Everybody’s all excited about working remotely right now, and while I’ve temporarily hit pause on the job search for another couple of weeks, the large majority of the positions I applied to were remote jobs. Some were in easily-reached locations like Indianapolis and Chicago, where if there were occasional days I needed to be in the office it wouldn’t represent a massive hardship, but the rest of those could be, well, anywhere. I didn’t apply to anything literally outside the country but I pretty much spanned the full width of it in those first few weeks.
So far I’ve been called for zero (0) interviews, which is … a little discouraging! One site let me know a human being had looked at my profile a couple of times, and I had somewhat high hopes for that, and LinkedIn has connected me to a couple of headhunter types who sent me messages about stuff I was either wildly unqualified for in one case or not interested in in another, but there have been no callbacks for anything. And it literally just hit me today: the disadvantage to the job searcher who is looking for remote work is that every remote job is a de facto nationwide search. I still have vestiges of that former honors kid’s confidence, right, that I’m good at a lot of things, better than most people, and that therefore I should just naturally float to the top of any applicant pool. But when you’re getting 5-600 applicants for a job (and I’ve seen jobs with way more than that) and they could come from anywhere? I have really nothing that’s going to stand out against that type of a search. Sure, I’m good, and I’ll be good at whatever job I happen to be applying for, but what I’m not is especially unique. There’s lots of middle-aged white dudes with a couple of Master’s degrees and an award or two. And even if I want to be super arrogant and say that I’m more qualified for Position X than 90% of humanity (or even if that’s an accurate assessment of my abilities!) when you’re looking at the entire country as your potential applicant pool that 10% is a lot of Goddamned people.
I may need to shift my focus here a bit, is what I’m saying. There’s no reason not to apply for these jobs, but I can’t count on finding something just by throwing a lot of CVs at remote jobs, and I may want someone with a little more experience in this to look at my résumé. I have a job this fall regardless, but I don’t want it, and it would be better for everyone involved if I was able to get something else. But I need to find a way to tighten up the pool of folk I’m competing with for these jobs, or I need to find a way to stand out against the big searches, or preferably both. I think I’m going to turn my personal website back on and see if that helps; maybe I’ll work on it tonight in between Elden Ring, grading, and planning for next week. Ten school days to Spring Break. I can do this.