(Original post by Redheaded_Dancer)
I feel your pain, but it's important not to give up, I must have applied for about 20 jobs in the past three months or so and I've only just got one at a shop that's opening up! Keep at it and you will get there.
That's just a word of encouragement, but obviously you're looking for some good hard advice haha :P
What sort of things are you looking for? Retail? Restaurants? Or are you like me and just applying for everything possible? :L Try to tailor your CV/personal statement/cover letter to how you would be good for these jobs. For example, doing the bog standard "I am a reliable and patient person" etc etc etc is all well and good, but think about how this will stand out to employers. Most vacancies will receive around 20 CVs or more, and in all honesty they are not going to read them all, if a CV does not immediately stand out to them it's going in the bin. It's harsh, but it's the way things are done in most businesses. So to avoid this, you need to think about what makes you unique and what makes you
the only person for the job.
For example, you could write "I am a patient person and am reliable" and that is in theory all well and good, but what might be better is: "I am a patient and reliable person, meaning that I can help customers out affectively and listen to their needs properly in order to establish a quick rapport with them". So you've listed a quality you have, and how it will be useful in the environment you're applying for.
Covering letters are often a little more personal, and if they ask for one of these as well as a CV they're more asking about you as a person, the bog standard you. Not many shops ask for these, it's mainly small shops or places like LUSH who want specific people who will ask for this because CVs are generally very formalised, but covering letters are allowed to be a little more slack. If you're asked to put a covering letter, think about what business this is for. Is it a large corporation? Is it a small and new business? What do they sell? What qualities would they be looking for in an employee and how can you show them that you have these qualities?
Explain how your work experience is relevant to what you want to do, for example, Pizza Hut will have taught you all about how to engage with customers and inform them, yes? And all of these charities and schools mean that you know how to communicate with people and also shows that you're a nice person who is easy to get along with
Oh, and also, put CV's into shops and businesses, even if they aren't recruiting at that exact moment. E-mail and phone around too, because it is possible that some businesses have not advertised their vacancies at agencies etc, and contacting them directly shows initiative, which puts you on a slightly higher foothold!
if you want, you can message me with any questions