Stories of the Job Hunt: Many fine candidates

I started this post on May 25, 2016. The URL tells me that much. I started it…and then swiftly forgot about it. I considered just deleting this post and the rest of my “Stories of the Job Hunt” series, considering none of it applies to me anymore. But then I realized that despite my change in employment status, all of these things are still true. So I decided to hang on to it. I wrote this post with a specific experience in mind, but now for the life of me, I cannot remember the experience at all. Which is what we call progress, folks. Had you told me a year and a half ago that I wouldn’t even remember the sad, mostly miserable details of my job hunt life, I probably would have laughed in your face and probably pushed you down and run. Again, progress. I honestly didn’t think I would be happy again. I knew I would, but I didn’t know when, which made it an impossible dream, never to be attained. But now that dream has been attained, and I don’t even remember much of the girl who wrote so much with so much bitterness and defeat in everything she did. She will always be part of me, but I don’t remember her much at all.

That’s what we call progress.

But I digress. On to the normally scheduled, or rather originally drafted, content. 🙂

Oh the auto-responder. I hate it but as a marketer it is part of the nature of the beast. The email usually goes like this:

“We received many qualified candidates for this position, including yourself, but after reviewing your application, we have decided to pursue another candidate.”

Wait, what? I know this email is supposed to be general and not sound too condescending, but it is actually the complete opposite? Every time I read it, it seems it gets worse.

I applied for so many jobs that I don’t even remember all of them. I don’t remember applying for the job I eventually got, and I don’t remember applying for half the jobs I’ve been rejected from. In fact, I’ve been at my current job for 8 months, and I am still getting rejections.

But the thing is, I don’t know if there is an alternative. Because the alternative is no response at all, and for some reason, that leaves a bit of hope. It leaves a bit of a chance that you still get the job or an interview or an actual human saw your resume.

I think what makes the auto-responder hurt the most is the fact that you put so much effort into a job application, only for it to, usually, not be even seen by a human. You don’t have the right words on your resume, or the right amounts of time or whatever, to even be flagged by the bot that reviews the hundreds of applications that come in.

It’s almost the same thing as emailing professors. All students have in their minds that all emails to profs have to be of the utmost professionalism, only to get super casual responses. You can spend almost an hour drafting an eloquent email, only to get the response, “LOL sounds good. Thanx.” What?! That’s…not what I was expecting! Does that mean that I can be more lax or should I keep up the air of professionalism? The same concept holds true with job applications. If I’m not going to get a dignified response, then do I have to send a dignified application??

Sigh. The answer is yes. A million times yes.

For now, I don’t have to worry about the auto-responder. But it still sucks. And isn’t fun. And somehow, will always feel like an insult.

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