Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Funeployment 7 - Universal Job Match

There are many words I can use to describe the site Universal Job Match ‘helpful’ and ‘useful’ would not be two of them. For those of you reading this who have either been fortunate enough never to have been unemployed or been told to use this site then all you need to know is that the design is sort of like an employment version of Facebook. You enter in your information, education, skills etc and the type of work you are looking for and the site recommends any potential jobs that have been posted there.

In essence this is a very useful tool as notifications are sent anytime relevant work is posted and the layout is clear making it easy to navigate. However, this site can only really be likened to the experience of having an online session with a Job Centre adviser. NB See previous posts for an insight into the kind of experience that is.

After being advised/told to register with the site as a way to optimise my job hunt I felt that there was nothing left to lose and that I may as well sign up. Like I said before, using the site was easy - it took me hardly any time to enter my qualifications, key skills, work experience and the areas that I looking for work in. The problems came once the site started to recommend potential jobs for me, much like with the Job Centre.

Now, I am used to the fact that being a Russian speaker is a fairly unique skill and as such the number of jobs listed on a site like this one are usually minimal. What I hadn't factored in was that old jobs are not removed and still appear in searches. My first try to find a job using Russian rendered several hits however pretty much all of them were from two months back and the application process had closed.

Another thing that I had not considered is that Universal Job Match seems to use generalisations. For Example I searched for jobs using Russian a.k.a a languages job so anything classified as a 'languages job' is then listed in my 'recommended for you' section. Something I discovered when I opened my email the next day to find a whole list of jobs that Universal Jobs Match recommended for me including Hungarian Translator, German Teacher, German Speaking Engineer, and Turkish In House Translator. While all of these jobs are technically within my area of expertise they are not with languages that I speak or even listed on my form. It would seem that Universal Job Match has done the equivalent of going 'Oh Laura speaks Russian, that is a foreign language therefore Laura must speak all foreign languages!' #Fail.

As you may have gathered from reading my previous posts, my expectations of pretty much anything to do with the Job Centre are fairly low, but it does certainly feel that with this site the mark has totally been missed. The idea and potentially for the site is great - tailoring job hunts based on a person's skills, education and experience. However, it is in the actualisation of the idea that it has failed.

Once again, the job hunt continues...


Damon Lord said...

I heard of one chap being sanctioned for not applying for a job on Universal Job Match, because it asked for an HGV licence, and he couldn't drive.

Laura-Rose said...

I read that story too! They asked me last time if I used Universal Job Match and said that I had it but it was basically irrelevant as any of the jobs were either for languages I didn't speak or skills I didn't have.