Post # 1
- Wedding: August 2016 - Theater
Vent. Mostly looking for a sympathetic “it’s okay Rowanberry it’s okay to be a loser”.
Oh Bees. It’s my one year anniversary of unemployment (7 months with authorization). I am at a loss.
When I am not hugely depressed I try to apply for at least one semi-interesting job a week. Why only one? Because I am having a lot of trouble finding work that
- Is in any way related to my MA degree (English/translation studies with communication and marketing… and gender studies because sure why not)
- I am not grossly underqualified for (even entry level jobs ask for 2-5 years experience in related fields and responsibilities are vast?)
- I am at all interested in (no please don’t make me go back to sales associate in retail at $8/hr please I don’t want to anymore)
I’m just at a loss. Bees have told other linguistics majors that they can apply for communications jobs, but I am not finding any I’m qualified for. Most jobs here ask for years of experience even at entry level, and I just don’t have that to show for myself because I worked 3 years in retail while studying (our college system was not very conductive for actual work alongside studying, none of my peers have degree related work experience at graduation either). I have minors in communications and marketing, but they seem to weight nothing at all. When I look at the requirements and responsibilities I feel myself shrink. I can’t do that, I don’t know this, I’ve never heard of those, and no I don’t have 3 years experience in this field.
I lost count of applications by now, but we’re approaching 40ish I think. I’ve applied for entry level, intern, unpaid intern and high school diploma required. I have received 4 formal rejection letters and 1 informal rejection letter after a 2 minute phone interview (they were specifically looking for someone to work weekends, not stated in their job posting).
What I worry is that if I swallow my pride and take on another low skilled labor job that doesn’t match my education level or skill set it’ll continue to keep me from getting relevant work experience and hinder my chances of getting a job that interests me, that I can grow in and hopefully finally find a sustainable career trajectory. I don’t know what to do. I just feel like I’m not good enough for any jobs that I think I want to do.
Post # 2
I think its time to send your resume off to a career-minded friend or mentor for rewriting. Its all about spin. Dont lose hope! But if what youre doing isnt working its time to change it up.
Post # 3
Rowanberry : Head to AskAManager.org and look at her advice on improving your résumé and cover letter.
She says if you’re not getting interviews, 99% of the time something is wrong with your résumé and cover letter. She has great, specific advice to make improvements.
Also, quality not quantity in applications. You think employers can’t tell that you’re mass-applying? They can. You have to take the time to tailor every cover letter and even your résumé to highlight experience relevant to that particular opening. It sounds like a huge pain in the ass and it is, but you will get far higher success rate with that approach.
Post # 4
Rowanberry : even if it asks for a couple of years experience at entry level it doesn’t necessarily mean direct experience. A lot of the time they are really looking for someone who has held a job and has proven themselves to be responsible. I’d let them tell you they don’t want you – don’t make the decision for them by not even applying!
Post # 5
wow how weird, i litterally was coming on the site to post about how upset i am icant start my real estate career and how im scared and blah blah blah and i see this, at least im not alone. but i believe in myself and in you, we can do this, so many before us have. be patient you will find something but i do think you need to get expert exeriance on your resume. and work with a job recruiter!
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas
Don’t be deterred because a listing wants a certain amount of years/experience. Apply anyways. You never know who’ll nibble! Even if they think you aren’t qualified for whatever position you applied for, they might have something else and will forward your resume to that.
Perhaps even apply for internships. Some are paid, and will give you valuable experience.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2016 - Theater
camenae : I do tailor each cover letter and adjust my resume for each position, marketing jobs don’t care I’ve done purchasing but will care that I was a store specific marketing coordinator, purchasing jobs don’t care I have an English degree but will be interested that I did purchasing and merchandising, communications job don’t much care about those but will be interested in my relevant education etc. Each application can take over an hour if I go all out on the cover letter, haha.
MrsBuesleBee : I already did this twice, but maybe their advice wasn’t good? Haha! I don’t really know who I’d talk to next but I’ll consider. I just figured I’m applying for the wrong jobs.
LilliV : That is a novel idea, though most of them do specify that they want 3+ years of experience in web analytics plus 2+ years in digital marketing and so on. But I won’t shoot your advice down, I shouldn’t be deciding they don’t want me, I should make them read my resume and decide for themselves. Thanks!
Post # 8
Have you considered freelancing for a while? There are all sorts of writing and translation related jobs at places like JournalismJobs.com and even Craigslist. I’m sure there’s something out there for you, and I agree with all of the other PPs who have suggested having someone look over your resume and applying for jobs that you don’t exactly qualify for! So much of the time they assume you can’t have certain skills without having been in the industry for X number of years, when in fact you might have those skills already.
Post # 9
“I’ve applied for entry level, intern, unpaid intern, and high school diploma required.”
Might you be applying for a lot of positions that you are OVERQUALIFIED for? I realize that finding a job that’s relevant to your career interests can be frustrating, but don’t give up hope or allow these experiences to extinguish your self-esteem. You began your post by calling yourself a loser and in the end said you didn’t feel good enough . . . Neither is true! Consider your efforts a challenge, and keep trying.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2016 - Theater
sharona216 : Ugh, good luck to you too! I don’t know how to get relevant job experience when no one wants me even for free! I mean, I could bus tables and wash dishes for the rest of my life but it doesn’t really light any burning passion in me to do it.
steny03 : I’ve been hoping that maybe they’ll see my intrinsic value and send my resume to someone else, but so far that hasn’t happened! The phone interviewer told me to keep an eye out and apply again if something looks interesting, but I think that’s just standard procedure? None of their listing are for anything I can do.
I will continue to apply for internships too. So far no one’s wanted me, even for free.
Post # 11
I’m so sorry. I know how you feel. I worked odd jobs during college and my degree (English major with French/Women’s Studies minors) got me literally nowhere. Ended up going back to school for a Master of Accounting after a year and a half of no leads because it’s the only thing I could think of that I would like and could make me money. I probably applied for 100+ jobs, both relevant to me and not really relevant, and finally took a position waiting tables before going back to school.
I would both start looking for work related (copywriting, even if it’s freelance, social media marketing, administrative work, etc) vaguely to your field, even if that means working with a temp agency or a head hunter for a while, as well as volunteer opportunities that could give you enough experience to improve your resume. It may be worth it to look for work as a server (flexible hours, more $$ than minimum wage) or something just for a paycheck in the meantime.
Job searching seriously sucks – I’m looking for work in a new city as we speak – and after a year, I can’t even imagine how you must feel.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2016 - Theater
concordbee : I actually don’t know the legislation for freelancers in this state so I’ll have to look at it, I think I need a special license and a permit and see if my home address is zoned for work (this is really stupid in my opinion, why couldn’t I work from home anywhere?). I’ll look up JournalismJobs.com, I hadn’t heard of that one before! Thanks!
quantumleap48 : I think I applied for higher level a few times but felt like such a fraud that I stopped doing it. When the requirements literally have me going “I don’t understand what that means”, I don’t think I should apply. But thanks for the peptalk, it’s hard to keep your chin up when you’re not getting any calls back after 7 months of active search.
Post # 13
Rowanberry : I still would head over to Ask A Manager and take a gander. The lower right hand side has her past blog entries organized by category and you can just read the “cover letter” and “resume” categories.
Here’s a good one to start with:
It has a collection of her tips about cover letters and résumés, and this is also where she says:
I’ve started asking to see their resume and cover letter anyway — despite their confidence that those aren’t the problem. And you know what? Nearly always, those are the problem. The people who told them that they were fine were wrong — they didn’t have the experience or the insight to know what would make a really great resume or letter.
So don’t give up! Don’t be lapse into learned helplessness and think that there’s nothing you can do. Thinking that there’s nothing you did wrong is in a way accepting that there’s nothing you can do. If you did something wrong you can fix or improve it. If really literally nothing you do can be improved at all, then you are truly at a dead end. And that’s not necessarily the case here.
Post # 14
Rowanberry : I’d be absolutely shocked if that was true. You can freelance from anywhere in the world, starting right now! I’ve never heard of a freelancer in the U.S. needing any sort of special certification; I’ve done it myself and never run into any issues. There is no legislation other than keep track of your earnings so you can pay taxes correctly.
Post # 15
Rowanberry : I’m a marketing hiring manager in SF, and have a hard time staffing. We have 3-4 open reqs at any given time.
The market isn’t what it used to be, but I used to get 3-6 interview requests when I was job seeking, even at entry level.
Could it also be your market? I know there are tons of jobs in SF Bay Area and LA area.