December 18, 2010 3:09 PM Subscribe
Job Search Paranoia Filter: What does silence mean in the job search process?
posted by TwelveTwo to Work & Money (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
To describe my experience with my job search thus far, it has been much like how I imagine being stranded on a desert island feels. I arrange the rocks to spell "help." A plane passes by. The weeks pass. Nothing happens. Another plane goes overhead. Nothing. The fear sets in. Are the rocks angled wrong? Did they read it? I rearrange. The sound of an engine. I see nothing but the trail in the sky. Weeks pass. No response. Was sanserif the right choice? I rearrange the rocks again. Another plane. Nothing. Maybe "help" is too direct, too desperate, perhaps something more low key, like "How is your day today? BTW, I am trapped on this island." Another plane goes by.
For the last three months I have been sending out applications to a great variety of places. I have made sure they are spell checked, grammatically correct, and that my resume (as sparse as it is) is appropriately arranged. My cover letters are concise, positive and to the point. I have tried a number of resume formats, but without feedback it is not clear which one is best. I have responded to postings both on company sites, and on big sites like Craigslist. I have looked into a variety of different industries, and state governments. I have not limited myself to any particular position or place, so long as it isn't service or manual labor.
I have a number of suspicions as to why I have gotten zero response. I do not have a professional email address, I have not yet had a real job despite being out of college for about two years, and my degree has nothing on it but the vague phrase "bachelor of arts in liberal arts." I am capable of a variety of different tasks, and hold useful knowledge, but there is no strong evidence that I can provide to prove that. Of what I do have in terms of evidence are extracurricular work, volunteer activities, and family business ventures. On the other hand, I do suspect that the job market really is that competitive. I have noticed that while there is a glut of middle and higher positions, there is a comparative famine of low level and entry level positions. So, maybe responses to entry jobs are just overwhelming employers, but even so, I will remain uneasy about it until I hear some responses from the other side of this. I fear that I am missing that eau de l'employabilité and they can somehow sense it from my writing. Perhaps they are looking through my Metafilter posts and finding me too political. I do not know. But you might know!
So, I am curious why does one not respond to an applicant? How long does it even take to look through resumes? Am I just not waiting long enough? Explain to me that when I put those sheets of paper through that slot in the wall marked "apply here" they do not simply fall immediately into a wastebasket.