Luckily I have been going on several interviews for positions in the non-profit sector. Unfortunately, I haven’t been offered any of these positions. Feedback has shown me that my resume , experience, and interview answers have been on point. Which is great… and extremely frustrating at the same time. If I was doing something obviously and inherently wrong throughout my job search I could fix it. Is there something about how I’m presenting myself that is working against me, at least on a subconscious level?
I don’t think that any person interviewing me is actively thinking that I don’t ‘look’ experienced enough, but I do have a younger looking face. Also, I’m always extremely aware of how I look going into an interview as a woman. Women who wear no make-up are sometimes deemed unprofessional while women who wear too much make-up are written off as air heads. I feel like this dichotomy is intensified in the non-profit sector. If I don’t wear make-up, its assumed that I don’t look like I’m taking the interview and organization seriously, but if I do wear make-up it could seem like I don’t fit into the non-profit culture. Is wearing a dress too girly, but wearing pants not professional enough?
Also, when I’m wearing pants and a button up shirt (my favorite go-to for interviews), I’m starting to become more concerned that with my short hair, that I look too gay. That if I don’t look feminine enough, that there is a bright sign over my head that is flashing LESBIAN in big bold letters.
Again, I really don’t think any of my interviewers are actively think that way, but it’s still something that is probably hindering my job search.
However, are there subconscious decisions being made about me that are ruining my changes of getting a job in my field? I don’t think that my appearance is the only reason I haven’t gotten a job, but constantly being selected as 1 of 5 people interviewed out of 120 applications, then not getting the job over and over again, it makes me wonder.
Hopefully the tide will turn, and my efforts will pay off soon. In the mean time, I just have to keep plugging along, and wishing for the best.