Why job hunting is a scam: Just Being Funny

By Caribbean Comedian Onicia Muller

Self-made millionaire Ramit Sethi says the one mistake to avoid when job hunting during the pandemic is to change your mind-set from “‘job seeker” to “top performer”. Imagine if a shift in mind-set was all you needed to get a job in this day and age. Not hard skills, work experience, or network contacts. Nah, just dreams and wishful thinking.

Sethi went on to advise that job seekers – I mean top performers – are only supposed to apply to 10 jobs versus sending our resume to everyone, because companies can sniff out generic resumes.

This is what I think: Job hunting should be treated less like a hunt and more like an email marketing scam.

Job searching is like email scams a.k.a. spamming, because we lie about ourselves and our capabilities to stand out from the pack; we stuff our resumes and cover letters with keywords hoping to avoid the spam filter; and we need to cast a wide net if we want to has herb and not be homeless.

Did you know that email spam will never slow down because mass emailing is so cheap? If scammers get one percent of victims to respond, they win; because one victim can lead to thousands and thousands of dollars.

Yup. We might send our resume to hundreds of companies, but really we only need one to bite.

There’s lots of trickery in job seeking and email spamming. Spammers pretend to be Nigerian princes and job seekers pretend to be top performers willing to put the company above all else.

And like spamming, the first step to a good scam is finding the right person to target. Career coaches often recommend addressing the Human Resource (HR) Manager by name. But how can we find the HR Manager when they are constantly changing their titles?

Recently, while searching for the name of the sacred HR Manager, I found that the HR industry had changed the title from HR Manager to HR Specialist.

But then, for this particular company, they had neither of those titles. Instead, their HR person was called “Chief Transformation and People Officer”. What the what is a Chief Transformation and People Officer?!

If you're still convinced that job seeking should be treated like a hunt, might I propose that job seekers aren’t the hunters, we’re the prey.

The true predators are HR managers and career coaches. You know the ones, they run resume writing blogs with contradictory advice. They sell expensive consulting sessions where they teach you the secrets of job seeking – I mean top performing. Listen, Linda, if I had $4K (true story) to spend on a resume, I wouldn’t need a job.

No, job seekers are the victims here and the only way to get ahead is by treating your job search like an email marketing scam.

Shout out to all the top performers!

Award-winning Caribbean comedian Onicia Muller’s weekly humour column, Just Being Funny, is chicken soup for the naive sceptic’s soul. You can hire Onicia to write anything from blogs and newsletters to funny greeting cards. Join her newsletter for funny stories and stand-up comedy: OniciaMuller.com