Monday, January 20, 2014

The Other Side of the Desk: A former recruiter’s perspective #2

May the odds be ever in your favor...
I finally did it: I applied to my first student affairs job last night!
I’ve been putting off job applications because I am still decompressing after the hell that was the fall semester, and have thus spent all my free time catching up with friends and binging on Netflix.  Last night, I was doing the latter when my roommate passive-aggressively asked me at 8:58 PM if I was planning to watch Downton Abbey (which I have NEVER watched), so I took the hint and handed over the remote.  After a few scenes of Lord Rupert Templeton, was complaining to Lady Prudence Benedict or whoever  about some trivial matters of their ginormous estate aka #richpeopleproblems, thus I decided to pull out my laptop and get some job hunting done.
For about two weeks, I had been sitting on an application for a Career Services Advisor position for a private, non-profit medium sized institution in the New York area, and given my background in recruiting, it sounds right up my alley.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’m pretty open-minded about functional areas – except for anything in ResLife; we all have our callings in life, but for me, ResLife is not it – but I do have a special affinity for helping students figure out a career path.  The position itself involves one-on-one counseling, putting on workshops, and some employer-relations action, it’s perfect for me. 
What was not so perfect was the clunky application system that the institution uses for job applications.  After slaving away for about an hour to tailor my resume to the job qualifications, I started the application, and then had to tediously input everything from my education background to my job history over the last five years (including start and end dates, supervisor information, and salary) into individual boxes.  The pièce de résistance of all this was after all that work, at the end of the application, it asked me to upload my resume and cover letter!  While I gripe about this, here’s a tip I’ve learned from recruiting, regardless of the complexity of instruction, you have to play ball and fill out the application as instructed.
Cutting corners by putting in the minimal amount of information on an application is tempting, BUT consider this: if a hiring manager goes into the application system and types in keywords from the job description, how likely is it that you will be found if you’ve only put in a minimal amount of information and exclude key words? Slim to none.  Giving the best credit to hiring managers, they really want to do right by the job pool, but they have little time to devote to the search, so they will use the most effective tools possible to find candidates.  It’s nothing personal; it’s just the way the hunger games known as the job hunt goes.

Therefore, do like me and get over yourself and just do what the applications ask of you and then some, because more than likely, it will pay off.  I will update if/when I hear about the outcome of this first job.  By the way, I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions that I can address in future post topics from the readers out there. Have a good week everyone!

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