The Blog

My Job Application Theory

Dating is a complicated and convoluted game, and not one I particularly understand. Given my inherit lack of patience and my past experience being based on what I fondly refer to as the 'hurricane,' I am not exactly an expert. However, I have friends whom seem to have it down. They understand implicitly and intuitively how to long to wait before replying, the power of playing hard to get and can advise on what height of heel to wear on a first date. So I turn to them, pester them with questions and badger them until they have bequeathed their knowledge onto me. I am fastidious in my learning, and although, I suspect I will never truly master the art I am guided by my superiors.

The reason, for that, somewhat, protracted rant, is because it seems to me to be the perfect analogy to describe applying for jobs. See, I was smug when I left University, I had a job by March and whilst the rest of my peers faltered and floundered I was secure, safe and satisfied with my post-graduation options. I had a stable relationship whilst everyone was searching. (Namely I got the only job I applied for and the only one I wanted). However, my job is coming to an end and for the first time, essentially in my life, (not to be over dramatic), I have no idea what is going to happen next. I am like one of those girls who is single for the first time since entering a weirdly intense relationship at a young age.

Being at University carried with it a certain level of instability (especially given my particularly crooked trajectory) that saw me, in three years, live in three cities. However, being a student there was no pressure to earn money, pay rent, bills or student loans. Now I am a fully fledged graduate, and a soon to be an unemployed one, and so every night I come home turn on my computer and apply for jobs.

However, my dream of being a copywriter (as my friends are surely tired of hearing) is not an easy one to accomplish.

To begin with it is not the most common job, my parents know plenty of lawyers (and my dad was a solicitor, though I am still unclear on the difference.) I know Doctors (according to my mother the holy grail of occupations and if I am not going to be one I better endeavour to marry one.) There are a plethora of occupations my friends, family and extended contact base have, but no-one is a copywriter. And my attempt to use Linkedin to create connections resulted in a rather strange individual offering to be my "mentor" and then proceeding to ask me out; not quite what I had in mind.

I am wading in murky waters I don't fully understand and applying for jobs with a C.V I hope and pray is impressive. Applying for writing jobs I feel every application should be creative and innovative, but there are really only so many ways you can tell the same story. And, much like the dating scene there are moments when I know I am just batting out of my league like a fat, bald octogenarian hitting on a twenty-something in a bar. If I accidentally click on a job that offers a salary in excess of £25,000a year I quickly retreat, pressing the back button as quickly as my fingers can work. The same goes for any job that requires two years experience, knowledge of photoshop, SEO, google analytics, graphic design, basic coding or video editing. That still leaves me with, an admittedly, limited range of options, but even given that I am only applying for the jobs I believe myself to be both qualified for and well suited to. (Having spent an ill-advised period interning as a data analyst I understand the importance of playing to one's strength.) I have yet to have any response. Of course, much like in dating, I have no idea how long I should wait, if these companies will ever get back to me, if I am doing something wrong in my application or if they are simply inundated and accepting only those who did their undergraduate at Oxford, masters at Harvard and interned at the White House with President Obama listed as their referee.

At least in dating I can moan to friends, and if nothing else, I have accumulated some rather amusing stories to tell at parties. But, I missed the boat; my friends all dealt with unemployment in the months immediately after University. Even those who took slightly longer than the rest have all now gained meaningful employment. So I am off to take my considerable levels of frustration out on the cross trainer, and pray that just one of my considerable applications gets back to me....