Looking for a Job?

Looking for a Job? Do not look at the common job sights. It is a waste of time. I would refer to most of the job postings you receive through email notices from job boards as worthless. There are no filters, no transparency and certainly no service. For those who believe they offer any services it all comes with a price. A heavy price by the way. I was told by one company that they would rewrite my resume for $300.00. I can assure you that is not going to happen. I worked on resumes for years in human resources and did it for free. People still got jobs, changed professions and made it work. And please forgive the fact that you might actually have experience in a field. That is not looked upon with any joy or pride by most firms. They are looking for quick and dirty, inexperienced individuals who just got out of college. It is easier to mold them into an image when they are younger or so I have been told.

I just read through 10 or 12 advice blogs through LinkedIn. Again, this is such superficial blabber that still does not tell the story or the realities about work or the loss of work. Someone once told me, “When you are employed it is easy to see the faults in others and why they are not working.” I guess after 20 years in human resources I would have to agree with this statement.
Here are some realities:

A. Do not list or talk about the depth of experience you have. No one really cares.
B. Avoid any reference to years of experience in any specific field or skill set. Someone will believe you are looking for more money.
C. Do not list or discuss your education. This will place you on a list of undesirables that only care about their own lack of education.
D. Beware of requirements that state, “At least 10 or more years of experience.” I found that this was a weeding process to make sure who not to consider.

I have applied for almost 50 positions without one positive response. Why? It is pretty simple. These hiring organizations look at experience, age and what might be considered the length of time for employment prior to death. Yes, that is what they are thinking….In a recent job I was told, “go to your office and rest. You work too many hours anyway. I am afraid at your age you will have a heart attack.” What a welcome note from a boss. I had just worked three straight days with less than 6 hours of sleep and was overly tired and yet, I still came to work. I can see that death was at my door.

In spite of the fact that he broke several federal laws related to age discrimination, he was simply clueless. I challenged his way of thought. I had more experience in the field than he did and I had an advanced degree and he did not but he was much younger and was connected. All of these were reasons that contributed to my perceived inability to do the job without having a heart attack. What nonsense we have going on in business today.

Oh yes, these same companies want 10 years of experience, a degree with multiple layers of management experience and continue to want to pay you a minimum wage just for the privilege of working for them. What happened to the idea that experience mattered? What happened to the thought that getting a formal education was a good thing for everyone? It apparently went by the way of the fax machine. It is now a real problem and not an asset to have both the experience and education. This is nothing but a crazy approach to finding qualified candidates. Someone ask me the other day if I actually looked at resumes when I was in human resources? The answer was yes, in fact, I required that all resumes and applications be reviewed. We received nearly 15,000 applications and resumes each year and when we interviewed candidates we always got back to them with an answer to their hiring outcome. This was way before the master use of the Internet. It took a lot of time but we did it and we did it well. We were never sued because of process, procedure or policies. No short-cuts please. You will miss the best along the way.

Today companies want to grow but they have no one working with the experience to understand that growth comes with experience and not a stab in the dark. Experience can be expensive to be sure but maybe not. One day all of this diverse experience will be gone. The 47 million baby boomers will be gone and we will be left with those who have jumped from one job to another with no real depth of experience, skill, talents of knowledge to make it work the right way.

I just listened to the news and the expert indicated that, “if you are over 55 it is extremely difficult to find a job.” And if you are 65 it is probably impossible. If you are healthy, able to perform your job at a high level and be competitive in the market, then age or experience should not have anything to do with hiring. I was recently told that my experience should not be stated in my resume. The experience means that I am old and old means I cannot keep up. I guess they have not been with me for the past 10 days working outside cleaning up the mess created by our latest ice storm.

I really do not care about fairness when it comes to finding a job. This is not about fair. It is about who is truly willing to work and who is not. More importantly it is about who can do the job without much training or retraining while others will require months of training to do the job. This is about who can make a difference in the lives of the individuals they work with and that includes; customers, staff and others. It is about the ability to get the job done. Something that I believe has been lost in this get it done at all and any costs attitude.

Who really wants to retire when you are healthy and can do almost anything based on experience? I am going to suggest that most of us would never retire if we could continue to be productive. Retirement is just another way to release ourselves from responsibility to ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to be productive, to make a difference and continue provide to the lives of others. I will retire one day but that will be with some additional requirements that contribute to the lives of others. Oh, I am sure I will never retire. That is my real point.

The bottom line is that hiring the right person for the job is not about age or too many years of experience or a graduate degree. It is about a hiring process that looks at who can do the job the best for the company or institution. Most individuals change jobs 5 to 9 times in their lives. No one stays with a job for 10, 15 or 20 years anymore. These new and younger Trojans of the game are looking for advancement, a higher paying job, more prestige. It is no longer about doing a great job the first time or working hard to make a difference for the company, staff or customers. The next time you think you want to hire someone, think about the experience first. The rest of the process will lead to a successful outcome for your business and the new hire.

About Jim Jones

Jim received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Human Resource Development and has over 40 years of management experience in 5 different industries. He has consulted for Raytheon, Century 21 and Motorola. He retired in 2005 as the Sr. VP, Human Resources for Trident Health System (an HCA facility). His specialty is talent-based organizational development.. Jim has recently accepted a position with Shorter University as the Associate Vice President for Online and Professional Education. Shorter University's primary campus is located in Rome, Georgia. His role will include the strategic management of online programs for the university to include the College of Adult and Professional Programs located in Rome and Atlanta. Dr. Jones is looking forward to helping change the lives of those he touches every day in the pursuit of excellence in adult education. This includes students, faculty and staff.
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