I wanted to update you all on my job search and where I am now! While 2017 started off promising, the end of March, I was hit with a blow. I was laid off from my position as a Sr. Technical Documentation Writer from an industry-leading financial corporation. And to be quite honest, the remainder of 2017 completely sucked. I was sending out a minimum, and unfortunately, I mean a MINIMUM of 20 – 25 resume’s DAILY. Seven days a week. It’s true what they say. When you are in job search mode, it becomes a full-time job. Heck, sometimes even more than a full-time job. I was searching seven days a week, up to 10 hours a day.
I live in a rural community in Southeastern, PA. So, I was looking for a job as far as 35 – 40 miles away. In Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. 2018 didn’t start off a whole lot better, regretfully. Towards the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, I was really down. I was starting to take things personally in all honesty. I had two career counselors looking at my resumes, cover letters, and online profiles. Yep, you read that correctly, in the plural form. In 2018, you cannot have an umbrella resume or cover letter. You have to have multiples of each. Personalized to each and every job you apply to. The employers that you are applying to, want to know that you took the time to really read their job description and the minimum and preferred qualifications for the job you’re applying to.
Not only career counselors looked at my job tools, I also had recruiters looking at my information as well. They all said that everything I had was perfect. They couldn’t improve it any further than I already had it. I am also a resume writer, so, I keep up with the latest trends in resume and cover letter formatting. So, while they couldn’t figure out, one, why I was, not only NOT getting a job, but, why I wasn’t even getting calls for interviews.
One recruiter said something that others may have been afraid to state. Even though it is illegal, age discrimination happens. Not that I’m old! Although, my son may disagree with that statement, lol. But, I have the experience behind me. I have many skills. And though I was applying to as many as 25 jobs a day, not one of them, did I have less than 80% of the required and preferred qualifications. Most of them I had over 90% of the qualifications. Yet, I still received that dreaded email:
Hi Jacqueline Stewart,
Thanks for your interest in the Customer Service Specialist position at XXX. We receive a lar
ge number of highly qualified applicants, and it is our top priority to select a candidate who best matches the skills and experience required to excel at the company. After careful consideration we have decided to pursue other options at this time.
Again, thank you for your interest in employment with XXX and best of luck to you in the future.
Thank you for taking your time to share your information with us. We are grateful for having the opportunity to consider you for employment. We have reviewed your skills and experience and, while they’re impressive, we do not find a perfect match for you at this time.
We sincerely appreciate your interest in pursuing your career with XXX and believe this doesn’t have to be the end. We have many new opportunities that arise daily and our next need may be exactl
y where you fit.
Jacqueline, please continue to watch our Careers site for our next exciting opportunities. We wish you success in your job search.
That last one was also for a Customer Service position that I applied for. I’ve worked at a Customer Service job for over 15 years. I’m sorry, but, I am very doubtful that I was not a perfect match for either of those positions. And, don’t take that as me being conceited when I make that statement. However, I know my value and worth. I know what I would bring to that position.
So, while some companies may take exception to my using the phrase “age discrimination”, let’s call it what it more likely is. Experience discrimination. For entry-level positions, that I found myself having to apply to, I was too qualified. I had more experience than they required. And the many, many, companies that I applied to? Didn’t want to pay what my experience may have demanded. I am making the assumption that corporations want to pay entry-level wages to people they would have to spend more time training than they would have had to with me.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not bitter. Truly, I’m not. I understand that it’s all about the bottom line for a lot of them. I get that, from a business perspective, it’s better and cheaper, to train someone who has no experience, than someone who has everything they’re looking for. And, I’m not saying that those with less experience have fewer reasons to be hired than I do. I just ask that those of us with experience be considered for jobs as well. Even those of us in our 40’s.
In the last two months, I made the decision to open my job search up nationally. I was not discriminant on which states I applied to. Although, I did try to focus on states that I knew someone in, so I’d have a ready-made social group in, or, states that didn’t have state income tax. Oh, come on! Like you wouldn’t choose a state that you didn’t have to pay state taxes in! lol. Since I opened my job search nationally, I’ve had a number of interviews. More in the last month than I’ve had in my local area in the past five months.
So, now, after this update, I’m happy to say, that I was able to obtain a job. It is through a temp agency. I am hoping that they make the position permanent soon because I have to get health insurance, and unfortunately, health insurance with a temp agency isn’t cheap. Definitely cheaper to have it on a company-sponsored plan! So, fingers crossed!
2018 started out in the dumps, but it is starting to look up! This post was not a rant/vent. It was my experience and opinion on my job search. I don’t feel companies owe anyone anything. But, they do owe it to themselves to be true and hire those that are truly qualified, regardless of their age and experience levels.
What good things have happened to you this year? Have you had to start a new job search? Share your experience in the comments below!
I’m going to take a moment here to plug my book, Cavern Cove. If you haven’t had the chance yet, check it out! Click the image to be taken to Amazon. It is also available at Barnes and Noble for your Nook and in Paperback! It’s also available on iBooks! Also, make sure to check out my Amazon Shop to see my recommended products!
Congrats on landing the temp job, That is a great place to start and fingers crossed that it turns into a permanent position for you.
Thank you! Three weeks in and I’m loving it! The front office manager has mentioned that she will be talking to the other manager about bringing me on permanently. They love the work I’m doing and are satisfied with my performance. It only takes that one company to give someone a chance to prove themselves. So, fingers crossed the other manager agrees!
I’m sorry about the rejections, but I’m so glad you were able to get a job! It can be a tough process, that’s for sure. I’ll check out your book!
Thank you! And if you do check it out, I’d love to know your thoughts!
I have had to look for a job on several occasions, fortunately none of them took very long. You are right about different resumes, you have to almost write a resume based on each job description. Congrats on the temp job.
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Thank you! I actually didn’t realize about the different resumes until a few months ago, in all honesty. I did have a resume for Customer Service, Digital Content, Social Media, and Writing. But, I now have almost four in each of those categories, differentiated by one or two different skill sets that were specific to different jobs I was applying to.
In a perfect world age shouldn’t matter and if qualified that should be a big plus. Unfortunately you found out different. Good for you in not giving up. Hope you are very satisfied with your new job and all goes well and they make it permanent.
Thank you! I’ve been here three weeks now and love it! The people are great. And I love learning new things, so, this was a nice change. I get to talk to patients occasionally, but, for the most part, I’m behind the scenes.
Congratulations on the new job! I started working as a temp while in college and it landed me several amazing career opportunities. Work hard and hoping you land your dream gig.
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That’s great!!! I forgot about going through a temp agency for some positions, even if you have no experience. It’s a great way to learn a new skill. I’ve never worked in a Dr’s office, so this was completely new to me. I made sure to thank the managers for giving me a chance, even with no experience in the field.
Congratulations on the new job. I really hope that it leads to permanent and that you love it so much.
Thank you! I’ve been in the job three weeks now and absolutely love it! The people are great. I was told they are considering bringing me on permanently because I seem to mesh well with the other co-workers :). It’s a bigger Dr’s practice (over 12 locations), but the offices are small, so, you definitely have to be able to get along with people so as not to cause drama and/or conflict.
Sorry to hear about the job rejections. I hope all works out with the temp job and it becomes a full-time position.
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Searching for a job is a headache and I’m glad you finally found one. I hope that you finally become a permanent employee and that everything works out!
Finding a job can be difficult in almost any economy. It’s good you opened up your search to other states. I’m glad you found a job- hope you enjoy it!
Looking for a job is never easy. It’s been over ten years since I found my job, but I’ve been looking around and thinking of applying for something new. It’s very intimating though,
Congrats on getting a new job. Some people are intimidated by experience especially if they are working on a budget but it’s good you are able to get a job now and hope it becomes permanent.
I can remember the times I was looking for work. It’s not an easy journey, without a doubt and I’ve been through so much as well. It’s definitely something that I wouldn’t want to experience again but it’s part of finding work. I’m just glad that you have a job and I hope it works out!
As far as the job market goes, it definitely can be dog eat dog. Even if you have all the right experience, things to say, and ways to act, they might pass you over for a buddy. It stinks.
That’s what some of my family was saying. Some of the interviews I went on, they may have had the position open online because they HAD to. But, they may have already had someone in mind for it. One of the best ways to get a job is to know someone on the inside.
Congrats on finding a new job! I’ve found that it’s extremely hard to find even a lower paying temporary, part-time fun job as a woman in her 40s who made the choice to stay home with her kids. 13 years out of the work force is not a good thing. 🙁 Different story than yours for sure, but you’d think it would be easy enough to find a part-time job! I hope that your temp position leads to what you’d like it to!
Thank you! It is insane. Some people kept asking me, “What are you doing all day Jacqui??? This isn’t the time to sit back.” I was like, I’m not! I’m sending out HUNDREDS of resumes a week. I’m having experts look over my resume and online profiles and they ALL have said they can’t perfect it any more than I already have it. They don’t understand why I’m not getting the calls. But, it took that one last person I had to look it over to state “Age discrimination is real…” I hope you found something as well!
Age discrimination is not that bad here in the US but from where I came from, it is rampant. My husband is currently applying for a job as he is not happy with his current job anymore, yes it is hard to find good jobs with age even though you have experience. Sometimes over qualification scares companies.
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I’m sorry to hear that but never loss hope. Stay focus and believe in your self. Have you tried to go to the Temp agency? It may not sounds quite exciting when you hear Temp but believe me there is some company that will hire you permanently even though you started as a temp employee. Good luck to your endeavors.
I am actually at a great position now, through a temp agency. Absolutely LOVE the job, so, I’m hoping the company will make it permanent 🙂
This is something most of us go through at some point or the other. Rejections indeed are a big part of that. Good you did not lose hope. I am sure you have got the first step now and will climb to greater heights soon
It is such a shame that age discrimination is still a thing but I am glad to hear that despite the obstacles you have been through, 2018 is now a better year for you., Congrats on the interviews and on the temp job, I really hope that good karma will come to you soon. You deserve it.
This is so true. Companies do discriminate due to age. And they also prefer hiring men thinking that they would be less of a risk with taking time off for sick kids etc. I’m so glad you found something and I hope it turns into a permanent position.
That sounds like a brutal process. Glad you found something. I’ve always worked freelance in “artistic” types of jobs. I can’t imagine trying to search for a job at 64 after reading what you’ve been through.
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very informative and inspiring blog post.