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Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

Hey guys


Have you ever put a lot of effort and time into something for it all to end up mostly useless? That's how I've been feeling about job/volunteering applications recently. 


As someone who has a lot of anxious thoughts and likes to be as prepared as I can for scary things, esp job interviews, I've invested a lot of time and effort into preparing for those sorts of things and for the response to be either nothing, or automatically generated emails saying I wasn't qualified or suitable enough really makes me feel like it was all for nothing Smiley Sad


I try my best to see the brighter side of this more unpleasant stuff e.g. thinking about all the job interview experience I got, but the feeling that you're not good enough still sucks really bad.


Can anyone relate? 


Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

Hi @skyedre! I have been going through a similar experience while trying to get experience and references for postgraduate study. Volunteering and jobs can be really competitive. I also find that a lot of potential employers have no respect for people's time. I've gotten 'ghosted' a lot of times and have got my hopes up only to be let down. It's a really painful thing to experience. On the plus side, I can usually see what a company is like during the application process, which has helped inform my decisions, and sometimes they give give me advice on what they were looking for so I can build on those skills for future applications. I know a lot of people who are going through similar experiences so we're definitely not alone.

Here are some of my recent application experiences:

I never heard back from two jobs I applied for even though I have experience in doing the same job as a volunteer. I didn't even get an interview or acknowledgment.

Another time, I was in contact with a well known organisation in my field. They sent me a position description and I met with them for an interview, which I thought I did really well in. Then at the end of the interview, they told me, 'We have to actually see if the position is open to new applicants' and I didn't hear from them again. I wondered why they even decided to interview me in the first place.

I also interviewed with another place. They told me that they really needed a volunteer, that they were happy for me to volunteer with them and that they would send me a contract. They never did. I waited a few weeks then reminded them that I still hadn't received it. They said 'Sorry, we have been busy' and promised to send it soon. Months later, I still haven't received the contract but I wouldn't accept the position anyway.

I have also found that volunteering and job descriptions can be very misleading. Recently, I saw an advertisement for a 'work from home or any location with flexible hours' position involving work I had previously done in a volunteer capacity. I contacted the company saying I was currently caring for a family member so I was looking for a position where I could stay close by to them, possibly working from home and the hospital they are going to be admitted to. Then they said that the position would involve meetings with them in their office in the city, far from my house and the hospital, which was not mentioned anywhere in the job description. I asked them approximately how often this would be as I have a busy schedule and it is hard for me to leave my family member for long periods of time, although I would be able to do all of the hours of work from home. Then they told me 'don't worry about the job because of your situation'.

Another place I interviewed at told me that I would be replacing an intern who would be leaving in a few weeks and told me that they would be in touch with me after they sought approval from the manager. I hadn't heard anything for three weeks so I asked them whether it was still going ahead. Then they said they told me in the interview that there were currently no position available due to having a full load of current interns and said I was going placed on a 'waiting list'. This contradicted what I was told during the interview and made me wonder why they were expressing interest in new interns when they were not currently taking any.

Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

Hey @WheresMySquishy thanks for your reply! God, it definitely sounds like you've been through heaps of situations like this so it's really comforting to see I'm not alone Smiley Happy


Yeah, it's just sad cause the rejection I got yesterday morning was from a really big and well respected hospital, and their volunteering service just seemed like a complete mess. I was mistakenly asked to interview twice, and then staff reassured I would receive an email about training soon which got my hopes up, and instead was I given the rejection email. 


I had a good vent with my friend tonight and that really helped. Hope @WheresMySquishy  and everyone else in a similar position finds something right for them soon! 

Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

Hi @skyedre! That sounds really bad. I'm sorry you had that experience. I really don't know how employers can act like this. I couldn't treat someone like that because I would be embarrassed by my actions and feel unprofessional. What happened to common courtesy, honesty and decency?

You might have dodged a bullet judging by their disorganisation. I have found that the way employers treat candidates in the interviewing process tends to reveal what working for them is going to actually be like. I found the boss of a place I volunteered at kind of rude in the interview, but I took the offer anyway. It was meant to be a 'work experience' role but instead I was made to do tasks I had never done before without any training and criticised for not being good enough. Even worse, the boss made me wash her dirty dishes! I know it sounds mean but she was a total slob.

I definitely think some places are better than others in terms of how they treat volunteers. I was recently offered a volunteer position and straightaway they took my photo, gave me a handbook about the position and told me that they would organise a training day for me. I thought they were ghosting me when I hadn't heard back from them for a while, but it turned out the person in charge was just on holidays and they were still processing my application. This organisation seems to have a long history of taking volunteers and seems a lot more organised than many of the places I've volunteered at before which is always a good sign.

Side note - that hospital could be the one my sister is in the process of being admitted to! Their administration is appalling. Her admission has been delayed at least three times, including at the last minute. This is after we already waited months just to get an appointment. At one point we were told to put our lives on hold and call every day to see if there was a bed available, which was especially difficult because she requires an ambulance transfer. Even the doctor she is under, who is the head of the department and one of the top people there, was frustrated by how they treated us. Apparently they always have these problems. This hospital take a lot of volunteers so it could have been them. You're not the only one who's had a frustrating experience. Smiley LOL Sometimes you might wonder why this is happening to you but I think these experiences are surprisingly common and you're not alone. Smiley Happy

Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

@WheresMySquishy thanks so much for sharing your experiences! Yeah, I'm thinking now that maybe I did dodge a bullet, so not so caught up over it anymore Smiley Happy 


Good luck with everything with your sister! Hopefully the hospital gets their act together and she can be admitted soon Heart

Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

Putting my hand up @skyedre @WheresMySquishy. Having finished my degree, I'm still searching for a job. In my case it's more sending out letters and going to places hoping they will at least have a discussion about music therapy, but it still hurts when they don't bother to respond to letters or applications.


@WheresMySquishy I really hope that the hospital organises themselves so that your sister can get the care that she needs. Heart

Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

@skyedre @WheresMySquishy @mrmusic  YES I can relate! I am going through a similar thing, I have been applying for job and volunteering opportunities for months now and haven't been successful. It's the worst feeling becuase I put so much time and effort into my CV and into my cover letters which I have to pretty much re-write for every job application. I got through to the interview stage of a postgraduate study program with my hopes high and I got a generic email saying I was unsuccessful. I thought it was so disheartening and would have appreciated at least a personal email explaining why I was unsuccesful, so I definitely get where you're coming from. I guess we have to find strength and resilience by doing things that make us happy when we are struggling with things. Hopefully something works out for you guys soon!

Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

@LovesFoodthe same thing happened to me! I was also interviewed for a postgraduate study program and got some generic email through UAC saying I was rejected. I was really disappointed because I had attended that university before and volunteered for them previously. I thought I had done well in the interview and my marks were almost perfect throughout my years of uni. I too felt that they could have at least explained what they were looking for and how to improve my application for next time. I remember someone who was on the admissions team had previously said that they were looking for someone with years of experience, so I think they rejected me because I didn't have a variety or a lot of experience. I'm thinking of applying to more universities this year. I'd really like to get into that university though because I prefer their course and there are people there whose research interests align with mine. I know that it is a huge achievement for us just to get to the interview stage. I was told that at that university, 600 people usually apply, they interview 60 of them and 25 are accepted into the course.

I'm hoping to reapply again, hopefully with a better reference once I've done some more volunteering. One of my referees kept making excuses up until the last minute to avoid giving me a reference even though I had done months of unpaid work (which I technically should have been paid for) for them and they had previously promised to write me a reference in return. That was really disappointing.

It also really annoys me when I spend ages researching a company and writing a cover letter with nice things to say about their business and why I would be a good fit for them, only to receive no response. It also makes me feel really down to not get a response after an interview. I keep revising my CV and adding details to it such as the fact that I helped to organise an event that raised a few thousand dollars for charity and that I have been an unpaid carer as I don't have any paid experience, as well as listing the courses I have done. I knew it was going to be hard to achieve my dream career, but I didn't think it was going to be that hard to get a paid job. Employers don't really seem to consider my university marks and experiences at all. I'm going to keep trying because I'd like to end up doing something I love and not something unrelated like some of my friends have ended up doing after graduation.

Hope something works out for you too! Smiley Happy


Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

@WheresMySquishy  Congrats on getting an interview! I was told pretty much the exact same thing regarding the post grad study - that so many people applied etc., I think that’s part of the reason I was so disappointed with the generic response. I agree I think I missed out partly due to lack of experience, so my aim was to gain as much experience as I could this year... and now i’ve run into these issues with the jobs. All employers seem to want experience so I don’t know where to begin. Damn that really sucks about that referee sorry to hear about that, I could only imagine how frustrating that would have been. 

Yes I have experienced the same. Some employers do not respond at all which is so hard. I agree, I didn’t think it would be that hard to get a paid job but I’ll have to keep trying. Good luck with it!

Re: Feeling unappreciated (job applications)

@LovesFoodthanks! I'm sure you did well in your interview too and that we were just edged out by the applicants with more experience. I have read a study that suggested that people have a significantly higher chance of getting accepted following an interview for a course after reapplying. I'm not sure if it applies to the courses we applied for but let's not give up.

I get what you mean about jobs needing several years of experience! It's so frustrating. I find that entry-level jobs are rare. I even applied for some jobs specifically targeted towards university students but received no responses. I think that employers demand too much from candidates nowadays. Once, I applied for research internships through my university. I had prior research experience and was interviewed only to be told they were looking for very specific kinds of research abilities and skills, which I had no idea how someone my age was supposed to have. I think it was easier to get positions in our parents' days. I have known a lot of people who have even gone interstate in the hope of getting positions and experience. I feel like universities should provide more opportunities so that we can get more experience before we apply for postgraduate courses and jobs.