Job Hunting for Twenty Somethings

by theobfuscatedone

Dear Twenty Somethings,

Here’s what will happen when you apply for jobs.

1) All the things you were told by your parents re: job hunting are no longer applicable.  The digital revolution has changed the process radically.  For example, follow-ups will be explicitly discouraged.

2) People looking for employees have totally unrealistic expectations.  You do not need a bachelor’s degree to be a secretary but if you want to get a job as a secretary, you will need a fucking four year degree that won’t be particularly applicable.  Yup, it now takes a bachelor’s degree to be considered for the position of secretary.  Relevant experience, current skills, all pale in comparison to that bachelor’s degree.

3) You will come across the most ridiculous qualifications.  I just applied for a job that wants experience doing Yelp! reviews.  What does that even mean?  Anyone with access to computer, i.e. pretty much everyone, can mosey on over to Yelp! and write a review.  The review will be posted with no stop over in editing, there are no quality standards, ANYONE CAN DO IT.  It does not take special knowledge of websites or any other knowledge that is even slightly specialized.  And yet, for this job, they want Yelp! reviewing “experience”.  Excuse me while I laugh uproariously and wonder about what sort of alternate reality categorizes writing Yelp! reviews as ” relevant experience.”

This last one is very important.

4) EVERYONE WILL TELL YOU HORROR STORIES.  The reality is that the job market still sucks and for many industries, they are looking for a considerable amount of experience  for what they term an “entry level” job.  No one wants to train and the 80s business model of poaching employees from competing companies is alive and well in 2012, so companies have gotten used to having overqualified applicants.  There are all sorts of things wrong with this, not the least of which ENTRY LEVEL IMPLIES THAT LITTLE TO NO EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED.  And yet you will be asked to have 5+ years experience for that entry level position.  That makes sense, right?

There is no good news, my fellow twenty somethings.  This is the reality and, yes, it is horribly depressing.  However, as an incurable cynical optimist, I am still full of hope because I know everything will eventually work out.  Not the way I hoped, planned, or in the time frame I desired but it will work out.  And the same is true for you.

xoxo and all that jazz,

Me (the obfuscated one)