I’m so bored of job applications. I’m bored of combing through LinkedIn and adverts online, picking out words and intertwining them with my own to construct a cover lettter that simultaneously proves I’m exactly what they’re looking for and yet incredibly different from all the other applicants. I’m bored of receiving overly polite wordy emails that make me read until the penultimate line to tell me I haven’t been successful this time. I’m bored of clarifying that yes, I can in fact start immediately, and no, I don’t really have any salary expectations, just a salary at all would be nice at this point.
I don’t mean to moan, I know it could be worse, I just feel like there is something incredibly montonous about attempting to present the best version of my working self to people I’ll never meet, and yet they have a huge amount of control over what the next few years of my life look like. I’m much more than a CV and cover letter but that’s irrelevant, there are hundreds of equally ‘qualified, hard-working and enthusiastic’ individuals just like me, applying for the same jobs as me and we’re all just the few hundred words we submit in our applications. Thats why you need to make yourself stand out….ah yes, but you see the issue with attempting to stand out is that sometimes it pays off, but a lot of the time, these companies do actually just want you to tick their boxes and equally, if you and 200 other people are attempting to stand out, chances are you’ll be blending in more than you think. I’m being pessimistic, I know, and maybe it is the people who are submitting mixtapes as CVs and recording their cover letters as spoken word who are being hired, but I’m yet to reach that point.
I’m not the only one who’s bored, my brilliant flatmates are wonderfully supportive but every time I ask them to proof read an application, there is a clear look that flickers across their faces. Now I may be wrong, I’m sure it’s unintentional and it’s only for a split second, but in that split second, I am 99% sure they want to kill me. I don’t blame them, there are only so many times I’d be able to read the highlight reel of someone else’s achievements in a mildly different 500 word format. Someone else I know very kindly spent a day a few weeks ago essentially tearing my CV, and as a result, my ego, to pieces. I am of course incredibly grateful, it’s always helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes look at something, but having someone point out all the flaws in something you thought was pretty decent is never great to hear. It also made me feel like all the time I’d spent applying for jobs with the old and dull CV was a complete waste of time, which, considering I didn’t get any of them, I suppose it kind of was. C’est la vie. In fairness, we didn’t add anything new, just presented it in a way that means I’m selling myself better, thank goodness I’m not trying to go into advertising…
Very few job rejections I’ve received have offered much response, the current climate means every opening is receiving hundreds of applicants so can’t offer individual feedback. I understand that, obviously you can’t expect a company to go through and let every individual know specifically why they haven’t made the cut, but obviously it would help to know where I’m going wrong and if there’s anything I can do about it. A couple have offered feedback, but when I’ve chased it they obviously have things that are further up on their list of priorities. Its entirely understandable, just a bit frustrating, especially because it tends to be the same companies that send incredibly nice rejections telling me how much they enjoyed my application and how much great experience I have and how they’re sure I’ll be an asset to whatever company I join, it just won’t be theirs. I know it’s meant to be nice, but ultimately I don’t really need nice or to be let down gently, just a quick yes or no.
All of this being said, of course I will keep applying. Of course I will keep making my flatmates read over and over my cover letters, I will keep listening to my mum’s ideas and suggestions of different career paths and I will keep sending random emails to friends of my aunty’s neighbour’s brother-in-law in the hope they might be able to give me a hand. Of course things could be much worse and I’m just ranting. They say applying for jobs is a full time job, the truth is I’d just quite like a real one now.