Here is the fourth entry in our entry-level job search series by Sara, a recent college graduate who has been facing the tough job market. Since May, we have been following her plight, and this latest installment highlights an all-too-familiar lesson that many job seekers have had to learn.
For the past several weeks, my job search has been put on hold because it looked like the light was finally making an appearance at the end of the long, frustrating tunnel. After all the aggravation of weird interviews and ignored cover letters, I essentially was being guaranteed a position with one of the only growing organizations in my area. This was it; it was my time to move up in the world.
During my first interview with the company, I was told flat out that I was the number one candidate for the position, and needless to say, I was feeling pretty confident afterward. While waiting to hear about the next step in the hiring process, I completely stopped applying for anything else. Instead, most of my free time (and money) was spent preparing for my big step up in the real world.
Then a month went by without a word from anyone. I followed up with the organization twice only to be given the vague generic answers you say to appease someone and get them off your back. Slowly, my confidence started to dwindle, but I held out hope that it was just paperwork holding them up.
More than a month after my initial interview, I was scheduled to meet with the vice president—the last hurdle standing between me and my future. When I got to the meeting, I spent barely 15 minutes with the VP, who seemed bored and disinterested the entire time. From the moment I sat in the office, something seemed off; the entire situation seemed exponentially more awkward than my previous interviews, but I powered through and did my best. I wasn’t feeling great about the meeting after the fact, but I held out hope that I would get an offer soon—I was essentially promised the position earlier, after all.
A few days after that last interview, I got a rejection letter in the mail with no explanation as to what happened to the job that was mine to lose. That hurt. For six weeks, I had been under the assumption that it was only a matter of time before I was offered the job and had completely turned my back on applying for other positions and other organizations. Now, I had nothing to fall back on.
Somehow, logging back onto those job boards and scouring the want ads seemed like a hopeless option that would lead to nowhere, but what else could I do? I was back to square one.
I guess the moral of the story is that, when it comes to a job search, a “sure thing” doesn’t exist. No matter what an employer tells you, until that job offer has been handed over, don’t stop looking for more options. Keep pounding the pavement and applying for jobs. If I had done that, I’m sure that losing out on this particular job would not have been such a blow.
So who am I anyway? Why do I think my advice is so valuable?
My name is Stephen Van Vreede. My company is called No Stone Unturned, and I have spent 15 years on both sides of the corporate hiring experience.
The short story is that I have an MBA in Marketing from Villanova University and a dual B.S. degree in Finance & Logistics from the University of Maryland. I am a certified professional résumé writer (CPRW) and a member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). I am also an Academy-Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) through the Resume Writing Academy. As I mentioned, I paid my dues in the corporate world eventually running a large-scale call center for a major truck rental company, and I have spent the past 7 years with No Stone Unturned, assisting job seekers in achieving their goals.
In February 2009, I launched a new group job hunting networking site: NoddlePlace.com. It is absolutely FREE to join, and you have access to everything on the site. Come check it out at NoddlePlace. You can also follow me on Twitter.