I can’t believe this is my first post on Fuzzable in four months, where has the time gone? I’ve just been so busy recently, especially with applying for jobs on top of all the writing I’ve been doing for CelebMix, my own blog, and Outlet Magazine. I’ve been inundated with press releases and interviews. Just a typical month in my life.
Applying for jobs literally takes over my life most of the time. Most people don’t understand what it’s like unless they fully start looking themselves. I know many people who are in a stable job, who thinks it’s easy to get a job, but when you’re dealing with application forms, unique cover letters, knowing that 300 people have already applied, and everything else; it really isn’t easy. It makes me wish that all I had to do was hand in my CV.
Yet, life is not so simple. I truly believe hard work will get you to where you need to be, eventually. According to my Indeed profile, I’ve applied to 378 jobs in the last six months, which is a lot, especially since you have to take into consideration that I researched each of those companies to create a solid cover letter. I’ve had about 15 interviews overall, and I’ve only succeeded in getting a Saturday job, and a four-month internship which didn’t result in paid work at the end.
Do I feel defeated? Who wouldn’t? But at the end of the day, if you don’t apply you get denied; so you might as well keep trying, keep applying, and hoping for the best. That’s what I do anyway.
This is not easy. You can’t just select a job, click on it and you’ve applied. If applying was so easy then I’d certainly be in a job by now. I’ve even gone to the extent of applying for a job again and again as soon as it pops back up. Recently, I had an interview at a cinema, the second time I had got to this stage. It was a group interview, with all the same tasks as the first time I was interviewed by them. If that doesn’t show how much I wanted to be employed by them, I don’t know.
So far, I haven’t heard from them yet, so I am keeping my hopes up; but, we’ll see. There are many different applications I’ve filled out in the last month or so, that I’m really hoping I’ll get an interview, at least. The great thing about Indeed is that they let you know when the company has viewed your application or CV. That little notification or email gives me a little spark of hope, every time. Yet, not receiving one still gives me hope, it means that they haven’t gone through the applications – well that’s what I say to myself.
Now, believe it or not, you can’t be satisfied with just one CV. Depending on the jobs you are applying for, you need to change your CV to that business or company. I have multiple different CVs, showcasing my skills and experience in different fields so that it gives me the best chance at getting that specific role.
Regardless, my CVs are basic so that all the information is there. It’s the cover letters that allow you to expand on the information in your CV.
First off, it is not okay to send off a general cover letter with your CV to every job role. Unique cover letters are a total must, I’ve done way over 300, and they really are the best way to give yourself the best chance to get the role.
The most difficult thing is structuring your cover letter. I have always used the guide presented by the University of Kent. And every time I have followed this structure completely, I’ve been invited to an interview or received a personal rejection. I’m not sure how old this is, as it does mention the CV and cover letter being on paper, at times, but it does also cover emails. I saved the information in a Word Document so I can always refer back to it – as I don’t really trust websites keeping information available online forever. So I suggest you check out their guide to cover letters.
If a CV and a cover letter isn’t enough, sometimes you have to deal with an application form that can take you anywhere between an hour to eight hours to complete; yeah, I’ve dealt with eight-hour applications in the past only to be rejected by an automated email a few weeks later. It’s just something you have to deal with.
Personally, the best way to put yourself out there when it comes to application forms is to be precise to all the answers. Make sure you answer the question but don’t be too short or too lengthy. End of the day, they’ve probably gone through tonnes of applications already, so you need to stand out whilst not droning on or repeating yourself.
This is the worst thing. You find out that they’ve accepted your application and you’re through to the next round, but so is 100 other people. There have been times when there have been five rounds to go through, some I’ve fallen half-way through, others I haven’t managed to get past the first round. It’s practically like The X Factor but the prize at the end is a job.
At times it is way too much effort, but if you don’t try you have no chance. I understand why they do this so that they don’t lose out on a great person; yet, at the same time it’s time-consuming and gets your hopes up. However, there is a job at the end, and worth taking part because you might be the one to get it.
This is usually the last stage. The pivotal point where you find out if you’ve got the job or not. It’s your opportunity to impress. It is all about giving yourself the best shot possible. I’ve received so much advice about interviews. Not going to lie, I am always completely nervous, but the nerves go the more interviews you go to, trust me.
There are loads of different types of interviews, from one-on-one interviews to group interviews. Try to be confident in every single way, and always say yes when offered a drink – but ask for water, it shows you’re a healthy person (even if you really want an alcoholic drink to calm those nerves).
The best way to end an interview is to ask a question. Loads of people ask questions, so it’s best to be different. Make sure you’ve done your research so you know what to ask them. Ask about the role itself or the business. Prove that you take an active interest in the company and act as if you want to know more, even if you already know the answer to your question from your research.
Oh, how a graduate hates that word. A lot of people have problems with internships. I recently completed a four-month internship and it didn’t help at all, actually I kind of wish I never did it as it was so not worth it; however, it was another thing on my CV, so I can’t really complain about that, but at the same time, my online presence is already massive.
I don’t think all internships are bad, yet unpaid internships are the worst, some pay expenses up to a certain amount; yet, that still doesn’t extend enough to living costs and all other problems that you may have whilst on one. Personally, I feel only rich people can actually afford to do internships.
What they are good for is gaining the all-important experience needed to get a graduate job. Sometimes a job description states that a job is an entry-level position, yet they want years of experience – we’ve all been there. Internships are a great way to gain that experience, just be careful you know all the facts before doing one and making sure you’re capable financially and with the mindset to do the internship. Otherwise, steer clear from them; only volunteer for work you want to do.
We really hate these, especially when you filled out that eight-hour application form. The worst kind is when you’re proud of your CV and cover letter and you really think you’ve got a good shot, and yet they reject you anyway. I’ve received all sorts of rejection emails and they’re all the same; the only thing worse than a rejection email is not getting a reply at all. Remember those companies I’m hoping will get back to me? Well, I can keep hoping, but I have to keep applying to other roles because for all I know they’re one of those companies that don’t send rejection emails.
End of the day, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Keep applying, keep achieving, and keep doing your thing. As long as you keep going for what you want, I truly believe you’ll get there in the end. Learn from any personal rejections you get, and improve yourself at every interview and always put your confident foot forward. Confidence always needs to be rewarded.