23 July 2010


There are few things more time-consuming and difficult than searching for a new job.

Cleaning up your resume, creating new buzz words about your current indentured servitude job to attract interest, creatively enhancing your duties to fit in with the current corporate jargon.  You take a look at your resume and you think, wow, it looks pretty good.  I am marketable, my skills are in demand, I'm good at what I do, I have a really diverse set of abilities, I have a great work ethic, I'm a team player..........

So, now you're ready, right?  Ready to comb through the job posts on Craigslist, Monster.com, Washington Post Jobs on-line, Snagajob, etc etc.  You plow through the hundreds of listings, and start to post your resume in response.  Sometimes it takes a few minutes and you just attach your cover letter and CV.  Other prospective employers want an aptitude test, Q&A and on-line application before you can even attach your resume.  Close to 90 minutes later and you can finally hit "Submit".  All in all, though, you must subtly tailor and tweak your resume and intro letter to the position you are applying for, and it then becomes a full-time job just LOOKING for a full-time job!

You submit, at last count, 120+ responses to job postings.


Nothing.  Not a damn thing.  No callbacks, no emails.  Silence.

So you wonder.  What am I doing wrong?  Is my cover letter too much?  Or not enough?   You start the process AGAIN, of really trimming the fat from your resume, and trying to make it clean and modern and appealing.

Still nothing.

Then one day you get a phone call.  From a person who has no command of the English language, and is calling from a company you've never heard of.  And you're pretty sure you didn't apply for a job with said company.  And when you call the number, it's been disconnected.

Talk about the proverbial wind out of the sails kind of feeling.

A week or so later you get this:  "We were fortunate in the number of highly qualified individuals who applied for the position you sought. The process is now complete, and after careful evaluation, we have selected the candidate whose experience most closely matches our needs at this time. We regret to inform you that you were not a finalist."

NOT EVEN A FINALIST?  Then two more polite, and nicely worded, "you aren't even close to what we want and we picked someone else and why did you even apply and keep trying and good luck with your job search and just crawl into that hole and"...............Well, you know.

Your self-confidence really starts to erode.  You begin to question all of your career choices, your previous employment, your decision to stay at home with your children while they were young, giving up that Really Great Job so that you could be there for the kids.   But, at the end of the day, you are certain that it was the right thing for them, and thusly, the right thing for you.  So scratch that from the list of reasons why nobody wants you, as it a moot point.  Your kids wanted you and there's no looking back.

Is it me?  Is it my cover letter?  Is it my resume?  Is it the economy?  Is it the area?  Is it the fact that I desperately need a better-paying job with health insurance and the universe is just screwing with me?

Supposedly this region has the lowest unemployment in the nation, and yet, here I wait.  Like the high school girl waiting to be asked to the prom.   Ok, that was a bit melodramatic, silly and self-indulgent.  But it's astounding how much your feelings of self-worth can be tied in to what you do for employment, and then to have nobody really give a crap, and not want to hire you?  It is a bit deflating. 

If you are ever feeling a bit big for your britches, throw your resume out there into the wind and see how quickly you are humbled.

Anyway, it's Friday, so I have the weekend to, once again, make myself more appealing and hireable and interesting than the other 21400 people who also need jobs in the Washington DC Metro area.

Wish me luck.