I’ve been applying to jobs since 2012. I began my search during my first semester of senior year, and I got a good taste of what it’s really like to be searching for that perfect job. Of course, no job is perfect. Even when I had a job, I was still searching, searching, searching. After four longs years, I can’t help but think, have I been wasting my time?
They say, “It’s all about who you know.” As a millennial, I can’t stress enough, especially for upcoming college graduates, how true that statement really is. Every single job I’ve had since my college graduation, I didn’t receive because I applied to their job posting. I received the jobs through staffing agencies and family friends. I’ve applied to hundreds of job postings with real, genuine interest, and 99% of the time I never got a call back or an email. I learned a couple of years ago that most companies simply post a job on their website because they have to, and they almost always hire from within, or hire someone they know. So all those hours, cover letters, applications, may have been a waste of time.
This makes finding a job, especially for those like me who are weak at networking, extremely difficult. I’ve never liked the feeling that I’m using the person to get ahead. That is what networking feels like. There’s something about it that doesn’t sit right with me.
I’ve also had those close calls. That ounce of hope and shimmer of excitement of a possible job. I recently had that experience and it came crashing down this morning. A recruiter based in London contacted me on LinkedIn. It was the first time something useful and positive has come out of my LinkedIn profile. The position was for an art gallery in Manhattan with the job requirements matching the exact experience I have on my resume. THIS was my dream job, for sure. I was so excited, and the recruiter called me in the early hours of 6am due to the time difference. I was enthusiastic and everything sounded promising. Until the gallery decided against looking into all candidates, and wanted someone with the exact experience in a similar gallery. Naturally, I was frustrated simply because they didn’t even give me a chance. My qualifications matched their needs. My interest and love for art was obvious. I had a recruiter writing on my behalf, explaining that I was a great candidate for them. So, I sit here baffled as to why I continuously get rejected without even a chance to speak on my behalf. And I understand that I’m not the only one.
I let the recruiter know how thankful I was that she contacted me, even after the disappointing news. I’m thankful because it gave me hope, and she saw something in me that most people have overlooked. Even though everything fell through, I’m glad it happened.
So, to answer my question: Is it a waste of time to apply to job postings? I’m not really sure. Maybe. All I know is that every opportunity that has come my way has been because I know someone, or I know someone who knows someone. The rest is entirely up to you.