The 10 Worst Things About Job Hunting

Looking for a job is rarely fun, but looking in today's job market is especially difficult. Sometimes, it's downright unpleasant. Here are the 10 worst things about job hunting in today's market:

1. Contradictory advice. There's loads of job-search advice on the Internet, and much of it is contradictory. Confused job-seekers are bombarded by rules that often conflict--from whether or not to use a resume objective, to whether to follow up on your application with a phone call, to how you should handle talking about a past firing. And most of this conflicting advice is presented as must-be-followed gospel.

2. Online application systems that barely work. While online application forms have made things more convenient for employers, job-seekers report regularly running into systems that won't upload their resumes, ask yes/no questions that don't fit many candidates' situations, and require information that few have on hand (like a high school GPA or the exact date you started a job 15 years ago). And when candidates know there's a good chance they won't even get so much as an acknowledgment, having to spend an hour wrestling with an onerous application system simply to submit a resume is an especially bitter pill to swallow.

3. Job descriptions that don't match the reality of the job. Job-seekers regularly find themselves interviewing for jobs that bear little resemblance to what they thought they were applying for, due to poorly thought out advertisements and job descriptions that change on the fly.

4. Employers who set up phone interviews and then never call. It's not uncommon for an employer to schedule a phone interview with a candidate, fail to call at the scheduled time, and then not bother to get back in touch to reschedule (let alone apologize). Meanwhile, the candidate has often spent time reading up on the company and preparing for the interview, in addition to scheduling child care or time off from work to take the call without interruption.

5. Interviewing and then never hearing anything back. Many companies never bother to notify candidates that they're no longer under consideration, even after candidates have taken time off work to interview or have traveled at their own expense. Candidates are often anxiously waiting to hear an answer--any answer--and end up waiting and waiting, long after a decision has been made.

6. Employers who insist on knowing your salary history but won't reveal what the job pays. Employers regularly insist that candidates name their salary history or expectations up front, while simultaneously refusing to divulge the range they plan to pay. There's no reason for employers not to share that info, other than to make the hire at a lower price. It's unfair and they usually get away with it, but we'd all be better off if employers simply shared the range they plan to pay and put an end to the drama and coyness.

7. Having your new salary based on what you used to earn, not what you'll contribute to the company. Candidates often find themselves locked into a small increase above their last salary, rather than having a new employer make an offer based on the value they'll bring to the new role. For candidates who are underpaid, this is especially frustrating.

8. Not being considered if you're not a local candidate. As difficult as the job market is for most people right now, it's even more difficult for job-seekers who are searching long-distance. Because there are so many qualified local candidates, many employers won't consider those who are out-of-state at all, even when long-distance candidates are willing to pay their own relocation expenses.

9. Routine invasions of privacy. More companies are requiring that candidates submit their social security number, driver's license number, and references with the initial application. And it's often not optional, since many online application systems won't accept an application without these items. But there's no reason to require this kind of information from candidates who haven't even gone through an initial screening round yet.

10. Employers who say they'll give you an answer within a week and then go silent. Interviewers are notorious for telling candidates they'll hear an answer within a few days or a week, only to disappear for weeks--or sometimes months. Of course time lines change, but employers should have the courtesy to notify candidates when this happens. Companies that would never treat a customer this way think nothing of being cavalier about the commitments they make to job candidates.

The good news for job-seekers? The market will eventually turn around, and employers won't hold all the cards forever.

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog, where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager's Guide to Getting Results, and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.



More From US News & World Report

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...
  • How to put a number to “uncertainty” – and what it means for markets
    How to put a number to “uncertainty” – and what it means for markets Truewealth Publishing - 54 minutes ago

    Markets hate uncertainty. But lots of uncertainty – as there is now – doesn’t mean that markets won’t go up. Uncertainty is more subjective than (say) volatility, or stock market valuations, or the price performance of assets. To most people, … More »

  • Japan January industrial output falls 0.8 percent month/month - government
    Japan January industrial output falls 0.8 percent month/month - government Reuters - 55 minutes ago

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's industrial output unexpectedly fell 0.8 percent in January, posting the first decline in six months, government data showed on Tuesday. The month-on-month fall compared with a ... … More »

  • PHI Inc. reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 56 minutes ago

    The Lafayette, Louisiana-based company said it had a loss of $1.08 per share. The helicopter transportation company serving the oil and gas industry posted revenue of $144.9 million in the period. For ... … More »

  • Ensco beats 4Q profit forecasts Associated Press - 1 hour 6 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the London-based company said it had profit of 13 cents. Earnings, adjusted to account for discontinued operations and non-recurring gains, came to 9 cents per share. The results ... … More »

  • BWX beats 4Q profit forecasts Associated Press - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Lynchburg, Virginia-based company said it had net income of 34 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and restructuring costs, came to 46 cents per share. The results ... … More »

  • AppFolio reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 1 hour 22 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Santa Barbara, California-based company said it had a loss of 4 cents. Earnings, adjusted for stock option expense, were less than 1 cent on a per-share basis. The property management ... … More »

  • Elio’s tiny car gets 84 mpg and costs only $7,300 — here’s what it was like
    Elio’s tiny car gets 84 mpg and costs only $7,300 — here’s what it was like Business Insider - 1 hour 23 minutes ago

    Hollis Johnson Elio Motors has one of the … Continued The post Elio’s tiny car gets 84 mpg and costs only $7,300 — here’s what it was like appeared first on Business Insider. … More »

  • Sun Hydraulics posts 4Q profit Associated Press - 1 hour 40 minutes ago

    The Sarasota, Florida-based company said it had net income of 12 cents per share. The maker of screw-in hydraulic cartridge valves and manifolds posted revenue of $49.9 million in the period. For the year, ... … More »

  • Medpace tops Street 4Q forecasts Associated Press - 1 hour 42 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Cincinnati-based company said it had a loss of less than 1 cent. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 35 cents per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations. ... … More »

  • Theravance Bio reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    The George Town Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands-based company said it had a loss of $1.36 per share. The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks ... … More »

  • Integer beats Street 4Q forecasts Associated Press - 2 hours 0 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Frisco, Texas-based company said it had net income of 25 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and amortization costs, came to 87 cents per share. The results surpassed ... … More »

  • Kona Grill reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 2 hours 12 minutes ago

    The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company said it had a loss of $1.58 per share. Losses, adjusted for asset impairment costs, came to 39 cents per share. The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. ... … More »

  • Stocks drift awaiting Trump tax plan details
    Stocks drift awaiting Trump tax plan details AFP News - 2 hours 13 minutes ago

    Wall Street and the major European indices drifted higher on Monday in advance of a major address by President Donald Trump, as investors in New York sent the Dow to a fresh record. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average crept up to close at a … More »

  • Business Highlights Associated Press - 2 hours 18 minutes ago

    ___ New highs for US stocks; Dow win streak longest since 1987 Wall Street notched another set of milestones as the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high for the 12th consecutive time, the ... … More »

  • Britain urges Malaysia to share evidence on Kim VX attack
    Britain urges Malaysia to share evidence on Kim VX attack AFP News - 2 hours 24 minutes ago

    Britain on Monday urged Malaysia to share evidence from the lethal VX nerve gas attack on Kim Jong-Un's half-brother with the United Nations, which could take action against North Korea. British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said information on the … More »

  • Watchdog agency warns of costly student loan data errors Associated Press - 2 hours 25 minutes ago

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday issued a warning to consumers to pay close attention to their personal information on record with student loan servicers as errors are popping up that ... … More »

  • Nutrisystem beats Street 4Q forecasts Associated Press - 2 hours 26 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based company said it had net income of 29 cents. The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by ... … More »

  • Gaiam reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 2 hours 30 minutes ago

    The Louisville, Colorado-based company said it had a loss of 22 cents per share. Losses, adjusted to account for discontinued operations, came to 23 cents per share. The lifestyle media company posted ... … More »

  • Here’s the advice Bill Gates would give to his 19-year-old self
    Here’s the advice Bill Gates would give to his 19-year-old self Business Insider - 2 hours 31 minutes ago

    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Bill Gates would tell his … Continued The post Here’s the advice Bill Gates would give to his 19-year-old self appeared first on Business Insider. … More »

  • Essendant reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 2 hours 40 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Deerfield, Illinois-based company said it had a loss of 6 cents. Losses, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 2 cents per share. The workplace supplies distributor posted ... … More »

  • ICF misses Street 4Q forecasts Associated Press - 2 hours 42 minutes ago

    The Fairfax, Virginia-based company said it had profit of 65 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 76 cents per share. The results missed Wall Street expectations. The ... … More »

  • Nelnet posts 4Q profit Associated Press - 2 hours 44 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Lincoln, Nebraska-based company said it had net income of $2.32. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were $1.05 per share. The education services company posted revenue ... … More »

  • ServiceNow appoints former eBay executive as CEO Reuters - 2 hours 46 minutes ago

    ServiceNow Inc (NOW.N) said it had hired former eBay Inc (EBAY.O) executive John Donahoe to be chief executive, replacing longtime CEO Frank Slootman starting in April, a surprise move that sent shares of the enterprise software lower on Monday. … More »

  • How major US stock market indexes fared on Monday Associated Press - 2 hours 46 minutes ago

    U.S. stocks closed slightly higher Monday, nudging the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high for the 12th consecutive time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index also closed at an all-time high. The ... … More »

  • New highs for US stocks; Dow win streak longest since 1987
    New highs for US stocks; Dow win streak longest since 1987 Associated Press - 2 hours 49 minutes ago

    Wall Street notched another set of milestones Monday as the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high for the 12th consecutive time, the longest winning streak for the 30-company average in ... … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

    Market Data

    • Currencies
      Currencies
      NamePriceChange% Chg
      1.4062+0.0021+0.15%
      USDSGD=X
      1.4866+0.0003+0.02%
      EURSGD=X
      1.7468+0.0008+0.05%
      GBPSGD=X
      80.0140-0.209-0.26%
      SGDJPY=X
      5.5191-0.0064-0.12%
      SGDHKD=X
      3.1591-0.0019-0.06%
      SGDMYR=X
      9,504.5137+0.4902+0.01%
      SGDIDR=X
      4.8857-0.0046-0.09%
      SGDCNY=X
      1.0784+0.0009+0.08%
      AUDSGD=X
    • Commodities
      Commodities
      NamePriceChange% Chg
      1,252.80-6.00-0.48%
      GCJ17.CMX
      18.33-0.09-0.47%
      SIK17.CMX
      84.47-4.15-4.69%
      ^XAU
      2.690.00-0.15%
      HGK17.CMX
      54.11+0.06+0.11%
      CLJ17.NYM
    • Bonds
      Bonds
      TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
      1.87+0.07
      ^FVX
      2.37+0.05
      ^TNX
      2.99+0.03
      ^TYX