21 Job Searching Pet Peeves That Anyone's Who's Ever Applied For A Job Online Will Understand

·7 min read

As the Great Resignation continues, millions of people have quit their jobs, and still more may be seeking new ones. And though looking for a job can be an exciting time, it can also be frustrating, anxiety-provoking, and down right confusing.

FX / Via giphy.com

So we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their biggest job-searching pet peeves and employers everywhere should start taking notes, like, NOW:

1."Being asked, 'So why do you want this job?' and not being able to answer with 'So I can pay my rent and eat food, why do you think?!' — especially when the job is something really mundane."

NBC / Via giphy.com


2."Cover letters and references that they never end up reading or calling. I tested this theory one time. I used a cover letter in several applications (jobs I didn't care about getting) and included some pretty risky wording that I thought would not get me a call back. Two out of three called. Also, I used my own phone number for one of the references for all three applications. NO ONE CALLS. I even asked my friends if they did and they said NOPE, but it's mandatory? It's like the whole application process is overworking you before you're even hired or paid."


3."When you spend an hour or more on one application only to get the automated rejection email the same day or the day after — if you're lucky enough to even be acknowledged."


4."The scam job listings! I almost took one job as a 'debt attorney' (which was all the information in the listing). The paperwork came through, and they were offering me $5,000 a year less than they'd originally offered. But worse, they wanted ME, as the attorney, to take legal ownership of failing, bankrupt companies. For anyone who doesn't know, that's NOT AT ALL how bankruptcy lawyers operate. I dropped that job offer immediately. But at the time, I had been unemployed a year and a half. It's so criminal to scam desperate unemployed people."

CBC / Via giphy.com


5."Not getting back to me to let me know I DIDN'T get the job. It'd be difficult to contact everyone who applied, but I feel like if I made it through to the interview stage, you can at least call or email me and let me know another candidate got the job. It sucks to wait hopefully to hear back from a potential employer, then feel that hope slowly die over weeks til you just realize they're never going to call you back, and you're still unemployed."


6."When they ask the 'reason for leaving last job,' when usually the reason is 'it's like hell on Earth and I need to get out!' I always find it so difficult with this question cos I don't want to slag off a previous job or make it sound like I couldn't hack it."


7."Confused, nonsensical requirements and preferences grind my gears. I'm in social work and here's a real life example from a posting I saw: 'Associate's degree and MSW (Master's license which requires a Master's DEGREE) or RN (Registered Nurse, which is a totally different thing) required. Bachelor's degree preferred.'"

ABC / Via giphy.com

"What? I... what do they want? What are they prioritizing here? This is requirement salad and doesn't make sense."


8."Requiring huge amounts of skill and experience but not offering appropriate compensation is rage inducing. 'Must be bilingual; must be on-call 24/7 with your own personal phone; must be trained and proficient in CBT, DBT, motivational interviewing, and possess CAADC certification; must have 8+ years of experience and be willing to do in-home therapy at a moment's notice, $30,000/year.' LOL wat."


9."Ads pretending to be a creative position when they are a sales position. Also any ad that uses terms like rock star, etc. They are always sales positions. Just say what the job is!"


10."Not including a salary in the job advert. They either don't pay their current staff as well as their new staff, or they are willing underpay a new person who has low salary expectations. Either way it tells me they don't value their workforce equally."

CBS / Via giphy.com


11."Any sort of 'quirky' application/interview questions."


12."Companies advertising the job as 'flexible,' but what they mean is you bending over backwards for them, not the other way around."


13."For the love of all things green and wholesome, put more detail in your adverts. As a single parent, I need to know the hours/shift pattern. You're wasting my time and yours by not being specific."

Comedy Central / Via giphy.com


14."Not listing the address of the location on the ad or in the interview. I ended up taking a job 45 minutes from me and not realizing it because it wasn't on the application and the interviewer never specified. It's fine, but I probably wouldn't have applied if I had known it was so far."


15."Expecting you to be experienced in the use of some obscure industry specific software that someone else somewhere would have had to take the time to train you on. It's surprising how few job listings offer training, even for entry level positions. They just expect someone else to have offered it."


16."The 75+ question personality tests that some jobs require you to do. It could really take someone three hours to apply for one job that they’ll never hear from again. It’s really frustrating."

NBC / Via giphy.com


17."Filtering to find entry level positions that pay. It frustrates me to no end to see every single proper job requiring experience — how am I supposed to get it? With unpaid internships???"


18."Having to really read between the lines to find out something is a direct marketing position. They have titles like 'Assistant Manager' or 'Events Coordinator,' but if you look closely, everything is based on commission, everyone starts in the same position, and if you interview, there is no promise of moving you into the position that you originally applied for."


19."Nothing is more rage inducing to me than asking me to upload copies of my résumé and cover letter and then asking me to basically copy and paste the whole thing into boxes in the application questions (which usually ruins the format and I have to waste more time fixing that up so that I don’t have random paragraphs all over the place)."

NBC / Via giphy.com

"If you’ve already asked me to upload proper Word or PDF documents, you shouldn’t have to ask for it all to be typed out in boxes too! Just read the damn documents you asked to be uploaded in the first place! WHAT IS THE POINT?! PICK ONE OR THE OTHER!"


20."Big signs advertising that they are hiring so you fill out an application online, only to receive an email from them saying, 'Thank you for your interest in our company, but we are not hiring at this time.' WTF?"

"Interview for a job and you're told that they 'can't guarantee you hours every week.' Why are you hiring if there's no work?"


21.And finally, "Applying online. When I’ve applied for bar work, my age (43) comes into issue. I think they imagine a middle aged housewife. I have bright pink hair, tattoos and piercings, and often get mistaken for early 30s. I have over a decade's worth of experience in the hospitality area and yet I can never get an interview — unless I’ve walked into the place and inquired about it. Then suddenly I’m eligible to be seen."

"Sure, I may be paranoid that my age holds me back, but it seems to be the common denominator."


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

Got another pet peeve to share? Let us know in the comments.

And for more stories about work and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.