Times have changed significantly when it comes to looking for a job with the introduction and permanence of technology. Yet, I would argue that technology alone isn’t responsible for making the job search more confused than ever. If you take the increasing variety of jobs and the many job titles that exist out there for essentially the same work, it can be overwhelming for some.
Get a few people who are looking for work together and you’ll no doubt find among those assembled at least one person who knows exactly what they’re looking for. They’ve got that title down: a Waitress for example. Of the others, you may have some looking for 2 or more specific jobs, an AZ Truck Driver or a Courier. These two are related and have transferable skills, but remain two distinctly different jobs. Then there are those who are looking for employment, but who have yet to come to a specific job. These people might name as many as 4 or 5 possible jobs, or worse yet, say they are looking for…“anything.”
Now, for those who know exactly what they are after, search engines on the internet work well. Enter the job title you’re after and the city you wish to search in and you’ll get results for that title in your city and perhaps the surrounding 25 km or so area nearby. It’s quick and easy.
Now for the others, those without that single title to guide them, it becomes a little more challenging and frustrating. Sometimes you can opt to enter the name of the city you want to work in and leave the job title or keyword section blank of course. This will upon searching, produce results for all the jobs in that area. Now many of those you’ll not be qualified to do or even remotely interested in either. The one advantage however is that you’ll get advised of jobs that might interest you, but for which you might have missed had you put in a single job title or keyword.
Take the Waitress. In addition to searching for waitress, other titles that might crop up are Server, Food and Beverage Server, Hostess, Host, Attendant. Back in the 80’s the terms Waitperson and Waitron were floated but these never really caught on. So maybe the clever job seeker starts searching for food service instead; attempting to capture all the possible job titles. This can have unintended consequences too, returning delivery drivers for fast food outlets, catering positions and even the job providing beverages on local golf courses scooting around in a modified golf cart. Yeah that might not be what you had in mind. Then again…
That’s where we’ve evolved to at the moment though with job searching. You not only need to have computer basics down to job search and then apply online, you have to have the patience and tenacity to job search using your mind to play detective and get into what the employer might have thought when they came up with the title of the job.
Some organizations these days actually have bizarre and attention-grabbing titles for their staff, even though the work itself is identical to that performed in other organizations. There is a real job out there now for, “Minister of Talent” which as it turns out is the head of Human Resources. Or how about, “Senior Magician of Intellect”. Would you guess this job is Vice-President of Innovation and Design?
Not only are these creative and somewhat playful titles confusing for those not in the know, but when the time comes for those holding them to job search in the future, what will their resumes look like when they put these titles down themselves? Whimsical, fun perhaps, but perhaps not best suited if you apply to traditional organizations with, “work inside the box” thinking.
I can tell you that as an Employment Counsellor, I often track down jobs for the unemployed people I work with who while job searching themselves, miss such jobs. How is it that I can find what they cannot? Some job seekers believe that Employment Counsellors, Job Coaches, Career Advisors etc. all seem to have access to these hidden job sites where the jobs are found. In truth, we all have access to the same internet and the same job sites. The difference must therefore be in how we search which in turn lands what we find.
Sometimes I’ll intentionally leave a title field blank. The return is a buckshot of all the jobs in an area. Sometimes I’ll narrow the search not only by city but narrow down the geographic surrounding area to include the city only, not the neighbouring 10 km’s or more. Searching by type of job – contract, part-time, full-time etc. or by seniority level is good too. After all, why frustrate an entry-level job seeker with senior-level positions or vice versa?
Now you can approach a Head-Hunter or Recruiter these days and let them match you up with employment. This can be beneficial or not depending on the person’s connections. Many people are in this game with no more qualifications than the job-seekers themselves. Tough market conditions always bring out some people scrambling to do what they aren’t entirely qualified for.
Job searching is easier if you have a good idea what you’re after and you’ve got the technological skills to navigate job search websites. Good luck out there in your job search.
Written By Kelly Mitchell