Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Being Unemployed Is So Much Work

For the first time in nearly a week, I was home and able to work on job applications.  For nearly fourteen straight hours, I worked on retooling my résumé and CV to best showcase my skills and crafting different cover letters for each different job.  It's a much longer process than most people realize.

The academic jobs are the easiest because the CV and basic cover letter remain the same with a few changes here and there, but the kicker is the electronic submission of applications. Nearly all colleges use the same system, and those who don't still ask for the same information, but none of the systems talk to each other.  They should have one place to enter the job application information, but no, it has to be made more difficult so with each application you have to enter the same information over and over again.  The thing is, all of that information is already on my CV.  One college was actually smart and had you uploaded your CV first, and the program culled it for information and filled in the blanks.  Then it allowed you to edit it or add anything that was missing.  Sadly, it was the exception to the rule.  Most require you to type in all the information over again.

Then there are the non-academic jobs.  Because the jobs at museums, archives, and historical societies are so different, the cover letters have to be almost completely different.  I may be going about this all wrong, but I've read all the articles I can stand to read on how to create a better résumé, how to tailor your CV, and how to write a cover letter that will grab a potential employers attention and showcase all the skills I have and how they are relavent to the position.  Oh and don't forget the longer the CV the better, but a résumé shouldn't be no more than three pages max, and of course, the cover letter needs to be one page (It can be two but no one's gonna read it if they think it's too long).  All the rules just makes you want to scream.  If someone has any advice on how to make this process less painful, I'm all ears.

Anyway, I have tomorrow mostly at home too, so I'll be continuing to keep churning out applications.  I work all day and at the end of the day, it still seems like not much has been accomplished.  But I will keep plugging away at it, until I've applied for all the jobs for which I'm qualified.  Some of these jobs would put me in some pretty cool places: Richmond, Charleston, Austin, St. Louis, Nashville, Atlanta, Houston, etc.  and y'all already know I'm ready for a move.


Anonymous said...

You'll find something soon and then you'll look back and realize that things weren't all that bad. I can say that - I was unemployed for eight years. I've been at my current for just about the same time. Every time I interviewed - I was told I was over qualified (I kept getting: You went to Fordham University? Why do you want to work here?) At least you seem to have friends outside of the online universe. I'm not someone who gets close to people - so I did not use the people I graduated with for assistance but it is something you may want to do in the mean time.

Susan said...

I'm exhausted just reading your blog piece today. I too have been through this, and it seems like not much has changed. I really cannot offer any suggestions. My thoughts are always with you, Joe, as I continue to wish for your best outcome.

Michael Dodd said...

I probably said this before, but ... When I was job hunting in Chicago, I read that in spite of all the applications process and resume mailing and job hunting software out there, most people still get jobs through personal contacts. Both in Chicago and here in the Dells, the good jobs I got came through personal contacts. I don't mean walking into an office and asking if they are hiring. I mean talking to everyone you know to let them know you are looking and to see if they have any ideas. In Chicago, my spiritual director put me onto a great position. Here in the Dells, the mere fact that I spent lots of time at the library moved one of the librarians to suggest I apply for a job that she knew as about to open up.

Hang in there. You will find your way. But your friends and acquaintances can help.

Jay M. said...

You hit the nail on the head. Even back in 2001, a head hunter who took me under her wing mutilated my resumé...I had to fight to make it look less like I wanted to play with 2 wires in a sandbox, and more like I wanted to WORK ON HIGH LEVEL SYSTEMS!

I spent hours and hours tweaking, changing, tailoring. Finding a job is a full time job! 8 hours a day! HUT HUT HUT!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA

I hope you hit the ones here in Central VA. Low cost housing is available (and you can decorate the room)!

Peace <3

Jay M. said...

BTW, I can refer to HCPS*, and can arrange the same with CCPS**.

Peace <3

*Henrico County Public Schools (
**Chesterfield County Public Schools (