US businesses say they can't find workers, and there are more job openings than ever.
Job seekers told Insider they applied to hundreds of jobs, only to be ghosted by hiring companies.
The inability to find a job when it seems everyone is hiring leaves them feeling frustrated.
Tim Glaza's résumé is just about as good as it gets.
An Eagle Scout, Glaza graduated last year with honors and a degree in operations and supply-chain management, plus real-world experience from an internship where he said he tackled a company's $13 million problem.
For the past year, Glaza has been managing inventory as a contract worker for Stellantis, helping the automaker navigate unprecedented supply-chain challenges.
If the headlines are to be believed - record job openings and an urgent need for supply-chain experts - Glaza should have his pick of prospective employers.
But this week, as he has done every other week since he graduated, Glaza sent out yet another batch of applications in the hopes of a job - or at least a clear rejection.
"I don't expect to hear back from any of them," Glaza told Insider. "It feels extremely hopeless. Like, it's exciting when I get any response at all back."
Glaza is one of dozens of job seekers who told Insider they had been ghosted by employers during the past year as business leaders across the US rang the alarm over a growing labor crisis.
"It's just throwing résumés into the void and not hearing anything back," he said.
Seventy-seven percent of 500 job seekers polled earlier this year by Indeed said they were ghosted by a prospective employer since the start of the pandemic. In the UK, 86% of workers in a survey told the job-listing site Tribepad that ghosting by employers "left them feeling down," and 17% reported feeling "severely depressed."
Andrew Dunn is another relatively recent graduate, also with a degree in supply-chain management and international business. He spoke with Insider after sending off a fresh batch of four applications first thing Tuesday morning.
"You sit there and you go, 'Am I doing something wrong? Is there something silly that I'm missing?'" Dunn said. "Especially when applying for entry-level positions. It's entry level. It's actually the degree that I got."
Dunn also has work handling quality control for a small brewery for $14 per hour, but he said he was severely underpaid and underused given his education and abilities.
Christinette Dixon started looking for jobs in May 2020, when her staff of eight medial-exam writers was laid off. By December, Dixon was laid off as well, and the 17-year-old medical-licensing test she administered was eliminated.
Dixon told Insider she had applied to more than 90 positions in the past 10 months, going so far as to paste entire sections of a job listing into her résumé and cover letter in the hopes of making it through the algorithms of the applicant-tracking systems.
Unlike Glaza or Dunn, who are just starting their careers, Dixon has led teams and mastered complex certifications in healthcare, only to have that work be unceremoniously eliminated when priorities change.
"I get depressed," she said. "Like, oh, my gosh, is the stuff I did not valid?"
Dixon even completed a diversity and inclusion certification from Cornell to begin a career in that space. But she said she got filtered out for not having five years of experience, even though she managed an especially diverse team for four years and is Black.
"I do have experience," she said. "But I don't even get the chance to explain what I know."
Dixon has gotten so fed up with the job search that she decided to start early on her post-retirement dream of opening her own consignment business, she said.
"I made my own job. I can't wait anymore," she said.
Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-last
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