I Can’t Find A Job

Overeducated, under experienced, and unemployed

The Online Black Hole

with 20 comments

I came across an article from New Jersey’s Star Ledger that detailed the realities of modern day job searching. The article talks about Becky Cole, who lost her job two years ago due to the recession, and has steadily been looking for work since. Like most, she began attending every job fair she came across and didn’t like what she saw. Several recruiters refused to take her resume or give her a business card while others had plenty of brochures but no jobs to offer. Everybody told Cole to apply online instead, regardless of whether or not they had any openings. Cole didn’t get quick, in-person job fair interviews or have the opportunity to further discuss her resume. Rather, she received smug directions to the company’s career website.

The article suggests such practices are very common these days and are defended by HR managers as a means to process the plethora of resumes they now receive for a job opening. However, there are many job seekers frustrated and demoralized by the online process, as they have spent countless hours applying to jobs online only to never hear anything back. The article noted job seekers are actually happy if they receive a rejection letter because at least it’s something and proves that maybe someone actually looked over their resume. A recruiting firm noted that they posted a job for a front desk receptionist and received 500 applications in 4 days and larger corporations usually receive even more. HR managers are often overwhelmed and defend the online submittal process by noting they simply do not have the staff to look over all applications.

I’ve been there and done that. I went to a few job fairs only to vow never to return again. Not only wasn’t I impressed with the quality of the jobs being offered, but everybody directed me to their company’s career website oftentimes handing me a pre-printed card with the website link on it. There was simply no benefit to attending. Why bother traveling to a location only to be directed to a website that you already knew about? The online application process is garbage anyway because it’s essentially like submitting your resume and personal data into an online black hole, never to be seen or heard from again. I’ve submitted countless applications online and have only received a grand total of 2 responses, both of which were laughable. The only way I’ve gotten better responses was from having contacts inside a company.


Written by icantfindajob

May 30, 2010 at 8:36 am

20 Responses

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  1. I left the country and returned in August. Everyone told it was a rough job market but nothing could prepare for me how it is. I took a tutoring position that took up a few hours a week and had an online internship I did from home to save gas. Now I am volunteering at Study Abroad office as an intern. It’s good experience but doesn’t pay. I’ve been so frustrated. When I came back I was on top of the world and so optimisitic. Now, my confidence in myself has, well, lets just say I’m not the same as I was upon my return. I’ve filled out so many applications and have tried to use my connections. I graduated with a BS at the top of my class and have always had a job until now. I just don’t know what to do.

    Mary Zoubek

    June 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm

  2. I have experienced exactly everything you have talked about. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and for making me feel like I wasn’t “alone out there”


    June 1, 2010 at 10:03 pm

  3. I too find myself lost in the black hole of online applications and everything else… Hopefully something works out for all of us!

    Joe Herne

    June 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm

  4. Thank God other people feel the same way. I just want to crawl in a hole and die. I can’t figure out why I spent the past 6 years in college, getting myself in debt, just to find out that I did all of this for nothing. This is the cruelest joke in life, to have worked hard just to be rejected.


    June 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  5. I am working on a MSc and am only 4 classes from graduation and I am somehow managing a 3.85 GPA.
    You would think someone somewhere would be even half interested.
    Nope, the resume black hole has eaten hundreds of my resumes and shat out 1 personal interview and an odd phone interview or two.
    I just turned 27 and I am seriously considering enlisting in the military just so I can get out of the UE pool.
    I am completely demoralized


    June 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

  6. I just graduated, got married and am ready to start my career in a bright and new beginning, except it hasn’t been good looking for a job. I just get excited, as the article says, to even get denied because that means they had looked at my resume. Now all the jobs are lowering their starting wages as well because they know someone will want it bad enough. Thanks for sharing the article, and I hope things pick up soon, but for new grads like me, unemployment is in the 20% range…


    June 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

  7. It’s ridiculous for a company to put the time, energy, or money into sending staff to a job fair if they are not going to do preliminary screenings of the people who show up. Instead of sending you to the website they should only consider people who show up to the fairs as a way of screening out the massive amounts of applications they receive.

    Leslie Drew

    July 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

  8. I’ve been unemployed for almost a year but have been averaging about 2 interviews a month.

    Nearly every job application hints at who the hiring manager is. Submit the official way, but also e-mail the hiring manager. It really is the only way.

    I can’t say interviewing has been that great for me – I still don’t have a job and I’ve been assured I don’t smell or have a totally shitty personality, but it is a step further in the process.


    July 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

  9. Yes! Someone else who knows!

    I have been jobless for 6 months, and that right there is where my frustration begins: Online applications!

    I love how whenever a business online, says they are hiring through a job website, where you put in the application and everything, but as soon as you call them on the phone.

    “I’m sorry those positions are closed.”

    Why the hell do you still have the ad up on the site for the first place?

    Just go in person to a business or call. Online applications are s@it!


    July 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm

  10. Thank you for this blog, and for this post specifically. I graduated college 6 months ago, and have been unemployed since, but I’ve been under-employed for the past 2 years as I returned to college to finish my degree (while holding on-campus or work study jobs and internships). I returned to school because I felt trapped; I was previously working retail grocery, and thought finishing my (English; I know, haha) degree would help me find a higher-paying job and maybe even something I enjoyed doing, or at least a job that didn’t make me cry. I haven’t been on a single interview, and I can relate to those feeling excitement over actually receiving a denial email–I, too, have been happy to find one in my inbox because at least it’s something!


    August 19, 2010 at 2:04 pm

  11. I liked this post and your whole site so much, I felt inspired to mention it in a post on my site. Is that okay? I provided a link to your blog and to the post. Thanks, SJ. http://suzyjaclyn.wordpress.com/


    August 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm

  12. Applied Mathematics Major
    Actuarial Science Minor
    Full-time Internship with USS for almost a year
    3.3 GPA

    I have applied to probably 50 jobs in the past 3 months since I graduated. I am very happy to receive a rejection letter. Probably 20/50. I have only had 2 interviews and that was because I was referred by a family friend in both cases. You have to know somebody or you will not get an interview. Most will not even get a rejection letter. Applying online is a black hole.


    August 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm

  13. It is a sad day when we all get excited over a rejection letter. I used to think it was mainly for applying for government positions, but I guess its for civilian positions as well =(


    August 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm

  14. I currently have a job. However I used to work 2. When I lost my 1st job I immediately started the search to suppliment the income lost. I have been endlessly searching. Application after application… only to hear by mainly email of course the positions are already filled. Over 45 applications this past month (august)… 2 returned phonecalls, 1 interview pending.. 1 scheduled interview on september 15th.. 34 days from the day I scheduled the interview (it was their only opening, how sad is that). It is outragous the time I have spent chasing leads to nowhereland. I am not over 22 yet and almost bankrupt and homeless, despite my continuous effort to find employment. I have ran my savings dry to pay bills.. if I can’t find employment by mid sept.. I won’t make it.


    September 2, 2010 at 12:32 am

  15. This is so depressing. I am planning on leaving the country to network and find a culture more accepting than ours. If my own country doesn’t respect my citizenship and education then somewhere else will!


    October 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm

  16. I have been looking for a job since before I graduated high school which was about May 2010 so far no luck. I cant afford to go to college and I am not willing to take on a massive dept only to find out that it was all for nothing. So now I just hoping one of my applications will turn up something and maybe later I can go to college.
    Thanks, it’s good to know I’m not the only one.


    November 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm

  17. I am a bit older than the others who posted here. I have had my degree since the early 90’s and unfortunately was laid off 2 1/2 years ago. I have over 15 years of experience in my field – but can’t find a job! I have been on about 20 interviews and even made it to the top 2 or 3 a few times, but nothing. Thank goodness for unemployment…but mine is running out. (I worked temporarily for a bit…and therefore I “saved” some unemployment time). I don’t know what to do. I am so afraid that I won’t be able to pay my bills and will be thrown out of my home. I have always been a good employee – but due to the layoff…find myself now without a job or any job prospects.

    I agree…I don’t think those online websites really do anything. I have had nominal success on Craigslist…but again…the job poster receives tons and tons of resumes. I also decided to go to some staffing agencies…make a personal appearance. Let me tell you…it’s a waste of time!



    November 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

  18. Oh…by the way. I agree with Ali. I may have to leave this country….since I can’t get a job. A degree – years of experience – excellent references and NO JOB. How sad.


    November 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm

  19. After weeks of no reply, I commented that I would LOVE to receive a rejection letter so I would know that somebody’s giving my application the time of day. I’m eating my words, as I’ve received about 9 rejections in the past 2 weeks.


    April 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm

  20. I am glad to hear that I am not alone. I feel like you Vanessa, crawling in a hole to die! I can’t stress how I feel that getting a Masters degree is worthless! What a waste of my time and money!


    August 24, 2011 at 11:45 am

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