Job seeking was so easy wasn’t it – what happened?

About 15 years ago getting a job was a piece of cake.  After a glance in the newspaper job ads or a good word put in by your dad you scribbled your facts onto a 2 page application form or rustled together a quick CV.  This was dropped off at your chosen workplace and within a week you are sat in front of the boss for a 20 min interview to “tell him about yourself” and to chat through your hobbies.  If you fitted the mould, it was “See you on Monday”.  That was it  – job done, simples.

So why do we feel like we need a PhD in job seeking to get a foot on the ladder these days?  Read on for my first instalment of Lola’s 2014 graduate job hunt:

Lola starts of full of va va voom but is immediately baffled by a trillion websites all asking for registration. How many windows can she open on a PC?  Oops, not that many.

Now it’s time to produce a Word document of all her new urls, logins and passwords lest she forget.  Phew, eventually she finds a job title she understands and after assessing herself against endless criteria

she starts the process of completing the on line application form.

What sadist invented these things?

Her mental agility is tested with a gruelling four hour stint to firstly understand the questions and then to demonstrate her skills, abilities and something called commercial awareness.  Should she truthfully answer that competency question on her greatest challenge by telling them about her attempt to eat a crème egg whilst riding the Pepsi Big One at Blackpool?  Is that what they want?  Should she tell them the real reason she left her previous role or is that just career suicide?

Brilliant eventually all done, time for chocolate.  Oh but  wait a minute it now asks for an uploaded covering letter and a CV AND an academic testimonial on her results to date – help!  Another five hours of  blood,  sweat,  tears and several CV templates later she has managed to pull together something approaching a CV and a stab at a letter. OK so there’s a few choice chunks copied from her best pal and some artistic license in the personal profile but eventually Lola clicks on the dreaded “submit” button.  It is now 11.58pm, just in time for the deadline, and she has 2 assignments to finish off before 9am.  What did she say about her planning and organising skills in the competency questions section?

Read on for more in next week’s blog…