I graduated with a degree in Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University in the spring of this past year. In my final semester, I landed a coveted internship at the Late Show with David Letterman in New York City. I returned to Toronto starry-eyed and sure that my resumé would magnetize employers. Months of unemployment later, I’m frustrated and left wondering what went wrong.
My job search began mid-way through my internship at the Late Show, creating a cushion of time to face rejection and find opportunity. I sent out my resumé and cover letter to countless companies across Toronto. I made phone calls and waited.
My efforts and strategies varied, but the response remained the same: silence. The lack of response was something I attributed to geographical distance. Upon arriving to Toronto, I intensified my search with a broadening focus on creating an online and personal presence. I made daily phone calls with detailed messages, sent hard copies of my resumé, provided links to my projects and networked.
The most irritating aspect of the career search is not rejection, but a sheer lack of response. A silent frustration settles, because my efforts have not met with the validation of a yes or no. My exasperation over simply hearing back overshadows the job hunt.
Record high unemployment for recent graduates has created desperation and a scramble for the few entry-level offerings available. Employers are inundated with hundreds of resumés that leave them incapable of giving each applicant adequate attention.
Employers should reward our efforts with their time. There is an understandable gap in the ratio of applications and responses. It’s easy to screen resumés for key words and to rely on technology to select appropriate applicants and, especially in entry-level positions, far too convenient to select those who simply know the right people. If you notice someone making the effort to contact you personally, consider their enthusiasm and dedication as a skill that will translate well in your company and an effort that should at least merit a conversation. Give them advice and take the time to listen.
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