A reflection on my career failure and the job search process

Over the past month or so I’ve been going through the job hunting motions in a rather half hearted way. The procedure works something like this:

1. Scan Craigslist or Monster for any job that seems remotely tolerable

2. See how involved the application process is. If the only step is to send a resume, then I copy and paste the listed e-mail address, attach the file C://Documents/Dale Davidson Resume and send. If the application process involves going through the company’s “career” section of the website where you repetitively fill in the fields for contact information, work experience, and education, I generally don’t apply for it.

3. Repeat.

This process is incredibly frustrating as the response rate is very low. This has forced me to consider the idea that maybe I’m not the highly valuable commodity that I believe I am. Not really wanting to believe this idea, I opened that Word document I call my resume in order to see if I could rephrase a few things.

This is when I discovered I suck.

At first glance, my resume looks interesting. Lets take what would appear to be my most valuable resume point: my short Naval career.

“United States Navy, Ensign, Coronado, CA, May 2009 – August 2010, 40 hours per week

  • Student Control Officer, Guarantee military personnel are properly enrolled in advanced academic and tactical special operations courses
  • Operations Assistant, Aided with the execution of day-to-day operations at the Naval Special Warfare Center
  • Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL Student, Participated in physical training, directly responsible for the welfare and safety of 15 other students, and ensured training vehicles were properly maintained.”

Here is how an interview might play out:

Hiring Manager: May 2009-August 2010? About a year? I thought the military was generally a four year committment.

Dale: Yea it turns out after I dropped out of Navy SEAL training, the Navy figured I wasn’t worth further investment. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be valuable to your company though oh Mr. Hiring Manager.

Hiring Manger: Oh ok, well what about your time as a Student Control Officer? That sounds cool. You must be smart because it says “academic” in there and of course it is super sexy-cool because it says “tactical special operations.”

Dale: Oh yea! Well, of course I didn’t actually do anything academic or tactical or special operation -like at all. What I actually did was made sure Navy SEALs were enrolled in the Navy’s grade system called eNTRS. No I don’t know what it actually stands for. The job only really took about 45 minutes a week. The rest of the time there I spent surfing the internet. But no worries, I will be productive 100% of the time at your company.

Hiring Manager: Hmm, I see. Well that’s ok, you must have done some work as an Operations Assistant right? Operations are cool, especially when its in the same sentence as warfare.

Dale: Oh my god I completely forgot about that other office I hung out in! Yup, the only project I had there was to get some new motivational plaques hung up in the barracks. That process took a lot longer then it really should have because about 15 people were involved in the process, but hey, I think I was a crucial part of that job!

Hiring Manager: Well we don’t really work with plaques…but no matter. I see you were in the SEAL training program? How was that? Was it hard?

Dale: So that, well, this is a little embarrassing. I quit before any of the hard stuff started. I was in what they called PTRR. Its where you go before you class up. You work out in the morning and then go home after lunch.

Hiring Manager: So no demolition training?

Dale: No, only in my Call of Duty sessions.

Hiring Manager: Well I guess that’s something. But whats this about vehicle maintenance?

Dale: Oh yes, everyone had collateral duties. Mine was to make sure that the vehicles used by the instructors were clean! I even had a whole team to make sure the trucks got washed!

Hiring Manager: Well you seem to be an ambitious young man. Unfortunately, we’re looking for someone who has 2-3 years experience in this field! In fact, it would better if you already worked here, you know, to prove that you’re capable of working here.

Dale: F%$#

Yea, and this is for a job that pays $10 an hour that I probably could’ve gotten in high school. Way to go American economy.

In any case, I will just have to continue to misrepresent my work history to reflect better on me, that is, until TrekDek sells for millions of dollars.

I will be uploading my resume in the next post for all you thoughtful readers to revise in such a way that will make me look more attractive to employers.



PS: If you in any way are interested in TrekDek, please “like” the TrekDek page on Facebook. Thanks!




6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shenny on March 26, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Dale, do you submit cover letters for the job you apply to as well? That’s also an important part. And, you do not suck. Instead of downplaying your roles, you should focus on the bigger picture to show why you were important. You know that, of course.


  2. I’ve tried applications with cover letters and without cover letters. They seem to have the same results.


  3. Posted by Shenny on March 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Maybe you’re over qualified for those jobs that pay less than ten dollars an hour.


  4. Posted by lollygagger on April 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Dude, just for admitting you dropped out of BUDS, that takes major cojones. Just as major as the ones it takes to get through it. Hang in there.


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