I ask every room I present in front of this one question: Who here has been a job seeker before? I usually follow it up with, “I know you’re not listening if your hand isn’t in the air right now.” I get a few chuckles with that one.
Then, I suck all the air out of the room by saying these seven words: Do you remember what it feels like?
The hopelessness? The despair? That feeling that you have no control, and you’re at the very bottom of the list? It’s a feeling and insecurity that multiplies every minute you don’t hear back, wondering what you did wrong. It’s sweating all the small stuff and sitting in the discomfort of being judged. I asked on Twitter awhile back and I wasn’t at all surprised by the answers. A few did make me laugh out loud, admittedly.
Short answer: it sucks, and we all know it. I don’t need to explain why job postings matter or break down many philosophies to make anyone understand that.
I wish every recruiter and hiring manager would remember. We could change a lot about the world of work by injecting a giant dose of humanity into our experiences by writing for people, not about work.
So with that said, I’ve written the first draft of a Job Seeker Bill of Rights.
The Three Ears Media Job Seeker Bill of Rights
This is a list of the way we’d write the script if we truly treated candidates the way we want to be treated. It’s what I wish companies would do to stop the marathon effect and create a humane candidate experience.
- Every candidate gets access to the profile that’s generated after they take an assessment: every score, every time.
- Candidates may respond to ask for feedback on why they were eliminated from consideration. Responses are mandatory.
- Curious what they’re really saying in a job posting? Ask for clarification, and get it.
- Applications will not ask people to submit a resume, then manually enter the entire work history.
- Employers set expectations about the types of questions they’ll ask in the interview and what they’re looking for in an interview guide candidates get at least one week in advance.
- Honest answers about salary requirements for every candidate.
- Only editorial candidates will write cover letters.
This is just a start. What would you add?
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.