Finding the right job is tough

I am one in a stack of thousands of resumes. I know this. I am one of hundreds of voices the secretary hears on the other end of the phone. The quest for a job is as impersonal as ever, and as I call the same office for the hundredth time, I can't help but become a bit annoyed.

Some people have one job, which they work consistently. They have regular hours, a regular schedule, and they know their days off years in advance. This is suiting for some people. Others, like myself, work a variety of jobs during the week, never knowing when or what we're being paid, the demands of the potential job, or the time it will take to complete the process. This is not as convenient, though it sometimes has its perks.

While taking a break from amending my resume, I hear Jen, a recent SOU graduate, lament her quest for a job and somehow find myself being part of the conversation.

"I spent an entire summer taking a resume writing class and I don't feel like I learned anything that spectacular. We all came out of there with identical resumes based on one person's preference," she said. "I've worked with people before who had really great qualifications, but they just fell back on waitressing or something because the quest for a job in their field just seemed to difficult."

I wonder about the others who graduated from SOU this spring, curious if they all have secured a job in their chosen field of interest.

"The thing about resume writing," said Jen, "is you can never please everybody. If I use the first person's suggestions, the next person I show will have a whole different theory. It's so difficult knowing what each person will want. If each potential employer's taste varies as much as the people helping me edit, I don't think I'll ever please anybody."

I don't see why anyone should be judged by his or her resume. I have the distinct memory of my 11th grade counselor telling me matter-of-factly in his hideously veneered office that, "People don't read resumes, they scan them."

Expecting to judge if a candidate is right for the job simply by scanning his or her resume is ridiculous &

it's like a director trying to decide if someone is right for the lead role in a three-hour production from listening to their one-minute monologue. It doesn't make much sense, yet we keep going about it. You'd think we would have found a more practical way by now.

"It gives me serious anxiety," said Jen. "I spend too much time on the resume, and I know they only glance at it for a few seconds. I finally caved and got a job that could help me pay the bills while I call over and over again potential employers about jobs."

This story is familiar to many of us who take a job to "pay the bills." Except many times we get sucked in, and have no time or energy for what they things we really want to be doing.

"I think it's really hard being fresh out of college and somewhat lacking in real world experience. Employers want people with experience, and we can't be experienced till we get hired. I know once I can break through that cycle, it will all be fine," said Jen.

As I go through my most recent morning routine &

coffee, checking my e-mail, and getting yet another answering machine &

I am reminded of Jen, and every other college graduate's never-ending job search. I'm trying my best to tell myself that it's not pointless, it's about being persistent, but even that is starting to sound ridiculous.

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