Last December, I became suddenly unemployed. My temp-to-perm job became temp-to-buh-bye when the company decided they could not afford to hire me full time. Disappointing, really, but not much to do for it except mobilize and hunt down a new one. That very afternoon, I polished my resume and started the job hunt. I won’t bore you with the entire 45-day saga, but some highlights might amuse.
Y’all Need an Editor
One thing that struck me funny was the number of job ads with outrageous spelling and grammatical errors.
One company was looking for a “Full-time Receptionsit.” Yep. More comfortable that way than a “Receptionstand.”
Another redacted all spaces. Tryingtolookatajobadwithoutspacesrequiresalittleparsing,butImanaged.
A third wanted an “Adult Literacy Tecaher.” I think there’s a box of those around the corner.
The most interesting, though, was the company who did the entire job ad in texting shorthand. No thx.
Everybody makes mistakes, and few people are good editors for their own writing, but with so many ads having a job requirement of “attention to detail,” I believe someone left the irony on.
I did consider applying to some of those companies as a copy editor by correcting the job ad and sending it along with my resume, but I was concerned that would come across a little too “smart aleck” and not enough “clever” so I refrained.
You Want Me to What?
Some job ads listed strange requirements.
Some “entry level” jobs required 5-10 years of experience. Here I thought “entry level” meant you don’t need any experience.
Other jobs required a “digital native,” which is a way of saying someone under 25, but with 10 years of experience in this skill and 5 in that skill and 8 in this other. So, what, your digital native started working when he was 2?
Lifting requirements really floored me. A remarkable assortment of jobs needed people who could frequently lift 40 pounds. That’s bad enough, but the real corker was a corporate (soft skills) trainer who needed to lift 100 pounds. O.o Really? I don’t weigh that much. The only way I’m picking up 100 pounds would be with the handy assistance of simple machine physics. A very strong friend of mine says he once had a job moving feed bags (50 pounds apiece) in a warehouse. Exhausting work, but he couldn’t imagine lifting 100 pounds on a regular basis. Scrawny girlie people need not apply.
Some companies with a high turnover try to get people to stick around by being very trendy and cool. They list out this coolness in their job ads. On-the-clock keggers, extremely relaxed dress code, office cats, medical benefits for part-timers, and free food were just some of the perks some companies offered.
Others, apparently, are feeling the pinch. No benefits at all, even for full-timers.
Education Is the Key to Success
I was a teacher for 14 years, and I’ve heard repeatedly that a good education will get you far in life. Apparently, that’s not entirely true. On the advice of some very well-intended friends, I signed up with 4 headhunter agencies. Each one of them, to varying degrees, informed me that I would be almost impossible to place because I was too educated.
Well, it turned out that filling out 130 job applications in 45 days was not how I got a job. When the rejection emails started coming in at high speeds, I reset my resume to highlight my optical experience, printed up a couple dozen of them, and then looked up “Optical businesses” in the town where I live. This produced an extensive list. I mapped them out and across the next two days, I called or visited every optical business in the greater metro area.
Some were hits. Most were busts, but after a couple weeks, I landed a job with a local optometrist as a Visual Therapist. I started this past Monday. A Visual Therapist is sort of like physical therapy as it applies to the eyes. I’ll be helping patients, mostly kids, train the muscles in their eyes to work with their brains so they can see better. Sometimes this helps them avoid surgery. It sounds like an interesting job, and I’m grateful they’re willing to train me to do it.