Thursday, September 6, 2007

Baby, she wrote me a letter

Thanks, but no thanks.

Received a letter in the mail today with the company I interviewed with early last week.

I'm bitter when it comes to being rejected. Some people take it in style and cast a wide net. I prefer a more targeted approach, highly selective some call it.

Time to go over The letter. It started by thanking me for taking time out of my busy schedule. I appreciate the the insinuation that I have things to do, but frankly looking for a job and Law & Order consume my day. So, if you call that busy...

It goes on to say that while they were impressed with my qualifications they have decided to continue with other applicants. Here's the problem I have with that. To me it suggests that I looked better on paper than in person, which anyone who has met me knows I clean-up nice.

Here's what I have come to in my bitterness:
  • I don't like sentences that begin with "while." They just set you up for a one-two punch to the noggin. It reminds me of this girl in grammar school whose bread and butter was "no offense, but..." It's one of those things that aggravates me.
  • I am not dressing up for future interviews. Time to let the real Andrew out. The sleeveless shirt wearing-didn't-get-a-shower-in-yet, take-it-or-leave-it comedian.
  • From now on I ask "did I get it?" before I leave
  • I want to be refunded for my expended energy and time: gas, shower, tire wear, episodes of Law and Order I missed, wasted thought on the job
  • Why do they write good luck? I don't need their platitudes, I need a job. Last time I checked I can't pay for groceries with pleasantries.
Someday if I have hiring power or my own company this is how I would word a rejection letter:

Dear Job Hunter,

We have picked someone else. This is no reflection on you or your qualifications. As you may already know, we are inept at picking future candidates and the person we picked will likely leave us for a higher paying job within the next year making us regret this hire. But thanks for your time.

Job Hirer

P.S. We don't reimburse for gas or dry cleaning.

But hey, that's love.

The thing is no matter what you say in the reject letter the recipient is going to hate you anyway. You might as well give them some good ammo for their ensuing rants. I'd like to make the reject letter fridge-worthy rather than garbage-worthy.

Back to square one.

Listening to: Count Basie & Joe Williams - Every Day I Have The Blues
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Courting a career

"Interview?" the casually dressed man asked me after I entered the elevator.

As the only person dressed to impress in the lift it was a fair assumption.

"Yep," I responded.

He asked how it went and I told him I thought it went well, at least I hoped it did.

That was about a week ago. This semi-diligent job seeker finally landed an in-person interview. I vaulted through the glass ceiling of dreaded, impersonal phone interviews and made it to the real deal. Luckily no freight trains impeded my arriving on time.

I arrived at the office about five minutes earlier and shortly thereafter was greeted by one of my interviewers. She took me to her desk to show me some of their projects so I would have a better understanding of what they do. After sitting through a few and asking questions I met with another woman. She had a few prepared questions which I thought I handled well. In the days leading up to the interview I had printed out a list of common interview questions to expect and to ask. Thankfully, I wasn't asked about a time I failed or where I see myself in five years. The interview was rather relaxed. I closed the interview by asking what the next step was, as I read is strongly encouraged. This woman wasn't sure but gave me her card and said if I had any other questions to email her.

The next morning I emailed both of the women a thank you note and stressed my interest in the position and that I think it would be challenging but rewarding.

I anxiously awaited the email or call to schedule another interview but am still waiting. This tentative "did I get it/did I flub it?" mentality brings me to the topic of this entry: finding a job is like finding a mate.

Unreturned phone calls. That uneasy, hopeful feeling when you first meet. You painstakingly go over the minute details, what you said, what she said, body language.

With each day that passes more self-doubt creeps in. Initially I was pleased with the interview. Now I'm wondering what mistakes I made and what I could have done differently. I was thinking how I could have better phrased my experience at my internship last year. In general I tend to over analyze things and dwell on them for a long time if they don't go as I envisioned.

Dating is like interviewing in that you dress at or near your best with interviews requiring nicer attire than a date. You have to be on your game. Convey your interest, but don't talk too much. Listen. I utilize the head nod of understanding that clearly conveys "I'm picking up what you're putting down."

Conversion chart:
"I'll call/contact you." = "No, really. I'll pay for myself." = Thanks but no thanks.
"You're unique." = "I pray I never see you again."

Hopefully I will get some positive news Tuesday about another interview or, even better, a job offer. You have to think positively. I have an interview lined up with my previous employer for a sports writing job so we'll see how that goes.

So, this maybe the last labor day I'll be without a career!

Pleasant job hunting or enjoy the day off. Looks like my elevator is on its way up.

Listening to: Bill Evans - Minority
via FoxyTunes