Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Solving Our Unemployment Problem

The Onion recently put out "Report: Unemployment High Because People Keep Blowing Their Job Interviews." (SFW, unless your boss thinks it's a serious career article for people who want to change jobs. My boss doesn't have that concern...then again, I'm self-employed.)

If the point of the article is that the employers will find employees who impress them, and thus unemployment in general is really not affected by particular individuals fouling up job interviews, I can't dispute that.

On the other hand, if they're trying to argue that behaviors such as sending a handwritten thank-you note, researching the prospective employer and bringing extra copies of one's resume have no substantive value and are just arbitrary disqualifiers, they are mistaken. Employers look for signals of qualities like diligence, dedication and detail orientation, and also for indicators of a good fit. In a setting where every candidate has an incentive to say "Pick me, I'm the best," hiring managers need ways to deduce who will in fact work both hard and smart and hopefully stay a while if hired. Signals like the above provide valuable clues.

Given that we Aspies are disporportionately un- and under-employed, perhaps a better headline for us would be "Aspie Unemployment High Because We Sometimes Blow Job Interviews." If we can learn and then carry out behaviors which we can understandably see as petty or even senseless, but which the people who make the decisions place great stock in, we can turn our situations around.

What do you think?

No comments: