Unemployed and signing up for Beyond.com

Back in high school, a friend of mine applied for a position at Bed, Bath and Beyond. When asked what department he wanted to work in, he responded “Beyond.” He didn’t get the job.

Now, many years later, I’m signing up for Beyond.com, “…the world’s largest network of niche career communities, powering thousands of geographic and industry-specific sites.” (There’s no connection to the store, as evidenced by the lack of 20% off coupons.) I doubt my experience will make for as memorable a story, but at least I can learn a few things. And maybe registering will lead to a job or at least some more spam. A guy can dream, right?

The name “Beyond.com” conjures an image of some corner of the internet, marked off by a digital velvet rope, where only the avatars of cool people can buy $20 drinks. Really, anyone can join for free. So I jumped right in.

Creating a login, filling in some personal info and posting a resume and cover letter took a grand total of about 5 minutes. I now have a personal profile that employers will find (theoretically) when they search on keywords that I included as part of my profile. The interface was clean and straightforward, and the site didn’t ask for anything unnecessary. The only stumbling block was naming my profile page. The site said I can give my profile page my name, but then only gave the option to choose one of two numerical names. It was a little annoying, but not that big a deal.

That the setup was easy doesn’t surprise me; big job sites tend to be user-friendly on the surface. More job candidates attract more employers. Still, a well laid out site instills confidence. A basic listing can only be so helpful. It’s in the tweaking that big job sites become more complicated, and more powerful.

I went back into my listing looking for additional information to give and job alerts to set up. There are sections for references, a picture and personal links. Another section lists many questions the answers to which “…help employers make informed decisions and enable them to learn more about you as an individual.” Which questions to answer is probably just as important as the answers. I haven’t answered any yet, but rest assured all of my responses will include loads of profanities and misspellings.

And then I was reminded why I’d been avoiding Beyond.com. My public profile includes all of my contact info. I prefer to show only my email address. But the only way to hide my home address and phone number is through a premier membership costing $15 for 6 months. This basically forces you to pay to use the site, as most people don’t want all of their contact info available to everyone.

The fee may be nominal, but the principle of it irks me. A job site (or any site) should charge for real add-on services – which Beyond.com also delivers with its premier membership – not for privacy. Privacy is a basic right that one can reasonably expect in any online relationship.

This is where I stopped exploring Beyond.com, largely because I’m annoyed (and hungry). I’ll probably end up paying the $15.  But the site better live up to it’s name. I’ll post again once I’ve explored more.

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3 Comments

  1. unemployedinfla wrote:

    Updates please…. thanks.

    Monday, March 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink
  2. unemployedinfla wrote:

    scary numbers….

    Beyond.com Network Statistics
    Total Resumes 5,448,249
    New Candidates/Mo. 200,351
    New Resumes/Mo. 140,045
    Job Views/Mo. 3,891,181
    Online Applications/Mo. 688,159
    Monthly Newsletters 2,955,264
    Daily Job Alerts 724,857
    Email Contacts 25,267,977

    I signed up for ladders.com – thats $30 i will see have again…

    Monday, March 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  3. unemployedinfla wrote:

    those same jobs come up on justhired.com btw….

    Monday, March 9, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink