My job stalking landed me at the City of Surrey website tonight where I noticed an open Planner I position.  Surrey, like most larger communities, operates a rather silly and confusing online application system.  One doesn’t need to create an account to view available positions, but I thought it might be a good idea in case registering brought up anymore information on the positions.  So I set up an account and attached my resume and browsed back to the Planner I page.  No new information, so I logged out.

A minute or so later Outlook complains that it has new mail to push on me. It’s from the City of Surrey.

Dear Bryan,

Thank you for taking the time to apply for the Planner 1 job opening. Due to the volume of applications received, only applicants being actively considered for this job opening will be contacted for further discussion. Please do not be discouraged by the passage of time – as we often handle 100 vacancies or more at any one time, its not unusual for 2 – 4 weeks to pass before we have an opportunity to touch most files. We will do our best to work as quickly as we can.

Thank you for your interest in this opportunity and in joining a team focused on serving our community.

Problem is…I didn’t bloody apply for the job!  I didn’t click apply, or touch anything that would indicated that I wanted to submit a resume for the position.

I just wanted to look at the job…and was considering making an application…but it seems now that I’ve applied for it.  So I had to come up with a cover letter and fill in all of the redundant online forms (full of the same information that is on my resume).

I had a similar experience with the City of Calgary online application system yesterday.  To apply for a job one has to create an account and fill in the same kind of crap that is already on your resume.  One will then select the job in question and attach a resume.  One would then assume that there would be a box to attach a cover letter.   Nope.  That’s it.  Once the resume is attached the system locks out and the application is sealed.  Turns out…(in small print on a completely different page) that your resume and cover letter need to be in the same document.  So I sent a resume to a job, but no cover letter…unlike the Surrey job, I actually had a cover letter ready to go for this one. 

These  City HR sites operate some of the worst internet scripts I’ve ever seen online.  Even free do-it-yourself message forums offer up an infinitely better user interface and file management tools.  It’s unbelievably sloppy work.

What ever happened to old fashioned emailed cover letter/resume?  Too common for the big cities?

2 Responses to Jobs

  1. Aaron says:

    so interesting Bryan and funny too. good luck with job app.

  2. Bryan says:

    heh heh heh – Thanks man. I’m sure you medical folks don’t have to experience the fun of online HR!

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