So keeping this series going until I run out of reflections (not very likely), or until I get bored of this topic (more likely). We’re now on step 3.
- Phase 1: Freaking out and sending a lot of messages to old friends, colleagues, and LinkedIn connections.
- Phase 2: Thinking about the modern workplace and the value I bring.
- Phase 3: Dealing with occupational identity crisis (and LinkedIn Profiles).
Why do recruiters keep ghosting me?
“Hey Chris, I was just looking at your LinkedIn profile. I think you would be a really great candidate for job ______ at ______. Let me know if you are interested and we can setup a quick call to chat.”
-Corporate Recruiter for <Insert Fortune 500 Company Here>
“Hello _____, I am certainly interested and have availability to chat, when are you available to talk?”
-Me in response.
“Just checking in again, would still love to chat.”
-Me following up a week later.
“Hello, thought I would try one last time. Would you still like to chat?”
-Me following up a couple weeks later.
If this was just one recruiter I probably wouldn’t mention it. But this has happened to me a few times recently. I know hiring is a bit of a numbers game for recruiters, and LinkedIn gives them a big opportunity to spam, but talk about discouraging from the recruit’s side.
Job hunting, the world’s largest game of telephone.
I can see the conversation right now.
“Yes, we really need someone with a lot of experience analyzing data. They should have some advanced training, ideally a master’s degree. We want someone creative who can work with customers and different managers across the company. Most of their job is going to be spent facilitating the use of data throughout the company.”
-Manager with a job to fill.
“What kind of software should they know? Any specific kind of master’s degree.”
-Recruiter to Manager
-Manager to Recruiter
-Recruiter to Candidate
“Why is so hard to find someone with creative expertise for our data positions?”
-Manager with job to fill, talking to herself.
- Manager communicates job need to HR
- HR communicates job description to recruiting company
- Recruiting company tweaks job description
- Recruiting company preps candidate for application
- Candidate wonders why they are not being considered for the position when they feel really qualified based on what they heard.
Every step along the way is a possible area for confusion.
Is it possible to UX the job search?
If you’re searching for a job the traditional way, you have to…
- Get by the search algorithm (key wording up your resume or LinkedIn profile)
- Get by the recruiter/HR person (match the words they look for when finding candidates, super efficiently)
- Convince the hiring manager you are worth an interview (have that special something that makes you stand out)
- Interview well, and understand that what got you here won’t necessarily get you the position.
The big problem really is that there is a disconnect. The user in question, as a candidate, is the hiring manager. But to get to the hiring manager there are tons of gateways and hurdles.
This is why so many positions are filled with referrals and a good network can be a powerful ally in a job search. It’s not only that you get to know about jobs not currently on the open market, but you have a higher chance of hearing about them from the person with the position to fill.
It’s so much more efficient to hear about a position from the person who is looking to fill that position. Because you can ask the question, what is it that they need? And am I the person who can fill that role?
We live in an algorithm world. LinkedIn proves it.
According to LinkedIn, I don’t have the required skills in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, Leadership, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Project Management, Management, Customer Service, Business Analysis.
It’s there in my resume, and anyone who has worked with me knows I have skills in all of those areas, but I never checked the skills boxes in LinkedIn or had these specific skills validated by people I know.
Should I? Does it matter?
I guess the better question is, does it hurt?
And if not, why not.
Who am I? Actually, no. Who do I want to be?
I miss when you could truly tailor resumes. Adapt them to meet the specific needs of the position you are trying to fill. The resume and cover letter were like a canvas. Your skills and experiences were your paint.
Unfortunately now, our canvas is plastered all over the web. Whether you like or not.
So begs the question, who do I want to be? If one profile becomes the anchor point for my job search, what should it reflect?
Clearly it shouldn’t be just who I am. That’s too confusing. I am a mix of user experience design, evaluation, data science, philosophy, graphic design, and cartoon illustration. The diverse range of skills and experiences are embedded in my personality and strengths.
So who do I want to be? Now that I have created a little leverage by picking up a few awesome content strategy clients, what is it that I could do better than anyone else? How do I position my wide range of skills in a way that could deliver a fulfilling full-time position.
Is Data Experience Designer a real profession?
I keep coming back to this profession. Something I call data experience designer. In essence it’s one part Data Scientist and one part UX/UI designer.
If a company cares about having a culture that makes data driven decisions, it needs more than just a snazzy data dashboard. Data is a resource, we can process and use that resource, or we can let it go to waste.
The best way I have found to get the most use out of data isn’t through visualization, or presentation, or predictive analytics. It’s by taking a holistic look at the data you have available and the individual challenges that your organization faces.
How does an organization use data? How does an organization waste data? What are the unmet data needs for individual employees? Are the current ways that data is shared adequate to meet the needs of employees? What about customers or stakeholders? How do they experience your organization’s data?
UX/UI gives me the process and Data Science gives me the software. And by combining the two, we can improve an oranization’s data experience.
I know this field exists, in practice if not in name. I’ve seen the positions that have made the connection and ask for a mix of the two skillsets. My next step is to find more of them. Stay tuned.
Searching for a job?
Any chance you would be willing to share your experiences or reflections in the comments? You might inspire a new cartoon or two.