Post # 1
I can’t sleep right now and I don’t know how to talk to anyone IRL because I try to be so optimistic and go-getting and definitely not whiny. I’ve been out of undergrad for five years and I’ve spent more time unemployed than employed. I have a degree in History and had two internships under my belt by the time I graduated. When I was straight out of college, I had a job at a big-name nonprofit; unfortunately it was only limited term. After that, I job-searched in the town I was living in but due to my lack of experience and also because I was in the process of joining the Peace Corps, I didn’t get anything. I did take an unpaid internship for about eight months to gain experience in my Peace Corps field which was Health Education. So then I was away in Africa for two years and I traveled and came back to the US. I was told that my work during Peace Corps was “phemonenal” and that employers were extremely impressed to see Peace Corps on a resume so I didn’t think getting a job would be a big struggle. Wrong. It’s been five months, I’m in the triple digits with job applications submitted, I’ve been networking my butt off and volunteering two different places, I even wrote a story for my local paper hoping it would increase my visability and NOTHING. (btw, I’m been applying for every nonprofit, museum or public health job I’m remotely qualified and I’ve been applying anywhere and everywhere.)
I’ve had two phone interviews and with both of them I did everything right (quoting from their press releases and annual reports, asking lots of thoughtful questions, very willing to travel for in-person interview and accept and low salary) and I still didn’t move on. Most applications I send in go into a black hole; occassionallly I get the form “unfortunately your qualifications do not match what we are looking for at this time” email. (I hate those emails so much. Why can’t they give me something constructive like “you will never get a job in this field w/o a masters degree” or “there is a grammatical error in paragraph 2, line 5 of your cover letter.” Then I may have some idea why no one wants to even interview me, much less hire me.) People I try networking with ignore my calls and emails or they are really vague and clearly don’t know anyone who is hiring, which sucks because networking is THE way to get a job in this economy.
I’m 27 years old and I should be in my prime career years. All my other friends have fulfilling professional jobs. Even my friend who was laid off last year and barely looked for a job so she could travel and wedding plan and she just got hired after not really caring and applying for less than ten jobs. I feel like a terrible person but I can’t say I’m happy for her. I congratulated her and put on a happy face but I feel bitter inside.
Thanks for listening, I really needed to get that out. Any advice from hiring managers on how to be competitive would be much appreciated. I have no idea what I’m doing so wrong…
Post # 3
It sounds like you’ve done a lot to make progress and positive steps in your career, and it must be so frustrating to feel like it hasn’t paid off. I’m not a hiring manager (heck, I don’t quite have my degree yet, but hoping I don’t have this problem once I do), but at this point when you think you’ve tried everything, why not let a professional take a look at your resume and cover letter? I’ve had some friends who did that when they were job hunting with no success, and small tweaks can definitely make a difference in whether or not you even get that initial phone call rahter than your resume just going into the black hole!
Post # 4
I have been there, and I know how frustrating this can be.
My only suggestion is to find a job… any job.. by this I mean even cleaning, waiting, anything.
My experience is that it is easier to get a job with an active working reference and when you are already employed. Where you are employed does not matter quite so much.
I had two degrees and was unemployed for the most part for a year. I then took a job as an entry level aged carer (with high care need elderly) and had 4 job offers in my chosen fields within a few months.
Just food for thought. Things might be different in the US. (I am in Australia.)
Post # 5
Wonderstruck I’m part of a job search support group and I’ve been working on refurbishing my resume this weekend so I’ll let the job coach have a look at it tomorrow. I’ve also been in touch with my alma mater and I hope the career center lady can help when she gets back from vacation. Although my parents think my resume looks good and they are tough critics…
MrsOliveBird I’m worried about taking time away from looking for a professional job/volunteering to work a non-professional job and then getting stuck. I’m applying for a part-time job at one of my volunteer organizations and if I got that, I would gladly flip burgers as my second job. I’m just worried that having something non-professional on my resume (especially after Peace Corps) will look bad. I am living with the parents right now (which I’m not exactly thrilled about but at least I’m not in danger of being homeless.)
Post # 6
Well I can’t be much help, you do sound AWESOME !!!
I know it is tough out there. It just plain SUCKS!!!
And I have heard on the news that employers will not hire you if you have been unemployed for more than a year. I guess they figure you have something wrong with you. So take the other young ladies advice and take ANYTHING just to get hired.
Then keep on plugging. My sons friend graduated with him from USAFA in 06 and she has a masters degree from Harvard and she hasn’t been able to get a job in almost 2 years. Her dad told her not to quit the AF before she found a sure thing… now she wishes she had listened. She is back to planting corn and driving dads tractor!
If you live near a military base try looking there for a civilian position. Or if you don’t mind moving to a new area, you might find one at another military instillation.