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August 12, 2005


Agreed. Having to submit anything on line like that is irritating and would usually fly in the face of any type of "brand experience" employers would want to create for potential candidates. Some of those portfolio websites where people can submit their creative resumes, portfolios, etc. They are cool - and as an employee you can represent yourself in a way that you like, not like the cut and paste ugly thing that you have to submit.

Regina - well put. Companies often don't think that their recruiting process should reflect their brabd image. Of perhaps they just don't think about it at all.

I agree about the usefulness of an online portfolio. In fact, the last line of my resume directs people to my website which contains up-to-date copies of said resume (a necessary evil), examples of my past work, and other things such as random writings which I occasionally produce (which, frighteningly, have started gaining me something of a fan club).

There is, however, another problem with the current candidate selection and interview processes as well – so many people don’t know how to interview candidates. This is especially fresh in my mind since I experienced it just this Tuesday.

The HR portion went fairly well, but then I was sent to the IT manager. Instead, I was ambushed by said manager and his two top people, who decided it would be a great idea to have an interrogation rather than an interview. They were confrontational, argumentative, and even bordered on abusive. To top it off, they said how they had no lives, worked a mandatory 50-60+ hours per week, and were on call 24/7, expected to drop everything should they get a call no matter how important what they were doing was.

Where, you may ask, was this? A hospital, where lives are on the line? A nuclear facility, where mistakes can be unpleasant to say the least?


It was a debt collection agency.

Needless to say, I’m not interested in the position.


As you already know, I'm an educational administrator. Our district in North Carolina (US) went paperless several years ago. Candidates submit online applications only. Immediately after submission, there is an online screening "interview" with questions to be answered. A paper resume is finally presented, mostly as a courtesy, at the face-to-face interview with the principal of the hiring school, as background checks are done with the information provided on the online application.

It is interesting that this new process came about to address the teacher shortage that we have in North Carolina. An applicant can fill out one application and submit it to up to 102 school systems in the state with one click of the "submit" button. I remember spending hours filling out separate paperwork for each employer when I was starting out!

James - I am shocked that you do not want that job (kidding).

Bert - I can see the advantages of being able to apply to many schools. That is a real plus for teachers.

And I guess that is what sites like Monster and others is trying to offer, too.

I am all for reducing the work of the applicant....

That said, when HR departments do nothing to add in the personal connections, then the system becomes too mechanized and impersonal.

This does not apply to your school example, but for many, these online applicant systems are simply a royal pain in the neck to complete. Often you cannot easily cut and paste your resume and end up retyping more than you should have to. So many companies put their own spin and design on the application tool and this makes for a very user unfriendly experience. Hint: If you are going to use an online submission tool, KEEP IT BASIC and simple. Allow full cut and paste of resumes. Make it widely compatible with all browsers. Do not make people spend too much time struggling to get their information to you. You are NOT the only company candidates are checking out.

The top talent, often already employed, is not going to waste their time on an employers clunky application sites. They do not need to.

Lisa - it was even funnier because it was a 3-4 hour drive each way and they're the ones who origionally contacted me.

Now you understand my eagerness for you to make an attempt at taking over the world earlier this week =]

James - as a natural born, but recovering, control freak, I would love nothing more than to take over the world. Chocolate would be free for everyone, cowboy boots would be expected business attire, all cars would be hybrid convertibles, and dogs would be listed as dependents on health care policies. :-)

Amen, sister. Nothing to add. :-)

Well said Lisa. You and I seem to be eating the same mushrooms these days, first performance appraisals, and now recruitment slip-ups!
Hana hou, (let's do it again and see what's next!) Rosa

Thanks Bren and Rosa for the support. It's good to know your concur with some of these thoughts. If the opposing side get's provoked, I might need you for backup!

Completely agree - online resume submission is a horrible experience. A good idea, but very poor execution. After submitting my resume at, I kept wondering why they needed my Word-format resume after all... Go figure.


Yes! It is a horrible experience. Any HR types hearing this? What are your thoughts?

Lisa - trackbacks on wordpress don't work so fyi on a related topic kinda...
happy bday.

Lisa - just stumbled on your blog - It's a great read, and I wish there were more managers like you. I was surfing, trying to get some idea of the effectiveness of snail mail/faxing of a resume versus applying online. I'm currently in the throes of looking for work after leaving a company I'd been with for 10 years. I feel like Rip Van Winkle - waking up a decade later to find that for many, the preferred method of application is online. Sometimes it's like putting your resume into a black hole - I get the feeling that many websites use weedout programs, cutting out many promising candidates, in order to make it 'easy' for HR to avoid being inundated with resumes. In one Dilbert-ian example, I spent nearly an hour torturously filling out an application for an admin position at a university, only to be told by the website after I hit the 'submit' button that I didn't meet the qualifications (for a job that I *know* I was more than qualified for). An hour of my life I'll never get back.


I've had recruitment consultants take my CV [resume], and then enter it onto their system incorrectly. Then, proceed tell me that I'm not qualified for a certain vacancy, etc.


Stephen Jones

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