Post # 1
I currently work in a restaurant where I have for the past 7 (yes, 7!!) years. Originally it was a fantastic part time job to help me get some extra spending money on the side during college. Well, I have since graduated and want out ASAP. I’ve applied to probably 50 various positions (office work (which I also have some experience in), receptionist positions, etc.)
I haven’t had so much as an interview. I am starting to become very, very discouraged. I have a Bachelors degree, am extremely responsible and reliable, etc. etc. I think part of my problem is the majority of my work experience is in the service industry. (FWIW, Fiance and I spent last year in another state and although I was able to transfer to another location, same position with my current employer, I also landed a second restaurant job on the spot.) I am confident I interview well, but I can’t seem to get an interview outside restaurant jobs.
With the exception of the one medical office job I had (I got the job because I knew someone) all my job experience is in restaurants.
I feel overwhelemed at this point becusse I don’t know how else to go about looking. I’ve been looking on CL (slim pickings but found a few legit positions but never heard back) the local hospital career website (for clerical stuff) monster . com, and the local city’s website for random things as well. Where else should I look? What else should I be doing? I’m so lost as I’ve never found a “grown up” job before.
If it makes any difference, my degree is in Psychology. My University’s career center is not useful, and while I have some volunteer experience related to my degree, it isn’t substantial.
ETA: I’m not looking for anything very specific. Anything with regular hours and a steady paycheck would be fantastic. Major government holidays off would be a nice bonus (Christmas, 4th of July, etc.)
Post # 3
What type of work did you think you wanted to do when you chose Psychology as your field of study?
ETA sometimes it helps to focus on the skills you have acquired because of your education, then think of areas of work that call for those skills. You likely have developed interpersonal skills, and experience in research and writing. Your understanding of the human mind and behavior make you a good candidate for jobs that require strong communication skills. Some examples jobs in this area include those in sales, marketing, case management, and social services.
Post # 4
@julies1949: This. I have a BS in Psychology but continued in the same type of work I was doing in college immediately after. I then got a Master’s in another field that has led me to my career.
Post # 5
I would try indeed.com (where I’ve found most of my jobs. Like monster but better)
Also, if you absolutely can’t find anything I’d consider getting a master’s degree or some type of certification to help you break into a field.
Post # 6
@Snapdragon2804: I think you need to find something you are interested in and look for internships, which are probably unpaid. Since you currently work in a restaurant, I’m assuming you have at least one day a week free. I know you probably don’t want to do something unpaid, but it’s the only way to build up experience if you are unable to get interviews.
You also have to remember that it’s tough out there, especially given today’s economy. I have a Master’s Degree in Education, completed a full year of student teaching and applied to 60 positions. I was offered about 8 interviews and ended up getting offered 1 job. This was about 2 years ago. I also interview well, but the fact is that there are so many recent college grads that employers get bombarded with applications and it’s difficult to get through them all. I’m not trying to depress you- I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone!
My other suggestions would be looking on local college and university websites. There’s usually a lot of openings- same thing with museums. You also might want to call these places directly just to “make sure” they received your resume and cover letter and to re-express your interest.
It’s hard looking for a job and can be so depressing. Just keep you head up- you’ll find something eventually.
Post # 7
Have you had someone look at your resume and cover sheets? Maybe you can refocus your resume in a different way that makes it more appealing. Have you considered temping for a year or so to gain more experience that you can put on your resume?
How big of a place do you live in? If you live in a smaller town or small city, would relocation be possible? I know a couple of friends who lived in small towns, refused to move, and just couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting their dream jobs. Not saying that’s you, but they definitely lacked a sense of reality of where the better jobs were.
Post # 8
Make sure you let all of your friends and family (and probably even your parents’ friends) that you’re looking for a job. One of the most common ways of getting a job is just knowing someone.
My sister moved to a new city a few ago, got a job at a coffeeshop, and immediately got to know everyone in the neighborhood. She made lots of friends through meetup.com, and people are starting to let her know when they hear about job openings. She’s created a bunch of connections and opportunities for herself, and I’m sure the right one will come along soon.
I think with unemployment being so high, it’s hard to differentiate yourself from everyone else applying on Craigslist jobs. Meet as many people as you can and apply to a job where you know someone.
Post # 9
Thanks everyone for the advice. When I chose Psychology, my eventual plan was to go on to get my Masters in Social Work or a related field thirst would allow me to work in counseling or Education. Going back to school is something I am still considering, but is in the back burner for now as Fiance is focusing on his career and is at a point currently where we have have to relocate out of state, possibly even more than once, in the next couple years. Once he’s on track career wise where he wants to go and we are settled and more $$ I definitely see myself getting back to school. That being said, it really isn’t an option currently. I have heard how hard it is right now to find a job even with tons of experience, so for someone like myself with little experience, I’m especially discouraged. Without getting too specific, we live about 20 miles outside Seattle, so no shortage of places to apply. I’d say my strongest skills are interpersonal and customer / client interaction, working well under stress, I’m good with kids, good with computers, etc.
Is it a “thing” to drop off resumes places for them to hold onto until they have an opening? I don’t even know how to look for a job, really. Im so lost.
Post # 10
does your resume highlight your office experience or your extensize serving experience… if you’re not even getting call backs, I suspect it’s your resume.
Post # 11
@Snapdragon2804: I always recommend checking out askamanger.org for anyone who is having trouble job hunting – it helped me get my first real job! She has a lot of great advice for job seekers.
Post # 12
Good luck to you. I have been looking for a job since December as a PA… no such luck in my state… everyone wants experience
Post # 13
@discodance: oh great tip! i will check it out later tonight.
I try to highlight my office experience, but it was only about 10 hrs/ a week during senior year is H.S. and the Summer before college so I can only build it up so much.
anyone know of any good resume building resources? I just bought a few books on the subject but the more resources the better.
Post # 14
@Snapdragon2804: I’ve seen people do this but I’ve rarely seen it work (the dropping off resume thing)…but I haven’t seen it happen often though so maybe it does. It definitely doesn’t hurt!
Are you tailoring your resume’s to the job you’re applying to? That’s something that helps get you through to the interview stage. Many apps go through a computer system that searches for key words and stuff so making sure you use words in the job posting in your resume will help.
I def agree that having someone look at and fix up your resume can be a HUGE help. My SO’s resume was a freaking disaster before I came along. I don’t even know how she ever got a job other than she works in healthcare so they’re always looking for people and barely look at resumes. I cleaned it up A LOT but it could still use help. There’s only so much I can do because I don’t work in her field so I don’t understand half of what’s on her resume lol
I’m still in school so I haven’t gotten a big girl job yet and I’ll probably have the exact same problems you do but those are points I’ve heard several times from many many people so I thought I’d share =) good luck!
Post # 15
So I have an interview tomorrow! It’s a group interview and I think a computer pre-screened my application, but it’s an interview nonetheless. It’s a bank position which I personally think I am not qualified for (but I’m obviously not going to let them know I feel that way!). I figure if nothing else, it’s getting myself out there and practicing interview skills. I’d be so happy if it resulted in a follow up one on one interview, but I’m trying to balance being confident with not getting my hopes up too high.
I googled “group interview process at (name of bank)” and there seems to be 5 or 6 questions that people say are asked again and again at this company, so I’m preparing my answers tonight.
Post # 16
@Snapdragon2804: Is there any office work to be done at the restaurant in the meantime? Else, when I was just out of college, I found that temp jobs were a good way to get office experience. I’d keep your current job and look for temp days when you’re off.