Applying for a job through a company’s jobs portal is a game for suckers, dupes, and fools. I learned this after spending a couple months trying it. Having wasted enough of my life on this pointless exercise, I can report back that there’s no worse use of your time.
In the period before my enlightenment, I became increasingly frustrated at the automated rejection letters following my application to positions I knew I was well qualified for, so I ran an experiment by applying to a few jobs that were mirror images of the one I’d excelled at a couple years prior. Zero invitations to interview. Immediate rejections.
What the hell?
I started turning this problem over in my mind: What’s the point of a jobs portal if companies don’t even make contact with the obviously qualified candidates that connect with them through it?
That’s when I remembered Nigerian Prince scams.
Authors Dubner and Levitt of Freakonomics fame tell a memorable anecdote in one of their sequel editions:
“The method notwithstanding, seducing people to sort themselves into different categories can be all sorts of useful. It can also be extraordinarily profitable. Consider the following e-mail:
Dear Sir/Madam, TOP SECRET:
I am one of the officials in the Energy management board in Lagos, Nigeria. I got your
information in a business directory from the Chamber of Commerce and Industries when I was searching for a RELIABLE, HONEST, AND TRUSTWORTHY person to entrust this business with.
During the award of a contract to bring Electrification to Urban centres, a few of my
colleagues and I had inflated the amount of this contract. The OVER-INVOICED AMOUNT is being safeguarded under our custody.