This Gen Zer utilized to 1,700 however solely received one provide—and hiring managers did not attain out till he stubborn them out on TikTok


Hunter Howell, 22 years previous and freshly graduated with a level in enterprise administration from Elmhurst College within the Chicago suburbs, has submitted over 1,700 job purposes. However in his 10 months of job looking, he’s gotten just one provide.

“The preliminary feeling was like, What the hell is occurring? What the hell is fallacious with me? What am I doing fallacious?” Howell advised Fortune.

Howell aired his frustrations on TikTok, the place a video of him explaining his job looking woes racked up over 700,000 views. 

“In case you stay in the US proper now, you perceive that we’re going by a job market catastrophe,” Howell says.

Howell explains that as of mid-March, he had despatched in 1,600 purposes however solely acquired three affords for contractor positions and just one full-time provide: a salaried place promoting telephones at Costco, which might pay out $41,000 per yr. 

Howell says he’s utilized to jobs throughout the board, from advertising and administration to retail and quick meals. Since posting his viral TikTok on March 22, he’s utilized to over 100 extra jobs—north of 1,700 in whole—and nonetheless has had no luck.

Howell says he feels employers are “taking part in video games” with him and different younger candidates. After scoring an preliminary interview with a potential employer, he says he’ll usually spend weeks in varied interview processes. He’d acquired rejections after 4 interviews—or just by no means heard again from hiring managers in any respect. 

A self-admitted “pottymouth,” Howell had some selection phrases for firms who he felt had been stringing him alongside.

“In case you’re a hiring supervisor otherwise you’re in hiring practices, f-ck you,” Howell says in his TikTok, holding up his center finger.

Beneath Howell’s frustration is actual confusion. He stated he questioned if there was one thing fallacious with him or his method to making use of to jobs, regardless of beginning his job search months earlier than his December commencement and taking recommendation from family and friends.

“I’ve a level, no felony information, work expertise, references, a tailor-made resume,” Howell advised Fortune. “It’s so baffling. It’s a thriller.”

However even stranger to Howell than his lack of ability to land a very good job was the response he acquired from his publish: The TikTok meant to explicitly scorn hiring managers throughout industries truly drew them to Howell.

“I’ve gotten a ton of [direct messages] from folks like, ‘Hey, like, I’m so-and-so with this firm. We’re hiring for this position. We need to onboard you,’” Howell stated. “And I’m like, Wait, what?!”

Howell says he adopted up with the hiring managers in his DMs, however he’s nonetheless had little luck discovering dependable job leads. He chalks the eye as much as the virality of the video—or simply firms simply making an attempt to get good PR or save face. Whereas the recognition of his TikTok hasn’t landed Howell a job but, he has discovered solace in his feedback part, the place dozens of younger folks shared his misery.

“Lots of people my feedback are saying, ‘Yeah, this has occurred to me. You’re not alone. Preserve going,” Howell stated. 

A bleak job market is ‘disincentivizing to Gen Z’

Howell is considered one of many members of Gen Z utilizing TikTok to share their job-hunting dejection and rejections. Amongst different pissed off Zoomers is Lohanny Santos, a 26-year-old with two levels and in a position to communicate three languages who nonetheless couldn’t land a job after going door-to-door handing out resumes to search out work.

“It’s truthfully a bit bit embarrassing as a result of I’m actually making use of for, like, minimum-wage jobs,” Santos stated in a January TikTok seen over 25.6 million occasions. “And a few of them are being like, ‘We’re not hiring’ and it’s like, ‘What?’ This isn’t what I anticipated.”

These tales of frustration paint an image of younger folks’s attitudes in the direction of making an attempt to enter the workforce. Charges of constructive outlooks on the job market amongst entry-level employees dropped to 46.1%, the bottom it’s been since 2016, based on Glassdoor’s Worker Confidence Index launched on Tuesday. In accordance with a Could 2023 McKinsey & Firm survey of 1,952 respondents, 74% of Gen Zers nervous about job safety even after discovering a job.

“It’s very disincentivizing to Gen Z as a complete, as a younger era,” Howell stated. “It’s very demoralizing.”

Gen Z’s pessimism towards discovering work is justifiable: The job hunt has develop into ruthless, based on ZipRecruiter’s most up-to-date quarterly Survey of New Hires. Throughout 1,500 respondents, 46% stated they discovered a job in below a month, down 60% from the earlier quarter. Solely a bit over half stated they seen the job-search expertise as constructive, a ten% month-over-month dip.

However the collective problem of on the lookout for a job doesn’t inform the total story. The variety of job openings within the U.S. have remained traditionally excessive, based on the Labor Division’s Tuesday report, which indicated there have been 8.76 million job vacancies in February, a slight uptick from 8.75 million in January. Nevertheless, the unemployment fee of 3.8% has additionally reached its highest stage in about two years, with younger folks often bearing the brunt of any unhealthy job-market information.

Till he lands that still-elusive job, Howell says he nonetheless finds consolation in figuring out that if he nonetheless can’t jumpstart his profession, at the very least it’s perhaps not totally his fault.

“Selfishly, it feels good to know that I’m not the one one, I suppose, going by this disaster,” he stated.

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