Thursday, March 10, 2011

Technology: Friend and Foe

As a job hunter, I have a lot of opportunities to apply to positions online. While this can be quite great at times (I can find out about all sorts of jobs and quickly send my resume to them), I find it quite frustrating as well.

Most every job hunting website out there includes an option to upload your resume and have it autofill fields in your profile. It is very bothersome to have to complete a detailed form when that information is already on your resume. I realize that computers aren't people, but I also realize that it wouldn't be that hard to add a button that says, "Already on my resume" and let the user point to the information. This would give the computer an opportunity to learn what types of information are standard on your resume, and where it might look to find that information. It would also save the user time from having to recreate their resume in a form.

While many companies post their information on generic sites like, many of them want you to complete a profile on their own page. Why must a potential employee insert the same information that is readily available on the Web into yet another form? Couldn't the computer ask to verify your identity on Careerbuilder (where you just came from. And yes, the computer can tell this) and then sniff the information from your public profile? It seems like a good moneymaker for Careerbuilder as well as a time saver for other companies.

I know that there are other sites out there, but if you had the same information with the same generic names (like address, job responsibilities, job title, etc), the computer should be able to do the legwork. All the info is there. Why aren't companies using it?

In a corporate world where employees are asked to do more with less, this seems like a prime instance where you could shave some money off the hiring process. Given, the potential employee is supposed to fill all this out (which is why this doesn't happen today), but the infrastructure is already there. Why not use it?

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