Many of the people who grew up in the Old Normal often ask me “Is there any professionalism left in the process for job hunting today?”

I am a funny guy to ask because I stopped looking for a job ten years ago when IJob hunting today from your computer.  Is it the answer? started Blank and Associates. I saw the writing on the wall.

Where Are the Standards in Job Hunting Today?

The short answer I give them is no or very little. It is a bitter pill. When you are job hunting today you want the reassurance of decorum so you can feel better that there is still some structure in the process. Unfortunately there isn’t.

You can call it politeness, civility, decorum, professionalism, the rules of the game, protocols, or just plain human decency, but it doesn’t matter.

The world has changed.

It is easy to blame companies but companies are composed of employees often focused on accomplishing tasks under the black cloud of potentially getting fired and internal cost cutters who looking to find their number. The first thing that gets cut in the environment is civility. Is it getting better? I don’t know.

Another culprit in job hunting today is certainly technology. To save money and bypass the channel of recruiters with fees, companies post jobs on their sites and Monster, LinkedIn, and other places as they proliferated. It’s free or only costs a little bit. I am a cost saving hero.

It costs less and you don’t have to follow up with the anonymous.

Then you get hundreds of people who aren’t even remotely qualified. This can be followed by a question from your boss, “Do we have any candidates yet?”

Another culprit is ourselves. The deluge of job losses resulting from the world melting five years ago created a culture of desperation. It is easy to understand why but it just overloaded human capacity.

When I recruit people and use online vehicles I can’t believe how many people respond that aren’t even remotely qualified. I even include a huge disclaimer announcing that I will not respond to people who aren’t a good fit. I am sorry, and I would like to help them but being in the Armed Forces doesn’t make you a good candidate for an Advertising AE or a Data Analyst.

So how do we get back to a job hunting today world where there were some rules of the game? Some parameters of engagement? Civility balanced with utility.

“Rules” for Job Hunting Today

First, don’t clog the system. If you aren’t a good fit don’t submit. We are all short of time. Don’t waste yours and the person on the receiving end. In the job hunting today world, “let’s give it a shot” gets deleted.

Second, realize that there are ebbs and flows in the job hunting process. I recently heard or read that only 8% of jobs were found online. I have also read recently that employers are going back to the old method of finding people in marketplace, using recruiters, and employing other methods. There are actually want ads in the jobs section now in the Sunday paper.

It is still more about networking than going downstairs in the morning with your slippers and jammies on and thinking that job hunting today simply means being on your computer when you are often chasing futility.

But that has always been the way of the world. Everything changes and everything stays the same.