Other than not being able to cover Australia’s high cost of living; unemployment is seriously affecting my comfort food consumption.
For the love of chocolate – offer me a job. Please.
That is what I want to put in the many cover letters I’ve completed lately.
As much as I would like to confess to my current state of chocolate deprivation as a valid reason to employ me I don’t think it would be a prudent.
So I struggle on with cover letters as writing about myself is new and foreign to me.
Over the years I’ve covered topics that raise my interest while researching them and others I would have never imaged in my wildest dreams speak about never lone put into words.
I’m the toughest topic I’ve had to face.
At 53 years of age I have found myself in the position of selling myself and it’s hard.
Harder than talking about a prize bull or ram’s contribution to an artificial insemination breeding program or talking up an event that hasn’t happen yet.
Heck, the technical details of water sample results are easier to present than creating a credible, short, preview of my life skills.
This, I think, is a result of never been drawn into the world of big noting myself. I dislike the ‘look at me’ mentality and always have.
I’ve always lived with a resolve to work hard and let the results be the proof of my labours rather than wasting time drawing attention to what I have done and what I will do next. I now feel this has been my downfall in life and at my age I’m finding it difficult to condense my achievements into 800 words or less.
I need a job. I need income. I need to keep busy and have a sense of achievement at the end of every day. That is just the way I’ve been since I was a teenager.
I also need chocolate although I’ve lost three kilograms in weight since picking up a block of Cadbury for a treat has been removed from my options.
I’ve always supported myself and my three children with no help from others. I work to the best of my abilities and have pushed a few boundaries to increase my skills so I would be a stable provider for my family. I don’t drink, party all night or feel the need to share every experience on social media.
But employers don’t want to hear that and that is the root cause of my frustration.
They want impersonal applications that fit within the box of a standard application process and they appear to be having the same issue I have with putting across a good first impression.
I have on good authority that the application ‘vetting’ process is first undertaken by the program in which the applications are lodged without even being seen by a human eye.
I’m not sure how that is done but I’ve been told the program reads drop-down box multiple-choice answers and sorts the applicants from there.
Which makes it hard for me to understand why they ask for customer service skills but discourage direct contact with them or alternative answers to their questions.
The customer service entry in the job requirements is usually followed by good communication skills. Is that because there are communication problems within the organisation because they don’t encourage direct contact and they don’t have time for the individual?
The qualifications required are limited to those issued by educational institutions and there is no offer of application space to detail real life experience, other than a condensed CV as over 30 years of work experience is too much for employers to read apparently.
My job provider has suggested I undertake a special course that will test my experience and take my career history into account so the necessary qualification is achieved. Yay, more time on the unemployment line and receiving less than minimum wage social security benefits rather than getting a real job.
And that brings me to the inevitable correspondence. The one that thanks your for your interest.
I’m from a time when employers simply said thank you but no thanks on this occasion. We’ll keep you in mind however.
Now they read as though it is a relationship breakup. It’s not you it’s us.
I appreciate the effort to soften the news but really?