|>>|| No. 22096
I was going to tag this onto an existing thread about asking for advice on writing CVs in /job/, but it just spiraled into a rant, so I thought I'd post it here.
I've always hated jobhunting. But, this is the first time in five years that I've been unemployed. I would have probably tried to find another job during the time I had the one I had last, but I hate jobhunting so much that I couldn't bring myself to do it. Now, I'm forced to. I'm hating it even more than I did in the past, probably because I've grown up and gained a more mature perspective on the world of work.
I don't lack confidence in looking for a job or in my expectations of finding one before too long (I took out unemployment insurance years ago, so that I'd be able to keep paying my mortgage, plus I've some money put away, so I don't have the fires of hell under my arse yet) but as regards writing and/or amending my CV, I feel like I've stumbled into a carnival fun house designed by a madman for the explicit purpose of luring others into the depths of insanity.
Firstly, the infrastructure of job acquisition is ludicrous. I've been told that during the sixties and at least early seventies, you could walk out of a job in the morning and be working on the floor of your next job that afternoon. Obviously the low unemployment rate in that period was one factor, but it also meant something else; one person applying for one job, meaning that 0% of applications were rejected for certain job postings. We are told that these days, there are thousands of people applying for single positions. We are forced to accept this, but it's madness.
We now have a situation in which the process of selecting appropriate candidates has been rendered so difficult that automated computer searches through the piles of CVs are used to gut them for snippets of metadata, despite the fact that the results are often completely erroneous, just to select an elite few actually considered worthwhile reading. We are told, however, that our CVs ought to stand out from a crowd. This means that your CV needs first to conform to a general standard of content, formatting and with the correct set of whatever buzzwords happen to be in vogue at the moment, but thereafter somehow stand out. What?! At the very least, it should be apparent that since everyone is expected to make sure their CVs conform to certain standards, that those standards are, in fact, wholly irrelevant and simply exclude those whose skills do not necessarily include the ability to dick around in Word for hours on end. For the vast majority of jobs, this is not an essential skill.
The advice on writing CVs (not from you guys, but “official” sources) seems to completely ignore the realities of what workplaces are actually like. We are told to use 'active' words- achieved this and slashed that, as if we're all captains of industry or something and actually are given the opportunity make any sort of difference or contribute to society at all. The vast majority of us begrudgingly turn up for work every day doing the exact same shit for no other reason than because someone is forced to pay us to do it. What the fuck does a gas metre reader achieve beyond reading the requisite number of gas metres? How does a checkout assistant meaningfully contribute to anything? What does anyone actually get out of doing customer assistance in a bank?
It's pretty disheartening if you've never had a job before, but for those of us who've been in the world of work before- I mean, come on. We've all worked under bosses that had no idea what they were doing and qualified people who are completely incompetent. We've known environments where the one person who's good at their job gets passed up for promotion year after year in favour of a usless kiss-arse. We know privately that anyone could pick up our job after two weeks of faking it, because that's exactly what we did. We know that people keep turning up for a job that they detest because they're afraid of the vague and confusing world of jobhunting, where nothing makes sense and there's no guarantee they're going to match whatever paltry income they're on now.
We're always expected to pretend like we give a shit, like we've achieved anything, like we stand out from the crowd, that we actually want whatever job we're applying for and would be a valuable addition to the team, despite the fact that everybody knows that we're all just going through the motions. No doubt many of us lie to ourselves and tell ourselves otherwise, and many of us perhaps perceive the insanity of it all and, seeing so few others speak up against it, assume that, in fact, there's somehow something wrong with our selves. But, beneath that, we all know
In order to write a CV the way it's expected to be written, we have to ignore these realities, which means essentially negating our own intelligence in order to stupidly present the illusion of intelligence in order to impress a stupid computer to then, thereafter, impress someone you don't know in order to fulfill criteria you don't know, who probably doesn't give a shit about their job and actively resents having to hide that fact and is also, most likely, not even particularly good at their job because they got hired through an identically opaque and pointless process.
So, here I am, following the recommendations, doing as I'm told, jumping through the hoops. I'm trying to tailor my CV to what's expected of the hypothetical ideal candidate. I can't stand it, but I'm doing it. I suppose I'm posting this in the vain hope that one of you acerbic pricks will give me a good solid telling off, sort out my misconceptions, and thereby enable me to shit out a CV that'll land me a job I won't hate and deeply resent doing. I don't hold out much hope.