The Black Hole of Job Seeking

In All, The Job Hunter by Katelyn Ennis1 Comment

A picture of black hole engulfing nearby stars and distorting the space around it

As a current unemployed student, I’ve been trying to find a part-time job while finishing my studies. With a pile of resumes in hand, I recently went to the local shops to see who was hiring.

Taking small steps to avoid slipping on the damp pavement in my strappy heels and new light green dress, I confidently entered the shops. With my petite handbag over one shoulder, I held 15 freshly-printed resumes protected by a plastic sleeve in one hand with, a bottle of water and my phone in the other. Feeling weighed down by my items but pushed by determination, I headed towards my first target, Big W.

There was no sign in the window to say they were hiring, but, as a big retail company, I assumed they are always looking to recruit. Taking a small sip of water and one last deep breathe, I made my way towards the register, but, before I’d taken more than six steps, the door lady stopped me in my tracks. She glances at the resumes in my hand and says, “Excuse me, but I noticed you have a resume in your hand. Did you want to put in an application because we only accept them through our online website”. Disappointed, I thanked her and left.

Pushing the slight feeling of rejection aside, I decided to try my luck at Forever New because; I remembered seeing a “staff wanted” sign in the window last time I was shopping in- plus, maybe I’d win some brownie points since I’d bought the dress I was wearing from Forever New so surely they’d appreciate that I was a brand fan.

As I got closer to the store, I quickly scanned and found the A4 white paper still in the window, with a black, bold “Hiring” heading. Perfect.

I walked in, searched the room and found a young girl in her mid 20’s folding items at the register.

“Hi, I saw that you are hiring and would like to hand in my resume,” I said with a smile.

“No problem. We are hiring except you have to apply online, we don’t take resumes, sorry,” she replied.

Giving her a small smile, I walked out of the store feeling deflated and frustrated. I couldn’t help but question why they had a sign in their window saying hiring, but won’t even accept the resume unless it’s online. Why advertise it in the window instead of just on the Internet?

After that, I wandered from store to store, caring less about where I was applying to and focusing more on just finding a company that would accept my resume. I walked in and out of stores only to be told over and over again, they only recruit online. Although I could still apply to their store through the Internet, being turned away felt like a slap in the face. Each time I was dismissed for trying to hand in my resume, I felt rejected for showing up in person carrying paper in hand rather than sending my application through computer.

Eventually, utterly emotionally exhausted, I walked to the car still jobless with one thought on my mind as I looked at my arms still full of resumes, “What a waste of ink”.

I headed home to get on the Internet and submit my virtual application I tried Forever New first because my previous experience applying to large companies like Big W online was incredibly time-consuming just to get an impersonal automatic email thanking me for my submission – no interview, no feedback, and no job.

So, after scrolling through the Forever New career website, I’m astonished to see there was no job being offered within that location. I felt stuck, like playing chess and ending up in a stalemate position with nowhere to run, nowhere to move. I wondered how many other companies have made the mistake of sending away job-seekers? Job seekers who made the effort to hand their resume in person, turned away and told to apply online, only to find there was no way to apply online? What a missed opportunity!

Even though all those stores told me to go on their websites and apply through their careers link, I didn’t. Previously applying to companies online, I know firsthand how aggravating the online application process is — it’s a blackhole that you throw time, effort and care into to get nothing in return.

You go onto a company’s website, find the right job (if you’re lucky!), click the link to apply and then spend the next hour ripping everything out of your carefully-written resume to enter your details into their online form, often losing all sense of personalisation in the process and becoming just another anonymous applicant in their recruitment machine. Then, after all of that effort, you may get an immediate “thanks for submitting” email but that’s it. No phone call. No email to tell you where you sit in the process. No feedback. No closure.

So companies, employers! Let me ask you a question. How would you feel, if you, were me? Would you still want to apply for your jobs?

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Rebecca Pham
2 years 9 months ago

I completely understand where you are coming from Katelyn. It can be so hard to find the courage to apply in person, and your self-esteem just withers with every rejection… If only companies can simplify the application process both in-store and online. Maybe they can offer a way for candidates who come in-store to apply on the spot through a kiosk or something – anything to ensure that they’re not walking away empty handed.