Job seeking ain’t what it used to be. First, you apply for unemployment compensation on a state agency website. You don’t have to talk to a person unless denied.
Then, once registered, one is instructed to keep records of job-search activities because someone from the unemployment office could check on them at any time. This is where it gets complicated. Employers require jobseekers to apply online. That means one needs a computer and patient typing skills. Online applications are brutal to complete: unrelenting boxes to fill in, unpredictably squirmy software programs to navigate. Some of them will even time out, if you don’t type fast enough. So for goodness sakes, save as you go; that’s your only hope of getting through some of the applications.
The problem with keeping track of where you’ve applied is that even though you apply online and obediently never call the places you send resumes, cover letters, applications and references, you never hear from them. 99% of the employers sent resumes don’t acknowledge receiving information. So, one doesn’t really know if they ever get applications. Most unemployed persons will tell you they never hear anything from the organization to which they’ve applied.
Why don’t all hiring employers set up a software program that acknowledges applications, reminds folks not to call them and promises to be in touch if they become interested. That way, when the Maryland Labor Department calls the person receiving the unemployment benefit to check on him or her, the claimant could simply forward e-mails from employers where the claimant has applied. There would be a record of job search activities available without much trouble.
Why isn’t the job search process getting easier, not more complicated? And why not ask job seekers for feedback on the process?