Friday, February 26, 2010

Another week with no new job...

Well, here it is Friday night and I have no new news from anyone.

I was supposed to have an answer about one of the jobs today. No answer means that I PROBABLY don't get that job. She was planning to have someone start Monday morning. Can't do that if I don't get the offer, right?

There is another I am supposed to hear from next week, but I know I have next to no chance of getting that one.

I have an interview next Thursday... they are interviewing Thursday and Friday which likely means that they won't be hiring until mid-late March.

Everything else that is "allegedly" happening? Yeah.... I don't believe it.

Back to Square One.

Never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression

Before I went to the interview today, I got the impression that I am REALLY not who the interviewer wanted to hire but all of the people she DOES want to hire don't bother showing up for the interview.

One of the cardinal rules of interviewing is always be on time. Well, thanks to good ol' mass transit, I blew that one all to hell today. So much for overcoming her reservations about me and getting a job offer.

As it is, she's doing a phone interview tomorrow (WTF? I could have saved the freakin' trip? For real? And it's really not exactly fair to hold different interviewees to different standards... GRRR!)

Bottom line, I'm not going to get the job. I should have known that from the initial phone call. I busted my ass to make it to the interview. I left home at 11:30 this morning and got home after 7PM this evening... so almost 8 hours... DAMN.

Did I do well in the inteview? I believe I did. She asked some weird questions. She also asked about "reliable transportation" and, well, thanks to today's mass transit SNAFU I guess it is safe to say I get points off for that...

The "testing"? I have to believe I nailed it... but, it wasn't anything that was scored or anything, more that they wanted to see if you had certain skills, which I believe that I demonstrated that I have.

Could I do the job? HELL YES! Would I love the job? More than likely, I would. And it is a "real" job not a contract.

Am I going to get an offer? Realistically, I would have to say no. I think the interviewer knew that before I ever got there today. I'm honestly not even sure why she had me come in. But I know that the transit SNAFU probably hurt me a great deal.

And yet... there is this little ray of hope deep within me... Which I almost wish wasn't there... because when rejection comes and you have that ray of hope, it hurts. And I really, really don't need any more hurt right now.

(And I really can't afford the travel that would be involved in the training, even if it's reimbursed... ::SIGH::)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More chasing rainbows...

So far this week I had one interview that was pretty much a waste of time and one that went (I thought) well. I have another one on deck.

Interview #1 said that they'd have a decision within 2 weeks, but it's pretty much a lock I'm not going to get that one due to my effed up transportation situation.

Interview #2 is supposed to try to decide by the end of the week.

No idea about Interview #3's timeline except that they've been interviewing since Monday and apparently have not found what they seek.

#3 would, for the long term, probably be the best of the bunch. #2 would, for the short term be a good opportunity. #1 isn't worth talking about.

#2 pays a little more than #3. It has a shorter commute. It is also a contract. #3 is a full-time, regular position.

Would I like to end tomorrow with at least one job offer? Yes, yes I would. Will I? Probably not. Still hoping against hope for a Monday Morning start!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seriously, Madame Headhunter?

Just found out that the headhunter I'd spoken with yesterday. Whom I had TOLD I had appointments and would not be at home for the afternoon, PULLED ME FROM CONSIDERATION for a job because I could not instantaneously provide her with a completely customized, totally revamped resume IMMEDIATELY (because I was DOWNTOWN, nowhere near my computer) when she called and demanded it.

SERIOUSLY??? You couldn't have at least forwarded the resume I supplied? The one that I had PROFESSIONALLY WRITTEN? The one that showcases my vast experience? Because you wanted a resume that specifically said I'd set up chairs and cleaned up after meetings?

From now on, I have no choice but to treat anything presented by a headhunter as a "vapor" position. Meaning that, as far as I know, the position DOES NOT EXIST and is being used to bulk up a headhunter's "desperate job hunter" database.

If I have to manipulate information to highlight inferior skills and downplay the plethora of experience I have, something is wrong.

This, then, leaves me with one marginally viable potential job on the table right now. The rest of what is out there, the positions I was allegedly submitted for by headhunters? They don't exist.

I am beyond livid.

This is so damned ridiculous.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's SUPPOSED to be easy...

All of my experience with "headhunters" prior to the last six months was relatively simple....

1. Headhunter has position @ client company
2. Headhunter sees my resume and sees that it matches what client company was looking for
3. Headhunter calls me, tells me about job
4. I tell Headhunter "yes, I am interested in the job
5. Headhunter submits my resume to client company
6. I am offered the job

Done. End of story.

The last six months, it's been like this...

1. Headhunter has position at client company
2. Headhunter picks out 6-12 resumes he sees that match what client company is looking for
3. Headhunter calls 6-12 potential applicants, (I am one of them) and tells them about the job
4. Headhunter asks questions that would be easily answered if he had really read my resume, but I will give the benefit of the doubt because maybe they just want to be sure I know what I said on my resume.
5. Headhunter sends over 6-12 pages of forms that must be filled out and faxed back.
6. I fill out the forms and send them back.
7. Headhunter receives fax and spends 15 minutes rehashing what is on the fax. Allegedly "to clarify"
8. Headhunter sets up and sends online testing.
9. I complete the testing, scoring in the high 90's to 100% on each test.
10. Headhunter contacts me about needing to reword my resume.
11. Headhunter submits my resume, with very relevant information omitted, over my objections because they have "worked with this employer extensively and know what they are looking for".
12a. I never hear from the headhunter or the company again
OR
12b. I get an interview
13. I ask for a copy of what the Headhunter sent the company. My request is ignored or I am told "we didn't change it that significantly, don't worry about it"
14. The interviewer asks for my resume. I wasn't provided a copy of what the headhunter sent the company so I provide my standard resume.
15. Interviewer looks at resume and is confused.
16a. I have a 10 minute interview that I know did not go well
OR
16b. I have an interview that seems to go really well
17. I follow up with the headhunter, give them an assessment. I'm told I'll hear something "in a few days"
18a. I never hear from the Headhunter or the company again. Calls and emails go unanswered.
OR
18b. Headhunter calls to let me know I didn't get the job. Says s/he is "dismayed" because I "was the best of the 6-12 applicants that they sent to the the client company."
REPEAT... over and over and over...

Or Headhunter scenario B (in the last 6 months)

1. Headhunter has position at client company
2. Headhunter sees my resume and sees that it matches what client company was looking for
3. Headhunter calls but I miss the call. I call back ASAP.
4. I never hear from the Headhunter again. Calls and emails go unanswered.

Also REPEAT... over and over and over...

I used to think Headhunters looked like this:


But now I'm pretty sure that they actually look like this:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Friday reeks of disappointment

So, it's pretty much 4PM on Friday afternoon which means... I am not going to hear JACK SHIT about any jobs until Tuesday (Monday being a holiday). IF I was going to be offered the job I REALLY want, it would have been offered by now. The nice, long-term contract that I was allegedly in the running for? I am not even being considered for an interview which leaves... a short-term contract that has no opportunity for extension. Great. Don't get me wrong.... right now the opportunity to be working would be welcome but I don't understand why I can't get an offer for something long-term. I can't even get INTERVIEWS for long-term. I am, at this point, doubting that I will ever have a job again. I am absolutely dreading facing the fact that I am going to be absolutely ruined financially, but it is simply a reality-check away at this point.

The one person I can think of who might, potentially, have some connections and might be able to help me score a job (albeit on their calling in a favor and not by any merit on my part) has fallen off the face of the Earth (or so it seems).

So yes, my friends (ummm, not that I really have any readers, but if I DID, I would refer to you as "my friends") MsCleanslate is officially beaten and depressed. And, apparently, not employable. ::SIGH::

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Efficiency and rudeness

Apparently employment testing is all the rage again. At least now I don't have to schlep to the employment agency and spend hours testing only to be told that they have nothing for me, now they can email me a link, I can sit right at my own desk and spend hours testing only to never hear another word from the agency. SO much more efficient. (And I don't have to get all dressed up and look fab only to be told "I only work with people under size 10" (that was an actual verbatim quote from a staffing agency worker)).

There are three agencies now that have sent me testing and then I never hear from them again. I score in the high 90%'s on all of the tests, so I don't think that I am not scoring well enough for them to be interested. I suspect that they have some sort of quota to fulfill, so they scan the job boards, pick some names and contact people. They don't actually intend to HELP any of these people, they just contact them so that they can report that they've contacted "X" number of people this week so that they can keep their jobs.

And while I know it does me ABSOLUTELY no good to be upset about it, I find it unimaginably RUDE to send someone a bunch of tests, which they have to take the time to complete and then you can't even send a FORM E-MAIL in response? Seriously? And headhunters... you send me reams of forms to fill out and allegedly submit me for positions and then I never hear another peep? Not even a FORM E-MAIL that says "Our client thinks you suck" or something? Or "Our client received your resume and was so insulted that we had recommended you that they sent a personal representative to expel flatulence in our faces directly"... I dunno... I don't necessarily need the TRUTH but I need some sort of response. To this end, I send e-mails approximately every other day until I get SOME sort of response. If they were fool enough to provide a fax number, I'll fax them, too. I can deal with rejection but I WILL NOT BE IGNORED.

Because, here's the thing... I didn't contact these people first. They initiated the contact. If I had initiated the contact and they didn't respond, it would be different. But I LOATHE rudeness and no, my persistence is NOT being rude. Job seekers are told by "career experts" to be persistent. I am not abusive in my correspondence. I am not abrasive. I am not whiny. I am not petulant. I am professionally following up on a contact made. I expect that the people I am contacting will be professional enough to respond, even if by a form e-mail. I am not rubbish that you can simply discard.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Put me in, Coach...

I need a career coach or something. Someone to help me with some scripted answers to questions asked in interviews. Because I am, apparently, a dumbass. Who doesn't test well. And, apparently, doesn't interview well.

Unfortunately, career coaches cost money. And I have none.

Questions I need good answers to:

What's your greatest strength?

What's your biggest weakness?

What's your work style?

Tell me about your experience.

Those are the big ones. Oh, and... "if you could work on only one task, what would your preferred task be?"

All of which come from real interviews. Interviews where I didn't get the job.

I need a coach. Or at least a good script. Maybe I should start writing notes on my hand. I hear it works.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Make me an offer, already!

So, the "days since I was last employed" counter continues to tick away the time. And depress the everlovin' hell out of me. I have a phone interview tomorrow. The job would be ok, but it is a contract job which means that, in a few months, I'll be right back here doing the whole search thing again and for how long next time?

I want the job I interviewed for last week. I want them to call me today and offer it to me. Even if I can't start for 2-3 weeks because they don't want someone to start until March, I still want the offer today. Because if I get offered this contract job before I get offered the other one? I sortve have to take it and it makes you a real asshat if you back out of a contract. And the people who hire contractors.... they talk to each other... so you don't want to flake out of a contract. I know you're going to tell me that people do it all the time and I just have to tell you that maybe OTHER people do, but once I make the call that I am going to take the contract, I really feel like I HAVE to honor the commitment.

But I can't exactly call up the company and say OFFER ME THE DAMN JOB, even though I really WANT to do that.

And so, my friends, I am sortve in a funk. Because I need a job and there is no guarantee that I will be offered either of these jobs but I really WANT the long-term job because I am SO over the whole job-hunting "thing".

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another week down...

If you will note, my counter is still ticking away. Another week has passed and I have still not one freakin' job offer. I don't suspect I will hear from the folks I interviewed with on Wednesday for a couple of weeks, if I ever hear from them again. That leaves me with a couple of potential contract positions and I think we know my "par for the course" with those. I am not exactly what you could call "enthused" or "pleased" at this point in time.

The job from Wednesday, let's call it "OC" would be a full-time, regular position. There would be benefits. From what I was told in the interview, I am guessing the salary would be about tiny monies +3, which is borderline acceptable. I am not so concerned with benefits as I don't even remember the last job I had where I had them and I've been ok. Commute is not wonderful but not horrible.

Contract job #1, let's call it "FM", is a 6 month contract, high probability that it will be extended. Low probability it will ever become a "real" job. Pay is "Whoot!". No benefits. Commute would probably be tolerable. I was, by the way, supposed to hear something from these folks by now. Yeah, that didn't happen. But it seldom does.

Contract job #2, lets call it "CO" is a 6 month contract. Low probability for extension. NO prospect for it becoming a "real" job. Pay is "Whoo!" (a step below "Whoot!") No benefits. Commute would be...LONG. This is allegedly supposed to "move quickly" but I guess that means something different to me than it does to the recruiter.

Still, at this point, I want the "OC" position. I don't want to have to be looking for work (for God knows how long) again in 6 months. I'm TIRED of that. If I could have the 4-5 months off and not have to be worried about paying bills, that'd be one thing. But I am not "enjoying" the time off because I constantly worry about keeping the bills paid and a roof over my head.

Also on my mind right now is a friend who is MIA. This is someone who does this from time to time, but this time it's been longer than usual and I am getting nervous. Not a damn thing I can do about it, though. ::SIGH::

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

MsCleanslate ponders whether Mr. Hit & Run Recruiter might read her blog because the very next day after she posted her last post, guess who got in touch with her? I know, right? Anyhow, he CLAIMS he has sent my resume off to a black hole the potential employer so we shall see if anything ever comes of it...

Meanwhile, I've been on another interview. I really wish I could stop interviewing with people I could possibly have given birth to (ie, really young people). I know that makes me sound like a geezer but these Gen Y folks want to hire other Gen Y folks so they don't have to listen to us geriatrics talk about "the good ol' days" or irregularity or whatever it is that geezers talk about.

I had figured in advance that there would be at least one "special" interview question so I studied up so I had a good answer for the question. I realized, too, that maybe I should have a good answer for "what was the last book that you read" because I really don't think that "Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea" is a really good answer to the question. Unless the interviewer is by chance a really big Chelsea Handler fan.

Anyhoo, I got about 3.5 hours of sleep before I woke up and got up. I got another 2 or so after a few hours of Bejeweled Blitz and I have to say that I am pretty surprised to still be awake now. I'm pretty tired. But, I think I "nailed" at least a couple of the interview questions and am hoping that maybe this one will be "the one".

Actually, I just want all of this "dress up and put on makeup" crap to be over so I can spend my 4 hours a day commuting to a thankless job for which I am compensated with a meager paycheck because that, my friends, is my life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

An open letter to the "Hit &Run Recruiter"

Late last week, I was contacted at 11:55AM via email about an open position. I am well-qualified for the position and responded by email AND by phone at 12:01PM (so, about 6 minutes had elapsed...) I got no response. I called 4 more times that day and left messages plus sent another email. To date, I have heard.... NOTHING.

Thus, I decided that Mr. Hit & Run Recruiter is not serious about me and I have nothing to lose. As such, I have faxed the following...

Dear Mr. Hit & Run Recruiter,

You had contacted me on Friday, Jan. 29th, 2010 about an Administrative Assistant position in Glitterville, USA.

Since then I have made numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact you. If the position has been filled, that's fine, but it would have been courteous for you to have sent me an email to let me know it had been filled. Heck, you can even set up a "form email" for these situations and then it takes all of 2 seconds to hit "send". I've done hiring and I know it's tough to respond to every applicant, but in any position I've held that I was a part of the hiring process, applicants were never left wondering the status of their application.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

MsCleanslate

P.S. - The next step is to track you down, come to your house and boil a bunny on your stove. Please save the bunny, he's awfully cute and you really don't want his blood on your hands, do you? (Actually, since you're pretty obviously a sadistic idiot, maybe you're into bloody bunnies... I mean, what kind of person contacts someone about a great job and then never responds to this person's desperate attempts to secure an interview for said job? It's obvious to me it's just the sort of person who would whip out a big bottle o' ketchup upon finding boiled bunny upon his stove...)