The New York Times published a graphic, the Beveridge Curve on March 6, 2013, noting that there is “A Shift Toward Higher Job Vacancy Rates.”
The New York Times Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.The Beveridge Curve compares the job vacancy rate with the unemployment rate. In recent years, jobs stay open longer. And the interview process has become a waiting game. In another article, Catherine Rampell commented on how picky employers have become:
“American employers have a variety of job vacancies, piles of cash and countless well-qualified candidates. But despite a slowly improving economy, many companies remain reluctant to actually hire, stringing job applicants along for weeks or months before they make a decision. If they ever do.”
The article noted that some applicants get called back three, four, six and even nine times.
But wait a minute (or a year or two or three). A similar piece in 2009 by Alinam Tugend, “Getting Hired, Never a Picnic, Is Increasingly a Trial” iterated pretty much the same sad saga.
“It has happened to so many job seekers I know. They’ve sent out their dozens — maybe hundreds — of résumés and finally get the call to come in for an interview. They’re asked back for a second round. Sometimes there’s even a third call. They’ve met practically everyone in the company. They don’t have just a foot in the door, they have their whole body.
Or so it seems. Suddenly all goes quiet. In a week or two, or a month or two, they get a message, if they’re lucky, telling them that someone else was picked for the job. If not, it’s just deadly silence.”
Ramin Talaieis was quoted in the piece saying that “…the hiring process can seem arbitrary and even cruel.” No kidding!
Job hunting has become as humiliating as dating, like waiting to be ask to go to prom. And attending a job fair is like going to prom without a date, and waiting for someone to ask you to dance.
But when the process and progress stagnates, rejection might come as a welcome relief. After awhile, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain any kind of enthusiasm. Do you need this job? Yes… Do you like this job? Maybe… Do you want this job? Dunno…
Like Tantalus spread on the rock, each day you wait, hoping for relief, for an end to the suspense. I had had my share of tantalizing, ripe opportunities, that dragged on and on… like an endless engagement, but in the end, no wedding, no cake, no party.
For one job, I interviewed with a recruiter in December 2011 and had my third and final interview in March 2012. Then dead air. More recently, I received an email job description on Nov 2012, flew in for a day of interviews in January and, finally, in April 2013 was informed that someone else was hired. Another job in California popped up in January 2013, with on site interviews in February, and then nothing. I spoke repeatedly with the recruiter. She seemed as up in the air as I was about the prospects.
So what can you do while you are twisting in the wind? Recruiters and hiring managers suggest sending a personalized email to each person you interviewed with as soon as possible, within hours of your visit. Saying “thank you for your time” in a sincere and personal way is a charming, proper piece of etiquette. Some counselors even suggest sending a written note as well. Moneywatch writer Amy Levin-Epstein quoted the senior editor of Monster.com, Charles Purdy. He recommended three parts to a thank you note: “Thank the interviewer. Reiterate why you’re a good fit. And close by saying you’re looking forward to the next step.” And if someone in your network set up the opportunity by recommending you, write and thank them as well.
Be positive, be constructive, and be brief. Don’t call, don’t badger, don’t whine about how much you need the job. Will this help? Perhaps. At the least, like writing in a journal, it can provide a therapeutic outlet, and make you feel like you are not entirely passive, at the mercy of forces you cannot influence. And a polite, sincere note can never hurt.