Post # 1
I don’t know what I”m looking for with this post… just need to vent. Feel free to share if you’ve had a similar experience.
I’m 29 years old and getting married in October… turning 30 in November. I finished teachers college when I was 22 but really knew it wasn’t the career for me. Regardless, I supply taught for several years and at first hoped eventually I’d come to love it, but that never happened. FI and I got together when I was 23 and he decided to go back to school at 26 for a 3 year program (hope you’re following this!). So while I had finally decided that I was not going to pursue teaching and wanted to go back to school, it had to wait until FI was finished. He graduated last year and has recently started his dream job! Great!!!
I went back to school in September last year for a 1 year post grad HR Management program. I am finished next month and need to do a 4 month industry placement to graduate.
Here’s my problem… FI’s new job is over an hour away from here. When he started in January, I moved into my parent’s basement to finish school and he is just renting a room temporarily til I finish. We just found a nice 2 bedroom apartment with affordable rent for the area (we will be living in the Greater Toronto Area). I’ve applied to honestly at least 60-70 jobs in the past month. I have almost no office work experience – I volunteered last year in an HR department and got some experience, but apparently it is meaningless. I’ve applied to entry level HR jobs, administrative assistant jobs, to unpaid internships etc. and I hear nothing but crickets. It’s stressful! This program was INSANELY expensive for a 1 year college program – I now have $12,000 of debt that I didn’t have before. I have professional experience, I have relevant volunteer experience, and I have the education! I just need someone to give me a chance and it’s sooooo frustrating! I have had 2 seperate CHRP pro’s review my resume and cover letter and, after some input and adjustments, tell me it’s awesome…. I can continue to supply teach until the end of June here to keep bringing in money to help pay the rent at the new place, but it means continuing to stay with my parents. It’s just so depressing… anyone else have a similar experience?
This topic was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by MrsPhilly.
This topic was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by MrsPhilly.
Post # 2
Wait, your graduation is contingent on employment for 4 months? Why isn’t your program helping you with that requirement?
Post # 3
BothCoasts: They’re supposed to…. or as they told us in the beginning of the year, they will help connect us with job postings but beyond that it’s our responsibility. My friends have had meetings with the placement coordinators and they just point them towards the same job ads we’ve already found on job boards. And help go over your resume (which I’ve already done elsewhere with industry professionals)… beyond that they’re pretty useless
Post # 4
I don’t know if you’re looking for advice, but netwoking is huge! Do you know anyone currently working in HR in that area? If so, call them up and ask to meet for coffee.
If not, you can still cold call people in HR. Use company websites to get contact info and tell them you’re trying to get into the field and that you’d like to take them for a coffee and pick their brain a little.
Don’t ask about openings at their company! Ask how they got their first job, what they look for in a new hire, if they ever have difficulties finding qualified applicants and what the majority of applicants are usually lacking. Ask them what their favorite aspect of HR is and what’s the most rewarding part of the job. Ask if they know anyone that would be willing to meet with you and get an email introduction. Once you get in with a few people you have a way higher chance of someone recognizing your name and calling for an interview. Also, follow up after you’ve submitted your resume.
Post # 5
That’s pretty rotten of your program. Most programs do a lot of legwork to help their students–they establish relationships with companies and have personal contacts with people there, and in some cases, the company may only advertise with certain schools for certain internships/positions.
Well, that sucks.
Are you paying the school money for every semester, even if you can’t get a job? Because I would set a time limit on how long you are willing to look–the policy sounds vaguely predatory to me (requiring students get jobs before they can graduate and then also charging them tuition for every semester they are enrolled in while they are looking for a job without getting them proper job search support). As much as it would suck to drop out after a year of work, think very hard about paying for more than say, two more semesters just to get a diploma from this place.
a couple questions:
1) Are you specifically looking for 4-month appointments, and/or are you telling prospective employers you are only looking for a 4-month term? No one is going to hire you if that’s the case.
2) Can you look outside of where you live to other cities within Canada (or even the US, depending on work visa requirements and your school requirements). You might have to cast a wider net–and even if you have to live hours away from your FI, it’s only temporary.
Sorry, hon. Keep your chin up and keep trying. Something will come along.
Post # 6
Question, why is the place you volunteered last year in an HR department meaningless? Its experience thats all the matters. Voluntary or not you did it and you should tout the experience gained from there. I had to send out about 100 resumes and cover letters and have 33 interviews before I found my current job… I promise you, just when you feel like giving up, do a little more and it will happen for you.
I would also suggest going unconventional routes of employment like search for jobs at hospitals and law firms and the education dept and library systems and corporations, everyone needs HR personnel, so look a lot harder and look where the rest of the students in your program arent. I live in Minnesota but have been on the east coast most of my life went to school in DC, hardly anyone in my class wanted to move to minnesota and would have rather be jobless than try out a new state… Im not suggesting you move…just to take the road less travelled. Good luck to you!
Post # 7
mrsaxachef: Thanks for the input! I didn’t mean meaningless as in it was meaningless to me – I found it valuable experience (although they didn’t get me to do much more than photocopy!). I just meant that in terms of employers wanting me to have previous experience, they don’t take this into account seemingly.
BothCoasts: I definitely haven’t been announcing that I just want 4 months – I would definitely prefer a permanent job! They would just have to sign off on an evaluation after the first 4 months.
I’m searching in a pretty broad area – I can travel an hour in any direction and still be in a major hub so there’s lots of job opportunities, just none that want someone without experience :S
Wylie231388: You’re right, I should do that – But the idea of it already makes me nervous!!! I may contact the HR Manager where I volunteered and ask him if he has any contacts in my new area that he might put me in connection with. Also my program is hosting an event next week for HR called “speed mentoring” where HR professionals in our region are coming in and we get 4 min to sit with each and pick their brains. I wasn’t going to go because I didn’t see the point if it was all local to this town, but today she mentioned there would be some from employers down near my new place… So i’m going to sign up.
Post # 8
I would also recommend getting another outside opinion on your resume from someone who’s hired staff before. I suspect a couple things: The job postings the program/school has been giving you are crap (and you should look outside those postings for sure) and/or that your resume and cover letter aren’t as strong as you think. If you aren’t already doing this, you should be heavily customizing your CL and possibly also your resume for each and every job. It’s very time consuming but it does make a big difference IMO. I would also recommend focusing your cover letter on how the hiring company would specificially benefit from hiring you (not the other way around – I see so many cover letters talk about how the person applying would benefit from the experience, the job, career boost, etc blah blah blah – that’s not what someone hiring wants to hear). Make it clear that you really want the job and will go to extra effort to try to get it, and also tell them how you will make your future boss’s life easier/company’s better in some way.
Also, not sure how HR associations work but you should join one if you feel it would help you network. Many of them do industry events that you could network at!
Post # 9
Are you on LinkedIn? If not, I would start a profile ASAP. You never know what connections you’ll be able to make through it but at the very least you’ll have the online prescence should an recruiters want to look you up.
Does the placement have to be paid? Could you volunteer for those 4 months? Possibly with the agreement that they hire you full time after those 4 months (essentially they get to train you without paying you). I realise that that is not ideal but at least hopefully you’d graduate.
Have you put the word out to family and friends on what you are looking for? Again, you never know what you’ll find that way.
Post # 10
I have to wonder if your school has a special relationship with any companies. At my university there were some companies that got their pick of grads from like business management and HR. At my school they called it the career consulting office. I would check in with them and see what they say. If there are these special companies I would contact them myself.
I do know what you mean that even the non paid internships are difficult to get. I got turned down for a couple of those myself back in the day. I hate to even say this but if all else falls through you can contact Target. I know they deal with a large amount of grads and are open to internships. Also I don’t know where your located but stores like Macy’s and Dillards are known to have a lot of internships moving through their HR department.
Post # 11
Network, network, network girl! None of my jobs ever came to me because I just applied – by the time a job has been posted online, it means they’ve exhausted an insider search and a friend of friend search and are now casting a wider net. They all came because I had an insider connection – and that’s really how the business world works. Networking doesn’t mean stuffy cocktail hours – it means reaching out to all your friends, friends of friends, past coworkers, alumni, anyone who has a connection to you who would be willing to help you out.