I have been seeking employment for far too long. For you baby boomers, you can no longer walk in the front door of "most" established companies and fill out an application, or just offer your resume to a hiring manager in person. From my experience, they automatically ask you if you have applied on their website. You respond with yes, and then they tell you that they have a screening service "recruiting agency" that will possibly select you, and if you are, then it goes to their hiring manager, and he or she will make the final decision for an interview. If you try to break ranks and make attempts to speak with the hiring manager directly, this is frowned on by some. This job search approach online does save gas, but the days of face to face seem obsolete anymore.
So now you have to meet and greet a COMPUTER. That computer, or system to be more precise, will scan your resume for critical keywords that can pass muster. Not only that, but the recruiter will also place filters in this system to search for candidates in a particular zip code, your industry background, consistency of job titles that apply towards the vacancy, and more. I have researched tons of information that applies to the "Applicant Tracking System", or ATS, utilized by recruiters. To survey the keyword approach, I have taken probably 50-60 advertised vacancies, and I would "craft" the resume to conform to as many keywords as possible, so as to possibly get this ATS to notice me. My job titles from the past were definitely in line with the position being offered. I would also use wordle.com to test my approach. After many hours of not only trying to gain employment, as well as "testing" the system, I never received one email or phone call. I still continue to apply these keywords, and all other recommended approaches you learn in today's methods of searching for work, and I go to bed each night sleepless trying to figure out the problem.
Not to come across as negative and upset with the entire system, as I am not, but if I had the money, I would enlist lobbyists to pursue this recruiting process in legislation. The legislation, if passed, would cause these recruiting agencies to get rid of this ATS system, and replace with one that works for me, lol. Not only the system, but the recruiters themselves would need to meet strict certification requirements. One of the new recruiting agency requirements would be to provide monthly reporting to the authority providing oversight. As part of this report, the recruiting agency would document the age groups or specific age of each applicant that was processed and moved forward to the interview stage. If they are found liable for age discrimination, or not meeting the standards of the EEO requirements or otherwise, then a strong fine would be imposed. I say this not because I am ancient, as I am only 47. I say this because I have two friends who are former recruiters for fairly large organizations. They explicitly let me know that age discrimination is viral in many recruiting agencies, and it is a very common approach in the selection process. They look at the resume, and if the jobs you have held in the past (date you), then they throw you out. Unless of course, you are that "perfect machine". As another added requirement, I would like to see ALL recruiters send you at least an email letting you know that the position was filled, or you did not meet the requirements, etc. Out of 100 vacancies I have applied to online, I have probably received about 10 emails stating this. So you keep wishing to follow up on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, as I have, and finally the recruiter gets tired of seeing your emails, and sends you an email stating "POSITION FILLED!!". I received one just like that. Very professional and personable isn't it?
Another reporting requirement would require (actual) open positions, rather than phony ones. Some companies post these job advertisements only to be EEO compliant, as they instead hire internally. Or maybe they are only conducting an analysis on salary expectations, or creating a labor pool they can draw from the following quarter or year, and you need a job today. Or the recruiters themselves keep the same job vacancy posted for months at a time, because they need to meet the quotas in their agency for attracting X amount of applicants, or the position is dependent on contract award that they oddly fail to mention. The list can go on. It is a system that I believe has caused a large percentage of this country's unemployment. When there are so many unemployed, the recruiters and hiring managers know they have the upper hand, so they seek the "perfect machine" to bring on board. Most of those perfect machines (respectfully) all have degrees or certifications, and I applaud that, but that applicant has far less experience than what a seasoned manager has to offer, and who can bring those results you seek without having to train or mold. Could it be that the employer knows the seasoned manager desires more compensation, so they target those who don't? Is the job advertisement really intending to fill the position, or is it a phony? They are out there, and if you investigate thoroughly, you will learn on this. These companies would benefit greatly from my substantial experience in management and leadership traits. Like others in this world, we are all imperfect, so I am not advertising I am the number one Manager out there, but I am quite confident I would be a great addition to the TEAM if warranted the opportunity.
I apply to at least 40-50 positions weekly, and my search has no geographic boundaries. My resume looks great, I meet the keywords, my job title and industry target market are in line with my background, or overall experience that (can) achieve results. My resume is always revised to conform to the vacancy. My cover letter is always personalized for each job, my interview skills are great, and I CAN deliver. To add, I am a Marine Corps Veteran, and I thought the government and other organizations were pushing to employ veterans? So the question is why am I still unemployed when I have so much to offer?? I just don't have the answer.