I’m beginning to think that everybody needs to learn about writing. My job search is making that pretty clear. I go through ads for positions that tell me nothing. Some of them do this purposely, figuring if I’m dumb enough to come in, then maybe once I get there, they can talk me into it. You know the ones. “Do you like helping people?” They go on to tell you that they are doing interviews sometime midweek, and where. They never tell you anything about the position and they never have a phone number. My guess is that it’s some kind of sales.
But some ads say nothing, and I get the feeling that they think they are telling me something.”Company expanding! Seeking Office Help!” I get into the ad and all they tell me is where to send the resume. Now, really, why would I send my resume, even by email, which is easy enough, until I know what kind of job it is? Do you want a receptionist? An admin assistant? Do you need someone to help you with your bookkeeping? Beats me!
Location is important too. I don’t want to commute to Timbuktu. I’m sure it’s nice in Timbuktu, but it’s not near where I live. So please tell me the location.
And why do employers think it’s so cool to not talk compensation? Do they work for nothing? I’m sure not! I work for a living. If you just tell me what compensation you have in mind, right up front, I can rule the job in or out. If you’re being coy about it, I have to assume, you don’t want to pay me much. Is that what you want me to think?
And then there are the jokers out there who think it’s not enough to put down the specifics of the job, and get a reply from someone who can do it. No, they want you to dazzle them with your personality in your cover letter. One ad I answered recently wanted someone who would not just give the “standard verbiage” about why they should get the job, they wanted to be “entertained” in the cover letter. The employer would only call those who were best able to answer those requirements.
I answered by telling him that those demands immediately dried up any wit I might have had and wondered if he might have considered that. I never got a call on it, so I’m assuming he found someone else who could do a better (written) tap dance.
I wonder if in those college courses on effective business communication, someone has thought to include job ads. I’m thinking at the very least, Craig’s list should give pointers when you sign up for a post.