Whether its applications for loans or rentals or visas or student parking passes or the good old job application, nothing makes me feel like I’ve made better use of my time. How about you? Well, I guess they are a necessary evil to move information from one place to another. Yet…

Can we find a better way?

We’ve made great strides in improving user experience in outbound information whether on the internet, print and even integrated marketing. It is time to look at improving the user experience in the gathering of information. User Experience, UX, principles include convenience, speed, timeliness, assurance, accuracy, and experience. I believe timeliness is the most interesting aspect to tackle. In eCommerce, websites originally asked for tons of information including name, address etc… Designers eventually whittled it down to one, email address. As the visitor moved to a purchase the necessary information would be captured at the right time.

Job applications seem to be the worst. I know there is legal information they need to gather, but do they need all of it before they even make a decision to move forward? And does anyone really look at what day of the month you were hired for a Job 10 years ago. Do you even remember if you failed to update resume information until after the job was done? And why, if they have your resume do they need you to practically retype information again? After working on the product for an hour or two I brace for the “Thank you but..” email and see my time wasted, which I don’t like.

The questions of the universe?

The problem stems from terribly written job descriptions. It is often difficult to understand what are the most important traits for job success. I still believe job descriptions are best written by the person doing the job. Managerial written descriptions are usually build upon a broader expectation and often not accurate in what happens day to day.  Why would a company post an external job description that includes familiarity with an internal custom process? I see it all the time. Taking a LEAN approach to job descriptions would pare things down to the most critical reasons for bringing someone new on board. It should be to acquire new skills or additional manpower driven from changes in business need or increased work volume. Crack the code to the job and make it easier to identify true matches, not the best resume writer.

Since companies use tools to data mine resume information, I’ve thought a bit about a program that takes the job descriptions and merges it with a resume. In the process I can approve experience or delete those that I don’t have so the data mining program or the reader see what they want to see. ‘Don’t hate the player, hate the game.’ Comes to. Mind.

I am always searching for opportunities. In my search I have found a few companies who actually get this quandary. I’ve filled out interactive applications where they ask name, city, previous jobs by title and date, education by school and date and then throws out skills and has you rate them in terms of experience. If they are interested they may ask more. If they are not, I don’t feel like I wasted any time because it was quick and easy and an opportunity wasn’t lost.

Change is coming.