One of my duties at my 9 to 5 job is to screen/hire interns and field applicants for job openings. People have come and gone in the past few years and I have had thousands (literally, thousands) of job applications come through my email inbox. I am required to read every single one.
It really isn’t as bad as it sounds—physically reading pages upon pages doesn’t make you completely blind—but I do tend to come out of my “application binges” feeling depressed. Why? The surface reason is that I hate having to go through 1,000 applications, knowing that 999 people are not going to get the job. The deeper reason is that reading ridiculous cover letters and resumes makes me feel very sad for my generation. If you really want to know how horrific the job market is, just read a stack of resumes. I just had to slog through 15 applications—and my gut reaction to each one was to write each applicant a personalized critique on what they did wrong and why I eliminated them.
Here’s some advice for millennial job applicants: