Not much new on the job search front in the last few days, other than I recently signed up with a few freelance web sites hoping to get some income, because I don’t want to be on unemployment any longer than I have to. And I need something to do. Nothing has come of the freelance sites yet, but I keep checking for new jobs and putting in bids for assignments. Eventually something will break.
Now, can I just vent for a moment? Okay? Thanks.
I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new when I say that looking for a job is frustrating on so many levels. It is especially frustrating when you get little response from your resume. Now, I know my resume is good. I’ve had it evaluated by professionals and they have said so. So I know my lack of response is not due to that. But just what, I don’t know. Is it that there are many people applying for the same position? Possibly. But geez, I have plenty of experience and I’m good at what I do. Damn good.
As I have sent dozens of resumes to dozens of companies these last several months, certain situations stick out to me as more frustrating than others, but what gets to me more than anything is the lack of a response, especially when you send your resume and a carefully crafted cover letter to a company and get NOTHING. No acknowledgement that the resume was received. Not even a “go away, we think you suck, and don’t contact us again” email. I realize companies probably get a ton of resumes these days, and I don’t expect a personal response when the resume is sent to a generic email address, like “email@example.com.” However, when I send to a specific individual, like “firstname.lastname@example.org,” I think it’s only courteous for that person to send a reply, ESPECIALLY when that specific individual ASKED ME TO SEND MY RESUME TO HIM/HER!!
Another frustration: Earlier this year I had an interview with a company that I thought went well. I was told I was a “strong candidate.” So when I got called for a second interview I got kind of excited. I didn’t even mind when the interviewer called to say s/he had a scheduling conflict and would have to reschedule the second interview. After not hearing anything about a reschedule for two weeks, I emailed him/her, and s/he wrote back saying s/he would get back to me soon to reschedule. That was in MAY. I contacted the interviewer twice since, and because I received no response I assume I am no longer in the running for the position, making the “reschedule” seem like a thinly veiled attempt to tell me they don’t want to hire me. Worse yet I saw this person at an industry event last month, and s/he completely ignored me. Didn’t even return my “hello.” There was no reason for ignoring me. Just tell me you don’t want to hire me. I’m a big girl. I can take it.
Which brings me to yet a third frustration: Just about everything involved in a job search is done online these days, whether you are sending your resume in a personal email to a specific person at Dream Job Company, or responding to a job ad for an unknown company placed on Monster. Oftentimes, online job ads do not have a way for you to follow up on a resume. Generally, when I send to a specific person, if I don’t hear back within a week I send a quick email as a follow up to my original email. Sometimes I’ll get an email back thanking me for sending again because the person I sent it to didn’t see it the first time. But for the majority of online ads, there is no one to call or email to find out the status of your application. When I was laid off at the beginning of the year, I created a spreadsheet of all the companies and positions for which I apply, mostly for my own records but it’s come in handy now that the state wants to know where I’m looking for work. My “results” column is pathetic – probably three-quarters of the positions I’ve applied for have “no response” in that column. Many of them are jobs for which I applied through Indeed, Simply Hired, Monster, Career Builder and other job sites. They are the ones that often have a generic email address or even just an “apply now” button on the site that takes you to a page where you fill out your information. There’s no way to find out if you are being considered for the job or even if your resume was seen by someone. Or was it deleted without even being read? There’s just no way to know.
I don’t know what the answers are to make searching for a job more informative and less humiliating. What I do know is I have learned that if I am ever in a position to hire people, I will make damn sure that I personally reply to each person who applies for a job with me, whether it’s to invite them for an interview or tell them they’re not right for the position. Because I would rather get an email – or even a phone call – telling me the company is hiring someone else than to be left dangling, wondering what’s going on.
Photo by Stuart Miles.