It has been two months since I lost my job and I am still unemployed. Thankfully, I am receiving unemployment benefits to make ends meet and I am still working my online job. I have applied to many jobs and am doing interviews here and there.
I have only ever been on the job market while unemployed (after grad school and now) so my view of being a job candidate may be jaundiced, however I have compiled a list of things that irk me the most about what I’m going through right now. I still have hope that things will pick up and that i will find a
good great job, although I remain generally depressed and have fallen into a deep abyss of despair a couple of times.
Because I’ve been through unemployment before, I know the damage that this does to my mental and physical health. One thing that I have now, that I didn’t have then is this blog. So writing here helps me to laugh when I feel like crying. I also read of the blogs of others to know that I am in good company.
Here are 11 things I hate about being unemployed and on the job market.
1. Employers using interviews to get free consulting
I’ve encountered this more than once already. I think it’s become more common since the recession. Applicants are being taken advantage of. After one particularly detailed interview exercise on a problem that the company was currently facing, I was close to asking the group of interviewers where I should send my consulting invoice. Ugh.
2. Employers that never let you know the outcome after one or more interviews.
After investing hours or days into preparing for interviews, and then spending hours going through these events of torture, the recruiters don’t call you back to let you know what happened. You are left twisting in the wind. If, after a reasonable amount of time, you call them for an update they don’t answer your call, and never call you back. They in effect are saying to you, “You figure out when the answer is no.” THAT IS SOOO DISRESPECTFUL!!!
3. You have to go through 3, 4, or even 5 rounds of interviews, each more difficult than the last!
4. The hiring phase takes the employer 3 months, but firing phase 90 days after a bad hire takes 3 minutes.
5. Unemployment discrimination
The situation is even more difficult if you are unemployed. You are damaged goods. Hiring managers and recruiters ignore you and render you invisible. Recruiters that called you when you were employed, won’t give you the time of day now.
6. Discrimination of any Kind
Age is one. I am, at 38, and three years out of grad school, already too old to work at many tech start-ups. Sigh.
7. Local candidates only
I’ve run into this quite a bit in my search. Even if you explain that you will relocate at your own expense, employers will not talk to you – that is, if they even see your resume. See #9.
8. Salary Low-balling
Although I have not had the benefit of being offered a salary yet in my job hunt, I had this happen to me when I was unemployed after graduating from grad school. I know that the unemployed are particularly vulnerable to this. Do you think that a potential employee who feels ripped off is going to be motivated to give an employer everything they have to offer? (For the record, I ended up having to take that job, but was out of there as soon as something better came along.)
9. Applicant Tracking Systems
Especially ATSs that eat your resume or screen you out because of #5 and #7. The black hole of doom awaits your carefully crafted and tailored resume, where no human eyes will ever see it. Waste of time.
10. Being judged and rejected for insanely trivial reasons.
When you are an applicant you’re future livelihood is decided at the whim of the hiring manager. Maybe you were qualified but they didn’t like your laugh, your accent, your lipstick or mustache, or maybe you reminded them of someone else who was mean to them in childhood. Ok, I’m exaggerating here, but you know what I mean.
11. Losing Out to the Dreaded Internal Candidate
You have your time wasted for three weeks interviewing with a company only to find out that they had an internal candidate that they’d already promised the job to. So this employer just wasted your time and never got back to you. (See #2). But their time wasn’t wasted because at least they got some free consulting from you. (See #1)!
Hang on and hold on. That’s all I can do.