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Some Really Great Job Hunting Tips
by Mark on 10/21/2006 (0)

That incredible sinking feeling.
Looking for a job? Confused by the pitchy newspaper ads and bizarro online exams? Here are some observations and tips we've compiled to help you better understand what you're facing. Good luck!

1. Beware of bombastic newspaper ads: Ever seen an ad in the employment classifieds that shouts 'MANAGERS WANTED!!! NEED 25 HIGHLY AGRESSIVE TAKE CHARGE PEOPLE!! 50K+ A YEAR!! START NOW!! NO EXPERIENCE NECCESARY, WILL TRAIN!!' What this ad is telling you is that they're looking for pushy assholes. These jobs are usually door to door solicitations of art, food or jewelry, or selling various stuff cold-calling in an outbound call center. These ads are designed to appeal to the 18-28 age group with little or no college education who fancy themselves the take charge, in your face type. This helps if you are sticking your foot in someone's door, or accosting them on the phone all day long. Of course the only guy making 50K+ a year is the owner. Maybe.

2. Beware of ads that linger: Be careful of this one. If you scout the employment section, and see a company that is always hiring and running ads week after week, it is almost without doubt a horrible place to work. Call centers and most sales companies are always hiring, because they are always firing. These jobs are high pressure by design, and an 80-90 percent employee turnover rate every 6 months is not uncommon. Good employers usually run an ad for a week or so until the position(s) are filled, and then dissappear. That's why you have to check the ads every single day for weeks at a time. Good job offers pop up like mushrooms on a warm summer night, and disappear just as fast.

3. What's up with those online quizzes? Ever apply for a big retailer like Home Depot, Staples or Comp USA? If you walk in the stores with a resume, the first thing they have you do is sit down and take an online test. The main purpose of this test is to determine if you have the personality type to deal with short tempered people in a retail setting all day long and not pop your cork and floor someone for asking you where the turkey gravy is. Fair enough, and this is wise and prudent on the companies part.

The other sections deal with background information and company policies. With personal information available online to employers like never before, the company can scan a prospective employees background for criminal offenses, what municipalities taxes were paid in, credit rating, and if any worker's comp claims were filed, so make sure not to leave anything out. If you choose to omit an employer you quit or were fired from, there is a moderate chance they can spot online that you paid taxes in a certain city during a period you said you were unemployed, or worked somewhere else, so be forthright. They will probably also have you agree to take a drug test, and sign an "employment at will" form, which means they can fire you at any time for any reason, and you can't sue them.

Why all the fuss?

With today's ever shrinking profit margins and rampant fraudulent litigation, the blame for poor dollar performance is being placed square on the shoulders of the employee. Thus employers use these online tools to weed out potential trouble before it occurs, and pre-employment contracts give them the legal instruments to fire your dime-a-dozen, loser retail ass without fear of recourse, all for 8 bucks an hour or so, another great reason to finish college.

4. Beware of employment agency bait and switch ads: If you look online or in the newspaper,<

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