An Open Letter to Job Application Sites: Please Suck Less

Dear Job Site Administrators and Form Programmers,

As much as I can appreciate how hard it must be to vet through all resumes that come across the Internet for positions posted by companies on a daily basis, I believe the sites that collect resumes could be doing a much better job on their process. That is why I am putting out this request to all job sites and job application form administrators on the Internet (should they be reading this): Please suck less.

You know who you are: Your forms are hard to use. They are redundant. They are buggy. They are slow. They are long and ask for unnecessary information. They discourage people from filling them out. In short, they don’t work and they need to be fixed. To aid you in this endeavor, I am providing a few items that when addressed, I believe, will help your sites and forms suck less.

  • Either have me fill out my job history or upload a resume, but not both. Nothing is more soul-crushing than having to repeat information you have just provided. As a job candidate I have gone through the trouble of making a killer resume which your system has requested I upload, only to have to repeat the entire thing in a series of forms. The minute I am asked for 10 years of job history, I’m gone.
  • Eliminate “Country of Residence”. If I have put in my address as being in a state in the U.S., is necessary to specify that my country of residence is the United States? Is there a Texas in Germany or Uganda? If the country of residence is a must, can you please put “United States” at the top of the drop-down list?
  • Single Login, please. Everybody wants their own username and passwords. I literally have an Excel file with dozens. What would so difficult about associating the logins with Facebook, or Google or LinkedIn and relieve us all of having to remember what login and password is to be used with your site?
  • Make the form easy to fill out and scan vertically. Long horizontal forms that do not display information in the standard laptop view hard to fill out. I dislike being scolded for information in a field I could not see.
  • Put special data format next to the field. If you want the date in the “Date” field to be mm/dd/yyyy then put it there instead of having us guess or be scolded with an error message later.
  • Put related fields together. Asking for your primary email address and then having another field for receiving updates on jobs should be the same field, or at the very least, in the same area.
  • Eliminate the disclaimer page. Disclaimer pages (especially the loooong ones full of legalese) come off as untrustworthy and deceptive. Just assure me that my information is secure and private and a short paragraph on what you plan to do with my information and we should be good to go.

See, that wasn’t so bad. These are simple things to fix and would be a long way to sucking less. And who knows, you might even have people completing these things for a change.