Today I had an interview for an entry level sales position (I’m neither entry level or in sales) with a gourmet candy company that I don’t even remember applying for. Actually, that’s a lie…I do remember. I did it in a manic moment of searching LinkedIn and sending in an application to anything that didn’t require a cover letter and had the “Quick Apply” option. Similar to the rebound stage after the end of a relationship, I was looking for quick and easy, and the fleeting good feeling that comes in the moment of the hook-up to make you forget the pain from the rejection. None of the jobs I applied for are going to be “the one”, I knew that when I hit submit, but I wanted to have something out there that could maybe turn into something….that hit of endorphins that the fantasy of being together gives you.
Yesterday I watched The Bachelor season finale, and I found myself relating to Raven’s heartbreak not because of my failed relationships, but because of my failed job applications. At 30, I have been rejected by more potential employers, than men….
As a cathartic exercise, I decided to relive the most ridiculous moments in hunting for a new job:
1. That time I sent a cover letter addressed to a dead person
Yup….that happened. They say you should ALLLLLWAYS spend hours hunting down the name of the exact hiring manager for the position you are applying for and personally address your cover letter to them (along with glowing prefixes and epithets, but not too many that you sound desperate) so of course I scoured this company’s website to find the name of the President, addressed the cover letter, and some how missed the “In News” widget at the bottom announcing they were mourning the passing of said President. Too late to hit the “undo” button on gmail, all I could do was shrug my shoulders and hope they didn’t notice. If you’re wondering….still waiting to hear back.
2. That time I got rejected from a job I didn’t even apply for
I started listening to this book about The Law of Attraction (not The Secret…the weirder one). I immediately got an email from a recruiter for a job, in a city I wanted to relocate to, making a decent amount of money, asking if I had gotten her previous email because they were very interested in me as a candidate. Once I did enough research to make sure this wasn’t a displaced Prince asking for money and offering to share his fortune, I sent her my resume and she responded immediately that she would set up an interview for me. Two days later she wrote to say they were going in a different direction. All I did was laugh and yell into my phone: I WASN’T THAT INTO YOU ANYWAY.
3. That time I got a rejection letter in which the person writing it seemed more upset than I was
Oh you think I’m an amazing person who has a lot to offer and you want to keep in touch? Well, if I’m too good for you, why didn’t I make it past the phone interview stage….? Sure we can be facebook friends, but I’m going to update frequently with pictures of me with my new cooler, hotter, more awesome job who I’m more in love with than I ever could have been with you!
Sees new job posting….sends DM: “You up?”
4. Every time I applied for a job that I was over/under/perfectly qualified for, was my “dream job”/job I didn’t care about and never heard back/didn’t get a second interview/got to the final interview stage but they went with someone else
Too many to count. Just like dating, looking for a new job is rough. I graduated from college at the hight of the recession, I’ve spent more years looking for a job, than actually having one, and I can tell you there is not much that compares to just how brutal the process can be. For every Tinder, there’s a LinkedIn, for every FarmersOnly.com there’s a nonprofitjobs.com, for every time you just want to have a pity party, there’s someone there who got their job because their brother’s friend’s dad runs the company who always thought that they were hot, to give you advice when you know they wouldn’t even know how to adjust the formatting on the Word Resume template. And the truth is, the rejection never gets easier.
Email has made it completely impersonal, the form letters that go out that don’t even have the coding right to insert your name are eye-roll inducing, the countless hours spent crafting every word of a cover letter to perfectly meet the needs of the position have evaporated into the abyss and aren’t coming back, and you never stop having that pit in your stomach feeling when you read the first line of a rejection letter and you don’t even need to keep going to find out your fate.
The point isn’t to wallow in the pain, but to be able to laugh at just how ridiculous it can be….and apply to work at a gourmet candy company selling celebrities custom gummies for their weddings because just like your Aunt Suzanne says: when you stop looking, that’s when it’ll find you, or it only takes one, or you need to work for yourself before you can work for someone else or….ugh I don’t even know anymore.