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Not getting interviews... am I missing something?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
This is something I wonder about all the time as a graduate looking for a job in the third sector... I've been looking for a couple of months, and only seem to be getting interviews for internships, not long-term paid roles.

This is a very competitive sector to get into, and jobs for those without office experience in a similar role are very thin on the ground, it seems. I check Charityjob and other sites every day, and apply for everything that suits my skills, which is a few postings per week. It's nowhere near an application every day, because there just aren't enough jobs that are truly entry level or suitable for a new graduate.

It's all very frustrating, but I wonder if I'm missing something. Am I just not looking in the right places? I feel really clueless sometimes. I'm looking into recruitment agencies to see about temping and getting the experience there, but I'd love some advice, or even just to know others are going through the same thing...


  • PGreenPGreen Moderator Posts: 175 Settling in
    Hey Cashmere Kitten (love your name :) )

    Believe me there are lot's of people out there going through similar experiences. It is tough and can feel like you just aren't getting anywhere :banghead:

    Here at TheSite we have some useful articles in our work section that you might want to take a look at.

    You sound like you are really organised and taking some solid steps to find the job you want. You mention that you want to go into the third sector - is there a particular area that you are looking into? Do you volunteer for any charities? The skills you can develop whilst volunteering are really valuable and sometimes a job opportunity can arise.

    You sound like you are looking in all the right places, maybe check out guardian job (they often have a fair few for charities) and thirdsector are good. I imagine a lot of these jobs are also on charity job though.

    It is frustrating and can make you feel like you are the only one dealing with this but there are people here who have been through similar things. So keep posting!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would have someone review your resume as well as maybe it's not too appealing for certain companies as those looking for interns tend to not look as closely since they're just looking for cheap/free labor in many cases :(
  • Danny!Danny! mod Posts: 560 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hi CashmereKitten

    You're right - it is really hard to start out in charities if you're not able to work for free. Volunteering, like PGreen suggests, is a great way of gaining experience, I started my job as a volunteer before being employed.

    Have you looked into paid internships? There's a bit more of a move in that direction, and while it won't be lots, it might be enough to keep you going while you build up experience.

    I don't know what type of charity you're aiming to work for, but two that offer paid internships off the top of my head are IPPR and the Runnymede Trust.

    Could you let us know a bit more about your situation and what you want to do, and we might be able to help a bit more?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi everyone :) Still in the same position, sadly. I really need to vent today, as I gave my CV to two temping agencies who wrote back immediately and said I didn't have the proper experience for temp roles! How can I get experience if even poorly-paid temporary work is closed to me?

    I have looked into paid and unpaid internships, and unpaid would be a huge struggle as I'm not based in London and they don't pay travel costs from outside the city. Paid are extremely competitive to get into, and I never get interviews. My CV is as good as it can possibly be, considering I've been a student and supported myself in retail until now, with some charity volunteering on the side. There's nothing else I can possibly do to make myself any better. It's so frustrating, I can't stop crying sometimes because of how hopeless I feel. I fill out application after application and feel some hope, then either hear nothing or just that I 'need experience'.

    As for what kind of thing I'm aiming for, believe me I'd take anything right now. But communications or research-based roles would be most relevant to my degrees (soon-to-be master of research in social anthropology, and already have MA in anthropology and english lit). I'd be over the moon to be an office assistant or something like that, just as an entry level role. As for what interest - again, anything, but I'm especially into human rights, poverty, women's issues, that kind of thing...

    Thanks for all your help, it means a lot to me to have somewhere to share...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have you tried getting some support from your university careers centre? They can vary in quality, but can often help with CV rewrites, application form reviews etc.
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