Being Unemployed Is So Much Work


For the first time in nearly a week, I was home and able to work on job applications. For nearly fourteen straight hours, I worked on retooling my résumé and CV to best showcase my skills and crafting different cover letters for each different job. It’s a much longer process than most people realize.

The academic jobs are the easiest because the CV and basic cover letter remain the same with a few changes here and there, but the kicker is the electronic submission of applications. Nearly all colleges use the same system, and those who don’t still ask for the same information, but none of the systems talk to each other. They should have one place to enter the job application information, but no, it has to be made more difficult so with each application you have to enter the same information over and over again. The thing is, all of that information is already on my CV. One college was actually smart and had you uploaded your CV first, and the program culled it for information and filled in the blanks. Then it allowed you to edit it or add anything that was missing. Sadly, it was the exception to the rule. Most require you to type in all the information over again.

Then there are the non-academic jobs. Because the jobs at museums, archives, and historical societies are so different, the cover letters have to be almost completely different. I may be going about this all wrong, but I’ve read all the articles I can stand to read on how to create a better résumé, how to tailor your CV, and how to write a cover letter that will grab a potential employers attention and showcase all the skills I have and how they are relavent to the position. Oh and don’t forget the longer the CV the better, but a résumé shouldn’t be no more than three pages max, and of course, the cover letter needs to be one page (It can be two but no one’s gonna read it if they think it’s too long). All the rules just makes you want to scream. If someone has any advice on how to make this process less painful, I’m all ears.

Anyway, I have tomorrow mostly at home too, so I’ll be continuing to keep churning out applications. I work all day and at the end of the day, it still seems like not much has been accomplished. But I will keep plugging away at it, until I’ve applied for all the jobs for which I’m qualified. Some of these jobs would put me in some pretty cool places: Richmond, Charleston, Austin, St. Louis, Nashville, Atlanta, Houston, etc. and y’all already know I’m ready for a move.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

3 responses to “Being Unemployed Is So Much Work

  • jacki perrette

    This may be totally UNhelpful, but can you use REAP to apply for teaching jobs. I have this vague recollection of that being a way to submit to multiple jobs/schools all in one go. (My information is 15 years old, though…so things are probably different now.) And, of course, you’ve already spent oodles of time on these things.

    I can’t speak for others, and my experience is limited to library branch-level positions, but when I am looking at job aps, I’m persuaded to give the resume a closer look based on the cover letter. I like that the letter shows professionalism, but also a little personality. After that I appreciate that the letter tells me enough about the qualifications of the applicant to show me what makes them a good candidate for the position to be filled. So, the time you are spending on your letters is time well-spent.

    There are some good cities in that list you have there. (My city is there…and my city has many schools (colleges and universities), libraries, museums and historical organizations. My library system has one of the top genealogical collections in the country (maybe world), too.

    Crossing my fingers for you! XXX

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