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Who can I talk to? Can't even get an interview

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Greetings all, I come before you with another life problem.

If you want to skip the boring story of my life, skip to the bold section

I recently finished a Foundation Degree in Applied Computing, a level 5 computing course, passing with Merit. I was still working part-time but now money has started getting very tight, so I started looking for full-time work.

What I want right now is just a full time job. Doesn't have to be glamorous, well paying or even computer related, although that would be ideal. I don't think that is too unreasonable, is it? I started off by applying at a place for just Data Entry. I got the interview but failed at that stage, but shrugged it off, and just went off and applied for some more.

That was over a month and a half ago. Since then I've applied for dozens of jobs, only had that ONE interview, less than 10 letters of rejection, and the rest of my applications were simply ignored. Its so painful applying for so many jobs and barely any of them having the decency to get back to me. I know they're busy with other stuff, but its what is annoying me most.

I went into my local job centre to ask about advice for applying for jobs and the bloke said that they don't do that, which struck me as very odd, seeing as i've read countless times "Advice on filling out a CV/Application form is available at your local job centre".

Anyway, I've applied for all sorts of jobs, and recruitment agencies, only to hear absolutely nothing back. I'm starting to lose faith. 4 years of studying computers at college and somehow I'm not even good enough to be a data entry clerk?

Another thing that annoyed me today. My girlfriend has recently been looking for jobs and she has applied for a few places at nurseries (she wants to work with kids). She's only been looking for a couple of weeks and she's already been offered 2 interviews, compared to my 7 or 8 weeks worth of job applications and 1 interview. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for her and everything, but its making me wonder what is wrong with me.

I've given my CV to a couple of friends to have a look at, re-written it twice, and I'm still having no luck what so ever. Quite frankly, it's getting me heavily depressed, making me lose confidence, and hence further harming my chances for subsequent applications. I'm beginning to think that its not in my genes to be able to afford to live a life.

Sorry for the long rant, I just needed to vent among other things. In short, who can I talk to? Who can I show my CV's/Covering letters to who can tell me how to improve them? I'm desperate to get to the bottom of this problem, because I have car insurance due soon, my mum wants me to start paying rent, christmas is coming up, and I'm in a whole heap of crap financially.

Any help would be fantastically appreciated.

Thank you :crying:

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Post your CV and other documents and the .orgians will have a look for you :)

    Being young and had a number of lessons on how to write CV's and what not, I might be able to help you :)

    Plus I like computers and you've studied for so long!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is your CV online? For computery jobs you should submit it to places like jobsite.co.uk after making sure you have key words in it to cover your skills.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You need to make sure your CV is targeted for the jobs you are looking for. I work in recruitment (sort of!) and give CV, job seeking and careers advice and find that when people are sending out loads of applications they get nowehere as they aren't targeting their CV and covering letters to the jobs they actually do.

    In terms of people not getting back to you, it is fairly standard. A lot of the time it is because they don't have the time or resources to get back to everyone saying "sorry, no", especially if they have 10s/100s people applying for 1 job.

    The other thing is it depends how much experience you have. Even if you have a PhD in Computer Science it is fairly useless unless you have some kind of practical experience in doing things too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you don't get feedback then you should ask for it - and i think that companies may actually be compelled to provide this by law so that they can prove that they have not discriminated against you on ground of sex, race etc (i'm not 100% certain of that though). I know at work we have to keep details of how we scored each application in case anyone ever asks.

    When applying i can't emphasise how important it is to look at each job description individually and address each desirable aspect in turn and giving an example of where you have experience of this. So for example if one of the criteria is good time management - don't just say - i'm good at time management but instead say - working part time whilst undertakig my university degree has meant that i have developed excellent time management skills and the ability to plan and prioritise tasks.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi, totally understand where ya coming from

    I finished my degree in 2006, started looking for full time work in mid 07 and only got a job last month!!!

    I too was applying and applying, around 4 per day at one point. I either got rejection letters, or interviews then rejection letters. Or arsed around. Or stupid recruitment agencies.

    Have you applied for temp/contract jobs? Not ideal I know but they get your foot in the door and experience too! I am currently on a 6month contract, hoping to be kept on, but if not, at least its been extra money for 6 months, and its experience.

    My degree is also computer related, and I was hugely disheartened when I too couldnt get simple data entry/admin jobs. But take it from someone who knows, perseverance is key. There will be something out there for you!

    I have a great job now, and am actually thankful I got rejected from all the others! Give it time, everything will fall into place.

    Unfortunately when you have a degree, I believe you are in a catch 22 situation. Good qualifications, no experience. Data entry jobs wont touch you because you have a degree, computer related employers wont take you on because you have no experience. I left my degree off my cv when applying for certain jobs. Feels horrible to have worked hard then omit it, but I felt it was my only hope. Shit world!!

    Dont lose hope and dont be disheartened.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Unfortunately I've not been feeling any better, but best chance I've got is to keep chugging away. Its been really hard today because my girlfriend has had both of her interviews gone well and she's now got a job. I felt happy for her, but it really depressed me, especially now that all of my friends are in full-time work, earning more than twice as much as me. Even friends who are younger than me. I'm sick and tired of being the one who has to borrow money, has to have things payed for him, has to scrounge off of others. Absolutely sick to death of it.

    I've applied for recruitment agencies but they're about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

    Littleali, I feel a bit better knowing that I'm not alone in this situation. I guess I'll try omiting my degree from my CV. Like you said, it seems like I can't get the smaller jobs because I have a degree, and I can't get the bigger jobs because I have no practical experience.

    God it makes me so bloody angry.

    Thanks again.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi again everyone.

    I've decided to post a copy of my CV with all of my details blurred out, obviously. Its in .doc format.

    Any advice on how to improve it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok I've been checking out your CV and have some pointers that my careers advisor at uni told me.

    Don't write CV on it. Instead, have just your name in that size font.

    Your profile should be about 2-3 sentences maximum. Put the stuff about your social life etc in another topic headed "interests" or something similar.

    If you're trying for a job in computer skills, maybe put that chunk of info nearer the top of your CV, maybe just after your profile or education history.

    Your job duties in your work experience could be laid out more clearly in bullet points and use "power words", e.g. from "Sometimes I was requested to answer a phone whenever a receptionist was unavailable." to "Also answered phones if receptionists were unavailable" or something.

    I've found this site very helpful, http://www.prospects.ac.uk/cms/ShowPage/Home_page/Applications__CVs_and_interviews/p!eefmd
    Also if you've recently graduated, is there a careers department at the college that can look over your CV or help out with your job hunting? I think many are willing to help recent graduates.

    Hope that helped :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Pringle wrote: »
    Ok I've been checking out your CV and have some pointers that my careers advisor at uni told me.

    Don't write CV on it. Instead, have just your name in that size font.

    Your profile should be about 2-3 sentences maximum. Put the stuff about your social life etc in another topic headed "interests" or something similar.

    If you're trying for a job in computer skills, maybe put that chunk of info nearer the top of your CV, maybe just after your profile or education history.

    Your job duties in your work experience could be laid out more clearly in bullet points and use "power words", e.g. from "Sometimes I was requested to answer a phone whenever a receptionist was unavailable." to "Also answered phones if receptionists were unavailable" or something.

    I've found this site very helpful, http://www.prospects.ac.uk/cms/ShowPage/Home_page/Applications__CVs_and_interviews/p!eefmd
    Also if you've recently graduated, is there a careers department at the college that can look over your CV or help out with your job hunting? I think many are willing to help recent graduates.

    Hope that helped :thumb:

    Yup - definitely move your skills etc to the top of your CV, before the work experience. They are unlikely to realise you have computer skills if you have a job as a cleaner listed first.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Agree with what Pringle said. A bit quick and dirty advice because I'm at work atm, but the key things I would pick up on:

    Make sure your email address is sensible too - I know you've starred it out so we can't see it but if it's lilsexybitch at hotmail dot com or similar it isn't good for employers.

    Your profile is far too long and a lot of the information is irrelevant and not necessary on your CV. It should be 2-3 lines with who you are, what you're currently doing and what you are seeking.

    Separate your youth club experience out into a section called voluntary work and put all the skills and experience you have gained there.

    Bullet point into responsibilities and skills for each of your jobs rather than prose.

    You need evidence for your computer skills - where did you get them? I could say I am a competent in coding in visual basic, but I'm not and therefore have nothing to back it up. You should have some way of backing it up, be it a course, voluntary work etc.

    Consider getting membership (maybe student/associate?) of something like the British Computing Society. This shows commitment to your subject.

    Rearrange the order - have more relevant things closer to the top.

    Have "additional information" - here put any interests, additional languages, driving licence/car.

    Add "references available on request" as one line at the bottom.

    Just keep in mind that this is a work thing and a brief snapshot of you at work - they don't need to know you have an active social life, and are in actual fact probably better off knowing less about it than more!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I'll take what you've said into account and have another crack at it tomorrow.

    Can't thank you all enough.

    Cheers :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hows this one look?

    Cheers :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok, I've edited this text a bit

    Computing Skills
    During my studies, I used a variety of software packages and coding languages. I have developed my skills both by using them at college and by further practicing my skills outside the classroom.
    I am familiar with the installation and running of the following software:
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 & XP operating systems
    • Microsoft Office (all components)
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Dreamweaver
    • SQL Server
    Can code in the following languages:
    • Visual Basic
    • HTML
    • CSS
    • ASP
    • SQL / T-SQL
    I also possess excellent knowledge of building, upgrading and repairing computer systems.


    Just sounds a bit more professional and flows a little.

    Haven't gone through the whole thing but you need to get rid of all the ... and replace them with :

    You need to tailor the application to the job, so big up your computer skills, and projects you've done at home/college.

    Mention your previous jobs, but say 3 lines max. I wouldn't mention your dismissal for an underage sale.

    Oh, I'd get rid of your DoB in the top line too.
  • Olly_BOlly_B Mod-u-like Posts: 222 Settling in
    Hi Plusi,

    Looks better, here are some points I'd make that I hope help you:

    * "Years of experience working with computers" would indicate someone who was on their second or third IT related job. I'd say "lots of experience with computers and network systems" which is more ambigious.

    * "During my studies, I was to use a variety" - it's a bit clunky grammar: "During my studies, I used a variety" is probably better.

    * "I have been able to learn a lot of them both by using them at college and by practicing my skills at home." - again it's quite clunky, try something like "I learnt both at college and practicing my skills in my own time at home."

    * I'd give examples of some of the things you did with your skills... eg "I built a database for a local football league" even if it was just simulations you did in college.

    * Personally I wouldn't put your name/d.o.b. on the second page as it is confuse someone as to which was the front and it loses the work experience bit. (I actually wouldn't put your Date of Birth on your CV at all... because of age discrimination legislation employers shouldn't know how old you are when recruiting you).

    * I'd change "Work Experience" to "Previous Employment" and lead on your job role not the company.

    * I wouldn't state why you left The Local; it's hardly a selling point! You don't have to give a reason, although if anyone asks just be honest and tell them you learnt from the experience.

    * I'd split the additional information and have a seperate section for "Volunteering" as I think that is a real selling point for you that gets lost.

    * I think you overstate the bit about driving; it's great that you've got a licence and car but I'm not sure you need to state it's a functional vehicle and you are legally allowed to drive it. As an employer I'd take that as a given.

    And some minor ickle grammar type stuff:
    * I'd use colons ( : ) rather than ellipses (...) when introducing bullet points (ellipses suggest a lack of confidence, you are fading out).
    * On your CV part-time is hyphenated but full time isn't. Either is acceptable, but better to be consistant. I'd also put a hyphen in hard-working.
    * You don't need a comma after ambitious as it is directly before an "and" (it's known as an Oxford comma).
    * It's Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
    * It's licence not license (one is the noun, the other the verb).

    Best wishes,



    Olly
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