Shot In The Dark

How is one supposed to search for a job?

Job hunting is certainly a weird skill. It’s one that’s never really taught outside a specifically-structured course or seminar. Most of the time, things are going well and you don’t need it. In fact, most people actively hope they won’t need it. As such, it’s not uncommon to not really keep up or practice. So when we do need it, whatever competence we had in it is atrophied beyond recognition.

This means that a lot of people are floundering, directionless, when it comes to looking for a job. A common response at this point is to go back to the basics: trial and error. Try something, see if it works. If it does: great! You did something right (or got wicked lucky)! If it doesn’t: too bad. Change something and try again.

But what do you change? Far too often there is a complete lack of feedback about why you did or didn’t get a job. For all you know, you could be making the same mistake over and over with multiple applications and have absolutely no idea why you aren’t getting callbacks. Are you underqualified? Are you overqualified (don’t get me started on that gem)? Did you forget to put your phone number on your resume? Was the hiring person offended by your choice of font and/or color (or lack thereof) in your cover letter? Did they see a picture of you, ended up being reminded about an ex-lover, and squashed you without a second thought? You have no idea.

So you keep searching, hoping you’re doing something right. But seeing as you haven’t gotten any bites, mustn’t you be doing something wrong? It can’t just be random chance, right?


But what if it is random chance? What if it’s the same for getting a job as not getting one? Are you just as well off continuing your current approach, hoping that by sheer coincidence the perfect storm of factors will align to work in your favor? Should you start sacrificing squirrels to Eris?

These are thoughts that have been going through my mind lately. At this point I’m feeling at a lost regarding how to get out of my current job situation. I know it involves applying to other jobs, but the lack of feedback of any sort is extremely discouraging. Am I doing well? Am I failing? Who knows! I might as well be laying out my resumes on a craps table in Las Vegas.

And no, I haven’t heard back from any of the recent applications I sent out.



This here is my Drama Llama. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

2 thoughts on “Shot In The Dark

  1. Mark

    I think, at least from what I’ve seen an heard, is that most of the problem lies in different recruiters wanting different things. For example, whether to call a a few days or so after an interview to follow up. Some recruiters despise it; Tristan is one of them, as he considers it an interruption and a waste of his time, pretty much guarantee that the applicant’s resume will be making an immediate trip to the vertical filing cabinet. On the other hand, you may run into someone who absolutely requires that you follow up, and if you don’t call him or her within a week? They’re gonna be playing trash can basketball with your otherwise well-received resume.

    And it’s impossible to tell! Sure, there can be trends out there, whether recruiters in general like things one way or another, but you can never tell the specifics until it’s too late.

  2. Ailea

    You know what’s awesome? When we were looking to post a job advert at work, and I found out that that advert was placed on ONE job board, and it wasn’t one I’d ever heard of. And that when we had issues with not enough resumes, we went directly to a head hunter. That advert never showed up anywhere I would have seen it, and the only way I would have been considered is if that headhunter found me. They say that almost all jobs at this point are being filled through professional contacts. You knew someone who worked there or knew about something, and they recommended you. For someone who has very few actual contacts outside of my current job, who is not permitted to interface with our clients in any way, and who finds random social interaction like “Hey I should go to this conference and talk to everyone there!” terrifying, this is a little disheartening.

    And yeah. Yay! I sent in a resume with cover letter and hours of research! I probably never had contact information for their hiring manager, because nobody publishes that crap, and half the time they don’t even tell you what company they are hiring for, so I can’t contact them. Did they ever get it? Did anyone ever look at it? Did it get sifted out because the computer was looking for a slightly different word choice? Will I ever hear from anyone there?

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