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!