I’m not too happy at work these days. My job looks good on paper, but it isn’t very fulfilling. My coworkers are awful and make going into the office a chore at best. But hey, I’m not ONLY going to sit around and gripe. I’m a proactive kind of guy, so I’ve been looking for and applying to new jobs in the process.
I have honestly never been passed over for a job I actually got an interview for, whether in college or as a postgrad. Getting interviews, however, is one of the most frustrating experiences of adult life. Maybe you’re in the same miserable boat I am. Maybe you’re underemployed or full-blown unemployed entirely and hate me for even having full-time employment, let alone for complaining about my first world problems. Either way, if you haven’t given up entirely and you’re applying for jobs, you know I’m right. It is awful.
You’re Stuck In Between
For me at least, even finding a job to apply for is near impossible. It doesn’t help that I’d be pretty okay doing all sorts of things instead of what I am doing, giving my search minimal focus. I am 26 years old and I still have only a marginal idea of what I want to do with myself. Another road block is that after working professionally for a while I find myself over-qualified and uninterested in entry-level positions, but under-qualified and definitely reaching for management-level roles. I explicitly remember applying for jobs while in college only to face the “1-2 years of experience needed” barrier to entry. Now that I have those 1-2 years, I can only find everything but that.
LinkedIn Is Terrible For Jobs
Naturally I turned to Facebook for adults: LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is great – you can keep track of your friends and contacts, reach out to potential clients or recruiters, creep on girls who have good careers as well as good looks, and showcase your resume and accomplishments in an attractive way online without having to create some sort of personal website. In fact, the only thing LinkedIn isn’t great for is job hunting. Almost every jobI come across on LinkedIn is a job that no one would want to do anyhow. For the few the actually do seem interesting, you can’t even use the easy and efficient LinkedIn tool to apply. You have to apply on the awful company website.
Company Websites Are Awful
There are few things worse in the job application process than the awful company website application tool. If you can even get into the site amidst usernames, passwords, and IT issues or poor design on their end, you are faced with the infamous Resume Upload Tool. In theory, this is supposed to take the information on your resume, which you created so that you wouldn’t have to fill out application forms in the first place, and populate the forms for you. Invariably, it will mess up completely, listing your home town as your job title, your dates of employment as your job description, and cutting off the last two jobs on your resume, even though they are applicable, because of some arbitrary job number limitation. Worse, you’re going to go through this for every single job and every single job will have a slightly different program.
Applying Doesn’t Really Work Anyhow
I’ve never gotten a job by simply applying for it. At this point, I’m not sure why I even do it. All of my jobs, including part-time gigs, internships, and my current career, have come from me proving my value and a position being created because of that or simply because I was asked if I would be interested. While that might sound rather cool, it’s also incredibly frustrating and pretty much leads me to shamelessly email or call random companies and executives with, “I’m awesome, you should want me,” intentions. Now that I’m going for jobs above the entry level, I’m not enough of a rockstar to be recruited and I don’t have the client list or the experience to convince someone of my value.
Your Background Holds You Back
Whoever tells you that being “well-rounded” is a good thing is a liar. For me, it was probably my mother or some collection of teachers. Regardless, being well-rounded is a constant detriment to my search. Financial jobs don’t understand why I was a liberal arts major. Creative jobs don’t understand why I work in business. No one understands why I went to a small local state school for a scholarship instead of picking a brand name or better school like I should have, and I don’t understand how I have this much student debt even with that free money. Companies say they want well rounded applications, but what they really want are people whose backgrounds are easy to defend to their bosses when they get hired.
One of these days the clouds will part and I will get a position that better matches what I want to do. Until then, at least I’ll always have griping.