Just a quick little story today.

A while ago I applied for a job in the state system. I filled out the online application, which basically involved restating my resume in prose form by filling out a series of online form boxes. It was a job that I was extremely qualified for, and my background exactly matched what they said they were looking for.

Well, man plans, God laughs, as they say.

A few weeks later, I got a form letter from the state in the mail that was supposed to list the “score” I received on the initial application. (With the state, they pretend that everything about jobs is impartial and quantifiable.) But in the box where my score would be, it was printed: NOT ELIGIBLE.

I called the number on the form letter, thinking that either this was a mistake (unlikely), or that it was such an outlier that they would have to explain why my application rated NOT ELIGIBLE.

I was heartened at first that they seemed helpful, and promised to call me back with more information.

When they did call back, a very nice lady told me that she called to tell me that the criteria used to judge my eligibility was private or classified or some other HR term.

Thanks – you’ve been helpful!

What lessons are we to learn from this?

  1. Your humble correspondent is also out there, trying to get a job.
  2. The chances of getting usable feedback about why you didn’t get any particular job is practically nil.
  3. Despite this and many other setbacks, press on. “If you’re going through hell, keep going,” as Winston Churchill said. If you read this site, you’re already avoiding a lot of potential pitfalls that other job-seekers are not.

The horrible truth is that job hunting contains many of these little indignities. But it’s not personal. It’s not you. It’s just the system.

Press on.