quarter_to_five: (Default)
[personal profile] quarter_to_five
How do, um, jobs in America/The West, like, happen?

I feel like this should not be a total mystery to me, and yet applying for international jobs and grad schools is this baffling black-box of a process in a way applying for jobs or university here (and I have applied for, and had, lots and lots of jobs. Because I last an average of five months at em) isn't, and I can't quite figure out why.

It's a very similar process, all told - ok, we don't do the cover letter thing as much, but I feel like I've figured that one out at this point - but somehow I kind of know where I stand if I apply to a job here, usually have a good sense of if i'm likely to hear back, and generally, well, get the jobs I really want (because they're things I want to do and know how to do and can demonstrate that and show genuine enthusiasm and all that. And it works!) Applying internationally? Total mystery. It's like I'm throwing my CV into a well.

It's like one time at a job fair thing here at uni there were lots of stands and tables with various companies and organizations with various banners and bowls of hard candy and fake-enthusiastic humans (normal, for a certain sense of the word), and one empty table with nothing on it but a cardboard box with a slit in the top and a plain A4 sheet that had 'Mossad. CVs here' printed on it, (I laughed.) So ALL foreign stuff feels like that to me.

(True story - I did not put my CV in the box, or any other creepy spy boxes, but did once get a phone call from 'the secuirty apparatus' saying they'd gotten my CV - no, they could not tell me how or from where - and would like to invite me to an interview. No, they could not tell me for what, or how, or where. I went to the interview - HOW COULD I NOT? - which was in a weird abandoned office filled with shiny plastic plants and no signs of humans habitation and lots of giant Israeli flags - it looked like an incomplete movie set for a government office - had me do a sort of stream of consciousness sentence completion thing (when i think of dinosaurs I think...when i think of death I think...) that had apparently not changed formats since 1969 (at least that what it said - it was a terrible photocopy of a typewritten page) then a two hour interview/psych exam of some kind (it made me cry) with someone who explained that there were two types of positions available, in the field and not in the field, and the ones in the field, were, well, more field-based, and the ones not in the field, were, well, not field based. And, no, I couldn't not have any more information. No, not at a later stage either. Which one would I prefer?) 

I can't tell if that means that I'm just applying un-ambitiously around here, or overly ambitiously abroad, or Israel just has a great labour market right now (eh) so it's less competitive and I have no clue how many awesomely qualified people there are out there, or my credentials and experience and whatever don't make sense to non-Israelis - thought I don't know that any of them make sense to Israelis...my real, full CV reads like an exercise in Dadaist poetry. (Professional D&D Dungeonmaster/Albanian Hostel Manager/Congolese Transportation Planner.)

Or, sometimes, it feels like its really an odd, quite subtle cultural thing? I mean, applying for a job here goes - see ad somewhere, send in a CV (no cover letter usually,) hear back by phone or mail within 2-3 days max, come in when you can for an interview, get hired/not hired within a week. I mean, I got my current job on the spot (and it's a relatively proper one at a gov ministry). I feel like that would never happen abroad? Like, it has to be more formal and there is some art to keeping to a certain timeline or something? I really have no clue.

Just musing out loud...and trying to figure out why I haven't apparently even managed to score an interview for something I have every qualification for, yes.

(Runner up theory - international social sciences research is run by economists, and economists are, A. the worst, and B. disdain economic geographers because who cares about any ability to approach reality, what matters is how many courses in mathematical financial modelling you've taken?)

Grr, I say.

Date: 2017-02-26 02:50 pm (UTC)
opusculasedfera: stack of books, with a mug of tea on top (Default)
From: [personal profile] opusculasedfera
This is also completely based on personal anecdote, but ime in North America, employers never bother to respond at all unless they want an interview, and anything halfway decent is completely inundated with applications because the job market is so bad here, so they're only interviewing a tiny fraction of applicants (based on things like keyword matches in CVs, not detailed examination of your application package).

Which isn't super heartening, I know, but it does mean it's probably not you, it's them!

Date: 2017-02-26 04:26 pm (UTC)
ivyfic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivyfic
I'm in the US. It entirely depends on the field, but as perspective, in my previous career (publishing), I changed jobs twice, and each time the process took a year. In one of those years, I sent more than 100 applications, got about 10 interviews, and one job offer. It is normal not to hear back. It's normal to go for an interview and never hear back. It's also normal to hear back in the affirmative weeks later. Also, almost every job I've ever gotten I've gotten because I had some connection at the organization. I have had almost zero luck sending my resume to places through an online application process. I usually only got any response if I knew someone there who handed my resume to the hiring manager personally.

In my current career though (accountant), I get contacted by recruiters all the time. So it really depends.

But I'd say in general, yes, unless you know someone, you mostly are throwing your application into a hole.

Date: 2017-02-27 01:21 am (UTC)
ivyfic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivyfic
It's really normal if you know someone at an organization to ask them to pass on your resume to HR. In my case, it was a former boss. Of course, the person may say no...

It's all networking. Everything is networking.


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