In fact, one application had me schedule an interview up front. Wednesday of next week I get to go to Pilsen in order to interview for a job driving a Peapod truck. It's an initial interview, not the "ace this and you're hired" kind of thing as it'll be taking place at a job fair, but it's still the fifth interview I've had this year.
1) January, at that non-profit organization that needed another PC technician
2) August, the truck engine disassembly position
3) September, Geek Squad
4) September, Geek Squad
Yeah, that'll be the fifth, all right. And it's in October, which means I'll probably get hired.
I think I must be getting better at my job-hunting as time goes on. Well, if you do something long enough.... But I also think that now that everyone knows what's coming down the pike--Obamacare, taxes, etcetera--and because the holiday season is coming, hiring is beginning to ramp up a bit. I think the quality of the leads is beginning to improve some, too, based on the larger economic picture which--while still amazingly crappy--is hopefully reaching some kind of steady state.
By "quality" I mean that the people posting the leads are looking to hire someone ASAP, without being overly picky about qualifications: "Sorry, but we're really looking for a nearsighted left-handed lesbian of color with arachnodactyly, and you only meet one of those qualifications." "I'm a male lesbian; does that help?" "Get out." They will consider hiring you even if you are not a perfect match for the position.
Also by "quality" I mean "things Ed is qualified for". In fact I look at very few job ads for jobs that I could not do, given a suitable period of acclimation. The few that I'm not a match for require lots of specialized training, or licenses that I don't have (CDL, for example; also things like dental assistant, radiology tech,); or else they're high-end professional jobs, or sales, neither of which I'm any good for.
...or maybe my recent spate of interviews has colored my impression of the job market, and in fact I am still utterly boned. The real problem I face is that I'm in the cursed middle. I am a college graduate and overqualified for jobs like washing dishes or flipping burgers; but I am underqualified for jobs like robotics engineer or Java programmer. There is virtually no market for technical writers, that's for sure.
Regardless, nine applications in one day is a record for me. I've been averaging three to five per week since June, so this is an outlier, but I'll take it. (It bumps September's total past 12, I might add, because September was a dry month until today.)
I persist in asking everyone who reads the Fungus: if you see a job opening somewhere around the south suburbs of Chicago or northwest Indiana, let me know.