The response, or lack thereof

As we know, job hunting is a hard task. Seek, Trademe, Indeed: they initially seem like lands of opportunities, but after some hearty hunting, they reveal themselves as barren wastelands. Well more specifically, barren wastelands to me. Being a graduate, although I’ve done two internships, I don’t even tick the 1-3 years experience box for the few “junior” roles (maybe I don’t understand the meaning of junior?) Reality check/confirming what I already knew but hoped wasn't true: it’s just slim pickings for a newbie.

But once in a while, a graduate jobseeker hits some luck, and there’s that job which is "giving a grad their first step into the industry", that "rare chance for a graduate" and that "entry level position". Even better, the job is in my desired field, I’ve heard of the company and the job is inspiring to me. Hello, Mr. Job Right.

So I eagerly apply to win his heart. And as I write my ticket in, a.k.a. the dreaded cover letter, I daydream about picking out my office outfit, strolling into work with my morning hot chocolate (I deny that I will ever convert and drink coffee once I enter the corporate world), gossiping at the water-cooler and yes, achieving great things for my company. I reach the end of my pitch (eloquent hire-me plea), and I’m quietly confident. I’ve got the skills, I’ve got the attitude and if I haven’t (actually) got all the skills, I’m willing to learn (will do whatever it takes). I tweak my CV, convert both documents to a PDF, and properly name the files so they will waste no time in finding me when they decide to call me back. I triple proof-read, have a panic and a party when I pick up that niggly spelling mistake, and then, off it goes.

Almost immediately, the automated “your-application-has-been-received” email rolls into my inbox, and I’m almost annoyed that after the long morning spent on creating a kick-ass application, that’s all I get. And (unknown to me at that moment) that’s all I’ll ever get. Hours, days, and weeks later, the un-automated email still hasn't arrived. What did I do wrong to get this silent treatment? Was I silly to have thought that maybe Mr. Job Right would feel the same way about me? Was I actually under-qualified for a graduate position? How qualified does a graduate have to be? How long does it take to "review all applicants"? I’m left wondering: maybe my cellphone number was wrong (nope, definitely right), maybe their email went into my junkmail (gmail is smarter than that), or whether my message went straight through to their junkmail, and the automated email was just a false sense of delivery security (let's go with this one). Me: #heartbroken #overthinking #insecure #overit.

To the employers out there, just give a job hunter like me a break and send us a response? I’d rather receive a straight rejection than be left waiting, wishing, and wondering, with no closure. 90% of the job applications I have sent out have not been responded to. And for the 10% I have heard back from, the positions have gone to others “more qualified” (but that’s a rant for another day!) I understand that you may have a “high volume of applicants” who have applied for the role, but surely an automated “thank-you-for-your-time-but-sorry” email wouldn’t be very much trouble? #technologythesedays #commoncourtesy

Who here has been in the same position as me? Is it typical of the corporate world? Even every part-time, Christmas casual position I’d applied to in my teen days would get a response. I would love to hear your own experiences, and hopefully you’ve had a better response rate!