Open Thread

Open Thread Update: Job Search Follies

Last time, we talked about the frustrations of looking for a  job online (original post is below*).  Commenters pretty much agreed that the online job search is frustrating…

They are not user friendly and your applications are left hanging out there so you never hear back from anyone

-Linda S.

….and misleading…..

1) Job descriptions that don’t explain at all what the job entails.

2) Over exaggerated titles given to everyday positions.

3) Preferring a Master’s degree and paying in the low $30’s.


..and sometimes outright scary!

Not knowing if it’s a legitimate job or just a scammer wanting your personal information for purposes of identity theft.


Frustrated job  seekers can check out the Senior Planet article on how to ‘beat the bots’ in online job searching.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep the comments open for a while so you can add your voice.

Note: To keep things fair for all commenters,  the Senior Planet website now has character limit and a 500 word limit on comments.  Readers tend to bail on the articles and their comments when faced with very lengthy comments, so many peoples’ voices don’t get heard. The new limits make it fairer for everyone – for readers and for other commenters.

*Original Open Thread

It’s getting – simultaneously-  easier and harder to find a job.

Old School job hunt

It’s easier compared to the routine of scanning the newspapers’ help wanted ads on Sunday (remember those?), picking out a few, composing a resume and cover letter individually, sending it by email (or even by snail mail!) to a recruiter or even (GASP!) directly to a company, calling to follow up and try to get an interview, do the interview, wait for the response  Lather, rinse, repeat.

It’s a whole lot easier to go online, hit a few buttons and send an email.

As easy as throwing a package over a fence and hoping it gets to your sister in law in Cincinnati.

Online Job Search interview-or not

I knew I was in a brand new world when I actually snagged an interview. I was at the offices on the appointed day and 15 minutes early for the meeting. Nobody heard of me. After 45 minutes of pacing and begging they found my interviewer.

She assumed I was going to do it online and I assumed it would be IRL.  We did the interview. It did not go well.

My other forays into online job searching – until (thank God!) Senior Planet and I found each other – were equally fun-filled.

Apparently password conventions are company secrets

No, not that one. Not that one either.

My pet peeve: all the job sites that each demand a separate user name and password without outlining the conventions upfront. Apparently password conventions are company secrets, because many operate by process of elimination. I’d fill in page after page, enter a username and password (that wasn’t duplicative) and then learn that they need at least 12 letters.

Try again.

No, it needs three numbers (but not consecutive).

No, it needs two symbols.

But for heaven’s sake don’t use “&” or “#.”

Lather, rinse, repeat.

And each time, my login timed out and I’d have to do it all over again.

But how about you?  What’s your pet peeve about the online job search process?  Let us know in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at



9 responses to “Open Thread Update: Job Search Follies

  1. Important detail on this (wise policy) of commentary limitations :
    Note (as below in your own comment opportunity) that it is 500 alphanumeric CHARACTERS, not 500 words, which would be apt to exceed 500 characters.
    Wisely also is the inclusion of a “counter”, which not every program/platform has as a feature. THANKS for that!
    And with the remaining, “bravo” on the comments which indicated :
    how it’s a challenge to determine the genuine listings from the identity theft attempts;
    age discrim!

  2. 1)Before application shuffle, watch YouTube videos with “fake” application/, interview people roleplaying. Fun & informative. Go to bed,get up next day. 2)Google career descriptions, compare to your old paper resumes, revise all to a page.The details are an interview. 3)Go to YouTube, listen to regular people talk to each other, like blogging. 4) Every day watch and listen to people, ask them how they got their job. I asked the hospital intake person yesterday, today I’m doing all the above.

  3. Online sites ask, specifically, what jobs would interest you. In return, I get a plethora of unrelated, not even close, “matches.” Give me the classified ads in the newspaper that kindly listed occupations in alphabetical order. – clear and efficient access to information and, hopefully, gainful employment.

    1. Thanks for your effort. We have been working with a new word limit to encourage more people to read all the comments. Studies show that readership drops off with very long posts (we’ve gotten some with more than 750 words!). We will investigate your observation and ask you to be patient.

    1. Chris –
      Absolutely agree…an accurate short list.
      And if I may add:
      = Job applications that CLAIM to keep demographic info (ethnicity, and disability status questions mixed as presently have or history of) separate from the qualifications info forwarded to the HR reviewer in MANY systems.
      But in reality there may be info accessibility which might allow such info to be easily viewed together, i.e. to allow any personal (in HR) biases to control the screening, and thus the selection process.

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