It is the worst. And I think the worst part of it is knowing that your application might not even get looked at. I’ve talked to HR people about this–some HR people are brutally honest, but very helpful–and they agree, it’s initially about luck.
Depending on the company, they can get well over a hundred applications for a single job. They might only look at the first ten, or the last twenty, or someone who’s worked there before will pop up and they won’t look at any others.
So you’re applying for a job you completely qualify for, maybe even one you really really want. You spend hours writing your cover letter and tweaking your resume, making it all perfect, and the whole time you’ve got that nasty fact in your head. You send it, or hand it to someone, and that’s it. It may never be seen again. You can’t even blame anyone for it. Who has time to glance over a hundred resumes for one job? They have other stuff to do. And if you follow up asking why you didn’t get the job, well:
“The position has been filled.”
I’ve applied to quite a few jobs in the last month. I only just finished an internship, so I’ve only had time to apply for certain jobs, i.e. ones I really really want and think I have a good shot at. I don’t spend less than an hour on each application. I tailor a cover letter for every one, which can be tough (are they going to read this? do they have time to read more than three paragraphs? what exactly do they mean by “detailed”?). But I put the effort in. Yet, I’ve gotten three non-automated responses so far, and two were just asking me to do tests to prove my skills. Well, turns out I’m an MS Word whiz, I know more about PowerPoint than I thought, and I’m good with Excel but I could be faster. I think I did well on that one proofreading test I did, but who knows?
“The position has been filled.”
My first interview is next week; and I’m terrified. The job is one of the good ones, and I’m just plain bad at interviews. It’s just, putting myself in the mindset it requires, trying to “sell myself”, trying to make someone believe I’m better than the other candidates, it’s all kind of… icky. And scary. I can’t seem to logic my way through it, either. I can write, I have a BA in writing and a certificate for a communications program, so why is it so hard for me to nail an interview? I know I can do the job, I’ll be terrifically great at the job, but in my head there’s that crazy, cyclical mess of
- I’m quiet and awkward.
- People are always calling me cute; I probably don’t seem mature enough.
- What if I prepare too much? I don’t want to act like I have the job already.
- What if I don’t know something they specifically ask about?
- What if I do, but I can’t g-g-g-get it out?
I’ve been in so many interviews where they ask a question, and I know the answer, but I stutter and a whole bunch of nothing comes out of my stupid mouth and I’m supposed to have “good communication skills.”
If interviews could be written, I would have all the jobs. I aced everything in university because everything was written and I can write an outstanding essay, no problem. I can retain all the information I need for a quiz, easy. I just can’t seem to razzle dazzle my way through one friggin twenty-minute interview, one interview for every fifty jobs I’ve applied for, job hunting is. the. worst.
…Sorry if that got ranty.