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View Full Version : Anyone else job hunting and totally frustrated?



3eme
Mar. 17, 2012, 11:48 PM
Been looking for over three months now, thought I was doing everything right, but am getting NO response on any of my applications. And this despite an Ivy League education, a great work history, and pretty impressive CV. I have even approached headhunters and they don't even call back. This is so tough. Frustrated is an understatement. Anyone else job hunting? Suggestions, comments, pity party?

IneedanOTdayAlter
Mar. 18, 2012, 01:47 AM
Going out on a limb here.....

When I'm advertising a horse that won't seem to sell.... or I'm getting inquiries, sending out more vidoes and not hearing back -- on something I KNOW is a nice animal.... sometimes it's the presentation.

I would suggest revising your "marketing materials".

3eme
Mar. 18, 2012, 07:43 AM
Going out on a limb here.....

When I'm advertising a horse that won't seem to sell.... or I'm getting inquiries, sending out more vidoes and not hearing back -- on something I KNOW is a nice animal.... sometimes it's the presentation.

I would suggest revising your "marketing materials".

Perhaps, but I dunno...my CV was done by a professional, been checked with a fine tooth comb by friends, ex-colleagues, ex-employers, etc, really worked to get it "perfect". My cover letters never go out w/out being proof-read. I even had a lead on a job w/ a headhunter in the beginning of my search who gave me great feedback and did help me on 'presentation'. That and I've done quite a networking effort.

I don't get it. I'm running out of ideas. I've even cast a wide net across Europe / UK and even the Middle East! I am being told basically that yeah I've got great credentials but that I am looking in the wrong place at the right time (finance industry in Europe. superb). One job ad can yield thousands of applicants, and recruiters are now resorting to that stupid resume-reading software that will kick your resume into the 'no' pile because something totally random in the wording (not enough keywords, can't read or understand an address, etc) w/out ever having been seen by human eyes.

So freaking frustrating. Are things any better in the States ?

IronwoodFarm
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:28 AM
You need to network. Sending out resumes, applying for jobs, talking to headhunters -- all well and good, but that is not getting you an interview.

So start networking! You say you went to an Ivy League school. Great -- they have an alumni office there. Find out where there are alumni events in your area and attend them. See if you can find alums working in your field through the alumni office and INTERVIEW them about their sector. (Do not ask for a job, just do this as research.) Get on LinkedIn -- you'll find alums there. You have ex-colleagues and ex-employers (who seem to be on good terms if they have reviewed your CV), well that is your network. Start using them.

You know that saying, "it's not what you know, it's who you know" --- well that applies to looking for work. Many jobs are never advertised. You get interviewed because you are known.

copper1
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:34 AM
My son is suffering the same thing! He has sent out tons of resumes but when he does get answered it is usualy that he needs at least a year's experience in his field! Of course, how does one get the experience if one can't get a job? Frustrating for sure! He is working with his dad doing excavating work so at least making some money but not nearly what he should be!

IronwoodFarm
Mar. 18, 2012, 09:20 AM
Cooper1, your son is in a different space than the OP, who has lots of relevant job experience in his/her field.

What your son needs is to get a foot in the door and that may mean finding an internship. This internship is likely to be low-paid or unpaid, but it gets his foot in the door, gets him skills, and gets his professsional network started.

It is not enough to send out resumes and apply for jobs anymore.

Paige777
Mar. 18, 2012, 10:34 AM
It took me almost a year after moving to find a job. Granted, I did pick up small temporary and part time gigs in the meantime, but yes, it was a HUGE challenge to find the "right" one. I'd either get offers from places where I knew I'd go crazy within three months, or I'd come across my ideal job only to not be offered the position. I'd had my resume and cover letter edited by multiple professionals and college teachers, and was networking like crazy. I also had tons of experience in relevant positions, and interview well. Finally I did find my dream job, was offered the position, and am happily employed. It's tough, and many of my friends went through (and are going through) the same thing. Just try not to go crazy. Do everything you can do to improve your chances, know that the job market is tough right now, and keep working at it. I'd also advise taking on temporary positions until you find the right one for you.

3eme
Mar. 18, 2012, 10:56 AM
You need to network. Sending out resumes, applying for jobs, talking to headhunters -- all well and good, but that is not getting you an interview.

So start networking! You say you went to an Ivy League school. Great -- they have an alumni office there. Find out where there are alumni events in your area and attend them. See if you can find alums working in your field through the alumni office and INTERVIEW them about their sector. (Do not ask for a job, just do this as research.) Get on LinkedIn -- you'll find alums there. You have ex-colleagues and ex-employers (who seem to be on good terms if they have reviewed your CV), well that is your network. Start using them.

You know that saying, "it's not what you know, it's who you know" --- well that applies to looking for work. Many jobs are never advertised. You get interviewed because you are known.

Yup, doing all that already! A little more difficult to pull on the Ivy alumnae strings here, not as much of a network to exploit (I am in Europe). But have done it, I'm all about LinkedIn, and am contacting basically everyone I have ever worked with / for and getting the word out. I'm having lunches, dinners, phone conversations, emails, Skype, you name it. Have attended online job search and resume seminars run by my alma mater, and gotten back in touch with professors.... from 20 years ago for pete's sake! AND I've even contacted people that I don't know -- for instance, recently I read something an in-house recruiter at a bank was saying in a newspaper article about changes in bank structure and the kind of staff for the future -- described basically me, so I wrote a rather bold letter and sent my CV. Nothing.

I swear I am trying everything, and I am so surprised that nothing seems to be working!

I actually think that if I had less experience, things would be easier. No one seems to want to hire experience, too expensive given the state of the economy. I'm even willing to totally change sectors and move down a peg or too -- no one seems to want that either!

The thing that I haven't done is put on my Linkedin profile the fact that I am a job seeker -- you can flag that so recruiters (and pretty much everyone) can see that you are on the market. I am currently employed and linked to my boss, so I sort of want to avoid it. I am willing to do it though, if it will help. Good idea? Bad idea?

CVPeg
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:56 AM
You need to network.

Agree here, but now have read that you're doing it. But still believe that's the way to go. Have been looking about a year myself, doing the usual myriad resume postings. Then googled the best job app websites - Monster which I was using (and have been very frustrated with lately technically) was down the list, and linkedIn was #3. As soon as I joined I can see other opportunities. Nothing doable yet, but definitely going in a better direction.

My ex worked worked in the Middle East, and once he was there, his contacts here grew old (as did mine), and he never did get out of there. But then again, he didn't really try that hard.

One other thing I've done is grab a couple of "out of the box" books to get another perspective. One interesting one I have right in front of me is Business Networking and Sex (not what you think). A bit like John Gray's Mars/Venus, but applicable to business situations. Just beginning it, but basically opens you up to improving communication with the opposite sex work wise.

When they asked, "have you ever been hit upon while working/marketing/seeking a job, and just got mad and shut that door", and they have the solution for how not to close it. Conversely for men who have made stupid/sexist remarks, and wish they hadn't. Haven't finished it, but think I need the "how to's", as I've been very principled in so many situations, and in job hunting that doesn't pay the bills...

Good luck!

3eme
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:21 PM
Agree here, but now have read that you're doing it. But still believe that's the way to go. Have been looking about a year myself, doing the usual myriad resume postings. Then googled the best job app websites - Monster which I was using (and have been very frustrated with lately technically) was down the list, and linkedIn was #3. As soon as I joined I can see other opportunities. Nothing doable yet, but definitely going in a better direction.

My ex worked worked in the Middle East, and once he was there, his contacts here grew old (as did mine), and he never did get out of there. But then again, he didn't really try that hard.

One other thing I've done is grab a couple of "out of the box" books to get another perspective. One interesting one I have right in front of me is Business Networking and Sex (not what you think). A bit like John Gray's Mars/Venus, but applicable to business situations. Just beginning it, but basically opens you up to improving communication with the opposite sex work wise.

When they asked, "have you ever been hit upon while working/marketing/seeking a job, and just got mad and shut that door", and they have the solution for how not to close it. Conversely for men who have made stupid/sexist remarks, and wish they hadn't. Haven't finished it, but think I need the "how to's", as I've been very principled in so many situations, and in job hunting that doesn't pay the bills...

Good luck!

Thanks for that -- I like your book suggestion, hadn't thought of doing a little extra reading on the subject. You are right, and there might be something in there that I hadn't thought of / need to work on.

On the job website things -- you say you are using things like Monster.com. Me too, I've been hitting those websites very regularly (efinancialcareers.com is my go to, followed by Linkedin, and then Monster). What kind of luck have you had so far? For me, it has been pretty useless -- I've sent out at least one application a day on various sites for the last 2 months and I have come up with a big goose egg. Nada. Would be curious to hear a little more about your experience with Monster, etc.

Sail Away
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:31 PM
http://www.exposurejobs.com/advice/

Here is a site that might be useful.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:38 PM
To answer your question, no, things are not better in the US. It took me almost 2 years to find a job.

IronwoodFarm
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:40 PM
The job market is tougher in Europe than in the US right now. I also suspect that there may be some age issue going on. I hate sounding like Debbie Downer, but once you hit 40, it gets harder to find a job.

The good news for the OP is that he/she is employed. And no, if I was linked to my boss, I would not post a seeking job status unless I was in a job that was slated to disappear.

Keep networking like crazy. Also, are there any ancillary skills that might be valuable for you to attain? Sometimes the current employer will pay for some additional training that might have value.

Beleive me, I sympathize. I had to look for a new job when I was 47 and it took a long time, plus several long term contract positions before I found the job I now have. It can be very discouraging, but you just have to keep networking, looking forward and being patient.

CVPeg
Mar. 18, 2012, 01:27 PM
Thanks for that -- I like your book suggestion, hadn't thought of doing a little extra reading on the subject. You are right, and there might be something in there that I hadn't thought of / need to work on.

On the job website things -- you say you are using things like Monster.com. Me too, I've been hitting those websites very regularly (efinancialcareers.com is my go to, followed by Linkedin, and then Monster). What kind of luck have you had so far? For me, it has been pretty useless -- I've sent out at least one application a day on various sites for the last 2 months and I have come up with a big goose egg. Nada. Would be curious to hear a little more about your experience with Monster, etc.

I used Monster for a very long time, including before I was laid off. In a year, I've probably sent out 50-75 resumes, and I'll mostly send them to jobs that I'm really directly qualified for - and have ID's several locales (perhaps over 30)where I'd be willing to live - all mostly on the east coast. I've had 2 phone interviews, and even an in-person interview, which went very well, but I didn't know the regs in that state. The company encouraged me to apply when a job came up in my state, but when I did, they ignored my resume.

Another issue I feel is true, is that I am located in a rural setting, not near so many openings, albeit I'd be glad to drive an hour (or more!), of course work from home, and would likely relocate to all of those locales I've chosen. But I think hiring staff are often including just local applicants. I've considered using a sister's address for one locale, and getting a contact at another just to get the resume through. They say many resumes are even computer scanned for variables these days before being handed to a living, breathing person. I wonder if geography is involved there, since I've been very well qualified for several jobs where I've been ignored. (Although it could be age as well - even though I don't date my earlier experience, when they see 20+ years...)

Now monster is having some technology issues, and now any of the jobs I click on I receive an error message. This happened six months ago and they fixed it, but now have responded twice, and still haven't done a thing. It may have something to do with the fact that I am online via Hughesnet, which some companies seem to have issues with? I have been unable to use Monster for almost 2 months. I still look, and just try to find the jobs they mention by googling the companies themselves.

The list of best sites I found was this however...so Monster is no longer the top site overall.

http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/294523/the-10-best-job-search-websites/4B

#1 site is indeed.com, and #2 is simply hired

Best of luck with your search. Hope this helps!

3eme
Mar. 18, 2012, 01:41 PM
Best of luck with your search. Hope this helps!

Thanks! :)

Regarding what you were saying about location possibly being a factor with those resume scanners -- yes I think that the scan programs do factor this in (at least according to what I have read / been told). I too have thought about using a friend's address because I live in the sticks, way outside of any metropolitan area. I really think that those scan programs are dangerous and probably counter-productive in some cases for the recruiter -- I bet they pass up a lot of great candidates based on a computer's binary assessment.

Arcadien
Mar. 18, 2012, 01:48 PM
Took me two years to get my first real job and that was graduating in 88. Meanwhile I took a minimum wage night auditor's job at a hotel.

Meaning, have patience! Patience & persistence is key. Don't be afraid of just getting "a job" to get you feeling less unstuck while you are looking. Get out there, hobbies, sports, volunteers - definitely "who you know, not what you know" has proven 100% true for me too.

But seriously - I see so many recent grads moaning over being months out of school and no real job - it took 1-2 years for me and most of my fellow grads to land the first real one and that was in a GOOD economy!

Hang in there, it will happen.

redkat
Mar. 18, 2012, 04:01 PM
When I graduated in 2004 (still "good" times,) it took me a year to get where I wanted to be. In the meantime, since not working was not an option, I had to move somewhere I didn't particularly want to live to take a job I knew was not going to be my career. Once I'd been on that job for a year, I put myself back out there and ended up landing my dream job.

It is far easier to get a job when you have a job. Go get some experience in a professional environment, suck it up for a year, and try again. Your first job does not need to be perfect, but it will teach you about what you really want in your next one. And who knows, it may take you in a direction you hadn't considered before.

3eme
Mar. 19, 2012, 04:38 AM
When I graduated in 2004 (still "good" times,) it took me a year to get where I wanted to be. In the meantime, since not working was not an option, I had to move somewhere I didn't particularly want to live to take a job I knew was not going to be my career. Once I'd been on that job for a year, I put myself back out there and ended up landing my dream job.

It is far easier to get a job when you have a job. Go get some experience in a professional environment, suck it up for a year, and try again. Your first job does not need to be perfect, but it will teach you about what you really want in your next one. And who knows, it may take you in a direction you hadn't considered before.

I have a job, at a senior level, with many years experience in a professional environment. This is not a 'first job' kind of job search, so the emphasis is a bit different here. And yes, I am totally willing to 'suck it up' for a year and do something different or a little more junior ... but that is a very hard sell for a potential employer, especially in the country where I live -- that sort of thing is just not done here. There would be a lot more latitude for that in the States. But not here, it's just not the same (unfortunately). Ugh.

alterdays
Mar. 19, 2012, 11:28 PM
I know the feeling. Last year, I was laid off from my dream job. It has been hard finding something I enjoy that pays enough for board and lessons.

Prime Time Rider
Mar. 20, 2012, 12:01 AM
I've worked in the financial sector for over 20 years, have a great resume, B.A. degree in Economics from a top university (not Ivy League, but Tier I school) and have never had a problem finding a job until I was laid off last summer. I personally have 6 riding friends and/or their husbands in the same situation. The truth is it's a really bad job market, especially in in certain industries like finance and banking.

I started a new job last week at roughly 50% my former salary that becomes a commission only position in two years. One of my colleagues has a Masters degree in Economics and was a corporate executive for a former mortgage company before it was closed by its parent company. Another good friend's husband was CFO of an insurance company and lost his job when the company was sold. He was unemployed for over 2 years. It's not you, it's the fact that corporate America (and Europe for that matter) is downsizing, cutting employees while building record balance sheets.

I've personally found LinkedIn to be the most helpful of all of the websites. I've joined about a dozen groups related to my profession on LinkedIn and through the site picked up some contract work.

ZiggyStardust
Mar. 20, 2012, 12:12 AM
Three months is not much compared to what a lot of other people have gone through (and are still). Sucks if you are unhappy where you are but many people have had to tell themselves "at least I still have a job" for a few years now, at the same time their employers have laid others off and piled more work on whoever is left.

I'd guess an ivy league degree was a bigger asset when you were just starting out, but after 20 years your experience/accomplishments are probably more relevant.

Yes, experience is expensive, and a lot of employers don't want to pay for that when there is such a pool of less experienced applicants who are much cheaper and just as desperate for a job. Going for something that pays less / is a step down is tough because potential employers see you as a flight risk. You may have to try a long, long time. I know people who've been looking for up to 3+ years now.

DancingAppy
Mar. 20, 2012, 02:38 AM
Are you getting any call backs? Through the first few interviews? Sounds like you've got the CV and the experience but possibly not showing your best colors on the screening interviews. A lot of people get really nervous about an interview or rehearse too much and end up sounding like a robot.

I've always treated interviews like a conversation, then I come off relaxed, confident, and natural. I have had to say, "You know, I don't know that, but I know where I can find out." Better than sounding like a robot listing off a textbook. YMMV

Also, three months is nothing. I know job hunting sucks, I just went through it. But eventually, something will happen.

Like a previous poster said, your experience is going to mean more than your education. Hell, I'm not even graduated and education was the last thing on my resume.

3eme
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:02 AM
Thanks for all your comments. You have made me feel a little less alone, Prime Time Rider. I was starting to think it was only and just "me".

And you are right DancingAppy, three months is probably nothing, I'm just a big whiner is all. ;)


Are you getting any call backs? Through the first few interviews? Sounds like you've got the CV and the experience but possibly not showing your best colors on the screening interviews. A lot of people get really nervous about an interview or rehearse too much and end up sounding like a robot.
...

Like a previous poster said, your experience is going to mean more than your education. Hell, I'm not even graduated and education was the last thing on my resume.

Yeah, I know that. My CV is two pages of that my college degree takes up all of two measly lines, and my Master's just a few more. The rest of the 1.75 pages it is all about my experience. I guess I gave the impression that I was only putting that forward because of what I said in my original post.

As for the interviews...it can't be that, because I'm not getting any!!! I have interviewed with only one company; got through to a third interview, but the fit just wasn't right. But that's the ONLY interview I have gotten.


...Sucks if you are unhappy where you are but many people have had to tell themselves "at least I still have a job" for a few years now, at the same time their employers have laid others off and piled more work on whoever is left.

Absolutely, but I wish this were just about me being unhappy. I like my job, my boss is the BEST, but the company I work for is having financial difficulty, the titanic is sinking and unfortunately it is time, whether I like it or not!


Going for something that pays less / is a step down is tough because potential employers see you as a flight risk. You may have to try a long, long time. I know people who've been looking for up to 3+ years now.

Oh crap!