"Why Haven't You Found A Job Yet?!"
The unemployment rate is still high. Some people can't seem to accept that fact and blame the unemployed people rather than the economy. While it's true that people can still find jobs, most people who are looking cannot. If you are in the same position as me and people are blaming you for what you have no control over, have a look at this list of responses. Then, if one or more of them sound familiar, show this article to your tormentors to prove that you are not alone (or lying or crazy, but keep looking for work all the same, even if you feel it's hopeless). If people are just going to criticize and not help, then just leave us alone because we're doing the best we can with what we've got.
1) "You're not what we're looking for"/"You don't reflect the goals of this company"/"I will never hire you or even consider hiring you and neither will anyone else." That last part may sound harsh, but I've heard it. Those words broke me. I've also heard, "Nothing you have done or are currently doing counts," and what I have accomplished should have gotten me a decent job by now, but it didn't. People with degrees can't get the jobs they've been educated for because people in their field don't like them for some reason. They don't even have to say why they don't like you either, so you have no idea what you did wrong. You may have done nothing wrong, but you're not allowed to ask for clarification. Employers know they have their pick and all of us are expendable. When you are all but blacklisted from your chosen field as an undesirable, you apply for any job they can find and try to adapt their skills; employers don't like that, especially when they don't have any respect for what you were trained to do. Some ads say the employer is willing to train you, but everyone with experience will ultimately get preferential treatment. Others will try to train you but give up on you if you can't pick up on it perfectly within an hour (gosh, we aren't machines). Most of the time, people will just ignore your application entirely. In many cases, corporate does all the hiring, and your application gets lost in the cyber ether (or the slush pile) and doesn't arrive at your specified branch of choice.
2) "I completely forgot about you. All the positions have been filled." You could have had a great interview, but the person interviewing you also had to interview maybe fifty more people that same day. A week or two goes by, and you don't hear back either way like you were promised. Finally, you make your follow-up call to see how things went. Unfortunately, you hear, "I'm sorry, who are you?" and then "No, we've got everyone we need now. Thank you." In other cases, your interview was scheduled for later in the week and more than one person is responsible for hiring people, and the one you talked to didn't know that all the positions had been filled by the other person before he or she spoke to you. Oops. "Maybe next time."
3) "Due to the high volume of applicants, we cannot offer you a position at this time." This is usually seen in e-mail form as an automated response. Don't you just hate those? They can't be bothered to personalize their rejections because there are so many of them! Worse are the ones you get when applying online and the web sites are designed to automatically reject applications just to initially reduce the volume of applicants. This is not a reliable method and most employers don't even know that it happens because they farm it out to third parties who, nine times out of ten, don't even care. Even with the declining birth rate and increase in tragic deaths in the years past, we still have too big of a population to even make a dent in the competition (so those who favor the "If they'd rather die they'd better do it and decrease the surplus population" argument do not have much of a leg to stand on). Additionally, people often need more than one job to make ends meet, and they get them while others don't even get one. Temporary positions don't solve the unemployment problem because all those people will be unemployed again in a matter of weeks. Like abandoned puppies who need "forever" homes, we need "forever" jobs.
4) "You're overqualified and better off looking for a position in your field." See point the first. Once you have a degree, it's all over - there's no going back. While you're not required to list all your accomplishments, you are required to list all the schools you've attended and if you graduated; some even want your GPA and certificate information. There are more service industry positions than ones that require any higher education, but those are normally reserved for people who have not yet graduated or have not attended school. So much for shooting for the stars and aiming high when you don't have a fall-back position to, you know, fall back on. Some people can't even get jobs while attending school because of the heavy work load or because there are too many students and not enough campus jobs. Either way, you're out of luck.
5) "I'm sorry, but the position you have applied for has been cancelled." The economy is bad on both ends. Even if a company desperately needs more people, they cannot afford to hire everyone they need. Sometimes the company goes through a reorganization or budget cuts in the middle of a round of interviews. Hiring freezes occur when rival companies move in down the street and take away business (but they're not hiring either because they brought all their employees from the previous location with them). Layoffs are high, and others are being forced into retirement (the lucky ones are offered severance packages, but since that's not me I have no idea if they offer sufficient coverage). The reverse of this is also true - they are still hiring but the managers are too busy running the business to actually interview anyone. No matter how many times you call or e-mail, they will never have time to talk to you, and they won't return your voicemails.
6) "What ad? We're not hiring!" They might as well have said, "The cake is a lie." In most cases an error has occurred: newspapers reprinted an old ad, search engines pulled up an expired entry, or someone forgot to take down the "Help Wanted" sign out front. In other cases, people just don't want you taking their jobs. Some might even think they're immortal and will never lose their jobs. Others favor nepotism, but that isn't always a reliable method either. Another annoying thing is the situation in which they are hiring but the ads were either inaccurate or misleading, and thus both the interviewer and the interviewee end up wasting their time.
7) "Don't call us, we'll call you." In Hollywood, this means no. However, it now means no everywhere else too. Sometimes it's like the scenario in the second point and they just forget about you, but most of the time it's their idea of a polite way to turn you down (as opposed to "You're useless to us now go bugger off!"). A bigger clue is if they actually escort you out the door as they tell you this. They really mean don't call them either - if you do you'll be ignored or charged with harassment or stalking (in a worst-case scenario published elsewhere - I have never been charged with anything). There’s also the issue of desperation on the part of either the employer or prospective employee. Desperate people will apply everywhere (and their equally desperate family members and critics will suggest that they do so), but that is not helpful to the serious employer. A desperate employer may hire the first person who walks through the door or people who may not have all the qualifications they need, but often this does not work out either. As humans, we never make the best choices; it seems almost inevitable given the conditions in which we live today and the actions of people in power.
Often, this is not a kind world. People who are generally friendly aren't usually able to do much to help. Others offer you no guidance or hope, and at their very worst try to rip you off. If you don't have the right stuff to begin with (private personal transportation and enough money to maintain said vehicle as well as living expenses), then you never really had a chance anyway. The government won't help either, as they look at your family's income and not how much you're required to pay in bills each month. Instead of helping you, anyone who could do anything will instead help themselves and offer little in return other than fake sympathy, and then feign ignorance in order to wash their hands of you.
If I'm lying, I'm dying.