April 14, 2010

That's Shady! - A brief look at finding employment on Craigslist.

It's kind of a given that postings on Craigslist have a chance of being super sketch, even though the jobs section is frequented by many big name companies. The best listings are ones that actually name their company, or at least what their company does. Unfortunately these types of listings are few as employers tend to give the bare minimum knowing full well that us hungry job seekers will apply for anything that sounds marginally plausible. This has led me to my recent email conversation with such an employer, one that I have completely written off as TRAP!

1. Lack of concrete information in posting. Like I mentioned previously, this particular listing presented what they were looking for and benefits, nothing else. This normally isn't a problem with me because I typically ask for more information about the company once they decide to contact me. Unfortunately whoever was behind this email address was being rather tight lipped about the entire affair.

2. Email address. Which leads me to the email address itself. It's nice when companies provide emails to their HR division, but also completely understandable when they opt for Craigslist address instead. However, what's odd is when I company chooses AOL for emailing purposes. Even better when a quick Google search reveals the same address is used to post listings for positions in Colorado. This really can't be that big of a company if they're using AOL, so what's going on with Colorado?

3. Interviews through Yahoo messenger. Oh yeah, you read that right. They decided that due to the high volume of applications they would be conducting interviews through Yahoo messenger since phone calls take too long. You know, I feel phone interviews are about as impersonal as you can get, but at least you can get a sense of presence and tone through articulation...which is nearly void in electronic communication. Plus, Yahoo messenger? Really?

4. Dictation of interview date. In all interviews I have partaken in, normally the company gives you a time frame in which you can set up an interview with them as not to conflict with your schedule. Instead, I was instructed that I would be interviewed at this date, between these times, and not to contact them any sooner than that.

5. Incomprehensible emails. I imagine interviews through Yahoo messenger will be difficult for them as I found it hard to understand exactly what they were trying to tell me with each progressive email that sequentially dropped important components of communication. Like complete sentences, punctuation, spell checking, and specific grammatical conventions like how to write out time. Eventually this all accumulated in a final email from them, one I'm not even sure how to respond to, or if I should even bother. After I asked if it would be possible to reschedule since the date they had dictated did not work for me at all, I was emailed back with one word: booked. But without the period since this person had lost all comprehension of punctuation a few emails back.

Does that mean they're booked this week and I should ask for a different date? That they've already filled the position? Maybe something was Shepard Book-ed? I'm curious to find out, but I have a feeling the next email I receive from them will contain all of the missing grammar from their previous emails.

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