Job Hunting Frustration

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by Jade Tigress, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Jade Tigress

    Jade Tigress RAWR

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    Just need to vent.

    I have been looking for a job for about 6 weeks now (I know, not long compared to some) and have sent out 80 resumes with not a single call back! I am applying for everything I am qualified for within a 25 mile radius of my home. Many I have been highly qualified for.

    Everything is done online now, I've gone through the local paper, craigslist, monster, hotjobs, and temp agencies. Nothing, nada, zip. How the hell does anyone find a job these days? I'm not picky! I'll do anything. Part-time, full-time, temp, anything!

    I've applied for retail positions and have OWNED a retail store! Can't get a call back for an asst. mgr. position at the mall. I have vast customer service experience. Saw one looking for a CSR with horse experience. Let's see, customer service experience, check, owned a horse, check, owned a tack shop, check. Submitted my resume with cover letter twice! No call back. :(

    In addition to my rant, does anyone have any advice? I know times are tough and many people are looking for work, but there has to be something I can do to get my foot in the door somewhere.
     
  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Just be persistent Jade! Times are tough but those people that persevere and work really hard in their job search are usually rewarded in the end. Hang in there and know that we feel your pain and frustration. Sending a big hug your way!
     
  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Generic suggestions:

    Consider that for every job listed, there may be hundreds of resumes sent in. The first person to see them is generally someone who is NOT experienced enough to know one resume from another. They don't know qualifications from a load of coal. Their job is to collect, sort, and pass on selected resumes to real decision-makers. But if you do not pass their scrutiny, you will not even have a chance.

    Therefore...

    Be noticed. Use good paper, good printing, and for God's sake, spell-check your resume.

    Your resume serves only ONE PURPOSE - please keep this in mind. It is not designed to get you a job offer. YOU do that part. It is designed to get you an interview, nothing more. Design a resume to do that one thing well. If applying for a job making widgets, your resume should say 'I am a widget maker you want to talk to'. Get the interview; then worry about getting the job. Too many people think that a resume says "Give me a job." It does not. It says "Invite me for an interview." If you are not getting any responses to positions you know are open and you are qualified for, there is something wrong with your resume, your cover letter, or your approach.

    Use a cover lettter. A resume and nothing else is extra slog work for the person who sorts the first stack of resumes. Include a cover letter, explaining exactly what you're applying for, why you would be a good choice, when you're available, and ask for an interview. You're a salesperson now - close the sale by asking for the interview (close interviews by asking for the job).

    Targeted resumes. I am an IT professional, and I modify my resume for just about every position I apply for. This is to make sure that my resume answers the questions that the job description asks. I do not emphasize "C" programming, for example, if I'm sending in about a System Admin job.

    Ask for critiques of your resume by people in similar jobs. If you know someone who is NOT hiring, but has people working for them doing similar things, ask them to look over your resume and tell you honestly if they'd hire you if they didn't know you and needed an employee. LISTEN TO ADVICE. I can't tell you how many people have given me super-crappy resumes to read over, I critique it, then they argue with me. If you're in love with your resume, don't ask for advice about it.

    Call and ask. Many people send resumes off and then do not call. Call. If they hate being called, they'll let you know. If they would not have considered you anyway, you risk nothing. But do not call over and over; don't be a pest. If you want to call again, ask the first time you call if you can call again, and if so, when.

    Many employers take an average of 1 to 2 months to respond to resumes. Depends on the position of course. But I have had situations where I sent out hundreds of targeted resumes and taken an offer, then gotten swamped with requests for interviews. Be patient.

    Drop off resumes in person. Dress for an interview when you do. You may not get an interview on the spot, but dress well anyway to be remembered.

    Don't emphasize how your experience exceeds that of your prospective boss. The last thing they want is you getting hired and then trying to get promoted over them or getting them fired. And don't think they're wrong to fear that, either. In my business, hiring the experienced old hand as a subordinate often means he'll soon be schmoozing my boss and that may well be the end of me; so he's a viper I won't have in my den; get it?

    If you're applying for a job for which you are overqualified, you will have to sell yourself as a person who is well-prepared to permanently keep that job and not be resentful that you're not working at your old position. Emphasize your loyalty and longevity at past positions.

    Keep resumes to one page whenever possible. IT guys like me can sometimes get away with longer resumes, but for most people, one page is sufficient. The person who has to slog through these things piled high on his or her desk is not going to dig through every paragraph to find the part where it says you'd be perfect for this job. Make it stand out, make it clear, make it easy to find; take their eyes right to it. You want X, I have X. You say it would be nice to have A, B, and C, I have A, B, and C. Done and done.

    Tricks? There are a few. Consider using A4 sized paper for your resume instead of 8.5 x 11 (if you're in the USA). A4 does not stack well with US "Letter" size, it sticks out. Gets noticed without seeming to be a trick. Use caution with this, it can backfire. Use very bright white paper, use high quality bond. Mail it flat, do not fold it and send in a typical letter envelope. Don't use perfume (some people do, so help me). Don't use unusual fonts. Don't include references, children, marital status, or hobbies or your health issues. Nobody wants to hear that crap. LEAVE IT OUT. Say 'References available on request' and that's it other than employment, education, and any applicable PROFESSIONAL awards, certifications, and associations or memberships in your field.

    Clean up your online persona. If you have a Facebook page or a personal home page or what-have-you, you might not want to have it chock full of you with your laughing gear wrapped around a hooka or a bottle of brandy.

    Consider relocation. Consider applying outside of your area and wedging in a 'work from home' option (if it applies - it may not for retail).

    Aim higher - consider applying for jobs and then pitching yourself as a potential manager for a new branch of their business in your town, where there isn't one now.

    Just some random thoughts. I've had a lot of jobs; I've interviewed a lot of applicants. I've sorted through a lot of resumes. I can tell you that when I interview, I tend to get offers, and it's not because I'm the smartest guy in the room or the best qualified. It's because getting a job is a job and I treat it like that. I am not a salesman by trade or by nature, but when I'm job-hunting, I am indeed a salesman. I'll do whatever I have to do to make ME the menu pick of the evening.

    Good luck, let me know if I can help.
     
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  4. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    I'll share the same advice someone gave me, that I put to solid use. Get the book Knock 'em Dead by Martin Yate. Read it from cover to cover, and follow his advice to the letter. If you do everything that he lays out in the book, you will get a job. I did, with a 3 year professional gap from being out of my industry.

    Good luck and hang in there :)
     
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  5. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    I understand where you are coming from Tigress. I've been trying to get a job since the middle of summer because freelancing is not doing as well as it once was. It's a tough market, I sometimes see the same people 2 or so times a week applying or interviewing for the same job.

    I've got a funny story about a Dr who wanted me to ghost write his book, but I'll save that for later because I'm posting from the phone now.
     
  6. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Jade I can certainly feel your pain, I am in the same boat. I was told by a admin. just last week I was to over qualify for a simple teaching job, even though I have been a teacher for twenty three years. His advice dumb down the application so I can get my foot in the door, so far it has not worked but for now I am just sending sending and sending out resume for anything and everything.
     
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  7. wushuguy

    wushuguy Purple Belt

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    I've been in the same boat as well, there's no easy solution in this economy, but sometimes being over qualified will get one passed up. like what I had to do was leave out some work experience and tailor the resume and what i spoke to the hiring personnel to match the job. Not that I was inexperienced in the field, but overqualifying for the position, so I only spoke about related matters to that limited company role.

    Like if applying for a retail position, cashier's job for example, probably not needed to list that you had owned or managed a retail store, because the managers might feel threatened by one who has experience and would rather have an inexperienced person that wouldn't know or point out any of their shortcomings in fulfilling the position...

    sure, this way you won't land a job that pays what you will normally be used to, but it sure is better than having nothing (I couldn't collect unemployment as I was self-employed for the longest time). But you can use that time to keep afloat until a better opportunity comes by.

    anyway, good luck with job hunting.
     
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  8. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    Ok, continuing from earlier. I got a lead on this job ghost writing the biography of this plastic surgeon. I went in and met with the guy, we negociated a contract, we set up a schedule for when I could start visiting him for interviews about his life, all the details were being ironed out. Then he tells me he wants the book to be funny like Curb Your Enthusiasm or Seinfeld. I said sure knowing that this guy is one of the driest, most humorless, boring people I have ever met. So I ask him, if I can use his family for the source of humor? No. His friends? No, His coworkers? No. His client? No!

    So basically this guy wanted a glowing biography of his life as a big time plastic surgeon written in the humorous style of Larry David, but I cannot make fun of anyone or any situations. Nor can I use his patients and their hang ups with their self esteem as fodder.
     
  9. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    Bill and the others have offered great advice. Not much else to say. I got a job for the summer, in between semesters at school becasue I needed the cash. The only call backs I got were the simple resumes, and resumes where I butchered my real qualifications. I wanted a factory job for a few months, but there was no way I was going to tell them I was qualified to run their factory!
     
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  10. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    Excellent advice given above I have to say.

    Most particularly I can empathise with the "over qualified" stories - I have so been in that boat :lol:.

    Mind you, for jobs whose purpose is to 'fill the gap' until something better comes over the horizon, I have found employers really don't care that much about it.

    I have degrees in three areas of expertise and had no trouble at all getting a job order picking in a refrigerated warehouse. After all, some jobs most people simply don't want to do and the hirer didn't give a fig about my 'excessive' academic achievements.

    He wanted me to turn up at 7 in the morning and work until 5 in the afternoon, not making too many mistakes along the way. He said to my face he had his doubts I would last the week but he needed hands-on-deck right now and gave me the job. As it happened I didn't stay all that long there - about a month I think - but that doesn't invalidate the basic point :D.

    Same deal when I spent some time laying tarmac for what amounted to a Gypsy chain-gang :lol:. Now that was hard graft and I would not be eager to go into it again but it kept the wolf away from the door for a week and there is nothing wrong with honest sweat, even when you're an academic :D (the point being that, again they didn't care what qualifications I had).
     
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  11. Jade Tigress

    Jade Tigress RAWR

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    Thanks for the responses everyone.

    Excellent advice Bill. I do have my resume to 1 page, and definitely spell checked! I also tailor my "cover letter" to each position applied for, highlighting my strengths.

    I would be happy to post my resume here for critique.

    Thanks Carol. I will give it look. :)

    Hmmmm, good point. Part of the problem is that for the most part of the last 20 years I have been a "domestic engineer" lol! So my work history is sporadic, but my track record in job performance is impeccable. I fear if I leave anything out (other than the few small things I've done here and there such as bartending part-time for 5 months 2 years ago) my resume will be blank! LOL!

    Anyhoo, I know I'm not alone in this boat, but I am desperate to find something pronto and getting frustrated by the lack of response. I will keep plugging along but any advice from my wise MT friends is greatly appreciated. :asian:
     
  12. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    Dear JT :) I understand your frustration. This must be very disheartening. I wonder have you had any feedback as to why you were not shortlisted? That information I think might be helpful in refining your subsequent applications. I am nobody to offer advice except I will anyway and suggest you use everything in your arsenal of skills, do not simply list them on your resume, and but make use of them to sell yourself to the employer, over the phone, face to face, via email, whatever you can do, to persuade them that you are the asset that will enhance their organisation beyond the sum of your CV parts. You know you can do this. You have done more difficult things before. Put your success out there and know it will come to you :) Jenna xox
     
  13. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    I too have had many frustrations with job hunting. Sometimes it takes me months to find something else. However MY problem is no real marketable skill and for a while no dependable transportation.
    Now I have a job and transport.

    Yahoo-finance has been talking about signs of a recovery in today's economy. One sign they said was "people you know that were unemployed are working again." hmmph.
    In today's economy and with 9% nationwide unemployment... you are in a tough situation. Lots of other factors as well are hindering a lot of people like you. Certain demand jobs are no longer in demand, and a career/skill/trade change might be in order. http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-bu...0-american-industries-that-will-never-recover

    I have the dual edged sword of being a "jack of all trades and a master of none". Sounds nice on the surface but hurts where/when it counts.

    Good luck to ya Pammy, be praying for ye and hoping you find something soon.
    Oh and if you haven't already and can afford it... take a small break from job hunting, resume typing/sending and all of that... de-stress yourself best way (and as cheaply) you can and resume, it helps you look fresh at job interviews when they start happening, you won't look so "ragged" :wink1:

    not...that I'm saying you LOOK ragged... I mean, uh... well ... umm... you know... :uhyeah: ((hugs))
     
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  14. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    IME, go the extra mile. Yes, there may be loads of resumes in the stack for each position. If you're applying anywhere where friends work, have them bring the resume to HR and give a good word along the way.

    If it's a company you don't know, spend a little time on Google to find out exactly what they do (good prep for interview as well!), and then call and ask to speak with someone in human resources or the hiring manager. Politely let them know that you're interested, and were wondering what the timelines were for hiring and when you can expect to hear from them if you are brought forward to the next stage. Ask any questions you may have about the position, and if possible, do a light sell on your abilities or experience as they relate to this position. If you've already sent in a resume, bring it to their attention, or better yet, offer to send another one directly to the person you're speaking with. The point here is to have a mini-phone interview with you initiating the call.

    After your conversation, email a quick thank you to the person you spoke with, possibly with your resume attached reaffirming your interest in the position.

    This won't work with all companies, but will get at least a first contact with many, and gives a bit more personal touch to the process. Part of the problem with the modern hiring process is that it is so impersonal (at least, until the interview stage). It's important to find the right balance between hungry for the challenge and desperate or pushy.

    Best of Luck! My wife recently had some success with using a staffing agency as well, which was helpful since most of her work experience, like yours, was several years ago.
     
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  15. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    Keep at it. Something will click for you.

    I can sympathise with the search headaches. Despite my running a hosting company as well as doing site design and consulting for over 10 years, I've been told I'm of 'no value' (exact quote btw from a headhunter) to any of the local web companies. None of the local chain studios are interested in my coming in as a photographer..."Not sure you could shoot our style" was how one put it. I'd be a lot more frustrated if I needed the jobs, and wasn't just looking for something to help kill the car payment faster. Consider what you can do and if there might be a market for it in your area. A little thinking outside the box might get things into motion.
     
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  16. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    I am so pissed right now. I got a call back two days ago from a place I interviewed and nobody told me. Just on a lark I was in the living room and decided to go through the caller ID on the phone. I'm gonna call in the morning, hope it's not already filled because people have their heads up their butts and can't deliver a message.
     
  17. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Bill got it nailed with his post.
    Your resume is to get you in the door. Don't just tailor the cover letter, but also the resume itself to emphasize the things they are looking for. As long as you don't have a job, your job is to sell yourself (in a good way).
     
  18. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Persistence does pay off, don't give up. Things will happen for you.[​IMG]
     
  19. ronagle

    ronagle Yellow Belt

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    This is meant to be constructive, take a good hard look at the resume you're sending out and then have someone else look to. Ask their advice, and the listen to it.
     
  20. Jade Tigress

    Jade Tigress RAWR

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    I got a job. :) I start Monday 10/18 working for JP Morgan Chase in one of their call centers.
     
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