Just a depressing job search post

I thought I was done with the crud. Finished beating myself up and getting depressed with my job hunt. I guess that’s not the case.

Last week I had an interview. It turned out to be a position that I would have loved to have ten years ago. The salary is about $10K lower than what I know I’m worth. And the commute would be over an hour each way. But the interview went very well and I went back on Monday for a second one.

So why am I not enthusiastic about it?

I know I’m better than this. I deserve to have the job that I want, right? So where is it? I know this job is out there somewhere. I’ve seen it on the job boards and in the search engines. I’ve applied to it several times and still, that phone call to schedule the interview doesn’t come. I would venture to guess that since starting my job search two months ago, I’ve sent my resume out to over 100 companies, all in response to positions they had posted.

When you’re searching for a job, you have to compete with people you don’t even know. Your resume is potentially one of several hundred – I recently learned that a position I applied to received 200 resumes! Even if you know your qualifications are a perfect match for the position – it’s fair to say that a good percentage of the others are, and when a company is flooded with applicants who are underqualified, overqualified and even dead on, well, how will yours stand out?

And by the way – little tricks like color paper don’t work anymore. Everything’s done electronically – whether you enter your information on their website, or perhaps they just scan your paper resume in search of key phrases that they deem will fit their needs (which, by the way, may not be at all outlined in the classified ad).

If you’re one of the lucky few who land a first interview, you have to learn how to highlight your strong points, project a positive image and prove your worth. An even more elite group will get a second interview, where they have to do this all over again for another individual and still make it sound interesting, regardless of the fact that they might have given the same schpiel fifty times in the last month.

And then after all the research, rehearsal, prep work… you call to follow up and get that dreaded speech – “You were a strong candidate, we had a tough time deciding, it was between you and another person…” – you feel worthless anyway. Because you were once again second best. The runner up. The one who gets to go home without the crown & roses, and gracefully accept defeat.

Your very best just wasn’t good enough, once again.

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