I live in the UK, where the job market is still not great since last year, but it's picking up.
I've been working in publishing for close to three years, and the whole time for the same company (a major publishing house), but have not had a permanent job in that time. It's always been contracts and temp work, though I have applied for permanent jobs.
My last major job for the publisher I'm with was Managing Editor for the children's division, but it was maternity cover so lasted for 14 months and ended in October. It was amazing experience and I was really quite fortunate to get the job (a combination of skills, timing, passion for children's books, being recommended by previous supervisors) as I only had a year's experience in publishing at that point.
Since that contract ended I've been temping for different departments of the same publisher and am quite in demand as a temp. However, a permanent job with this or any other company eludes me. I think since October I've had about seven interviews.
Responses have been as follows: someone else did better than you on the admin tests (which didn't surprise me, I realised I hadn't done so well there); no response; you seemed over-qualified and a bit over-confident; you were a strong candidate but we went for someone with more experience in the area; ditto (though I found out with this one that the job went to someone who'd been doing maternity cover for it); haven't heard back yet, but not expecting to get it as I wasn't really quite well qualified enough; and once again, you were a very strong contender but we're going with someone else. (I just got this last response and have asked for more feedback.)
I feel like I don't know what to do. I'm positive, give specific examples of achievements and experience relating to what they want, I cite my willingness and ability to learn in areas where I may lack for that particular job, I'm friendly (and NOT over-confident...a few people told me this was pretty crap feedback), I'm positive about the company I've been working for and the people, I write thank-you notes afterwards, and I have some great experience.
It just seems like if I were meant to get a permanent job in this area, I would have by now. It's been four months (since I finished that contract - of course it's been a lot longer that I've been hoping to get a permanent job!), and I know sometimes it can take a lot longer than that, but at least I'm getting some interviews! Getting turned down for seven interviews is quite a lot. Certainly for several of those I was very well qualified, though not generally over-qualified. I know this is an industry with a lot of competition, and I know it is especially tough at the moment, but...I just feel so discouraged. It's good that I'm still working, and still working in the same industry, but why can't I just get a permanent job?