Especially in university, many people have part-time jobs. I know I felt like I was missing out during my first semester when I would see classmates working in Tesco or McDonald’s, earning their own money. I started applying for jobs after Christmas and ended up getting my first real job in my first year of uni, after months of searching. I worked in Asda as a personal shopper for over a year, but my body just couldn’t do the 5am starts anymore. So I have been on the job market again for a couple of months. Job hunting is painful yet necessary, and it’s especially hard when you are looking for your first job and don’t any/much experience, which most employers require nowadays. So I’m going to share a couple of things that could be helpful, or at the very least make you feel slightly less alone if, like me, you are desperately looking for a job.
Most jobs nowadays require applicants to have a certain amount of experience, usually one or two years in administration or customer service for example. However, if like me you didn’t really have a job before going to university, it can be difficult to find one that doesn’t require any experience. Some companies do specify if the experience is required or prefered, so have a closer look at that.
It seems quite pointless to apply for a job that you don’t have the necessary experience for. However, I suggest you apply anyway. You have to start somewhere and if you have an interesting CV, some companies might look past your lack of previous experience and offer you a position. Most jobs offer training anyway, so even if you don’t feel like you would know what to do, you would be shown around. And think of is this way: the most successful people started out as beginners too. So whether or not you have the experience, give it a shot and send in your application. You have nothing to lose.
Going the extra mile
In the age of emails and social media, it has become very easy and effortless to apply for jobs. All it requires is an internet connection and the click of a button. If there is a job that you really want though, I suggest you go the extra mile. And by that I simply mean: stand out. Don’t be like all the others who have applied online, send your CV per post! If it’s a creative job, consider making a creative CV/application. If you live close by, why not just pop by and hand in your application in person?
And if you don’t hear anything back for a while, call them to follow up on your application; anything that will make the employer remember you. This method does not guarantee you a job, but I can promise you that employers will acknowledge the effort you put in – or they might just give you a chance so they don’t have to deal with your constant nagging anymore! Put yourself in the shoes of an employer. Say 10 people apply to a job and only one of them went out of their way and handed their application in personally. Who would you consider first? Exactly, the person that proved they most want the job. So be proactive and good things will come from it.
If you live in a smaller town, it can be hard to find a job as there are fewer of them than in a large city. Sometimes, it is worth looking into neighbouring towns and cities to find a job that suits you. If you have a car, that is ideal. Just don’t make the mistake I did and apply to a job in a town there is no bus service to! That was an awkward email to send… So before applying somewhere that is a little further away, make sure you have a way of getting there. And (almost) more importantly, make sure that commuting won’t end up costing you too much money. If the job is a low pay or only very few hours, it won’t be worth spending half of what you earn on transportation.
Rejections are the worst, whether it be for university, love or jobs. Even worst than rejections is radio silence, when companies don’t even bother sparing 3 minutes to tell you they won’t be going on with your application even though you might have spent hours on your application. And quite frankly, being rejected is shit. Whenever I got an email saying I my application was unsuccessful, my self-worth just went down the gutter. I would open the email hopeful for an interview only to find myself saying “here we go again”.
But let me tell you, the amount of rejections you get does not determine how good or bad you are. If they don’t want you, it’s their loss! It’s hard to keep going after being rejected (multiple times), but that’s just life. You have to keep your head up and keep going. I was ready to give up just last week. Having been unemployed since mid-April, I applied to a lot of jobs – probably around 40. From all these applications, I got 1 interview I was able to attend, which unfortunately wasn’t successful. I was on the phone with my best friend and told her about yet another rejection, close to tears. I believed that it was over, I was not going to find a job and I would keep living off rice and canned tuna for the rest of the year. A couple days passed and I found myself wandering back to Indeed and there was a new job that had been posted the day before. It was a job I had experience for, that was only a short walk from my house, had good hours and a good pay. So I obviously applied. And I was successful! So just because you feel like giving up, keep holding on because something great will come along.
Give it time
My last, and probably most important, piece of advice is: give it time. Looking for a job is stressful and painful, and for most people it takes a lot of failures before succeeding. I remember walking around my town, handing out CVs to different shops on more than one occasion and dear god, it is embarrassing. Just remind yourself that it takes time and don’t beat yourself up too much if it doesn’t work the first few times. On the contrary, give yourself a pat on the back because you are putting yourself out there and trying. Many people don’t even do that. So celebrate your small successes – even if that is just handing out 5 CVs – and stay strong until you are successful and get the job. Then pop open the champagne!
So these are my tips for making the job hunt a little easier. If you have any of your own, comment them down below! I’d love to hear what has worked for you. If you’ve read this far, thank you so much, you are fabulous. I hope you have a lovely week and I will see you next Sunday.