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Lost_dragon
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16 Oct 2021, 3:59 pm

The plot thickens

I have since received a potentially suspicious email from them. Asking for information that an employer would only typically need after an employment has been confirmed. So I did some research and it turns out that it is quite out of the ordinary to ask for such documents before an interview. Now I am suspicious of their intentions as such information could be used for nefarious purposes. I will provide the necessary details, but I will skip the more suspicious categories. If they push for this information, then I will draw out. Although they otherwise look official, I cannot let my guard down here since there could be more to this case then meets the eye.

Be careful out there, folks.


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kraftiekortie
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17 Oct 2021, 2:06 am

Have you done research on the employer itself. About complaints about them? Have other people raised suspicions about them?

Are there any specialized employment agencies for your field?

How about the employment services at your university?



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17 Oct 2021, 3:19 am

Dang what are you qualified to do?

Get a job agency?

Get any job? Ask anyone who asks you what their degree is? And if they got their job through placement tell them to try a different industry.



Lost_dragon
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17 Oct 2021, 7:18 am

I decided the best course of action was to withdraw my application. Along with their suspicious behaviour, the job listing turned out to be rather misleading. Our talks confirmed that it was aimed at a-level students as an alternative to a-level, which was not the impression I had when reading the job listing. It wouldn't make a great deal of sense for me to pursue a qualification that is lesser than the one I already have. I am significantly overqualified for such a position. Yet in some ways underqualified (story of my life).

I'll find a solution. It's what I do. A friend did offer to pay me to make a portfolio for her business, she is an indie published game developer so that would look good on my CV. It could potentially get me started as a freelancer. So I am considering that.


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Lost_dragon
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19 Oct 2021, 10:20 am

I should probably clarify some things.

- Most jobs will not ask for GCSE certificates. They typically have a requirement of at least five GCSEs but tend not to chase up on the details of them (I have more than five so that's not an issue). The only reason they asked for this is because it turned out to be an a-level type qualification.

BTEC colleges and a-levels will ask for GCSEs, my BTEC college asked for them when I registered when I was sixteen. However, they still let me attend despite my D in maths (but I did have to retake the subject twice whilst I was there, to no improvement unfortunately). I studied web and multimedia at that level. This is the qualification level you get before going to University. Since I already have a 2:1 University degree, it wouldn't have made much sense to continue pursuing the application. If you count my college experience as well as my university experience (including my foundation year) then I've technically been studying design for about six years.

- In the UK, there are two types of apprenticeships. The first typically being aimed at 16 to 18 year old students looking to learn skills before going to university. However, the other type is aimed at university graduates searching for industry experience (this is less common though). Based on the job listing, it sounded like the latter, but after doing research it turned out to be the former kind of apprenticeship. Frankly I didn't know they were paying 16 year olds now to do such schemes. That's what threw me off.

- Due to the pandemic, I was unable to get as much industry experience as I would've typically had alongside my university degree. On design courses, you typically work alongside clients as well as work on your own projects. I missed out on a great deal of my degree because we were restricted to zoom and a great deal of businesses that would've usually paired with the university were struggling to keep afloat. It was no one's fault, just unfortunate timing for all of us.

- There are often lulls in the market. January is a popular time for job listings to appear. However, during the seasonal period (October - December) there is sometimes a lull in demand. Except in retail and customer support, there's an uptake in temporary placements for such jobs.

I've applied for a volunteer web design position. Hopefully I'll hear back on it, gaining more field experience would be good for my CV. It would give me something to do over the seasonal period. Of course I'll keep an eye out for paid positions as well, but the industry is quiet at the moment. I'd also like to do some animation practice since I have the time. I might look into customer support and retail - but it's certainly not my first choice.


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Pepe
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19 Oct 2021, 4:59 pm

Lost_dragon wrote:
The plot thickens

I have since received a potentially suspicious email from them. Asking for information that an employer would only typically need after an employment has been confirmed. So I did some research and it turns out that it is quite out of the ordinary to ask for such documents before an interview. Now I am suspicious of their intentions as such information could be used for nefarious purposes. I will provide the necessary details, but I will skip the more suspicious categories. If they push for this information, then I will draw out. Although they otherwise look official, I cannot let my guard down here since there could be more to this case then meets the eye.

Be careful out there, folks.


I would avoid them altogether, at this stage.
I am not sure why you haven't. :scratch:

You are a sensible person.
Listen to yourself. 8)

Edit.
You did. 8)


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Lost_dragon
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19 Oct 2021, 5:22 pm

Pepe wrote:
I would avoid them altogether, at this stage.
I am not sure why you haven't. :scratch:

You are a sensible person.
Listen to yourself. 8)

Edit.
You did. 8)


Fittingly enough I was told the advice listen to yourself by a friend recently. I was stressing and talking myself down a little, and my friend stopped me and said "Hey, weren't you the one who told me to believe in myself not long ago? Listen to your own advice". I told her "I see your point, but I decline".

So she replied "Alright then, everything will go absolutely terrible and we're all doomed, is that what you'd like to hear?"

I told her that was the spirit. :lol:


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kraftiekortie
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19 Oct 2021, 5:34 pm

There are people I know who have gotten clerical sorts of jobs to "get their foot in the door."

Then, they show off their specialized skills, and sometimes get hired to the job which reflects their specialized skills.

One example. This Indian guy I know was hired as a data entry operator. He started showing his bosses his skills with fixing and programming computers. Maybe two years later, he got hired as a programmer.



Lost_dragon
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20 Oct 2021, 11:50 am

Well, I have some good news. I'm now a temporary web design volunteer for a charity. Unfortunately that does mean early mornings...but it also means having recent relevant field experience which would look good on my CV. Plus it could help me get back into a routine.


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Lost_dragon
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21 Oct 2021, 7:33 pm

I meet the other volunteers on Monday.


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IsabellaLinton
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21 Oct 2021, 7:41 pm

Congratulations, Lost_dragon!!

I hope you enjoy the experience!!



kraftiekortie
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21 Oct 2021, 8:21 pm

Congratulations, Lost Dragon!



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21 Oct 2021, 11:12 pm

Lost_dragon wrote:
So. I did it. After four years of working towards gaining my degree, I completed that goal. If this were a movie, it would end with a graduation ceremony complete with a quick summary montage of what the graduates individually went on to do. Typically with the villain of the film getting their comeuppance of some kind and the protagonists going on to do well. However, this isn't a film, there is no convenient fade to black. I was never under any delusions that it would end that way. Yet I hadn't given it much thought either.

The thought had always scared me, the finality of it all, so I avoided it to some extent. Being a student was comforting in that sense, putting aside all the stress that comes along with such a position. Once it came to an end, I no longer had the identity of being a student, I was simply an unemployed adult. This is still new territory and I'll admit that the transitionary period between the two states was not a smooth one. I am still unemployed, which carries some judgement from others. Now that I am into my second month, I have had plenty of comments from friends and family urging me to get a move on with things. There have been days where I have wished for the ability to melt into my bed sheets and cease to have a physical form momentarily.

Which is why I decided to take a small break. I cut my hair, I went to visit some villages, spent some time at the beach and saw museum exhibits. The break, which I feared would be laced with guilt, proved beneficial. It reminded me of why I was doing this, I do not live to work but rather I work to live. To experience the small things in life that get the mind racing. In terms of philosophy, I think of myself as an optimistic nihilist.

The time away has motivated me to continue with my job search. It is an awkward stage to be in. One of uncertainty. I have never been good at working in times of unclear goals. They make me uneasy. I don't think I believe in laziness as a stand-alone thing, but rather a symptom of a bigger problem. My reluctance to start in my case was fear, a worry that I am not good enough and do not have enough direction to become good enough. I have come to realise that is not so final after all, that I still have the chance to apply myself in other areas if I wish (within reason). My portfolio does seem like a never-ending task, but my CV (which I have changed quite a few times, as I have been learning the do's and don'ts of CV's) is almost to a level that I am happy with. I think that it can be an easy trap to fall into, constantly tweaking your own brand to the point where you overlook potential opportunities because you were so preoccupied with getting things perfect. You don't want to misstep and make the wrong decisions, trapping yourself in a bad situation. However, if you never make any steps at all, then you'll stay where you are. That thought unnerves me even more.



If you want, I can coach you on getting a job, but you won't like it. You will most likely get a job though but you will hate me. Here is the steps:

-Resume
-Career counselor edits your resume
-Apply to jobs
-Use clever, professional language to get the job
-Do not use personal language or say things that would be 'red flags' or turn people off
-Ask people you know for advice looking for a job and tell them you are looking for a job and give them your resume if they know of a possible open position
-Apply for jobs lower, at the level, and above your desired position and ability
-Dress appropriately and get enough sleep



Lost_dragon
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22 Oct 2021, 6:02 am

idntonkw wrote:

If you want, I can coach you on getting a job, but you won't like it. You will most likely get a job though but you will hate me. Here is the steps:

-Resume
-Career counsellor edits your resume
-Apply to jobs
-Use clever, professional language to get the job
-Do not use personal language or say things that would be 'red flags' or turn people off
-Ask people you know for advice looking for a job and tell them you are looking for a job and give them your resume if they know of a possible open position
-Apply for jobs lower, at the level, and above your desired position and ability
-Dress appropriately and get enough sleep


When I read you'll hate me, I was expecting much worse than this list. Not entirely sure what I was expecting, but this doesn't seem so bad.

Let's see...

- Resume.

Done.

- Career counsellor edits your resume.

I have relatives who work in management positions. So I had them read over my CV. I took their advice and restructured my CV based on the feedback. Also, I looked into which fonts (including font size) are standard and paragraph spacing rules. I included a small amount of colour in the header, I didn't want to go overboard with colour but it was looking a little dull. The colour is consistent with my branding present in my portfolio. Further, I put it through an AI to see if it had any keyword suggestions. Then I read up on all CV rules and guidelines to see if there were any mistakes I might be overlooking. Now I'm happy with it. I know I've been told to avoid having text as image files, since a robot cannot read text in such a format. Which is why I've avoided image files and my text is just plain ordinary text.

There are multiple copies that I like to edit depending on the role I'm applying for.

- Apply to jobs.

I've been keeping an eye on job sites nearly every day, admittedly I only just started looking fairly recently. My portfolio took longer than expected, but I can't exactly have a bad website if I want to work in digital design. The difficult part was deciding which direction to brand myself in. Now I'm happy with the direction. Unfortunately, a fair amount of the job listings are dead listings. This is when an employer has likely already filled a position, but have neglected to take down the post. I will still continue in my search and keep applying to places.

-Use clever, professional language to get the job.

I am careful with my wording. However, it is an art in itself and I am always looking for ways to hone it. I have a grammar checker installed that I like to use when writing emails and I also used it to check over my portfolio. Granted, sometimes we disagree on semantics and stylistic choices.

-Do not use personal language or say things that would be 'red flags' or turn people off.

Generally I try my best to avoid personal language such as slang in a formal setting. As amusing as it would be to enter an office, throw a paper ball in the garbage and yell Yeet; I know such behaviour wouldn't exactly fly.

-Ask people you know for advice looking for a job and tell them you are looking for a job and give them your resume if they know of a possible open position.

-Apply for jobs lower, at the level, and above your desired position and ability.

-Dress appropriately and get enough sleep.

There are some good points here. I really need to fix my sleep schedule.


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kraftiekortie
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22 Oct 2021, 7:02 am

You certainly got it all covered, LostDragon!



Lost_dragon
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24 Oct 2021, 2:00 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
You certainly got it all covered, LostDragon!


Thank you, but I don't have everything covered yet - my sleep is still inconsistent. I really need to start limiting my internet time.

I'll be interested to see where this website is up to. Apparently they already have a couple of volunteers working on it in a copy of the website (that's currently offline to the public), I currently don't know which pages have been updated yet. Plus, I don't know how much communication there has been between the volunteers. It's possible that I may go in there and the volunteers have completely different creative directions for the website and haven't communicated with each properly about it. This would explain why they decided to take me on. I'm hoping that they'll have some brand guidelines (ideally with colour hex codes) but I can tell from their current website and logo what kind of colours they've been using. So I should be able to colour match. I've written some notes based on the old website but I won't know for sure what they'll need until I see what the other volunteers have done.

They've informed me that the others on the website team have made significant headway but that no one is leading the team. So they want me to confer with the other volunteers and make sure everything flows consistently. It seems that I'll be leading the two volunteers and tweaking things. Hopefully I'll be able to be some use and not be completely redundant. I'll find out tomorrow if their work fits together at all. Chances are it won't be as chaotic as some of the other group projects I've been in. Even if it is, it's probably fixable. I've seen some chaos. :lol:


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