JOB HUNTING HORRORS IN THE GREAT RESIGNATION ERA

Rafael S.
14 min readFeb 8, 2023
“Yeeeeaaah, if you could copy/paste your résumé line by line after already uploading a PDF, that would be greeeeaaaat.”

Folks, for the last few ̶d̶a̶y̶s̶, ̶w̶e̶e̶k̶s̶, ̶m̶o̶n̶t̶h̶s̶, years (?), I have been job hunting, and it has probably been the most harrowing experience of my life, and that’s saying something. I almost lost an eye ball while climbing a tree as a child. I have been tear gassed before. I have had the worst food poisoning of my life in Mexico, where I was practically projectile vomiting like the girl from The Exorcist. I have stepped on a LEGO brick while getting up in the middle of the night to get an eyelash out of my eye. I knew a guy who wore toe shoes in public. Hell, I lived 16 years in ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, you’d think it doesn’t get more scary than that.

“I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost during unemployment, like tears in my shower.”

But no, dear readers, no. None of that compares to the dregs of humanity, the absolute rockiest of bottoms: job recruiters. I don’t wish these people death, no, that would be far too lenient a punishment. I wish them a scourge of plagues, of Biblical proportions, I hope they get the nastiest case of swamp ass whenever they put on a pair of pants. You want to know why? Well, buckle yourselves in, I’m going to get judgmental and nasty, but it’s 100% warranted. I know I’m not alone. I hope this article gets a billion reads, but you know what, if even one person shares this and it reaches a hiring manger who decides to change their ways, I can rest a little easier at night, rather than stay up at night plotting vendetta on those who would deny me employment and then complain that nobody wants to work. Here is a list of everything I hate about job hunting. That’s right, we’re going to do this like Martin Luther, dishing out a list of complaints. Let no whale be spared from my fury, with hell’s heart, I STAB AT THEE!

HAVING ME ATTACH A PDF OF MY RÉSUMÉ JUST TO MAKE ME TYPE IT

Bless the soul who applied like this, they’re doing the Lord’s work.

Just for shits and giggles, 99% of the crappy websites are awful at transcribing the information, so then, I get to either type it from scratch, or I have to edit the entire document. Oh, and ten bucks says the website crashes without saving because it’s poorly designed! Let’s also not forget when it forces me to create an account with a password, when it could just as easily use my email or you know, the third party website it posted the job ad on in the first place.

DEMANDING HALF A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE FOR AN ENTRY LEVEL JOB

Similarly, I’ve seen jobs in writing that demands prior experience writing about a show that just aired.

How dare you call people “lazy” or “unwilling to work” when the reality is that you want instant gratification and are too lazy to train people! Or worse, you’re just a scummy employer who wants to hire people for entry-level pay but expect them to have associate-level experience. Way to assume that a set number of years determines value, by the way. I know people who have worked in fields for years who cannot write to save their lives, and I also know rookies who are better than myself without even trying! There are also people people who might have done years of work writing about films, but people who have worked on just a single film for a set for a few months already have a better understanding of what goes into it sometimes!

Maybe, as a hiring manager, you’re telling yourself that you just need/want capable people, but come on. If that’s the case, then be like Gandalf! Hire some Hobbits to do your quests, they’re capable of more than you think of, even with their inexperience! Do you think that Bilbo Baggins had “dragon slayer” on his résumé? Or that Frodo Baggins had “ring bearer” on his CV?

DISREGARDING PEOPLE FOR BEING “OVERQUALIFIED”

“Let’s have unrealistic expectations but let’s also avoid the people who jumped through those hoops.”

Talk about contradicting oneself. You want the cream of the crop, but God forbid they’re more than you asked for. Are you assuming they’re going to demand a higher salary? Do you think they’re going to leave our company when they find something else? Are you insecure and think that they might be better than you? Here’s a clue, ANYONE can do that at any time, not just the overqualified people. Grow up and hire the qualified people you’re asking for when they actually do come along.

EXPECTING A COVER LETTER

I actually sent this one in for a place that was artsy and working in public spaces.

How many of these things get read? Seriously. When I would hire people in prior jobs, I never asked for a cover letter, because you can tell a lot about a person from the format of their résumé alone, and that’s not including their actual work experience. Plus, who the hell has time to read 100+ applicants’ single page, generic, overly passionate, or embellished cover letters? Knowing that, and having heard it directly from hiring mangers who explicitly said they don’t bother reading cover letters, are we really going to keep pretending cover letters are so necessary? Can we just drop this idiotic obsolete tradition, especially in this cold, technological world where people from all around the world can apply to the same post and job recruiters are using applicant tracking systems anyways to carelessly filter out humans?

If the application wasn’t worth my own precious time, why the hell would I waste it applying to a job I wouldn’t want? I’m here, I obviously want the job, don’t make me write a cover letter when you’re not even going to bother reading it, capiche?

MISLEADING JOB POSTS

SO many questions.

It’s so funny that these types of posts always try to make themselves sound like fun, but they always come across as Mickey Mouse held at gunpoint instead. They insist they are the whimsical dreamers of tomorrow and they would like to pay you in “exposure” and lollipops. I also hate it when I have to waste my time applying for a job, just for the hiring manager to reach out and say “there appears to have been a miscommunication” or something, as if there was fault on my end too. No, you posted the job was “remote!” If you said that was the case and then reveal it’s hybrid, or worse, in the flesh, then why did you mark “fully remote,” man? Ditto goes for “full-time” vs
“part-time” or worse, “seasonal” not being clarified! I also cannot stand when employers are trying to make themselves sound associated with a larger named company when in reality, they have nothing to do with them. Throwing words like “Disney,” or “The Washington Post,” or “Warner Bros” doesn’t make you that company! But nothing is as bad as…

BEING VAGUE ABOUT SALARY

Yes, I used a watermark-riddled image, oh well, it’s uglier, but whatever.

If you cannot roughly estimate what you are going to pay me, I walk. Simple as that. This is a job, we all do it for money, let’s not kid ourselves. Screw passion, we all want to work in a field we enjoy, but regardless, we are ALL here to pay the bills. So just be upfront and tell me, because I need to know that can be accomplished. Otherwise, I’m not going to waste my time, or I’ll assume it’s an unreliable company, an MLM, an internship masquerading as a paying job, or a scam.

BAD FILTERS ON JOB BOARD WEBSITES

Indeed is actually one of the better filters, and it still sucks.

I just love that I have to change every filter every time I make a search because the previous ones are unsaved on a job board. I cherish that I clearly state that I am not interested in a type of position, but it keeps showing me those results anyways! I really like the part where there’s not an option to select multiple fields, and instead, I have to go one at a time every time I make a search. And who doesn’t relish the fact that you can mark that you only want jobs from one area and it shows you the entire continental United States anyways! Let’s not forget how fun it is to have to type exact results sometimes instead of assuming the job board is capable of showing broader results!

Oh, by the way, I was being sarcastic.

USING A THIRD PARTY WEBSITE, JUST TO FORCE ME TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT ON YOUR CRAPPIER ONE ANYWAYS

Look at this part, where it forces me to select a university from their “superior” system and it can’t even find the flagship research university of my state and 100% can’t process foreign degrees.

OK, so you posted on a job board, where all of my information is saved, and then you demand that I go to your website to do the application all over again from scratch. Then, when I get there, it’s obvious that the website was designed in 2007 and hasn’t been touched since, so the website runs about as fast as a snail on heroin. But the worst part is, I have to send you my email information for you to continually spam me, and if the terrible website I’m forced to use crashes, there is almost certainly not a save function, so all of the entered information has to be typed out again. It would be so much easier if you just allowed people to upload a CV, but no, you want everything easier for you by making it harder for everyone else.

START-UPS EXPECTING THE CREAM OF THE CROP

“Tee-hee, we’re a whimsical start-up, true innovators who are going to change the world by not even treating our employees humanely and by doing the same idea 30 other companies have had but with a new font!“

Uh, no buddy, you’re the one that is unreliable! 90% of start-ups fail, maybe because the people running them don’t temper their expectations or can’t run a company! You’re lucky anybody wants to risk working for you!

DISREGARDING BROAD SKILL SETS

As everyone knows, only a fool puts all their skill points in a single field. Look at Skyrim!

Oh, you want a “specialist” in that exact field? OK, if you read my CV, I am one! But guess what, you’re not the center of the universe, and I’m not going to cater every single piece of my résumé to you. Instead, I can apply to five other jobs in that time instead. If I have a job that has nothing to do with what your job is, whatever, that’s a dumb disregard of connections or skills that could be useful, but then, don’t put salt in the wound and question why I have a gap in my résumé when if I do remove the other past experience! I’m sorry I have three degrees, and only one of those is in your field, but are we going to act like my other degrees, despite being other fields, don’t show a dedication to commitment or a diverse base of knowledge? Which reminds me…

DISREGARDING EDUCATION ENTIRELY

If I see you put “School of Hard Knocks” on your Facebook profile proudly, I absolutely will judge you.

Yes, work experience really is critical, I agree, but if I see a guy who has done the same low level skill job for 20 years, or a kid who just graduated as the valedictorian of his class from a prestigious university and has always been steady in that intensive and competitive environment, of course that person is going to translate to a good worker, especially if they’re applying to a job in the field they studied in, because that means that they care about it and are good at it. Likewise, if someone has a Bachelor’s in one field and another has a Master’s in a different one, that doesn’t automatically disregard the other person, who might not have had the time/money/need to do a Master’s degree and are likely very capable too!

USING AN ATS (APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEM)

This is what evil looks like. Beware. And if you use this, shame on you, lazy ass.

I recently got ATS’d by a system because it demanded two years of experience in a field I have four years of experience in, in fact, I surpassed all of the qualifications by a landslide, and yet, my suitability was only 40%. I played around and copy/pasted the keywords and parts of the job description itself, and it only nudged it to 45%. It’s baffling that employers are so lazy that they throw everyone’s CVs into an ATS and expect it to cough up the second coming of Christ for their company. Let’s also not forget that they ask for a cover letter in the application most of the time anyways. Society is getting WAY too comfortable with artificial intelligence and algorithms, and this is one of the best examples.

OLD/CONTINUOUSLY RE-POSTED JOB POSTINGS

Hey, go read Matt Fraction’s “Hawkeye.”

Come on. Stop taunting us. If you keep posting the same job over and over, it’s frustrating that you didn’t already grab someone and are continually cluttering up the job boards due to your indecisiveness. Likewise, if there is a posting on your website or on a job board that has been there for years, just take it off! Not that hard.

NOT SENDING ME A REJECTION CONFIRMATION

My heart.

What is this, high school? You’re just not that into me, so you ghost me instead of just breaking up with me? Is it that hard to click “decline all” on a third party job board (another reason not to make your own crappy job board) once you’ve made your pick?

Or, more frustratingly, isn’t it great when an employer reaches out, gets your hopes up, invites you to an interview or interviews you, and falls off the face of the Earth?

CONDESCENDING REJECTION LETTERS

This is a REAL rejection I got. Absolutely hilarious, yeah, I’m sure a real person read my CV.

This is the other end of rejection. If you’re gonna reject me, just tell me. I get it. I don’t need a coddling story to make me feel better. I would appreciate a straightforward answer why if it’s not a vast pool of candidates, so I can improve, but I don’t need a pat on the head and to be told “you have an impressive CV, but it just wasn’t good enough, champ” or “we encourage you to apply again in the future” when you don’t mean it.

EGREGIOUS TYPOS IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION

Really? You’re hiring an editor, and you’re saying “no” to me? OK. Me hope u do güd in job hunt, bud-e.

RED FLAGS IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION

Have you ever read through a job description and it immediately gave you a shiver down your spine, “the ick,” or made you roll your eyes? Of course you have. If an employer can’t be upfront from the start, I walk. Here is the hall of shame:

“You will wear many hats.”

Translation: “We are going to pile on somebody else’s responsibilities (likely our own) on top of you for the same pay.”

“Be prepared to work in a fast-paced environment.”

Translation: “Get ready to work in a toxic environment with unrealistic or cruel deadlines and continuous intrusions on your personal life.”

“There will be a pre-screening”

Translation: “This is the first step in a long, arduous process that will take up way too much of your time, with no guarantee that we will hire you, but that’s OK, because if we can’t even streamline a hiring process, imagine working for us in any capacity.”

“Salary depends on experience.”

Translation: “We’re looking for a naïve idiot who is willing to work for pennies because they have no work experience or self-respect.”

“Work some weekends.”

Translation: “Work most weekends.”

“We want team players.”

Translation: “We want brown-nosers who put the company first.”

“!”

I hate using these in a non-humorous setting, because it’s either passive-aggressive, insane, or cringe-inducing. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said:

Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

I’m gonna go with the guy who wrote The Great Gatsby on this one.

: )

Yeah, sure, smile at me, that’s really helping me take your company seriously. If your writing is so bad or you’re so insecure that you feel the need to put a smiley face to convey that you’re not angry or that you’re friendly, I’m gonna put >:(

“We hire professionals”

Yeah, I would hope so.

“We’re looking for rock stars!”

You’re not cool.

“This company is like a family.”

Fuck you, you ain’t my momma.

ASKING FOR FRESH WRITING SAMPLES/FREE WORK/IDEAS THAT I WOULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMPANY

Hey, how about you just look at my portfolio instead of pirating my ideas?

FORCING ME TO DO A STUPID PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE

That’s what for the interview is for, you ding-dongs! “Tell me about what got you interested in this field, and please answer a thousand other questions that don’t really help anyone get anywhere faster.”

No.

If I’m here, I’m obviously interested, you don’t need to analyze my character arc. And if there’s a gap in a CV, you really shouldn’t ask, because maybe I that person was suffering from an illness or going through a personal matter that is just gonna make it awkward if you ask! The worst part is that, like cover letters, I know damn well no one is going to read these.

EVERYTHING ABOUT LINKEDIN

Shout-out to my own worthless Linkedin profile, which I only have because I’m desperate, and it’s likely that some recruiter is too lazy to read my typed out CV.

Can we just stop pretending this website is anything more than a big ego rub for Boomers who want more control of a glorified Facebook clone? What, you want a thumbs up for just doing your job? A clap for your newest achievement? And you have the balls to call us the “trophy generation.” Laughable.

The entire website as a concept is ludicrous as well. You’re basically surrounding yourself with peers and acquaintances, but we all know that when we do give job opportunities to people we know, it’s our friends. Key word there: friends. If you’re suggesting a person you hardly know for a job position, you’re simply insane. I don’t know about you, but I keep the contact information of my friends handy, which is easy to do, especially in 2023, where social media is plastered everything. You know why? Because they’re my friends and I like talking to them and like supporting them, and they will always take priority over an acquaintance, as I am a rational guy.

Linkedin in has big high school reunion energy. I don’t care about going, because I kept in touch with the people I liked anyways (and not to mention that everything is online anyways so there is no surprise).

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Rafael S.

I’m not a pessimist, I’m correct. Follow me for troglodyte slaying 101.