“I am not my effort”

Passion is not enough. These days, all employers care about is your GPA, who you network with and how much work they can extract from you at the lowest cost possible. I remain a number; my class rank, my year in school, my age. I am just a piece of paper; my transcripts, my resume, my cover letter. I am always at the bottom of the pile, trying to claw my way up. What I am NOT, is my effort.

The amount of energy and genuity I put into each job application is astounding. I have spent countless hours perfecting applications, revising resumes, tailoring cover letters, and following up with organizations only to be rejected a month later. The thought process is that every job looks like the perfect match and so I pour my heart into every submission thinking “this is the one, this job would be perfect for me” only to lose the position to someone with a higher GPA, someone with more extracurriculars on their resume, someone who already has multiple internships under their belt or someone who had mommy and daddy make a few calls.

I have applied to everything imaginable; jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities for the last three years and this past semester applied to more than FIFTY organizations seeking an employment opportunity. I still wake up to emails every day beginning with the following “Shannon, we regret to inform you…” After dozens of encounters like this, all I can think is “what the hell is wrong with me?” I’m an intelligent and personable student, I am involved on and off campus and I dedicate 110% of myself to everything I do and still I end up with nothing.

I’m from Buffalo, New York so I have no notable connections and sometimes I feel as if I’m the only one. It can’t be true, but when everyone around me is celebrating their internships at big NGOs, the White House and every other well-known institution around the city, I can’t help but question what I’m doing wrong. This job search has pretty much taken over my life.

The first thing I do when I wake up is check my emails and employment status on the multiple career search sites I am a member on and in my free time, I am always browsing the internet, looking for and applying to more jobs. Before I go to bed I’ll work on a cover letter and then I fall asleep feeling like I’ll always be at the bottom. If no one wants to hire me as an intern now, how the hell am I supposed to find a job following graduation? This feeling of helplessness has completely taken over and everyone tells me its going to get better and someone will extend an offer, but when?

I’ve been waiting 3 years. I need something now.