Not that my stories are usually bright and sunny, but in this case I feel obligated to apologize in advance for the accentuated feeling of gloominess the visitors may experience reading this post. This particular topic is depressing on three levels.
First of all, it deals with the fact that there are millions of well-qualified people out there, who are classified as "long-term unemployed."
Secondly, it highlights the problem of plunging work quality we can see everywhere. I am not saying everyone, but it seems like the majority of people just don't want to try hard anymore.
Thirdly, it disparages our illusions about the impact of "internet exposure." Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and web-powered Social Networking are even more popular mantras nowadays, than Dashboards. Everybody and their mothers are writing about it. People believe that if they get their name on a high-traffic site, they are going to be noticed. The reality is that unless you write about sex, celebrities or electronic chachkis, nobody will care. And before you bring up Huffington Post, let me tell you - Arianna Huffington was a political powerhouse and a decent memoirist way before she went on the net.
So, here is the story. In January AOL Jobs announced a Resume Contest and offered job seekers to submit their CVs and photos. The winners were "to be selected by AOL Jobs career experts." The incentive to participate was boldly formulated:
"Each winner will have their resume featured on AOL.com for millions of prospective employers to see..."
AOL Jobs never revealed their traffic information to support this claim of tremendous exposure. But of course, people are desperately unemployed and ready to grasp at straws; plus, the internet exposure illusion... Resumes were entered into the contest.
Here comes the funny part. Afterwards, the organizers did not even bother to announce how many resumes were submitted. Like, it did not even matter. However, in addition to the original 12 winners, AOL Jobs announced 24 runner-ups, claiming that "there were so many amazing... entrants" (no actual numbers).
I happened to know personally one of these runner-ups. Guess when these poor saps were featured on AOL Jobs... The first group on Saturday, January 29th, at 7:57 AM, and the second group on Sunday, January 30th, at 4:42 PM. Who was looking? Recruiters? Employers? None of these 36 winners got any job offers through this "wonderful" campaign.
The personally -known-to-me winner did not receive a single phone call or an email. Well, that did not really surprise me. What shocked me was that nobody from AOL cared to follow up with her. There were no emails asking if she got any leads, nothing... Weren't organizers interested at all in the results? As I say - low quality of work everywhere.
So, I have a constructive suggestion, which at the very least will have a quality-improving effect. How about, AOL Job's management actually pursues their "Employing America" mission and replaces the incapable staff, who developed this failed contest, with some excellent winners of the Resume Contest?