Re: I need a job/career
I've seen both sides of hiring and its not pretty.
When I was trying to hire someone, it was really difficult. With services like "monster" a job I'd post would get literally hundreds of applicants for a fairly specialized engineering position. Everyone knew to tailor their applications to match the job requirements. Then I'd interview and discover that they knew nothing.
This job required FPGA programming experience, it was a big part of the job and its a very difficult skill. I got a guy who listed experience but when I interviewed him it developed that he had heard about FPGAs, but never actually seen or worked with one.
The problem is that each interview takes real time -and generally someone who is hiring is doing so because they already need help.
It can fail badly too. Someone else in my organization did hire someone who it turned out was completely unqualified, but its really difficult to fire people. Also the person they hired immigrated to the US with her young child. She is totally screwed if she gets fired. She is trying, she just doesn't have the necessary ability.
On the other side I've been casually looking for a new job - my field is slowly dwindling. The problem is that I'm too old. That means that I'm expensive because I fairly high level in my current job, but employers assume that I won't want a low paying low level job. But they can't really trust that I'm any good.
I'm just writing this to give the OP another view on what things look like. I don't have useful suggestions.