You think it won’t be that bad. A month. Two months tops. There’s so much opportunity out there and you know you have what it takes. But then, a month passes. And two months pass. Pretty soon, it has been four whole months and your brain can’t understand why no one will hire you.
Is your resume too bland? Do you not separate yourself enough from others? You know what you are capable of, but a resume can’t fully show all that? Why aren’t they even asking for interviews?
Before you pull your hair out, there are a few things to remember.
In the real world of getting a job, you are set to fail before you even begin to try. In this day and age, with all the competition, it feels near impossible to get a job. People can say there just aren’t any jobs to take, but that’s not true. There are plenty of jobs. It’s just that you’re about to begin a battle with a double edge sword that takes a long time to win.
The business world is tough, but the reason you aren’t getting the job you want is not entirely because of you or whatever efforts you are making. It’s so much more out of your control than you realize.
1. Entry Level means years of experience.
When you read the title “entry level” for a position, you automatically assume that this may be an option for you. It seems to render the belief that as long as you have the basic qualifications and an exceptional work ethic, then you at least have a fighting chance. Only as you continue to read through the requirements, you notice those horrible words: Must have at least than 3 to 5 years of experience. How is it a job that pays $20k a year is really going to have such high expectations? Ah. But they do.
2. Your B.A. essentially means nothing.
At one point, it seemed that you had two options. Go to school and get a degree or work your way from the bottom and gain experience. Have a BA in Journalism or four years of experience with a company. However, nowadays, the experience outweighs the degree. Those four years you spent slaving away in a major to help further your career doesn’t hold much value anymore. If anything, it just helps them figure out where in their company you would fit if you were to get hired. Unless you have a MA or PhD, they want to see more experience than education. It’s no longer either/or, but both or just experience alone. And they greatest catch is, to get the experience you still need the education and somehow to get the education, you still need the experience. The ultimate double edged sword.
3. Your cover letter speaks more volumes than your resume.
Anyone notice how it’s all about the cover letter these days? I’ve seen tons of job postings that write in big, bold letters how you won’t even be considered without a cover letter present. While I see cover letters as an extra opportunity to share why you’d be a good fit, I don’t see how it should hold more weight than your actual resume. Anything to get you in the door is good, but I’d much rather tell you why I am a good fit in an interview than on a piece of paper. It’s almost as if the cover letter has replaced a first round of interviews.
4. Applying online is just awful.
The abyss that is the online application world is a scary place. Sending off your resume and application through a computer feels as though you’ll never see it again. Unless you get a really responsive company, most places won’t even let you know they’ve received your information, let alone looked at it. And so, you just sit around, hoping and praying that you might get an interview. If only they could see you in person, then you’d for sure blow them away. Problem is making yourself stand out through a computer is a lot harder than it looks.
5. Companies post online for legal purposes.
Most jobs postings online are simply to avoid legal troubles. Companies are required to post a job for a certain amount of time and take a certain number of interviews. This is required to give fair opportunity and chance to those who are currently looking for work. But unfortunately, the game is rigged. While you hurriedly apply for that position, they are already moving up their administrative assistant into that role. So, the jobs you see as available, may not even exist.
6. Internships require internship experience.
The whole point of an internship is to gain experience about something you know nothing or little about. It’s essentially an exchange of your extra help for a certain amount of valuable experience. That’s how they get away without paying you since experience is practically more valuable than money these days. Unfortunately, with internships being so common and almost as cut throat as the job market, most now have prerequisites. Depending on the specialty of the internship, some may require you to have a year of another internship under your belt, or some kind of experience that is directly related to the job. The problem is how do you gain experience for free without having any experience? I guess that’s one less thing for you to apply for.
7. It’s all about your network and connections.
The business world almost doesn’t even care if you’re good at your job. I could go in with the most pristine resume and be an obvious choice for a position, but still not get it. They’ll pick the friend of a friend because they have someone to physically vogue for them and perhaps, I don’t. It seems unfair and frustrating, but it really is all about who you know. And they wonder why millennials are so entitled? Try hiring people who actually deserve the job instead of your coworker’s kid.
8. It’s difficult to even follow up after applying.
Because everything is done online, you have no way of taking the initiative to follow up with your resume. That chance to take an extra step that others won’t is difficult to find. Because there is no direct contact information, you’re left at a loss. Even when there are email addresses or some form of contact, you never get responses and are still left in online limbo.
9. With all of this, you start to doubt if you even want the job.
When things start to fail more and more, you can’t help but think you’re looking for the wrong things. Maybe you aren’t cut out for this or maybe you don’t even want that job in the first place. It affects your self-esteem and it’s not even about the fact that you didn’t get a job. It’s that you didn’t even get a chance.
All of these things can bring you down and make you feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t let it. If there is something you know you excel in or are truly passionate about it, keep trying. Keep moving forward and get creative. Someone will want you on their team eventually and they’ll be lucky to have you, so don’t give up. It’s a dog eat dog world out there, but you can do it.