Long story short: I spent 5+ years at a company building out employee engagement/people operations processes. Left for a job that was a bait-and-switch, intern-level role, with serious organizational issues, and lasted less than a year. Quit to go to grad school right in time for the pandemic to hit. In school now, getting good marks. Spend hours each week tailoring my resume, writing good cover letters, getting advice from others including hiring a career coach. Having informational interviews with companies. I hear the same sh*t from everyone: make sure you have metrics on your resume. Be sure to explain your employment gap.
I can not get a call back for the life of me. I have impressive companies and accomplishments on my resume. I have an impressive degree in progress. I get denied from temp jobs, contract jobs, jobs below my level, jobs at my level, jobs above my level. This has been going on for two years--during the job that lasted less than a year, I didn't stop job hunting.
I have an interview with a hiring manager for something I don't want to do at a 22% pay cut from my last two roles. But I feel like a choosing beggar. If they want me (and it's a stretch that they will even extend a job offer) do I take the job and keep looking? Deny an opportunity to make some money and get more experience? My career coach says to wait and take the job that feels right. I'm so frustrated and I don't know what to do.