choice wants a decision quickly.
5.) Hey, I'm a college student that would like a high-paying summer job. But when I look at the Classifieds and see "COLLEGE STUDENTS! CALL 555-WXYZ ABOUT OUR HIGH PAYING SUMMER JOBS!" I want nothing to do with you. Why? Well for one, what's the name of your company? What's the job? Full or part-time? What's the salary or wage? Where are you located? Anyone who doesn't believe this is an endemic problem should open the paper and check it out. C'mon folks, a website . . . SOMETHING allowing a job hunter to check out who you are.
6.) For me, the most confusing question on every application is the one asking for my major in High School. What does that mean? Do people really major in things that young? I had to take History for all four years, so I guess that counts as a major, but I also took Gym class for four years. And Science. And English, and Math, and French. Then they have to ask me not the year, or the month, but the DAY I graduated. If I were The Man I'd be thinking, "This guy was a sextuple major in High School! Who cares WHEN he graduated, get him on the line!"
7.) Finally--at least for now--there is one question you should never, ever ask, and you ask it all the time: "Why do you want to work at WXYZ Company". I promise you, everything said after that question is a rotten lie. Oh, ever since I was a little boy, playing "WXYZ Worker" with my little brothers, I've always dreamt of working in your mail room. The correct answer to your question is, "Because you have a job and I need to fill it." What if I asked the interviewer "Why are you hiring Workers for WXYZ Company?" The interviewer wouldn't reply, "For years, I have searched high and low for the world's greatest mail clerk, to raise like my own son that someday . . . [turns to gazes at the sunset] . . . someday, he would carry on my work, and the proud traditions of WXYZ." No, she or he would say "Because I have a job and you need to fill it." N'est-ce pas?