Bam! All of a Sudden I am getting interviews…

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.29.58 AMThe summer went by and all I got were rejection emails…

There is nothing more depressing than seeing email after email of generic rejection letters piling up in your inbox.

For those of your unfamiliar with what these look like (because you are in a lifelong job or because you never get rejected) here are a select few for your viewing pleasure:

“Thank you for your interest in Koding . After a careful review of your background, we have elected not to pursue your candidacy at this time.

Although we did not see an exact match with your background for this position, we encourage you to visit our website often to explore other opportunities. We will also keep your resume on file so that if new opportunities open up in the future for which you are a match, we may reach out to you and initiate a dialogue.

In the meantime, thank you again for your interest – we wish you the best of luck with your search.”

and another:

“Thanks for submitting your resume/CV to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Not only are we passionate about helping our customers achieve phenomenal results, we’re also passionate about ensuring candidates are thoroughly evaluated and matched with the positions that will provide the greatest mutual benefit for the company, customers, and you.

We sincerely appreciate your interest in the Product Manager, Contacts opportunity and after careful consideration, we have decided to pursue other candidates.”

Sigh. Generic rejection hell…

Then all of a sudden about 3 weeks ago… I got a bite, then another bite, then another… I have had phone calls with 4 different companies, 3 of which seem really interested in me and two of which would be jobs that I would really be excited working at. So what changed?

colorI have isolated 3 possibilities:

  1. Pure dumb luck
  2. I changed my linkedin.com picture to the one on the left
  3. I started declining to identify my race, sex, veteran status and any disabilities.

So lets analyze each on these.

Pure dumb luck: I am sure that someone can come back to me with some kind of statistical breakdown for X amount of interviews submitted you will get X amount of responses and I could accept that as a logical answer, but what really gets to me is the clumping of these responses. Maybe I need to factor in the end of summer and the approaching school year as a factor, but I am not sure how to calculate that.

Linkedin.com picture change: On a whim I decide to get a cartoon of me drawn on fiverr (https://www.fiverr.com/amy_arts) because 1) I always wanted one and 2) I didn’t have a professional photo and I couldn’t get my talented middle child to take one 3) I saw an advertisement on Facebook and it caught my eye. Could it be that having the cartoon maybe me appear more interesting to recruiters and possible employers? Are they looking for people who stand out? I do see that recruiters and others are looking at my linkedin.com page, but in one phone interview it was clear that the person interviewing me had not checked linkedin. I also should mention that I added a header image to my linkedin.com so maybe that was an additional factor.

Declining to identify: Honestly this always bothered me in the application process and about 3 weeks ago I said “screw it”, I wasn’t going to identify anymore (it is optional). They way I saw it, I was just being automatically shuffled into the white guy pile ( if such a thing exists ) and didn’t want to be prejudged in that manner. Who knows how applications are sorted automatically before they get in front of recruiters or hiring managers?

I am sure there are other factors that are involved here that I am just missing (like the type of companies that I was applying for) but for now I am happy that I am moving out the rejection zone and into the face to face interview zone. I can only hope that it all will turn out all right.

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