Where is the assistance in these so-called job assistance centres?
I was told by my contact at One Voice Canada that my résumé needed revisions to be more marketable, to pass that “10 second attention grabbing test” when HR looks at it. Despite the fact that The Career Foundation and The St. Stephens House previously redid my résumé because it was wrong before, it’s still wrong in the eyes of my contact, so it needs to be revised. Again.
<facepalm>Holy Macaroni.</ facepalm>
I play along with it, because that is what you do when you are a job seeker. It’s like playing Snakes And Ladders, except it’s a game you were never asked to play and definitely want to get out of. I grind my teeth but still politely thanked my contact for his suggestions. I then made my way home in the pounding rain, my umbrella at risk of being turned into Swiss cheese.
Once I dried myself off, I turn on my computer and looked over my base résumé. That’s the one I never send, because it’s the template I use for the variants tailored for each type of job opening I apply for. I spend six hours distilling my work history of 20 years into marketable action words as instructed, while at the same time trying not to come across like I’m Green Lantern protecting the galaxy from the evil clutches of the villainous Sinestro. I think it’s a big waste of my time because I’ve already done this before with the past two job placement centres I mentioned, but I go ahead with this because I want One Voice Canada to help me. They won’t continue to help me if I don’t at least follow their advice, I reasoned.
Toward the end of this tiresome process, there was a question I had about some marketing words coming across as too fawning, so I sent my contact at One Voice Canada an Email on September 4th for some advice. I didn’t hear back from him. Because I promised him the résumé would be ready by Friday, I worked it out as best I could. After all, keeping a promise shows your job assistance centre contact you are serious about finding a job, so he will keep helping you. Right?
On Friday, September 7th, resumeV3.0.docx is done and I send it off to my One Voice Canada contact in the following Email:
With that distasteful task done, I go back to my job search, sending off the Version 2.0 variants of my résumé to many job openings, in case my contact wants further revisions to Version 3.0.
When he gets back to me. I mean, I did ask him to reply back….right?
A week of looking for work goes by, and I haven’t heard from him. It’s starting to look like Career Foundation and St. Stephen’s house all over again with the rudeness of not replying to my Emails and my phone messages.
I send a second Email. I’m a bit ticked off, but I try to keep my tone friendly and non-confrontational:
It’s Monday September 17th, and I still haven’t heard from him. No out of office memo, and I can’t find anyone over the phone at One Voice Canada who knows where he is.
So much for getting that much needed help I was afraid I was going to lose in the first place.
After I calmed down enough, I took an opportunity to look at the background of the people of the three job assistance centres who used to represent me, including the one at One Voice Canada. One person ran their own private businesses or SOHO. A few others were executives at large businesses that catered to the Asian Market. Not one of them had any past professional experience with job placement and career counselling.
This is precisely why I now have a negative view towards these job assistance centres. These centres claim they want to help you. These centres claim they have all the personnel with the answers. I believed in these agencies at the beginning of my job search. I even said in a video and in my very first blog post that I thought they were a good thing because that’s what I used to believe. Now I know better: they are nothing more than a publically funded equivalent of the false purpose grammar error: something that inaccurately applies intent to an action. I’ve had better luck getting interviews with this blog and my Kijiji and Craigslist ads.
I ended my association with One Voice Canada with the following communication to my contact.
That was not an act of pettiness. I simply got rid of something in my job search strategy that was not working.
Thanks for reading!