Saturday, 21 September 2019

Stop treating job seekers like beggars

Let me tell you companies don't know s*** about hiring. They don't know how to treat job seekers as human beings, let alone with respect. The entire process is so screwed up and skewed in favor of companies that a job seeker has no bargaining position. It is time that companies stopped treating job seekers like beggars.

Right from applying for a job, filling out mind-numbing applications on their websites (which can never represent who you truly are), to giving out personal information, past earnings, and gaps in jobs. Everything is designed to keep control in the hands of a company.

So here are some real situations I faced in the recent past when trying to look for a job.

All these interviews are at so-called "professional companies" and have pretty websites and great LinkedIn pages describing their successes and how good they are at helping their customers.
Interview 1
I get called for an interview with a leading IT company. I used my networking skills and asked a good friend to recommend my name. I was called for an interview after they had seen my resume. I reached the interview venue 20 minutes before the designated time. I get a call on my cellphone from the HR team 5 minutes before the scheduled time that since the Marketing Head (Person who was to interview me) was stuck in a meeting and was not able to reach the venue in time so could I come to their other office.
I agreed (I needed a job) and since their other office was in the vicinity (quite far to be able to walk and not that far to hire a cab). I ran/walked from one venue to another. After a wait of about 20 minutes, I was ushered in and still had to wait for the interviewer to grace hah! the interview. She walks in with a laptop and tells me that she is communicating with a customer.
This was odd. Why call me if you had other pressing matters?
After about 15-20 minutes of answering questions (where the interviewer was focussed on the laptop more than me), I was told that they will let me know. In two weeks' time, I get a rejection call from HR citing the reason I was not a good fit for the job.
Interview 2
I apply for a job on LinkedIn with an MNC. I get a message from their HR head on LinkedIn saying they loved my profile and would love to schedule a call. I keep aside other stuff and wait for them during the scheduled time, but to date, I have received no call from them. I write back to the HR head asking her for an update and have received no reply.
Interview 3
I apply for another job in marketing with a company, in the pets food domain. I get a call from HR a month after I had applied. They wanted to do an initial interview. I am ok with that and we continue the conversation. Midway, the call gets disconnected. I wait for them to ring me back and I never receive a callback nor a message from them.
Interview 4
I had applied for a senior position in another software company. I am called for the first screening at their office. The HR was not available so they had asked a techie to do the screening who asks me questions that are designed for an entry-level position. I clear the first screening and move on to the second round.
The second round is done by another techie who has a bit of understanding of what the job entails. After the second round, they asked to check the result on their website. A few days later, I find out that the position has been kept on hold.
I fail to understand why companies want job seekers to login to their website to know the result when a simple call can suffice. Is it too hard to make an effort to contact people who want to work for you?
Do you expect your customers to do the same?
The way you treat prospective employees goes on to show what values your company holds. Job seekers need to stand up to this bullying by writing honest reviews on job sites.In the age of the internet, companies need to be careful about how they treat job seekers. Bad reviews can turn away really good candidates from applying for jobs.I plan to post reviews on each of these companies on job sites and the pathetic way they have treated me.
Liz Ryan has articulated very well in this post about how badly companies treat job seekers.
Have you had any similar experiences?  Do tell. I am all ears.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

40 Content Ideas for anyone who wants to post on social media

"I want to write, but I don't know what I should write about"

"I don't know from where you get the ideas to write about, I am not that creative"

"Writing is hard, I don't know where to start"

These are some of the typical statements I get to hear from people who don't know what content to put up on social media.

When I had started my writing journey, I was writing stories about my everyday experiences. It took me a while to get confident about my writing. Some days, it did get difficult to write but I did not give up. Even now, I do have the so-called "writer's block" but I don't give up and keep thinking about content ideas.

Why it is important to write your ideas and share with the world?

If people stopped posting content that they truly believe in, then here's what's going to happen
  • We will lose out on a lot of great content such as knowledge and narratives that can make a difference.
  • The world will miss out on all the revolutionary product ideas from those millions of people who are not sharing their content or publishing on social media.
I believe it is the fear of getting judged that stops most of them from sharing content.

Why must you share your own content?

  1. It is fulfilling to put forward your ideas to the world
  2. It's a great way to connect to like-minded people
  3. You become better at communicating your thoughts and ideas to others
  4. It is great fun
  5. From a professional point of view, it will make you a subject matter expert and people will reach out to you for advice, solutions, jobs, etc.

Before you start publishing content, you might need to keep some things in mind:

Which social media do you plan to post on?
Who is your target audience

Here's the list of 40 content ideas you can use to post on social media. You can write on these topics:

  1. Things that make you happy
  2. Things that make you sad
  3. What inspires you
  4. About a person that inspires you
  5. A friend and how you became friends with that person
  6. A tough situation you faced and what you learned from it
  7. Recommend a product and what about that product you found was good
  8. About a service you used and what you liked about it
  9. Ask a question about something you don't know about
  10. Write a story
  11. Review a book
  12. Review a movie
  13. A trip you took
  14. A restaurant review
  15. Share one of your childhood memories
  16. Talk about what you do and where you work
  17. What do you like about the place you work
  18. A 'How-to' post
  19. Your reading list
  20. A customer testimonial
  21. An interesting article/blog post you read recently and your thoughts on it
  22. A recipe and share the step by step process on how to make a dish
  23. A fiction piece
  24. A funny incident that happened with you
  25. Your reflections about pain, fear, insecurities
  26. About common mistakes, people make when using your product
  27. A funny meme/inspirational poster
  28. The best video you saw recently and share about why you think it was the best
  29. A resource list
  30. A list of best free tools
  31. A list of podcasts on a specific topic
  32. A list of music you love
  33. A list of free ebooks with the links where you can download them
  34. A list of free online courses on the topic of your relevance
  35. Interview an expert
  36. A list of important events/conferences/ training seminars on a relevant topic
  37. If you gave a job interview, write your experience
  38. If you interviewed someone for a job, what was it that helped you make a decision
  39. A reflective post on how you were and how you have changed
  40. How do you celebrate life?

Writing is just like any other art form. All you need to do is practice and practice some more. Don't be afraid to post. Let your imagination soar and very soon you will have people engaging with you and your ideas.

What do you think of the list? Did you find it helpful?

Would love to know your thoughts.

P.S.: Part 2 of this post coming up soon :)

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