Amazon Gift Cards

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Job Hunt Log the Second: In Which I Collect a Lot of “Sorry You’re Not What We’re Looking for” Emails.


So far, I have been collecting a lot of “sorry you’re not what we’re looking for” emails. Sometimes these letters also contain a “but we’ll keep your resume on file/please keep coming to us as jobs appear,” factor that may or may not be legitimate. I find these letters whether or not they include a “we’ll keep your resume,” to be kind of disheartening, which I think is not the actual intent of the letters.


I have been told that follow up is extremely important. However, the general vibe I have gotten when I’ve attempted to follow up has generally been, “why are you even calling back?” (This is also extremely disheartening.) So, in the past, I have tended not to bother with following up, which was probably a mistake and which I am going to stop doing.

So far, I have been attempting to get web design positions. Unfortunately, a lot of them seem to require Bachelor degrees, and/or a lot more general experience than I have. (I did very well in my classes and even maintained my own website for a while but this does not seem to count. Also, I am not very good at the web design jargon yet, which are points against me.) It is very hard not to be discouraged sometimes. As a possible secondary option, I have been looking into administrative assistant positions, data entry positions and call center type positions.

During the first push to get a job, just after I was laid off, I had a couple call center interviews that I think I skunked because of communication difficulties. (This is highly ironic. I generally did really well in my market research job.) These jobs often talk about team work, even though team work as I generally understand it does not actually occur in a phone center. (When I think of “teamwork” I think about group projects which I am only good at in the sense that a) I will remember what everyone needs to do b) I will nag until it gets done. c) This is almost never officially my job so everyone gets annoyed with me.)

Another way I might have skunked the interview involves jargon. I would generally be asked how many calls per night I did. I could never tell if they were asking about the volume of calls or how many interviews I successfully completed in a given night. (We usually got a call every minute, but my number of successful calls where the respondent completed the entire interview was usually about six or seven on a good night, maybe one on a very bad night, if I was lucky. That said, I was generally got very good assessments when they listened in on calls.)

With data entry jobs, most of my data entry experience is tied in with my call center experience. That is to say, I would record the answers the respondents gave on the computer. This means I am familiar with just one type of program that is used for data collection for surveys. (I think it was called Juno, if I remember correctly. Then we changed to another system that was somewhat more complicated to get into and out of, though not as horribly complicated as some of my other coworkers where implying.) And this specific program I am familiar with is not a great deal like the other programs out there. Also, it takes me a while to become accustomed to new systems, and simulation programs generally do not like me very much.

Okay, I have been talking too much about where I think I went wrong or things that I am not confident about. (Special note to positive thinkers: I am a negative thinker in that I will always assess what I think I am doing wrong. Sometimes I do this too much. Sometimes I am dead wrong and it’s my lack of confidence and fear of screwing up talking. I generally think thinking “positively” and ignoring problems instead of assessing areas of improvement is a very bad idea.) So I’m going to do an overview of things that I think I do well.

--I have about six months experience in quality control. My job involved making sure that various wire-wound electronic parts met their specifications. I have about six months experience locating files, making sure routing sheets were accurate, packing orders and finding orders that had been misfiled or otherwise lost. There was also some very unofficial receptionist duties as winders who worked from home would occasionally come in, looking for the shop owner. (Honestly, I did much better at the admin assistant “look for the missing box of parts so we can ship them” job and really wanted to move to the shipping part of the job, but I got laid off.)
--I have data entry skills from my market research job. I also have customer service type skills from this job because being able to convince cranky or hostile people that taking the survey is a good idea, mostly only using the horrible script they gave us is a pretty valuable skillset! (And yes, it was a horrible script.) I usually did a pretty good job at convincing people to do the survey and explaining without deviating too far from the script in a way that would have gotten me reprimanded.    

--I did really well in my Web Design courses! I mostly got As and Bs. I am a little shaky in the buttons department which I partially blame on having the class where you learn basic web design layouts AFTER the class where you actually create web pages. (Also, I had a not very awesome *Learning Disabled moment where I could just not wrap my brains around buttons or CSS for a while.) I also have some practical experience with running a website and messing around with the code. (Most of my early web pages were created by hand. I’ve only started using Dreamweaver in the past two or three years.) My overall web design experience has been intermittently stretched out over a ten year period.  

The kind of job I am looking for:

--Updating an already existent website; that is, the day to day maintenance of a web page and putting up new information as it becomes available.

--Helping to design or re-design a website.  

--Updating social media platforms such as a company’s blog, Facebook or twitter.

--Anything involved with providing content for said blog, or other social media platform.




*I am in fact learning disabled, I am not being facetious.