10 “Spookiest” Aspects of the Job Search
Just in time for Halloween, CareerCast.com recently compiled a list of the 10 most spooky jobs job seekers may want to avoid. From working with the deceased to interacting with strange bugs and animals all day, the following 10 are jobs most unemployed Americans don’t have at the top of their “apply to” lists:
- Forensic Scientist Technician
- Hazardous Material Technician
- Elasmobranchologist (Marine Biologist, specifically studying sharks and rays)
- Medical Laboratory Technologist
- Transmission Tower Worker
Now, the titles of some of these roles even made me nervous to look them up. For example, herpetologist, which I discovered is someone who studies reptiles and amphibians (whew!). And after seeing others on the list, like coroner and hazardous material technician, it’s clear to understand why the majority of job seekers might consider twice before going down these career paths.
But, examining this list led me to think about just how “spooky” things can be even before one gets a job. I mean, for many, the job search process is no walk in the park.
So, in continuing with the upcoming holiday, I’ve created the following list of the 10 spookiest aspects of the job search (at least they’re scary to me!):
1. Searching for Jobs
You may wonder, How is searching for a job scary? While not very “scary,” this initial part of the job hunt can be intimidating and overwhelming. Job seekers have to sift through thousands of applications to hopefully find one or two they even qualify for (and/or are interested in). They have to spend hours tailoring their resumes and cover letters for each position, and even more time researching the company to be prepared for a possible interview. This is a very time consuming process that can last for weeks, months and even years. One that can easily overwhelm those hopeful of finding a job.
2. Resume Black Hole
You spend hours perfecting your resume and cover letter; send it in to the company; and wait. And wait. And wait.
A great deal of applicants’ resume fall into a black hole to never be read by hiring managers. This is certainly spooky for job seekers as they don’t want to get lost in the crowd.
3. Cold Calling
You’ve looked up the contact information of a higher up in the company you hope to work for. You have no prior connections with this person whatsoever and know nothing about him/her except this person’s job title. Yet, you’re about to pick up the phone and directly contact this individual. Talk about scary!
Cold calling can be “spooky” because job seekers don’t really know how the receiver is going to react/respond to their call (if at all). It’s a risk, and like all risks, it can be intimidating.
4. Errors in Cover Letter & Resume
Most job seekers have heard that if a hiring manager sees even one misspelling in their resumes or cover letters they immediately trash the person as a potential candidate. This can make job seekers become frantic proofreading their materials multiple times before sending. And while proofreading is always a good thing, no one is perfect. We all make mistakes and oftentimes miss errors even when we have read and re-read and edited and re-edited our application.
5. Application Tests
You know those LONG and time-consuming questionnaires and tests that some companies include when filling out applications? Those certainly can “spook” me, especially the timed tests. And I especially dislike the ones that try to trick you by asking the same questions only with different wording to trip you up in your answers. These tests can scare job seekers as they work hard to ensure they pass.
6. Failing Interview
What if I don’t answer fast enough? Or ask good enough questions at the end of the interview? Or what if the interviewer asks me something about the company I don’t know?
All these questions and more can run through a job seeker’s mind before an interview. The fear of failing an interview can weigh heavily even on the most prepared candidate.
7. No Callbacks
This is similar to the resume black hole, only worse if a recruiter or hiring manager actually told you he/she would call you back. I’ve been in a scenario where I interviewed twice with a company and was already told where the hiring manager was going to position me in the business, only to never receive a callback. No job seeker looks forward to this happening.
8. Being Aggressive
With so much advice out there, sometimes it’s hard to know which road to follow. Some people tell job seekers to be aggressive and call employers even if they don’t call you. Yet, job seekers also hear stories about how annoyed recruiters become with candidates. It can be like tug-of-war when deciding the best approach.
This is another piece of advice: network. Yet, it’s not always so easy to put yourself out there and talk to people you don’t know, especially when trying to make connections for employment. It’s even harder to do so knowing your approach and seeking advice could have you end up on various news sites as an example of what not to do.
This is most certainly the spookiest part of the job search. All the effort you’ve put in to receive the dreaded “we regret to inform you” or “this position has been filled” email or call. On Halloween, most people want the “treat” and not the “trick.” The same holds true for the job search, and believe me, getting rejected (especially multiple times) is far from tasty.