A Series of Things I Don’t Understand

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I spend a lot of time looking at websites focused on getting me a job. Well, they aren’t all made to get me, specifically, a job, but they’re employment websites. I examine LinkedIn (I know what you’re going to say but let’s face it, LinkedIn is for getting a gig), various recruiters’ sites, as well as basic job sites/boards. Daily.

The irony of the existence of these sites, as well as my devotion to utilizing them, is the dreaded “it’s who you know” reality of employment. A referral from a real human, close to the source of the hiring need, is how most people get a gig, to my understanding.

Too bad I don’t know many humans.

So while I try not to hyper-focus upon these slightly disconnected paths to employment, I really need to get my observations regarding their various perceived-by-me dysfunctions off my chest.

Am I bitter? Yes. Like lemon extract bitter.


This site is designed for networking, referrals and hiring. I admit that, for a social media site, it stays within these boundaries – no off-topic streams of pontoon boat parties on Lake Havasu or some overly-cute, anorexic 22-year-old rep-ing someone’s new plant-based protein shake.

Although I just read a post from a supposed marketing professional who chose to begin his paragraph with the f-word.

Okay, I’ll give some slack to this use of the f-bomb, I rarely see profanity on the site. However, 95% of the posts on my feed are typically either poorly disguised business promotions or, worse, attempts to hijack current events to increase the poster’s relevance, presumably making them more appealing to hire and/or do business with.

Here, you stay there by the poster I’ll just carefully step right over here so I don’t get hit by the lightning strike.

Also, have you ever read a detailed job description on LinkedIn? Some of them are completely insane – overly brief to the point one questions whether the post is some kind of phishing scam, or overly detailed to the point that surely they’re just going through the motions and already have an internal candidate selected and this is just a way to keep the HR person/department employed/intact while documenting the organization’s attempt to fill the role with outside candidates and yes they are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Right? Maybe I’m crazy. I’m not diminishing the role of HR professionals here; the good ones are incredibly dynamic geniuses. I’m just saying that something screams “broken” with 88% of the listings I read.

Speaking of job openings, my favorite is when a really interesting job has 216 applicants. I’m assuming if you’re number say 133 no one is looking at your submission. Or 36, for that matter.

Recruiters’ Sites

The secret is out. Recruiters all use the same SquareSpace template. I go to these sites and I swear I can’t tell one from another – I’m no website guru but I’ve worked with and seen templates enough to know them when I see them.

Secondary to the template, all recruiting sites have:

…the requisite starting sections labeled “employer” or “job-seeker” that both really give off the UX vibe of being roads-to-nowhere

…the “blog” section full of posts with a bazillion backlinks that show how the recruiters’ (account executives) are edgy-yet-savvy, familiar with all the new trends in human resources, operational management philosophy, health & wellness, etc.

…quippy posts…oodles of self-help styled, quippy posts with titles like “The Top 10 Resume Hacks,” “Top 10 Cover Letter Mistakes,” “How to Dress for an Interview,” “Better Tech Tips to Find Better Talent,” “Top 10 Mistakes When Hiring for Social Media Management”

Also, unfortunately, inevitably, there’s the incorporation of a teeny tiny celestial black hole in the form of a clickable “submit your resume here and we’ll keep it on file for future opportunities” or some such garbage link. I’m assuming the link is a virtual waterslide straight to the recycle bin/trash, perhaps with some kind of electronic viewing window where the recruiters drink wine spritzers and watch the documents literally slide by the screen in real time as they laugh uproariously at the rubes thinking they’ll get somewhere with a blind submittal to a template site.

*Quick Sidebar – here are a few fascinatingly befuddling job titles culled from both LinkedIn and various Recruiters’ sites:

Digital Transformation Showcase Expert

Strategic Marketing Solutions

Director of Continuous Development

Communications Discipline Lead

Beverage Officer

Senior Leadership

People Business Partner

Basic Job Sites

Holy smokes this can’t possibly work. Have you ever looked at Monster or Indeed or ZipRecruiter? When the site loads it looks like a kindergartener vomited on my screen. There is NO CONCEIVABLE WAY these sites are good for anything other than providing international crime syndicates information from which to build personas to commit identity theft, financial crimes and voter fraud.

Now, don’t go sending me hate mail because you understand the above three platforms better than I, make use of them effectively or work for them or in their industry. I’m merely suggesting that, to me, substantial parts of them don’t make sense – just like some people don’t understand Chicken & Waffles, Garlic Fries, Deep-Fried Candy Bars or (in stark contrast) Low-Fat Sour Cream.

I like Roscoe’s best for the chicken, just for the record.

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