Job Hunting During Covid – THIS is diversity?

October 2020

I’d like to get back to my brilliant cousin and the fact that he’s financially blessed and how it affects the rest of us job hunters.

By the way, my brilliant cousin’s bank account is none of my business and that’s not what this post is about. He has worked hard and deserves every penny that he has made and saved and invested, and I’m impressed and want to soak up his money-management skills. Like I said, he’s brilliant.

Here’s why I bring it up in the first place. He has the money to hire the woman who has out-smarted the “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software. He has the means to pay her to alter every resume that he submits. In short, he can afford to game the system and actually get an interview.

What about the rest of us?

I’m barely making ends meet during this unemployment cluster fuck that I’m drowning in, and hiring an expensive consultant to run every resume through her proprietary software and mess around with it enough so that I can “game the system” and get an interview is not an option for me.

It’s not an option for a lot of people; most of whom are unemployed and desperately needing a legit job. Not all of us are willing to settle for that call center gig. We crave work that challenges us and values our talents and experience. Work that will pay us enough to survive.

We’re up for the same jobs as the people who have enough cash to hire the consultant and game the ridiculous – god help us – “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software and the companies that use it. This means that the people with the cash – the wealthy people, the wealthy parents, people with wealthy family and friends – are the only people who can game the system.

They’re the people who can afford to get a job. Guess who the majority of these people are?

Middle-aged white men.

Let me stop here to say that this post is not to denigrate or disparage men in any way. It’s not. I promise. I’m not anti-men at all. I love men. Most men.

Some men.

I love my dad.

Anyway, am I wrong about this? I’m not wrong about this.

Those of us who don’t have another cent to spare, because it’s all going to bills, can’t afford to hire the proprietary software woman to game the system, fix our resumes, and get us interviews. Neither can the underemployed who have an MBA and find themselves barely surviving at their $12 an hour call center job. What about single parents who are working two jobs to pay for kids, computers, and extra-curriculars? And that first-generation college graduate whose parents spent their entire savings to put her through school? Forget about it.

So here’s my primary objective of this post: how in the world does this “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software promote workplace diversity?

You’re speechless, aren’t you? You don’t like the answer that you have to give to that question. I’ll tell you what, I’ll answer it for you:

It doesn’t.

That hiring software that you’re so proud of does not promote workplace diversity in any capacity.

Diversity and inclusion are more important than ever, right? Ok, so think about this: when you and your company apply that nefarious, insidious, evil, immoral, reprehensible, malevolent (I think maybe you’re starting to understand how I feel about this software) hiring software, you’re “weeding out” a diverse group of smart, talented, capable, hard-working, grateful people who would drastically improve your ideas, your global footprint, and your culture.

You and your company are missing out on possibilities, opportunities, potentialities. Think of what you could have been if only you hadn’t bought that stupid software.

Well done.

Starbucks Guy – Part 3

2008

My date with Starbucks Guy had turned into a fucking job interview. And I was the interviewer. I so blew it.

The most decent, attractive man I have met in, literally, years, and I interview him? Are you kidding me? I am beyond humiliated. I haven’t been this beyond humiliated since I fell off the stage at church right after singing a beautiful, reverent Christmas hymn in front of my entire ward at BYU. And they laughed! They actually laughed. It was supposed to be the year-end culmination celebrating the fact that finals were almost over. Oh and our devotion to Jesus. But my point is, they laughed! Christianity at its finest.

Anyway, so he walks me out to my car. I say, “I had a great time – it was really nice meeting you.”

That’s when he says, (he truly, honestly says this, by the way, I’m not exaggerating), he says, “I’ll call you.”

Gasp!

I know, right??

I mean, I know I blew it, but “I’ll call you” blew it?

I didn’t chew with my mouth full, because we weren’t eating; I didn’t blow my nose, because it isn’t allergy season; I didn’t tell him how many kids I want, because I don’t want any, and I didn’t fish for a compliment by saying, “I should have ordered the fat free latte, because I have got to lose weight.”

It was really “I’ll call you” bad?

After he tells me he’ll call me, he gives me another hug (what the fuck?) and starts walking back to his condo.

All I could think as he walked away was: 1. That I blew it; 2. That I would never hear from him again; and 3. I’m glad he had hot coffee and I’m glad he’s walking home and I hope he gets even more “gross sweaty” before he gets home and ends up meeting the girl of his dreams and she doesn’t even glance at him once she realizes he’s “gross sweaty” and by the time he gets home he’s depressed and questioning all of his life’s decisions.

Clearly, I’m not Christianity at its finest, and I’m ok with that. It was never one of my goals anyway.

Starbucks Guy – Part 2

2008

I want to find us a seat in the Starbucks that’s a bit off the beaten path, because I don’t want anyone to hear our conversation and recognize immediately that this is a first date and then feel sorry for us because we’re on a first date. I always feel sorry for old-first-date-people, because first dates are the absolute worst and you feel like a moron just because you have to have one in the first place. Shouldn’t those first dates have happened about 20 years ago? And shouldn’t you now be in a committed, loving relationship so that you never have to have another first date for as long as you both shall live?

I finally find a place far away from all of the other coffee-ers in the corner of the room. And, yay me, I succeed in choosing us the hottest spot in the entire building. I mean, it’s air-conditioned and feels cool, but when we actually sit and get settled, I realize that the sun is burning through the screen and it is sweltering.

We absolutely cannot sit here. He’s started to “gross sweat” because I’m such a fox – hey a girl can pretend – and he’s drinking hot coffee.

“I think it’s going to be too hot here,” I say. “Should we move over there?”

“Nope, I’m good,” he says, taking a sip of his hot coffee.

I’m thinkin’ he doesn’t want anyone to know we’re on a first date either. And this is when our date takes a turn. A mortifying turn.

Don’t worry, I didn’t fart. It wasn’t that mortifying. But what I did was bad enough. And I couldn’t help myself.

“Where are you from?” I ask. Oh no. It’s happening. Stop it from happening.

“Where do you work? What do you do there?” I’m doing it! I’m asking all those lame first date questions!! I can’t stop.

“Are you much of a reader? What kind of music do you like?” What is happening? Stop, Beatrice! Stop!

“Do you golf? Because I need someone to golf with.”

What the fuck am I doing??? Holy shit, I can’t stop. I’m nervous and I like him and I want to impress him and I want him to think that we have a lot in common and that we could make a fabulous power-couple, and I end up interviewing him for an hour! An entire hour!

I gave the guy a fucking job interview. He sat there dutifully and answered all of my questions. Ugh.

I am so sorry, Starbucks Guy. Can we have a do-over? Let’s do it again, and this time you won’t arrive sweaty, you won’t order a hot coffee, I won’t seat us in the furnace, and I absolutely will not interview you and ask embarrassing first date questions.

I’ve been asking him questions non-stop for an hour; now I have to go, because I have a flight to catch. Oh my gosh, this sucks. I have got to redeem myself.

Spoiler alert: I do not redeem myself.

Note to self: desperation is not attractive. Desperation leads to bad decisions. Desperation guarantees failure. The basement loves desperation. (See The Beginning.)

Starbucks Guy – Part 1

2008

We meet at a Starbucks on a Sunday morning in August, and I can’t believe how absolutely gorgeous he is! Holy shit. This is who my cousin sets me up with? She really thinks I’m good enough for this? Really? Wow. All of a sudden I genuinely love my cousin.

Anyway, so I approach him and say hello. I even hold my hand out to him to shake. He blows off the shake and goes straight for the hug. That was completely unexpected and I’m not much of a hugger, but day-umm. From him? I’ll take it.

“I just walked about a mile from my condo, which is why I’m so sweaty.” Yeah, he’s sweaty, but he’s not “gross-sweaty.” Which is good, because “gross-sweaty” is…gross. “It’s hotter than I thought it was going to be,” he continues.

We approach the counter where I order a grande, iced, hazelnut latte. He says “You’re not going to believe this, but I’ll just have a regular old hot coffee. Grande.”

Really? He doesn’t want it iced? It’s a million degrees outside, he just walked a mile in said million degrees, and he’s starting to “gross sweat.”

Please don’t order the hot coffee, Starbucks Guy. You are a babe. Please don’t ruin your babe-a-liciousness by “gross sweating.”

I think the guy behind the counter is thinking the same thing and must be giving Starbucks Guy some “guy” look, because Starbucks Guy says, “She’s making me nervous, I’m already sweating.”

OK, cute. He’s charming. I guess I can allow a little “gross sweating.”

So it’s going pretty good, right? He gave me a hug, he paid for my coffee, he told the Starbucks dude that I make him nervous, and he hasn’t started “gross sweating” yet. These are all fabulous signs. I’m feelin’ good.

Blind date going well. Until.

Until.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 9

September 2020

Whatever happened to hiring a human – a living, breathing person? Companies are so focused on saving time and money, that they utilize software that hires a resume and not a human. What kind of company are you that you care more about a fucking resume than the person behind it?

Wait a minute. It’s all coming together. It’s starting to make sense. I get it!

Resumes = robots.

Companies don’t want human beings working for them, they want robots. Robots are malleable. Robots are cheap. Robots don’t disagree or challenge or think creatively. Robots just do. Hence, the software.

Ho. Lee. Shit.

I’m a little nauseous with this revelation. I’m disgusted and disappointed.

Humans have ideas, personalities, debates, opinions, discussions, creativity, disagreements, excitement, passion. Resumes have words. Robots repeat words.

Brilliant cousin and I would both take less money to work for a company that values humans. Killer company culture, employee acknowledgement, creative empowerment – those are the perks worth working for.

Free soda? Ping pong? Foosball? Lunch on Fridays? Who gives a flying fuck?

Robots do. Robots will thrive in your company, because robots love a good game of foosball and a free Diet Coke.

Congratulations “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software companies and the organizations that employ you. You win.

But do you really?

In six months you’re going to realize that something is off. You’ll wonder what’s happening to the culture at your company. You’ll wonder what’s happening to productivity. You’ll wonder what’s happening to customer service.

You’ll wonder where you went wrong.

Disdain. That’s what I have for these companies. Pure, unadulterated disdain. Disdain dragged me to the basement. Twice. Don’t go for three, Beatrice. (See The Beginning.)

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 8

September 2020

The good news is that my brilliant cousin – who also happens to be financially blessed which plays a part in this whole thing (which I’ll get to in a minute) – found a solution. He located a software engineer who had worked for a couple of these “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software companies –

I have to interrupt this paragraph to say that I originally wanted to describe this software and the companies who utilize said software: “You’re a fucking moron if you believe we think of you as an actual human being” or “How dumb are you that you thought we would really read the resume you spent hours customizing?” or “Go fuck yourself, because we’ve already hired an internal candidate and only posted the job because we had to” or “Do you really think we’re going to waste time looking at any of these resumes?” However, all of those are too long, so I’m just going to call this software/software company/hiring company, “fuck you and your pathetic resume.” I think that says it quite nicely. And anyway, blogs are about brevity, right?

– and had figured out the algorithms they were using to disqualify the resumes. She told both of those companies to go fuck themselves and started her own business in which she helps lowly job hunters game the system and actually win.

Brilliant cousin sent her one of his resumes and the job posting that he had customized it for. She ran it through the software she had designed that mimicked the “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software and discovered that his resume was only 24% compatible with the job. 24%. Not enough to get him an interview or even a phone call. How is that possible? He copied key words, phrases, and sentences directly from the posting.

The resume software and the companies who use them are fucking with us, fellow job hunters. The keywords the software looks for aren’t even in the job posting. Proof? Proof:

The software engineer that my brilliant cousin hired, revamped his resume by using her proprietary software which she designed to game the system. She took my cousin’s resume and added words and phrases that weren’t anywhere in the job posting. Keywords that weren’t mentioned anywhere in the company values or the “about” page on their website. She added phrases and sentences that she knew the software at the “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software companies was designed to look for. Words that had nothing to do with the actual job posting.

Once she revamped his resume, she re-ran it through her software. 76% match. 76%. He got an interview. Now he’ll be able to meet face to face with the hiring manager, look her in the eyes, and sell himself.

So companies are using hiring software and now job hunters are being forced to use “how to win the game to get an interview” software.

Software hiring software.

Robots hiring robots.

Secret Santa this year should be a kick.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 7

September 2020

So my brilliant cousin wasn’t getting interviews, just like I wasn’t getting interviews, and it’s baffling to us because we’re fucking amazing.

Unfortunately, “fucking amazing” doesn’t get you much these days. Forget about our talent, our experience, our intellect and our badass-ness; when it comes to job hunting, none of that stuff matters. It’s about winning the game.

Job hunting is a game, and brilliant cousin and I know how to play it. We’ve played it before. Our resumes are going to be put through the hiring software that companies have started utilizing – god help us – and so we know that in order to play the game right, we need to customize each resume for each individual job. To win the game, we use keywords, phrases, and even entire sentences from the actual job posting itself. Straight up copying and pasting. The words I copied and pasted into my customized-just-for-you-resume are obviously programmed into the software for this job, because they reflect exactly what the post says, right? I’m clearly clever and winning the game.

The only thing is, I’m not. I’m losing the game. How am I losing this game?

Even when I’m perfectly qualified for the job, and I’ve copied and pasted your words from your own job posting, I’m not getting interviews. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve applied for a job in the morning and by that same afternoon I’ve received your rejection email.

“After carefully reviewing your resume, we are moving forward with other candidates whose background and qualifications more closely meet our needs.”

What the what? How could anyone be more qualified than me? I’ve done this job before. I know how to do it and I do it well. Plus, I copied and pasted your own words in my resume!

Speaking of, what do you mean “after carefully reviewing my resume?” You didn’t review my fucking resume! Not one set of human eyes even glanced at my resume. Shame on you and your fucking software.

It took me hours to customize my resume, fill out your application, reach out to any of my contacts who might be remotely connected to anyone at your company so they could put in a good word for me so that I could at least get an interview for this job, and you don’t even have the decency – won’t even do me the courtesy of at least looking at my resume? I got your automated rejection letter roughly four hours after I submitted my resume and application. It took me longer to actually apply for the fucking job than it did for you to reject me.

Fuck. You. Assholes.

Yes, I sound angry. That’s because I am angry. I gotta let it go. Anger leads to basements. (See The Beginning.)

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 6

September 2020

Back to my brilliant cousin and our inspired theory as to why we’re not getting hired.

He and I commiserate occasionally. All commiserating and no play make Beatrice and her brilliant cousin dull, bitter alcoholics.

Which reminds me, I need to watch The Shining again. It’s been way too long and September is practically October which is Halloween and I love scary movies, so it’s time. I think I’ll do that tonight.

Brilliant cousin and I have both worked our asses off for years to get to where we are professionally and make the kind of money that we were making. We earned every penny. We are valuable, talented, intelligent employees with strong work ethics; both of us liked by colleagues and clients alike.

Through our commiserating, my cousin and I have come to a conclusion: potential employers – or, more likely, the HR Managers reviewing the applications – see our experience and previous companies and realize that we must have been making a pretty decent salary, and the HR Manager panics, because they could never in a million years approach the hiring manager about a salary that they assume we want, since they’d get yelled at and potentially fired and don’t they remember the sticky note that had the salary printed on it in bold letters? “Then why are you bothering me?!”

Simply considering this horrifying event causes the HR Manager to throw-up a little, shart a teensy bit, and immediately delete the application and resume.
So not cool. I’m not talking about the sharting.

The not cool part is the fact that most job applications straight up ask salary requirements. Is that legal, by the way? I write “negotiable” when I can, but some software doesn’t allow “negotiable.” It only allows numbers. You can’t even put a comma in there.

So the dilemma: I put a low salary on my application, I get the interview; but I’m under-valuing myself and they’ll start me at that crazy low salary and it will take me years to work back up to where I was, and most likely they would have paid me more, but I didn’t put more in my salary expectations.

On the other hand, let’s say I submit the application with my legit desired salary. It’s potentially a deal-breaker, and I won’t even get an interview.

Please don’t let my salary expectations dissuade you. I’m willing to discuss it. I’m willing to negotiate – so is my brilliant cousin, by the way, which I know for a fact, because we commiserated about it last night. Please stop under-valuing me and what I bring to the table. Please stop assuming that I won’t take the job for a lower salary – let me make that decision. Please. Don’t make it for me.

I’ll say it again: You get what you pay for.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 5

September 2020

My cousin is freakin’ brilliant. I know everyone says that about their cousin, but mine really is. He got near perfect scores on the SAT and ACT. He’s been recruited from one high-tech company to another for years. He’s a software engineer who was making $350,000 in Seattle until Covid hit and he was laid-off.

My brilliant cousin! What moron lays-off my brilliant cousin? Incomprehensible, really.

He’s been job hunting almost as long as I have, and he still hasn’t found anything. His experience is extraordinary, his brain is as close to perfect as a brain gets, his talent is off the charts; this guy is marketable as fuck, and he can’t find a job.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? If he can’t find a job…Beatrice is doomed.

But enough about me. For now. Of course we’ll get back to me, cuz it’s all about me. What? It’s my blog, bitch.

Back to my brilliant cousin. He and I have a theory as to why we’re not getting hired. It’s a truly inspired theory, by the way. I won’t include it here, because that would make this post too long for the average attention span – it’s already almost too long for mine – but this theory is worth reading. Here’s a little teaser:

You get what you pay for.

Do I sound greedy, because greed would lead to the basement. (See The Beginning.)

You know what I know for sure? I’m not greedy. I’m valuable.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 4

August 2020

Dear Neighbor Down the Hall Who Means Well:

Please, please, please don’t give me advice on how to find a job. I know you mean well, but let’s be honest, you haven’t had to job hunt in over 15 years and I have and you’ve just been laid off for the first time in your life and I’ve been through this before and you’ve just discovered LinkedIn and I was so over LinkedIn 5 years ago.

I know that job hunting is about connecting and reaching out to your network and who you know not what you know and that you have to post every day and keep your name out there for “top of mind awareness” and I know that you just learned that term in one of your LinkedIn “Finding a job during Covid” networking groups and I know that you’re excited about all the connections you’ve recently made and all the jobs out there and all the applications that you’ve been filling out and that you’re confident you’re going to have a new job in 15 minutes because you’ve joined LinkedIn networking groups and they’re going to “keep their eyes and ears open for you” as you begin this new chapter in your life and it’s all so exciting and nobody, including you, can wait to see where you land!

Talk to me in 10 months, bitch.

Ok, that was mean. I shouldn’t call you a bitch. You’re not a bitch at all. You’re actually a really nice person. You’re always smiling and asking me how I’m doing. You’re the person in the building who is the most willing to help in any situation. You bring me lentil soup whenever you make it, because you know I love it. You’re truly a decent, impressive human.

But see, here’s the thing: I’ve hired a very expensive career coach. I hired her in March to help me get a great new job with a beautiful new salary. She worked on my resume and LinkedIn profile with me. She helped me write an email that included numbers and data – but no sentences, just bullet points, because busy people don’t read sentences. We had mock interviews and she critiqued my interviewing skills. All was working and I was getting interviews and then…Covid. Economic shutdown.

So we refocused in May and used the same strategy. It worked a little less well.

Same strategy in August. No results whatsoever.

It’s time for the two of us to brainstorm and re-strategize, and I sent her an email and a text about two weeks ago, and it just occurs to me that I haven’t heard back.

She’s probably as scared and clueless as her clients. Maybe even more so. We’ve all paid her a lot of money, after all, and we expect results.

But my non-responsive, expensive career coach is not the point here. The point is that I know a lot more about job hunting than you do and I’m doing everything right and I can’t take anymore of your unsolicited, extremely unhelpful advice.

That’s why I’m avoiding you. I thought you should know.

Acting bitchy towards non-bitches is a thing and I’m not proud of it, but I do it and I have to stop or I’m not gonna have any friends or anyone who loves me and I’m going to be stuck in that fucking basement forever. (See The Beginning.)