Job Hunting During Covid -Job Interview Cancellation

October 2020

I’m so irritated, I can’t believe this. Another interview just got cancelled – 40 minutes before the interview. 40 minutes. This is a job I actually want, so I’ve spent hours researching this company, talking to employees, mentally psyching myself up. I put on make-up for fuck’s sake!

I’m numbing with a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. What? I already went to the gym and walked my dogs. The other option is alcohol and it’s not even 1PM yet, so pumpkin chocolate chip cookie it is. That’s how I’m handling the emotional cluster fuck of the day.

Interviewing is tough. It’s stressful and emotionally draining; all of the preparation and practice beforehand is the most stressful part. And now it’s not happening.

I’ve never gotten the job when a hiring manager “reschedules” the interview. This is not a good sign.

Or is it? It could be a sign that I dodged a bullet. Clearly, this hiring manager is either unprepared, disorganized, disrespectful, or doesn’t really care about filling the role.

If the hiring manager is unprepared or disorganized, I don’t wanna work for her. Working for that kind of boss is exhausting. You’re constantly changing the way you do things to accommodate for her lack of preparation; you’re cleaning up her messes, making excuses for her, and sometimes taking the blame.

Been there, done that. Never again.

If the hiring manager is disrespectful towards his employees or doesn’t really care about filling the position, it means that he considers this a throwaway role. He doesn’t care if it’s filled or not. Which means if you do get hired, you’ll be treated like shit. You’ll become the assistant, not the valued employee with experience, talent, and value—you’ll be the person running his data analyses, filling out his spreadsheets, balancing his expense reports.

Been there, done that. Never again.

This last-minute job interview cancellation has really fucked with my head for some reason. I’ve been here before, so you’d think it wouldn’t bother me. But for some reason, I feel like I’m getting treated worse and worse by potential employers the longer this job-hunting catastrophe goes on, so each slight feels like a deeper and deeper stab.

Last-minute job interview cancellations are the epitome of disrespect. The emotional let down of this one has immobilized me.

I’m so tired. Exhausted, really. It’s like you prepare and psych yourself up for something like giving a presentation or meeting the in-laws or asking for the raise or running your first 5K or accomplishing a major “thing.” Once it’s over, you’re emotionally exhausted. Well, that’s how I feel right now. Except that I didn’t even get to accomplish my thing.

Gabby Bernstein says, “use these setbacks as opportunities!”

Normally I like you, Gabby, but this time – and I say this with love: “Fuck you, bitch.”

I’m eating a fucking pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and having a fucking pity party and that’s how I’m using this fucking setback as a fucking opportunity!

Fuck it. Do I have any whiskey left?

Job Hunting During Covid – THIS is diversity?

October 2020

I’d like to get back to my brilliant cousin and the fact that he’s financially blessed and how it affects the rest of us job hunters.

By the way, my brilliant cousin’s bank account is none of my business and that’s not what this post is about. He has worked hard and deserves every penny that he has made and saved and invested, and I’m impressed and want to soak up his money-management skills. Like I said, he’s brilliant.

Here’s why I bring it up in the first place. He has the money to hire the woman who has out-smarted the “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software. He has the means to pay her to alter every resume that he submits. In short, he can afford to game the system and actually get an interview.

What about the rest of us?

I’m barely making ends meet during this unemployment cluster fuck that I’m drowning in, and hiring an expensive consultant to run every resume through her proprietary software and mess around with it enough so that I can “game the system” and get an interview is not an option for me.

It’s not an option for a lot of people; most of whom are unemployed and desperately needing a legit job. Not all of us are willing to settle for that call center gig. We crave work that challenges us and values our talents and experience. Work that will pay us enough to survive.

We’re up for the same jobs as the people who have enough cash to hire the consultant and game the ridiculous – god help us – “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software and the companies that use it. This means that the people with the cash – the wealthy people, the wealthy parents, people with wealthy family and friends – are the only people who can game the system.

They’re the people who can afford to get a job. Guess who the majority of these people are?

Middle-aged white men.

Let me stop here to say that this post is not to denigrate or disparage men in any way. It’s not. I promise. I’m not anti-men at all. I love men. Most men.

Some men.

I love my dad.

Anyway, am I wrong about this? I’m not wrong about this.

Those of us who don’t have another cent to spare, because it’s all going to bills, can’t afford to hire the proprietary software woman to game the system, fix our resumes, and get us interviews. Neither can the underemployed who have an MBA and find themselves barely surviving at their $12 an hour call center job. What about single parents who are working two jobs to pay for kids, computers, and extra-curriculars? And that first-generation college graduate whose parents spent their entire savings to put her through school? Forget about it.

So here’s my primary objective of this post: how in the world does this “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software promote workplace diversity?

You’re speechless, aren’t you? You don’t like the answer that you have to give to that question. I’ll tell you what, I’ll answer it for you:

It doesn’t.

That hiring software that you’re so proud of does not promote workplace diversity in any capacity.

Diversity and inclusion are more important than ever, right? Ok, so think about this: when you and your company apply that nefarious, insidious, evil, immoral, reprehensible, malevolent (I think maybe you’re starting to understand how I feel about this software) hiring software, you’re “weeding out” a diverse group of smart, talented, capable, hard-working, grateful people who would drastically improve your ideas, your global footprint, and your culture.

You and your company are missing out on possibilities, opportunities, potentialities. Think of what you could have been if only you hadn’t bought that stupid software.

Well done.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 9

September 2020

Whatever happened to hiring a human – a living, breathing person? Companies are so focused on saving time and money, that they utilize software that hires a resume and not a human. What kind of company are you that you care more about a fucking resume than the person behind it?

Wait a minute. It’s all coming together. It’s starting to make sense. I get it!

Resumes = robots.

Companies don’t want human beings working for them, they want robots. Robots are malleable. Robots are cheap. Robots don’t disagree or challenge or think creatively. Robots just do. Hence, the software.

Ho. Lee. Shit.

I’m a little nauseous with this revelation. I’m disgusted and disappointed.

Humans have ideas, personalities, debates, opinions, discussions, creativity, disagreements, excitement, passion. Resumes have words. Robots repeat words.

Brilliant cousin and I would both take less money to work for a company that values humans. Killer company culture, employee acknowledgement, creative empowerment – those are the perks worth working for.

Free soda? Ping pong? Foosball? Lunch on Fridays? Who gives a flying fuck?

Robots do. Robots will thrive in your company, because robots love a good game of foosball and a free Diet Coke.

Congratulations “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software companies and the organizations that employ you. You win.

But do you really?

In six months you’re going to realize that something is off. You’ll wonder what’s happening to the culture at your company. You’ll wonder what’s happening to productivity. You’ll wonder what’s happening to customer service.

You’ll wonder where you went wrong.

Disdain. That’s what I have for these companies. Pure, unadulterated disdain. Disdain dragged me to the basement. Twice. Don’t go for three, Beatrice. (See The Beginning.)

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 8

September 2020

The good news is that my brilliant cousin – who also happens to be financially blessed which plays a part in this whole thing (which I’ll get to in a minute) – found a solution. He located a software engineer who had worked for a couple of these “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software companies –

I have to interrupt this paragraph to say that I originally wanted to describe this software and the companies who utilize said software: “You’re a fucking moron if you believe we think of you as an actual human being” or “How dumb are you that you thought we would really read the resume you spent hours customizing?” or “Go fuck yourself, because we’ve already hired an internal candidate and only posted the job because we had to” or “Do you really think we’re going to waste time looking at any of these resumes?” However, all of those are too long, so I’m just going to call this software/software company/hiring company, “fuck you and your pathetic resume.” I think that says it quite nicely. And anyway, blogs are about brevity, right?

– and had figured out the algorithms they were using to disqualify the resumes. She told both of those companies to go fuck themselves and started her own business in which she helps lowly job hunters game the system and actually win.

Brilliant cousin sent her one of his resumes and the job posting that he had customized it for. She ran it through the software she had designed that mimicked the “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software and discovered that his resume was only 24% compatible with the job. 24%. Not enough to get him an interview or even a phone call. How is that possible? He copied key words, phrases, and sentences directly from the posting.

The resume software and the companies who use them are fucking with us, fellow job hunters. The keywords the software looks for aren’t even in the job posting. Proof? Proof:

The software engineer that my brilliant cousin hired, revamped his resume by using her proprietary software which she designed to game the system. She took my cousin’s resume and added words and phrases that weren’t anywhere in the job posting. Keywords that weren’t mentioned anywhere in the company values or the “about” page on their website. She added phrases and sentences that she knew the software at the “fuck you and your pathetic resume” software companies was designed to look for. Words that had nothing to do with the actual job posting.

Once she revamped his resume, she re-ran it through her software. 76% match. 76%. He got an interview. Now he’ll be able to meet face to face with the hiring manager, look her in the eyes, and sell himself.

So companies are using hiring software and now job hunters are being forced to use “how to win the game to get an interview” software.

Software hiring software.

Robots hiring robots.

Secret Santa this year should be a kick.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 7

September 2020

So my brilliant cousin wasn’t getting interviews, just like I wasn’t getting interviews, and it’s baffling to us because we’re fucking amazing.

Unfortunately, “fucking amazing” doesn’t get you much these days. Forget about our talent, our experience, our intellect and our badass-ness; when it comes to job hunting, none of that stuff matters. It’s about winning the game.

Job hunting is a game, and brilliant cousin and I know how to play it. We’ve played it before. Our resumes are going to be put through the hiring software that companies have started utilizing – god help us – and so we know that in order to play the game right, we need to customize each resume for each individual job. To win the game, we use keywords, phrases, and even entire sentences from the actual job posting itself. Straight up copying and pasting. The words I copied and pasted into my customized-just-for-you-resume are obviously programmed into the software for this job, because they reflect exactly what the post says, right? I’m clearly clever and winning the game.

The only thing is, I’m not. I’m losing the game. How am I losing this game?

Even when I’m perfectly qualified for the job, and I’ve copied and pasted your words from your own job posting, I’m not getting interviews. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve applied for a job in the morning and by that same afternoon I’ve received your rejection email.

“After carefully reviewing your resume, we are moving forward with other candidates whose background and qualifications more closely meet our needs.”

What the what? How could anyone be more qualified than me? I’ve done this job before. I know how to do it and I do it well. Plus, I copied and pasted your own words in my resume!

Speaking of, what do you mean “after carefully reviewing my resume?” You didn’t review my fucking resume! Not one set of human eyes even glanced at my resume. Shame on you and your fucking software.

It took me hours to customize my resume, fill out your application, reach out to any of my contacts who might be remotely connected to anyone at your company so they could put in a good word for me so that I could at least get an interview for this job, and you don’t even have the decency – won’t even do me the courtesy of at least looking at my resume? I got your automated rejection letter roughly four hours after I submitted my resume and application. It took me longer to actually apply for the fucking job than it did for you to reject me.

Fuck. You. Assholes.

Yes, I sound angry. That’s because I am angry. I gotta let it go. Anger leads to basements. (See The Beginning.)

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 6

September 2020

Back to my brilliant cousin and our inspired theory as to why we’re not getting hired.

He and I commiserate occasionally. All commiserating and no play make Beatrice and her brilliant cousin dull, bitter alcoholics.

Which reminds me, I need to watch The Shining again. It’s been way too long and September is practically October which is Halloween and I love scary movies, so it’s time. I think I’ll do that tonight.

Brilliant cousin and I have both worked our asses off for years to get to where we are professionally and make the kind of money that we were making. We earned every penny. We are valuable, talented, intelligent employees with strong work ethics; both of us liked by colleagues and clients alike.

Through our commiserating, my cousin and I have come to a conclusion: potential employers – or, more likely, the HR Managers reviewing the applications – see our experience and previous companies and realize that we must have been making a pretty decent salary, and the HR Manager panics, because they could never in a million years approach the hiring manager about a salary that they assume we want, since they’d get yelled at and potentially fired and don’t they remember the sticky note that had the salary printed on it in bold letters? “Then why are you bothering me?!”

Simply considering this horrifying event causes the HR Manager to throw-up a little, shart a teensy bit, and immediately delete the application and resume.
So not cool. I’m not talking about the sharting.

The not cool part is the fact that most job applications straight up ask salary requirements. Is that legal, by the way? I write “negotiable” when I can, but some software doesn’t allow “negotiable.” It only allows numbers. You can’t even put a comma in there.

So the dilemma: I put a low salary on my application, I get the interview; but I’m under-valuing myself and they’ll start me at that crazy low salary and it will take me years to work back up to where I was, and most likely they would have paid me more, but I didn’t put more in my salary expectations.

On the other hand, let’s say I submit the application with my legit desired salary. It’s potentially a deal-breaker, and I won’t even get an interview.

Please don’t let my salary expectations dissuade you. I’m willing to discuss it. I’m willing to negotiate – so is my brilliant cousin, by the way, which I know for a fact, because we commiserated about it last night. Please stop under-valuing me and what I bring to the table. Please stop assuming that I won’t take the job for a lower salary – let me make that decision. Please. Don’t make it for me.

I’ll say it again: You get what you pay for.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 5

September 2020

My cousin is freakin’ brilliant. I know everyone says that about their cousin, but mine really is. He got near perfect scores on the SAT and ACT. He’s been recruited from one high-tech company to another for years. He’s a software engineer who was making $350,000 in Seattle until Covid hit and he was laid-off.

My brilliant cousin! What moron lays-off my brilliant cousin? Incomprehensible, really.

He’s been job hunting almost as long as I have, and he still hasn’t found anything. His experience is extraordinary, his brain is as close to perfect as a brain gets, his talent is off the charts; this guy is marketable as fuck, and he can’t find a job.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? If he can’t find a job…Beatrice is doomed.

But enough about me. For now. Of course we’ll get back to me, cuz it’s all about me. What? It’s my blog, bitch.

Back to my brilliant cousin. He and I have a theory as to why we’re not getting hired. It’s a truly inspired theory, by the way. I won’t include it here, because that would make this post too long for the average attention span – it’s already almost too long for mine – but this theory is worth reading. Here’s a little teaser:

You get what you pay for.

Do I sound greedy, because greed would lead to the basement. (See The Beginning.)

You know what I know for sure? I’m not greedy. I’m valuable.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 4

August 2020

Dear Neighbor Down the Hall Who Means Well:

Please, please, please don’t give me advice on how to find a job. I know you mean well, but let’s be honest, you haven’t had to job hunt in over 15 years and I have and you’ve just been laid off for the first time in your life and I’ve been through this before and you’ve just discovered LinkedIn and I was so over LinkedIn 5 years ago.

I know that job hunting is about connecting and reaching out to your network and who you know not what you know and that you have to post every day and keep your name out there for “top of mind awareness” and I know that you just learned that term in one of your LinkedIn “Finding a job during Covid” networking groups and I know that you’re excited about all the connections you’ve recently made and all the jobs out there and all the applications that you’ve been filling out and that you’re confident you’re going to have a new job in 15 minutes because you’ve joined LinkedIn networking groups and they’re going to “keep their eyes and ears open for you” as you begin this new chapter in your life and it’s all so exciting and nobody, including you, can wait to see where you land!

Talk to me in 10 months, bitch.

Ok, that was mean. I shouldn’t call you a bitch. You’re not a bitch at all. You’re actually a really nice person. You’re always smiling and asking me how I’m doing. You’re the person in the building who is the most willing to help in any situation. You bring me lentil soup whenever you make it, because you know I love it. You’re truly a decent, impressive human.

But see, here’s the thing: I’ve hired a very expensive career coach. I hired her in March to help me get a great new job with a beautiful new salary. She worked on my resume and LinkedIn profile with me. She helped me write an email that included numbers and data – but no sentences, just bullet points, because busy people don’t read sentences. We had mock interviews and she critiqued my interviewing skills. All was working and I was getting interviews and then…Covid. Economic shutdown.

So we refocused in May and used the same strategy. It worked a little less well.

Same strategy in August. No results whatsoever.

It’s time for the two of us to brainstorm and re-strategize, and I sent her an email and a text about two weeks ago, and it just occurs to me that I haven’t heard back.

She’s probably as scared and clueless as her clients. Maybe even more so. We’ve all paid her a lot of money, after all, and we expect results.

But my non-responsive, expensive career coach is not the point here. The point is that I know a lot more about job hunting than you do and I’m doing everything right and I can’t take anymore of your unsolicited, extremely unhelpful advice.

That’s why I’m avoiding you. I thought you should know.

Acting bitchy towards non-bitches is a thing and I’m not proud of it, but I do it and I have to stop or I’m not gonna have any friends or anyone who loves me and I’m going to be stuck in that fucking basement forever. (See The Beginning.)

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 3

August 2020

I get one of these emails every day. No exaggeration. Every day.

I’ve applied for so many jobs now, that I don’t remember 95% of them, and I didn’t really want 97% of them, but for some reason I still feel like shit when I get this email.

Just one more rejection.

I guess this rejection email is better than being ghosted, though. I’ve applied for over 110 jobs since November. Well, actually, I’ve applied for probably double that amount, but I’ve customized 110 resumes for jobs that I actually wanted. I’ve sent generic resumes to jobs that I didn’t really want but needed to apply for in order to make my quota of applying for 4 jobs a week to maintain my unemployment benefits.

Out of those 110 customized resumes and applications, I’ve easily been ghosted 80% of the time. At least.

Now that’s a punch in the gut.

“We’re not interested in you enough to even respond to you. You suck. You’re a loser. You’re not worth our time. We don’t just despise you, we despise and loathe you, you disgusting piece of shit. What made you think you were worthy enough to apply with us anyway?”

This. Is. Exhausting.

Job Hunting During Covid: Part 2

August 2020

Oh and then there’s this rejection email. Probably my favorite condescending, canned email from you: “May we keep your resume on file for future opportunities?”

Are you fucking kidding me? You haven’t even looked at my resume. It was subjected to your complete bullshit software program and apparently didn’t have the right keywords or something and was immediately denounced and deleted and the automatic rejection email was launched and I was devastated to hear that I didn’t get the job but you’re going to “keep my resume on file for future opportunities” to soften the blow.

That one is my absolute, most-loved email in the world, because it’s ridiculous and disdainful and aren’t you ashamed of yourselves? We see through it. We see through you. We job hunters of the world know how you see us: you despise us. If you didn’t, why wouldn’t you take the time to actually look at our resumes and discover what assets we could be to your organization?

Out of curiosity, why do you despise us?

We’re just people who want a job. We want to work. We want to work for you.

Maybe the fact that we want to work for you is the very reason you despise us.

We’re begging, pleading, supplicating, practically debasing ourselves in the hopes that you’ll give us a job, and maybe you disrespect us for that. You have contempt for our desperation. You’re disgusted by our need.

Wow.

I just became not-bitter.

I can honestly say that I’m not bitter anymore, because how you feel about me and treat me and disrespect me is a reflection of you, not me. I deserve better. I deserve to be treated like a human, not a resume.

For those of you who didn’t even look at my resume with human eyes, I’m grateful you didn’t see it, because then you would have interviewed me, and then you would have hired me – because I’m fucking amazing – and I’m so thankful none of that happened, because whether you realize it or not, you’ve told me everything I need to know about you, your company, and your culture. Thank God I’m not there.

Bullet dodged.

Stopping the desperation right now. Desperation = basement. (See The Beginning.)