Saturday, May 10, 2008

Another Take on Data Portability: Job Apps

I never really paid much attention to the noise of data portability, I kind of like having my information in separate places, even if it is redundant information. But at least if one is compromised, the whole pyramid doesn't collapse. Reminds me of that eBay account comprise post. But now that I've put out roughly 100 job apps, and had to type the same information roughly 100 times, I'm starting to rethink this whole concept of data portability.

Sure, it seems to apply mostly to social networks, and it's hard to think of good reasons regular people should care as this Social Web post explores, but for the 350,000 people like me who suddenly find themselves unemployed, data portability starts to make some sense.

Job applications, regardless of whether filled out in paper form or online, all require the same information. And, if you pay attention to the small number of companies that are used, like Brass Ring, you would think people would catch on. Instead of having to enter your information repeatedly for each job at a different employer that uses Brass Ring, or some such company, why not be able to enter your information once, and if it meets criteria, send an alert to the respective HR person.

This is basically a half baked idea in my head at the moment, but I'm convinced there is a better way to send out job applications, a better way to fill out what amounts to the same form, regardless of employer. You'd think, by now, Brass Ring would be able to fill in my information for me. About the only thing that varies is the cover letter.

I'm finding it difficult to grasp that in this age of "automization," no one has figured out how to automate the job application process. There really must be a better way, and perhaps data portability is a way, or a means to a better way.

Perhaps after about 100 applications, this will become a more concrete, coherent thought.

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