Post # 1
I’ve been out of school since December, and I’m having trouble hearing back from employers about jobs I’m applying for. Granted I am in one of the most competitive fields ever with a serious lack of jobs, but I can’t help getting frustrated sometimes. I’m trying to get a job as a Gallery Assistant at an art gallery in NYC. I’m fully committed to this as a full time career and am willing to keep waiting for an opportunity if I have to, but sometimes it’s hard.
I’ve been at two unpaid internships in galleries since I got out of school, and have been working six days a week. One internship is about to be over, so at least I’ll have time to look and apply more, but I love it there and part of me wishes I could stay. I’ve learned a ton there about the gallery business and get along great with my coworkers.
My other internship is weird and probably not the greatest fit for me long term (personality wise). My boss has basically wants me to take on the responsibility of a gallery assistant there, but isn’t going to pay me, which I’m pretty sure is illegal. I’ve decided to stay there while I look for a job elsewhere, because it will look good and I don’t want a gap on my resume. But I’m not learning anything there and I feel like i’m teaching him things about the gallery business I’ve learned at my other internships.
I’m to the point now that I have enough training that I could step into a gallery assistant role without any difficulty or much of a learning curve. It’s just frustrating to not hear anything back EVER for anything other than unpaid internships. I’m starting to doubt my resume and cover letter and second guess everything I send out. I know finding my dream job will take time, but it’s hard not to get frustrated. Any advice would be appreciated.
Post # 3
@emilygrace07: Are you limited to NYC? Because obviously there will be a lot of competition there. Other cities will have art galleries (such as D.C., Pittsburgh has a large cultural scene, and Philadelphia) that might have fewer applicants?
Post # 4
Yeah I am. My husband is in law school here so it would be very hard to uproot and go to a different city for now. Plus out of any city in the US NYC has by far the most galleries (400+) and therefor the most jobs in the field.
Post # 5
Most jobs and most competition :/ I’m here in NYC, too, and it has been ROUGH- I’ve been looking for my first post-collegiate job for what feels like FOREVER. I just recently changed the formatting of my resume (the content stayed exactly the same) and went from hearing absolutely nothing back in 6 months to having 2 interviews in a week, so that could be something to try.
If you are currently interning, what about trying to use your network of co-workers to see if they can recommend anything or introduce you to any contacts they might have?
Post # 6
Can you get someone in your field, perhaps at the internship you like, to look over your resume and cover letter? It could be you’re not marketing yourself on paper as well as you could.
Post # 7
I would start having your boss set up tours of galleries with his friends. That way if there is an opening at that place your name will look familiar when you apply. Also have friends or your boss hand in your resume or place a call after you have sumbitted it to see if they have received it. Lots of times places don’t call your references, but if someone in the field likes you enough to do that it will move your resume up to the top of the stack.
I’m in a similar boat though, but in Chicago. I graduate in a week and I’ve sent out 30+ job applications to museums in the past month and a half. I’ve gotten interviews for 3 positions and not heard from any others. So who knows if those positions have been filled or if they just haven’t gotten around to looking at them yet. You can also have professors who you know pretty well make the same types of calls.
Post # 8
@ProfessorGirl: Definitely this, and —
You need to start networking like crazy! Everyone you meet at or through your current gigs can be a possible job opportunity, so make sure that everyone knows you’re looking for your next opportunity. Put yourself in a position to get awesome rec’s from your internships, and start getting yourself out there! Make yourself a resume/about website, maybe even a blog, and print awesome business cards with a prominent link to your site. When you meet people from galleries, give them your card! Also, update your LinkedIn and get involved in industry forums and communities.
Post # 9
Ugh, I feel you. I graduated last August and had to take a job as an admin assistant making about half what I should be and being very unhappy (I get treated pretty poorly). It is, most definitely, WHO you know, not what you know. Get out there and network your butt off. Get on LinkedIn, set your profile up, get recommendations, and find connections through friends and former professors.
Post # 10
Maybe get a resume service to help you revamp your resume and stuff? My fiance just used http://resumetointerviews.com/ and while he hasn’t started really sending his resume out again yet, it sure looks a lot better than it did before. He also knows a bunch of people on a forum he belongs to who have tried the site and had great success with it.
That’s all I got :-/
Post # 11
This is all great advice. Thanks guys! I’ve been networking my butt off and take cards with me everywhere I go. Part of the issue is that I went to college and built a network in Cincinnati for four years, so I started this in January knowing no one. Considering that, I’ve been doing pretty well so far. I know people now that went to school in NY and couldn’t get any internships. I decided to dress my resume up a bit. Gallery jobs involve basic graphic design stuff, so I should be showing that skill in my resume. Hopefully that will help. When I got the internships the resume I was using looked much better than the one I’ve been using lately. (Stupid adobe trial running out) I’m going to keep at it. Really I haven’t been looking that long compared to some. Thanks for all the kind words and advice. It made me feel much better.