Hello, you! Today I will tell you about a
fabulous adventure that becomes even more incredible when you live abroad: looking for a job. I will not write about dos and don’ts (mainly because I don’t really know how to write a résumé properly!) No, today I do what I do the best: complaining try to make you laugh. Excited? Follow me, c’est par ici:
Prerequisite: getting a work permit
It’s THE condition to work in the USA (I mean, you can easily find a “paid under the table” job, but I heard a few stories about the future of these workers when the government finds out they are not allowed to work and believe me, it’s not a cool scenario!) Moreover, while applying, you’ll be asked a lot about whether or not you can work in the country. Some will even ask for your social!
Part 1: Résumé
In Europe, we do CV (curriculum vitae) instead of résumé. People usually think it’s potato-potato, but believe me, it’s not! Let me tell you a few things about CV in Switzerland: You are strongly encouraged to write down: your marital status, your nationality and your age. Also, adding a recent picture is an asset! You don’t do bullet points, you just write the dates of employment and a few words about what you did. Retain yourself of writing too much: too many words = too qualified = too expensive = no, thanks. Education is also very important: don’t try to apply for a job if you don’t have any related diploma: no one will ever contact you (except perhaps if you have a significant – like really big – experience). Otherwise, a personalized CV (various colors and fonts) is usually a great thing (at least in the visual field!) and some recruiters like to read about “hobbies” at the bottom of the page! (But obviously no one is going to write that he does S&M during his free time, so usually it’s “reading, sports and [something related to the job]) (“I have a genuine passion for Microsoft Office, sometimes, I spend hours playing with the “design” features of Word”!)
Part 2: online application
After I spent hours and hours transforming my CV to a brand-new-US-style and completely impersonal résumé, I finally decided to apply on various websites. Which was kind of a bummer, because of the stupid application forms used by most of the companies. Often, you’ll need to upload your résumé on the website and then fill a lot of boxes, one by one, with all the info… that are already in your résumé! Sometimes, the website was amazingly designed and your info will be directly taken from your résumé, to automatically fill the boxes. Don’t get too excited, it never works properly! Rarely, you’ll just need to give your contact info and to download your résumé. Fast, easy and soooo rare!
And while looking for job openings, you’ll see a few “original” stuffs:
What you think? Do I give it a chance anyway?
It’s maybe because I’m from Switzerland, but I hate to have to say how much money I make /use to make. Especially in an online form for a job for which I’ll probably never be considered for!
The “don’t worry I booked the entire day for it” kind of form:
This one was for a famous shoe brand, and there were 12 pages. Only questions. Same kind of questions, but differently phrased. (And I did not get the job, it would have been way too fun!)
The “US-style” questions:
My favorite part is “A conviction will not automatically disqualify you from consideration for employment”. Of course, not!
Even if all the companies are saying “As an Equal Opportunity Employer, XXX does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, veteran status, disability, age, citizenship, marital or domestic/civil partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or because of any other status or condition protected by applicable federal, state or local law.”
My favorite part: “How do you I know if I have a disability?”
The funny offers:
(The kind you’ll never find in Europe. Like never ever!)
(For a job at Zara Fifth Avenue.) I would rather prefer to work in New York, actually. Oh, there is no possibility to choose NY on the list. So, Spain could work, I guess?
- The company that wants you to join a portfolio with your application… but doesn’t provide any space to upload it in the online form!
- The lingerie company (the one with the hot feathery girls) that makes you download a pdf on their website. A PDF that you’ll need to print, fill and drop in one of the store (!)
- The behavioral questionnaire with 30 questions about marijuana over a total of 80. “XX meets a friend at lunch break, they smoke pot, but it does not impact his job. Do you think XX should be fired immediately?” or “Are you ok when someone says that everybody has smoked pot once in his life?” or “Do you think that a once a week pot smoker can be considered as a drug addict?” (I am not sure, but this obsession is kind of weird. Do you want to talk about it?)
Don’t get too excited, most companies will never answer to your application. So I decided to do a few calculation for you. I just found a job, so I will based my numbers on the research I did until today:
- Beginning of the search: August 10, 2015
- End of the search: October 6, 2015
- Applications sent in response to a job offer: 62
- Applications sent spontaneously: 7
- Applications, total: 69
Here comes the trick:
- Positives answers (invitation to an interview): 3
- Negative answers: 8
- Job offers that are still online, since August: more than 20
- Response rate (every kind of response): 15.94%. Less than 2 application for 10.
- That 6 job offers published in August are still online.
- That 15 companies are still “considering my application” (Don’t rush, I am Swiss, supposedly really slow!)
- That I am still waiting on 51 answers from companies that offered a job related to my qualifications.
- That some of the companies are really laughing in my face.
Anyway, I already spoiled you telling that I found a job, less suspense, but next time I will tell you about interviews. I did not have the chance (?) to have many, but believe me, I have a few wtf incredible experiences!
(PS: During the following week after accepting the job offer, I was contact three times to go to 3 different interviews! What a great timing, thanks guys!!)