Things I’ve learned applying for more than 200 jobs.

I’ve been unemployed for seven months. It has been seven months filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

On one hand, I’m glad to be free of the prison-like confinement I felt being around my previous boss. I’m glad I’m not in an environment that celebrates toxic-masculinity and treats women as though the only thing they bring to the table is boobs.

On the other hand, I miss work. I miss financial independence. I miss the feeling that I felt when I was contributing to something, when I was making a difference to someone’s (not in my office) day.

I looked in my resume folder last night and I realized that it now has more than 200 files in it. 200 resumes. 200 times I was rejected. 200 times I was said no to. 200 times I tried and it didn’t work out.

I’ve been applying for employment throughout the past seven months. I’ve applied for career positions, for retail positions, for casual positions, for any position that I thought might allow me to start earning a pay cheque again. I’ve been hired and had my job offer rescinded after I signed contracts and employment paperwork, I’ve made it to the final round, I’ve been one of the last two candidates for them to choose from, I’ve had people ignore my resume, I’ve had scammers tell me that I need to pay $4,000 as a security deposit before I can work for them. I’ve been to good interviews and bad interviews, I’ve wasted my time trying to hunt people down and I’ve spent a lot of time on interviews and conversations that didn’t end up going anywhere.

I’ve been through it all and, through it all, these are the things that my unemployment has taught me.

Always, always, ALWAYS review your resume. The most embarrassing thing you can do for yourself is to send off a resume with the wrong company name on it, or with spelling mistakes. Whether you’ve sent off 3 or 4 resumes, or 200 resumes, ensure you’re reviewing and spell-checking every time you curate your resume.

Curate your resume. Every time. As annoying as it is, it will stand out a whole lot more if you’ve got it curated to the job your applying for. Everyone on earth can write standard skills for standard employment on a resume. If you want ‘this’ job, then curate your resume to showcase skills that would make you an asset for ‘this’ job.

Rejection is not about you. Think of it this way: most often, you’re competing against hundreds of candidates for a position. As one of hundreds of candidates, if your resume doesn’t even make it into the ‘read’ pile, that says nothing about you. Sometimes, they only read the resumes of those who are local. Sometimes, they only read the first 300 resumes they get instead of all 800. I know what you’re thinking… that’s silly. Why would they only read 300 of 800 resumes, they’re missing out on so many candidates. The newsflash here is… most companies don’t give a damn. They really don’t. I’ve seen this in action. Though they’d never say it publicly, the previous office I worked in would eliminate all resumes from the pile for, management positions, if the candidate had a female’s name on their resume. If they had a name that is more gender neutral (where it could be a guy or a girl), they’d go into the maybe pile. They’d only move to the gender neutral named candidates if they couldn’t find the person they want in the resumes that were clearly men. I guarantee you that my former office is not the only place on earth where things like this happen.

Don’t feel bad about lying to put yourself ahead. Companies don’t care about you. They don’t. If you need to state that you’re living in a place in order to get them to consider you as a ‘local candidate’, say that. If you need to have your best friend pretend that he/she worked with you at your last job in order to get a reference, do that. Companies are putting themselves first, so do the same thing for yourself.

DO NOT be afraid to correct a potential employer. I’ve been called the wrong names… multiple times, I’ve had companies read form the wrong person’s resume to ask me questions… in front of me. I’ve had companies imply things about me that weren’t true and I’ve had companies speculate things they have no business in asking. When you’re unemployed, it’s easy to sit and be quiet about these things because you worry that if you speak up they won’t like you and you’ll miss the opportunity. I’m telling you right now, honestly, it’s far more important for you to stick up for yourself then to fall quiet and be seen as a push-over. Do not let a company ask you when you plan on having children. Do not let a company call you the wrong name. Let them know who you are and that you’re strong enough to speak up for yourself.

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. I had a company tell me that in order to work for them I needed to pay a $4,000 security deposit. I was told that it’s a ‘normal thing and that all employees have to do it’. There is no security deposit required to work. None at all. There are, however, a lot of people in this world ready and willing to scam the vulnerable. If you feel as though someone is scamming you, they probably are. Be mindful of what companies are saying and trust your gut.

You are strong, you will get through this. Deep in the throws of unemployment, it can often feel as though you’re never going to get a job. It’s easy to get ‘down in the dumps’. Though it seems as though it’s never going to end, it will. You’re talented, smart and a viable candidate for many a positions. Don’t let your current situation define your future. Don’t let your head win.

Use each devastating blow as fuel to the fire. Having my job offer rescinded just three days before I was supposed to have my first day of work… it broke my heart. It really did. I think it’s important to remember in times like these, though, that I still got the job. I still was their candidate selected. And I dodged a bullet now that I’m not working for them. Turn those negative thoughts into positives and use it as motivation for your future job applications, future interviews and future opportunities.

Seek help. Accept help. Use help. Wherever you find it, however it comes about in your life, help is a good thing. Whether it’s someone to vent your frustrations to, someone to read over your cover letter or someone give you money, no questions asked, so your bills get paid… use the help. Don’t be too proud. If you’re lucky enough to have people offer help when you need it, take advantage of it when you get it. There’ll be a time in the future when you can pay it forward.

Remember your worth. There are a lot of companies in 2019 who list egregious qualifications and education requirements for positions where they’re only opting to pay minimum wage, if that (a lot of companies are trying to turn these positions into internships). Don’t ever allow a company to make you feel as though you’re worth less than you are as a means to pigeon hole you into a run of the mill position in a sub-standard office. If you have a means of holding out for the right position, do that. And if you don’t have those means, take the position that pays minimum wage, but take it ‘for-now’ and don’t stop looking for your dream job. Because it’s out there and you deserve it.

Find and effective means for managing stress. Unemployment is stressful as heck. You need an outlet to help you get through. So find that outlet and make use of it. Whether it’s yoga, a good book, screamo music or whatever helps you destress, find it and use it.

If it doesn’t work out, it’s probably for the best.

Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.

Unemployment isn’t easy. It’s one of the most difficult things that anyone can go through, quite honestly. I think the biggest thing you can remember through a trying time like this is to just keep going. Keep your support system close and make use them, every step of the way. Whether it’s for a cup of coffee, help with your resume creation or just And don’t ever stop. In the words of Ayn Rand, “the world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

49 thoughts on “Things I’ve learned applying for more than 200 jobs.

    1. I think if you’re in high school or college, or studying a trade the internship route could definitely help you out if you have to get the credits. If you don’t have to get credits though, I think seeking employment where you get paid is important!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’ve experienced quite the journey when it comes to unemployment…have you ever thought of writing a book about it V?
    I’m surprised no employer has snatched you up yet. You have a gift with words and with connecting to the community. They are all missing out that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The job I was supposed to start on the 15th was going to involve running a wordpress blog for a company. It was quite literally the perfect thing for me to excel at! lol

      I’ll find a good one… one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a really great post, and I vividly remember going through almost all those things you talk about (other than the $4K part!). You have a great attitude, and I just want you to know it’s okay if you feel down sometimes. It’s human. You keep going, though, and it’s great. I just had to rescind a job offer, because higher ups canceled the position. My heart breaks for the potential colleague I had to say that to. Business is so hard. Just keep being you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Business is really hard! I think that’s why so many people struggle. We know when someone gives us the news that a job offer is rescinded, it’s coming from ‘higher-up’. We know it’s someone who doesn’t know or care what is happening to someone that makes those calls. It’s just hard. You feel like it’s your own fault and it’s not. That’s the catch 22 in job hunting.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I took down the post saying that I got a job. After the job offer got rescinded, people were still finding the post stating that I had gotten the job offer and leaving me congratulatory comments. I didn’t want sweet and nice comments about it since the job got taken away from me, so I took the post down! That’s why.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. And many of the apprenticeships and some training on the jobs pay as you learn. I was surprised at the opportunties. They definitely didn’t have this when I graduated with a degree in English literature! I might have really appreciated the opportunites. I could write a book about looking outside of the box.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Such a strong post. I hope that you look at all of the stats for this blog, the number of people you are reaching with your words, and you recognise how much you’re achieving even whilst you’re unemployed!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know the feeling. I have now started my own small business. Maybe you can do that too. Your writing is awesome. Write a book about it and ask those that rejected you why, because you want it in your book lol

      Like

      1. You know V, I had a long combined reply in my mind to both of your last posts; but didn’t end up writing it 😊
        You are always welcome my young and smart friend 🤗

        Like

  5. Such positivity and great tips! I am living for this! You’ve got this, and though it may have been longer than you thought to get a job, I just know with that positive attitude you’re going to find something that’s just perfect for you.

    Regardless, I’ll still be here to support your journey. You can do it!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for your continuous support that I do not deserve but so greatly appreciate! Hoping I find the right fit for me soon, but in the mean time I’m grateful for people like you who keep me going.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another great post, I feel inspired when I read your posts and even though we don’t know each other, I relate to your experiences on so many levels. Thank you for your insight and for sharing that with the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m so sorry that you can relate, but I do want to say thank you for reading and thank you for understanding. I’m so appreciative of people like you, people making this blogging community such a pleasant and wonderful place for me to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh you are very welcome! I think I remember reading a post you wrote about negative comments and people just being awful. I understand if people don’t agree, there is always going to be someone who doesn’t share your point of view, but I just don’t understand why people have to be mean or make things personal. I try to share happiness and good feelings when I blog and I try to do that for others too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked everything you said here except; “Don’t feel bad about lying to put yourself ahead.”

    I will strongly advise you to never lie for the sake of job alone. Its simply not wise.

    Have you explored of starting your own small business (or a service)? If you can E-mail your resume to me, I can forward it to some suitable contacts of my own depending on your skill set. I hear you have WordPress expertise here through comments. Is that write?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I know when I graduated university the market wasn’t great for my career. I put out over 200 resumes in state before applying out of state. The only interviews I had in state were ones where they interviewed everyone who applied – 200 plus. I actually had better odds out of state and took a job in another part of the country. Apply far and wide and keep trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear V,
    As a fellow job seeker, I feel you. It’s funny we’ve been unemployed for the same period of time. 🙂 Your lessons resonate with me. Most importantly, I think it’s vital to keep reminding ourselves that it’s always worth standing up for ourselves. Hard days make you stronger and the more you fall, the more you learn. It truly is a life changing experience. I must admit there are many bright sides to unemployment as well. If you can financially allow yourself to take your time, it can be truly inspiring to dedicate your time and energy to create the life YOU want. Thank you for sharing this post. I’ll keep reading you and I wish you all the best with your current and future projects. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have to agree with Amir. Company’s do care and something like this could definitely blow up in your face later. Things to consider: If the company is in an ‘at-will’ state such as Virginia, then most likely when you are signing HR paperwork you are acknowledging that they have the right to terminate you for any rhyme or reason within the legal boundaries. This would, of course, exclude something that could be taken to the EEOC such as race, gender, age, etc. If you’re signing that everything is true and correct to the best of your knowledge if for any reason it comes out that your reference wasn’t legit it could be rights for termination. You should want to work for a company that cares and has a great corporate culture! If you are leaving multiple jobs on bad terms and can’t have a reference then I think the real problem would be with you. Someone should be able to say something good about your character or work ethic, and if you’ve had a very small list of jobs perhaps reach out to a professor to see if they would be willing to be your reference if need be.

    Otherwise, great read! Thanks for sharing and I wish you the best of luck on your job search.

    Liked by 1 person

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