Thursday, January 5, 2012

Technology be trippin' yo

I have a little gripe to get out of the way while it is still fresh in my mind.  As I am becoming a seasoned veteran of the job application process, I am learning that some employers use more sophisticated methods than may be useful.

In the case of my most recent adventure, I found an archives-related job in an interesting location at a university, so I decided to apply.  This university utilizes one of those online submission programs that has you fill in all of your information to create a profile, upload your documents and then submit everything.

This specific job had three "special" questions attached to it to determine qualification.  The first two were archive and education related, and the third was about supervisory experience.  I was able to answer yes to the first two, but I had to say no to the third.  True, there was an option for "No Response," but I decided that honesty was best. 

I reasoned that the hiring committee would be willing to at least take a look at my information because I was at least over 50% qualified.  Besides, the position was for an ASSISTANT Archivist, not the head of a department.  After answering the questions, the program let me proceed to add my resume, cover letter and list of references. 

So far, so good, right?  Well.  As soon as I hit the final submit button to get my confirmation number, the site informed me that I would not advance to consideration because I did not meet all of the qualifications.  Seriously?  They could not have told me this BEFORE I went to the trouble to write a carefully worded cover letter? 

In a less technologically advanced situation, I might have been given some consideration.  They would have been able to review my education and work experience to see that while I have technically never supervised anyone, I have PLENTY of experience in a group work environment and am perfectly capable of training and keeping track of people. 

This brings me back to one of my fundamental frustrations.  Many if not most of the "good" job openings require some level of experience (which I do not yet have - in the library field).  So first of all, how does one go about getting into a supervisory position without any supervisory experience?  And since when does having experience mean that you are any good at it?  There are tons of terrible managers out there, but apparently they are better qualified than me for every single job in the world because they can point to this in their employment history. 

Never mind that I have done exemplary work in all areas of my life.  Who cares?  Never mind that I had to take an entire class on how to be a successful library manager.  It apparently means nothing.

So I am a little bitter at the moment, if you cannot tell.  Having an automated message inform you that no real human is even going to read your carefully written submission is more than disheartening.  It is downright insulting. 

In other more positive news, I have signed up to be a judge for History Day.  As a former participant, I never really considered that I could be qualified to be a judge.  Of course, I do possess a B.A. in history and I also now have a Master's degree.  Oh, and I do love to evaluate things.  It is also a wonderful feeling to complete an application and not be rejected immediately upon submission.  So I guess I am 1-1 for the day.  I suppose that is good enough for now.

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