I suspect that part of your bad luck may come from how you follow up on your applications. Reardless of the job you apply for or the site you use, contact the employer after you've applied online to make sure that they've received it, to see if they have any questions about your experience, to find out the status of their candidate search, and to establish a human contact with someone there. If possible, go to the local outlet and see if you can speak with the manager (at a quiet time of the day for that business).
I don't understand how you can be asked for your race on an online application form. I don't believe that's a legal question in the U.S.
Since most jobs are not posted anywhere, the best way to get a job is networking - a friend of a friend knows about a job seeker and an open job, and they make the connection between the two. So, be clear about what kind of job you want, and make sure that everyone you know and are related to knows that so they can help you make the connection.
You should check out these job sites. They are the most effective ones:
* Craigslist.org for Dallas, TX - http://dallas.craigslist.org/
This is the job site specified the most often in the last year as the one someone used to successfully find a job.
Craigslist is a giant online classifieds site, broken up by location. For each location, employers post "jobs" and "gigs" (which are short-term jobs, like project assignments, that may tide you over until you get a real job). Jobs are posted in reverse-chronological order, with the newest at the top and the oldest and the bottom. See the Guide to Using Craigslist to Find a Job for help - http://www.job-hunt.org/onlinejobsearchguide/article_guide_to_craigslist.shtml
* Indeed.com - http://www.indeed.com
This site is a central source for finding job opportunities listed. Indeed is a "job aggregator" which collects jobs from job sites (like Monster, HotJobs, and CareerBuilder, but NOT Craigslist) as well as from employers, newspapers, etc., so you go to one central place to search for the jobs and cover more sites than you even know about.
I just ran a quick Indeed search on "retail" and "dallas, tx" and Indeed found 9,347 jobs. So there's demand out there.
* Job-Hunt.org - http://www.job-hunt.org/jobs/texas.shtml
With over 8,300 links to employers and career resources, organized by state or specialty, Job-Hunt will help you identify possible employers and also job search networking and local support groups to help you with your networking.
For the state of Texas, Job-Hunt links to nearly 300 local resources and employers:
- - local job search support groups
- - local job sites and online classifieds
- - state and local governments
- - colleges and universities
- - public school districts
- - banks and financial companies
- - internet and technology companies
- - medical, biotech, and pharma companies
- - many other California employers
Good luck with your job search!