Job Search: 10 Things That Annoy Job Seekers the Most

The following 10 frustrations that job seekers encounter during their searches make them want to scream. What annoyances would you add to this list?

Let's play a quick word association game: What words come to your mind when you hear the term job search? The words that come to my mind are frustrating, discouraging, hopeful and relentless. 


There is no question that searching for a new job can be tedious and unforgiving. Making matters worse are the many annoyances job seekers inevitably encounter as they apply and interview for jobs. Job seekers I've interviewed over the years for stories on have told me about the frustrations they've met in their searches that have made them want to scream. Here's a list of the top 10, in no particular order.

1. Not hearing back from employers. Job seekers do not expect to hear back immediately from recruiters, HR personnel and hiring managers after they apply for a job. They understand that a single job opening can attract hundreds of applicants, and they realize that hiring managers can't possibly respond to each job seeker. Nevertheless, the black hole is irksome.

2. Hiring managers who go dark on them. More annoying than not hearing from anyone after applying for a job are hiring managers who express interest in job seekers, only to suddenly disappear. Job seekers have told me stories of hiring managers who've called them in response to their resumes, all excited about their work experience. The job seekers have what they think are good phone interviews—or even face-to-face interviews—but then the hiring managers drop off the face of the earth, never to call them again.

3. Fake job ads. Job seekers have told me that some companies seem to post the same job every quarter. They've tried applying for these jobs, but their applications go nowhere. They suspect these jobs are fake, and in some cases they've been able to verify through people in their networks who work for these firms that the jobs in fact do not exist. They suspect companies post fake job ads to project the image that they're hiring and thriving in a bad economy.

4. Super-specific job requirements. The job market has grown so competitive that job seekers seem to have to be a perfect match for a job. Being a smart, resourceful Jack-of-all-trades is no longer enough to get a job. You must possess the exact experience a company seeks. This makes the job search even harder.

5. Kludgy recruiting software. Many employers have implemented talent management systems so that job seekers can search and apply for jobs online. Unfortunately, not all employers have customized these systems. The result for job seekers is a lot of wasted time and frustration. For example, a job seeker in New Jersey told me about a technology company based in the Garden State that had a talent management system which forced job seekers to search for jobs with the company in every city in N.J. because the company hadn't customized the software to only list the three New Jersey cities in which it operated.

6. Hearing about talent shortages. Despite millions of talented professionals remaining unemployed, companies continue to complain that they can't find the workers they need. When unemployed job seekers hear about these perceived talent shortages, they tell me they want to stand up, wave their arms and shout, "I'm here! I'm right here! Hire me!" 

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