Unemployed graduate here, can I have some advice on getting a job?

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unemployed grad
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I've graduated for about 3 years now. During that time, I've done a few short term jobs, mostly in retail which I'm quite sick of, but I have done a few months working as an admin staff in an office. I've been unemployed for a lot of those 3 years to be honest. I've had some depression problems in the past, but I'm over that I think and I'm prepared to be a regular productive member of society

I would really like to get a long term office job, something that involves being at a desk in front of a computer or pen and paper work. I just don't want to be doing retail and quite frankly there aren't many salaried retail jobs going around these days anyway. And rightly or wrongly, part of me feels having gone through the hoops and loops of university, that I 'deserve' at least a regular office job which would be a bit more intellectually stimulating that being on a shop floor all day. But I know beggars can't be choosers, so I suppose I have to be open minded.

I know my current situation ain't great, I got a 2.2 in my law degree from a non-russell group uni, and as I mentioned before, I don't have much experience working in an office - only a few months. I've tried the Reed website, but I've had no success at all despite making probably 50+ good quality applications into roles that would be suitable for me (i.e. entry level positions, jobs that don't explicitly state that 5 years experience is required). I get the sense that places like Reed and Indeed are a wild goose chase for someone like me, its like my application just gets lost in the 'mass system'.

Should I go for temping to build up experience? and how to I find these temp jobs? Should I go through a recruitment agency? Any advice is appreciated.
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Moosferatu
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(Original post by unemployed grad)
I've graduated for about 3 years now. During that time, I've done a few short term jobs, mostly in retail which I'm quite sick of, but I have done a few months working as an admin staff in an office. I've been unemployed for a lot of those 3 years to be honest. I've had some depression problems in the past, but I'm over that I think and I'm prepared to be a regular productive member of society

I would really like to get a long term office job, something that involves being at a desk in front of a computer or pen and paper work. I just don't want to be doing retail and quite frankly there aren't many salaried retail jobs going around these days anyway. And rightly or wrongly, part of me feels having gone through the hoops and loops of university, that I 'deserve' at least a regular office job which would be a bit more intellectually stimulating that being on a shop floor all day. But I know beggars can't be choosers, so I suppose I have to be open minded.

I know my current situation ain't great, I got a 2.2 in my law degree from a non-russell group uni, and as I mentioned before, I don't have much experience working in an office - only a few months. I've tried the Reed website, but I've had no success at all despite making probably 50+ good quality applications into roles that would be suitable for me (i.e. entry level positions, jobs that don't explicitly state that 5 years experience is required). I get the sense that places like Reed and Indeed are a wild goose chase for someone like me, its like my application just gets lost in the 'mass system'.

Should I go for temping to build up experience? and how to I find these temp jobs? Should I go through a recruitment agency? Any advice is appreciated.
Just to address the bold sentence - my two cents is that working a part-time retail job for awhile would send a message to employers that you're not afraid to work in any capacity. One thing they really hate is entitled graduates. If your initial efforts to find office-related work (which is tough to get into) fail then don't turn your nose up to going back into retail as CV gaps of more than a few months are never good.
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yoursoulismine
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(Original post by unemployed grad)
I've graduated for about 3 years now. During that time, I've done a few short term jobs, mostly in retail which I'm quite sick of, but I have done a few months working as an admin staff in an office. I've been unemployed for a lot of those 3 years to be honest. I've had some depression problems in the past, but I'm over that I think and I'm prepared to be a regular productive member of society

I would really like to get a long term office job, something that involves being at a desk in front of a computer or pen and paper work. I just don't want to be doing retail and quite frankly there aren't many salaried retail jobs going around these days anyway. And rightly or wrongly, part of me feels having gone through the hoops and loops of university, that I 'deserve' at least a regular office job which would be a bit more intellectually stimulating that being on a shop floor all day. But I know beggars can't be choosers, so I suppose I have to be open minded.

I know my current situation ain't great, I got a 2.2 in my law degree from a non-russell group uni, and as I mentioned before, I don't have much experience working in an office - only a few months. I've tried the Reed website, but I've had no success at all despite making probably 50+ good quality applications into roles that would be suitable for me (i.e. entry level positions, jobs that don't explicitly state that 5 years experience is required). I get the sense that places like Reed and Indeed are a wild goose chase for someone like me, its like my application just gets lost in the 'mass system'.

Should I go for temping to build up experience? and how to I find these temp jobs? Should I go through a recruitment agency? Any advice is appreciated.
There are a few things you can do:

* Volunteering: To gain experience in admin and other general office work maybe you could volunteer your time to help do admin duties at a charity? Check: http://www.do-it.org.uk/.

* Approach an agency: When you approach an agency be sure to sell yourself from the moment you step into the building. Agencies are very quick to judge and won't even bother with you if they aren't interested, though they will still lie to you and say they're interested and to send your CV. Some agencies can be real scumbags. Ask friends and people you know for reputable ones. Some local authorities have their own temping agencies.

* Check the Directgov website: Yes, it's crap and everyone knows it's crap, though some good jobs appear on it sometimes. Just don't forget that everyone and everyones dog will usually apply for jobs advertised on this site.

* Be open to different sectors: I would have never realised 6 years ago that I'd end up in the sector I'm in at the moment. Be open minded. You aren't in the best situation at the moment so you might have to take another retail job, but maybe you could maybe look for a different position within retail? I respect that you're looking for something else, but in this current environment employers wrongly get the message "i'm an entitled graduate".

* Look back on uni experience: Reflect on the experience you have gained at university. You've probably gained tons of transferable skills from university. A lot of graduates forget about this.

Websites i'd check out are: Reed and Indeed (like you use at the moment), local authority websites, Monster, university careers sites, Jobs Today, Your Council Jobs (if you live in Greater Manchester), shopping centre sites, look through Yell and make a list of all the job agencies in your area.
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Jack93o
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can't get a job without experience, can't get experience without a job
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Jack93o)
can't get a job without experience, can't get experience without a job
The second part is where you are going wrong. You need to be able to demonstrate transferable skills, but experience does not have to be gained in exactly the same context. That should be self evident for entry level roles - employers are looking for evidence of relevant skills - that's not the same as having professional experience in the same role.


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yoursoulismine
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
The second part is where you are going wrong. You need to be able to demonstrate transferable skills, but experience does not have to be gained in exactly the same context. That should be self evident for entry level roles - employers are looking for evidence of relevant skills - that's not the same as having professional experience in the same role.


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Employers in this current climate are less likely to take risks and invest time. In my experience a lot of employers don't seem to want to invest training and time into a younger applicant. They'd rather choose the older and more experienced applicant.

On top of the (unfair) negative press young people and graduates get, employers don't want to part with their cash, which means less money for training and development. They want a player they can throw straight onto the field. I have found this to be more of a problem in the private sector.

Employers miss out on candidates ripe for opportunity and training, less bad habits or attitudes to correct (some older/more experienced workers can develop bad habits or be very stuck in their ways), more room for career growth and also improved loyalty (if the employer takes the time and invests money into developing the candidate into a great employee).

If employers don't promote employee loyalty and development then they will continue to not attract good staff
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Capn cas
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In terms of most graduate jobs their average application criteria is a 2.1 degree which i'm sure a veteran job-seeker like yourself knows puts you at a disadvantage for an office job in the graduate workplace. However, a few big companies accept 2.2 applications - like Jaguar / Pwc etc. I found a good list of 2.2 graduate employers on the Kent University website. Good luck!
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ineedtorevise127
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(Original post by unemployed grad)
I've graduated for about 3 years now. During that time, I've done a few short term jobs, mostly in retail which I'm quite sick of, but I have done a few months working as an admin staff in an office. I've been unemployed for a lot of those 3 years to be honest. I've had some depression problems in the past, but I'm over that I think and I'm prepared to be a regular productive member of society

I would really like to get a long term office job, something that involves being at a desk in front of a computer or pen and paper work. I just don't want to be doing retail and quite frankly there aren't many salaried retail jobs going around these days anyway. And rightly or wrongly, part of me feels having gone through the hoops and loops of university, that I 'deserve' at least a regular office job which would be a bit more intellectually stimulating that being on a shop floor all day. But I know beggars can't be choosers, so I suppose I have to be open minded.

I know my current situation ain't great, I got a 2.2 in my law degree from a non-russell group uni, and as I mentioned before, I don't have much experience working in an office - only a few months. I've tried the Reed website, but I've had no success at all despite making probably 50+ good quality applications into roles that would be suitable for me (i.e. entry level positions, jobs that don't explicitly state that 5 years experience is required). I get the sense that places like Reed and Indeed are a wild goose chase for someone like me, its like my application just gets lost in the 'mass system'.

Should I go for temping to build up experience? and how to I find these temp jobs? Should I go through a recruitment agency? Any advice is appreciated.
Job market is tough I feel for you man and others also. I am anxious as well when I graduate in a few years time I dont really have much experience I am hopefully gonna try and volunteer soon, look for a part time job and temping jobs are very flexible especially for students if you want an office job look for temp office jobs afterwards hopefully you should get something decent keep believing good luck!
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mattwilkins
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I know it can be disheartening being rejected, but literally just apply for absolutely everything you'd even consider doing. Go to job sites/advert pages/temp agencies and apply for everything until you get something. Someone above mentioned volunteering which would be a good idea in the mean time to get some experience.

Good luck!
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unemployed grad
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(Original post by ineedtorevise127)
Job market is tough I feel for you man and others also. I am anxious as well when I graduate in a few years time I dont really have much experience I am hopefully gonna try and volunteer soon, look for a part time job and temping jobs are very flexible especially for students if you want an office job look for temp office jobs afterwards hopefully you should get something decent keep believing good luck!
I'm not having much luck getting a temp office job, seems like they're no easier than finding a full time office job, which is surprising to me at least, initially I thought this was how most people start off on their careers without having previous experience. This is based on my experience on places like Reed and Indeed, I've been going for entry level positions,taking great time and care on my application, but I haven't even got one reply back.
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BC95
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sell your soul to an auditing company
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unemployed grad
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(Original post by Capn cas)
In terms of most graduate jobs their average application criteria is a 2.1 degree which i'm sure a veteran job-seeker like yourself knows puts you at a disadvantage for an office job in the graduate workplace. However, a few big companies accept 2.2 applications - like Jaguar / Pwc etc. I found a good list of 2.2 graduate employers on the Kent University website. Good luck!
I would really love a graduate job in jaguar or pwc, but knowing how much I struggle on getting an average non-graduate office job, I think its a longest of long shot for me to apply to those companies. I've got barely any relevant office experience apart from a few months as a admin staff, I can't even seem to get another minimum wage temp office role based on that. And besides, I've graduated 3 years ago, don't graduate-recruit companies only look to recruit fresh-out-of-uni types?
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unemployed grad
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
The second part is where you are going wrong. You need to be able to demonstrate transferable skills, but experience does not have to be gained in exactly the same context. That should be self evident for entry level roles - employers are looking for evidence of relevant skills - that's not the same as having professional experience in the same role.


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You mean I should talk about what I did at uni and in other areas of my job, and link them to the job description of the job that I apply for?

I do that for every application, on Reed for example, you get to include a cover letter, so I always use that to basically re-write the job descriptions but in my context, talk about how I match those the requirements of the job. Still no success though. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, this is the approach I should be taking, right?

For example, the job may say 'candidates should have excellent data management and time organisation skill'. I would write in my cover letter/personal statement, that I have experience of inputting data and manipulating spreadsheets in my previous job as an admin.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by unemployed grad)
..........
You should be doing that in your CV. You can stick a CV up in the CV Help forum - if you post up the job it was written for as well, they can be compared.
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unemployed grad
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
You should be doing that in your CV. You can stick a CV up in the CV Help forum - if you post up the job it was written for as well, they can be compared.
thanks, will do so
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