It only gets worse as you get older. I am 42 I have a very unique work background. The computer assisted application process and the HR offices make it almost impossible to get an interview. The HR offices largely exist to keep companies out of court by keeping a wall in between companies and people. To the DC person, I grew up DC it is a company town declare your allegience to a party and stick with it. Do not pretend to be an independent, first no such thing exists in washington DC with the exception of the children being raised there ( i personally do not care after a lifetime of watching)second the companies and the people all have long memories about who was the boss, who supported the boss and what needs to happen to when a new boss or a disrupter comes to town.