Looking for a job but lacking experience

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MindBlind
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10 Jun 2015, 4:17 pm

I have recently graduated and I am currently looking for employment. Of course, I am interested in looking for jobs in my area of expertise, but I am also looking for general work as I really need the money and I'm just starting my career in the creative industry. The problem is that I have very little work experience.

I have years of voluntary experience as well as relevant skills, but due to my lack of actual paid work I am worried that I will not get any employment. I'm worried that employers will ask why I haven't been working while I was at uni and I'll be browbeaten into describing my aspergers' and history of mental illness, which prevented me from managing both uni and work simultaneously. Employers are supposed to be equal opportunities, but I am highly sceptical of this.

How do I get employment despite my lacklustre CV?



xenocity
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10 Jun 2015, 8:21 pm

I'm in the same boat as you.
I graduated with a Masters in IT Management (double bachelor's in MIS and Marketing)
I also have three internships under my belt, one job, two clubs (one of which I was on the board and quite activity).

Right now the real unemployment rate is between 10%-15% in the U.S. as a whole, higher in most parts of the country.

Most entry level jobs still require 3-5 years of industry experience on top of certifications.
Most internships now require at least 2+ years of experience and possibly certifications.

At least half of recent grads are in the position while being too experienced and educated to get retail and food services (me), with almost other half able to at least get retail and food service jobs.

It's an employers market still and the amount of decent paying jobs being added each month aren't many.

You list your volunteer experience, especially if it is field related as you would work experience.
It counts as long as it is related to your field, though it is still better than having nothing.
Also list the projects you've done while being in school.

Come join us in the unemployment/underemployment club!


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aspinnaker
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10 Jun 2015, 10:18 pm

If you have the money and want to do something programming related...

One thing that I see people do recently is go join a web/software development bootcamp or a data science bootcamp. You can list your projects that you've worked on in your resume (call the work section "Professional & Projects" rather than "Work experience"). Heard some good things about bootcamps - they are usually very practical and have a good employment rate, and employers seem fairly willing to hire bootcamp participants who do not have a computer science degree, since coding is the real skill you need to know to do your job. They also look pretty fun. Plenty of the major cities in North America have them now, you can google if you are interested.


On a side note, you can turn alot of school club / project experience into work-ish experience if you play it right. Google
"mergers and inquisitions resume no experience" for an example of this. Of course, you'll need to customize it to your field of study, but that video is demonstrative of how impressive you can make an university resume that has very work little experience.



izzeme
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11 Jun 2015, 4:42 am

For a lot of employers, volunteering counts as experience, it doesn't even "have" to be in a relevant field.

I was able to transfer my bartending into an IT job for experience: it was work, in a field that needed me to be somewhat effective.
I stated that i "wanted work that allowed me to rest my brain" outside of college and homework; this was acceptable.



xenocity
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11 Jun 2015, 10:49 am

aspinnaker wrote:
If you have the money and want to do something programming related...

One thing that I see people do recently is go join a web/software development bootcamp or a data science bootcamp. You can list your projects that you've worked on in your resume (call the work section "Professional & Projects" rather than "Work experience"). Heard some good things about bootcamps - they are usually very practical and have a good employment rate, and employers seem fairly willing to hire bootcamp participants who do not have a computer science degree, since coding is the real skill you need to know to do your job. They also look pretty fun. Plenty of the major cities in North America have them now, you can google if you are interested.


On a side note, you can turn alot of school club / project experience into work-ish experience if you play it right. Google
"mergers and inquisitions resume no experience" for an example of this. Of course, you'll need to customize it to your field of study, but that video is demonstrative of how impressive you can make an university resume that has very work little experience.

Thanks, but resume isn't the issue, since I've regularly been hit up because of it.
I also have made it to final rounds of interviewing as well, but told they were holding out for the perfect candidate and/or other asinine reasons such a lacking knowledge of proprietary software.

General Motors IT put it best... They want new hires who will hit the ground running and need no help adjusting to the job (e.g. they don't train and expect you to know everything day one).


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AspieUtah
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11 Jun 2015, 11:18 am

Having had to employ and manage many people in my career(s), I would suggest playing down (but not removing): college degrees, professional certificates and professional titles. Instead, in the current world economy, emphasize a functional resume or answer application questions functionally ( http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Functional-Resume ).

I was always much more impressed with an applicant's knowledge and experience than degrees, certificates and titles. In a functional resume, it is expected that volunteer work, family work, church work, nonprofit work and professional internship work means much more to the hiring individual than it would seem. Focus on management or "people" skills. Businesses being what they are currently, most employers want to know how well an applicant can work with (or lead) others. Suddenly, all those high-school and college student group experiences become valuable. For older adults, all those community and church group experiences become valuable, too.

Among applicants with ASD, consider whether or not, you should disclose on your resume. If you do, tie it into the skills that your intended employment needs ("As someone with a neurological disorder, I have learned well how to help other workers (or customers) who are disabled themselves" or "Having overcome many disability-related characteristics, I am able to adapt my experiences and skills quickly to fit many workplaces.") These kinds of statements always get the attention of the human-resources staffers who look for "team players."

In the end, be a real human in the interview and not just a breathing version of the resume. Joke mildly if you can, talk about a sport you like, and have a couple of not-so-serious questions you want to ask the interviewer.


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MindBlind
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12 Jun 2015, 6:22 pm

AspieUtah wrote:
Having had to employ and manage many people in my career(s), I would suggest playing down (but not removing): college degrees, professional certificates and professional titles. Instead, in the current world economy, emphasize a functional resume or answer application questions functionally ( http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Functional-Resume ).

I was always much more impressed with an applicant's knowledge and experience than degrees, certificates and titles. In a functional resume, it is expected that volunteer work, family work, church work, nonprofit work and professional internship work means much more to the hiring individual than it would seem. Focus on management or "people" skills. Businesses being what they are currently, most employers want to know how well an applicant can work with (or lead) others. Suddenly, all those high-school and college student group experiences become valuable. For older adults, all those community and church group experiences become valuable, too.

Among applicants with ASD, consider whether or not, you should disclose on your resume. If you do, tie it into the skills that your intended employment needs ("As someone with a neurological disorder, I have learned well how to help other workers (or customers) who are disabled themselves" or "Having overcome many disability-related characteristics, I am able to adapt my experiences and skills quickly to fit many workplaces.") These kinds of statements always get the attention of the human-resources staffers who look for "team players."

In the end, be a real human in the interview and not just a breathing version of the resume. Joke mildly if you can, talk about a sport you like, and have a couple of not-so-serious questions you want to ask the interviewer.


I think that sounds more practical. I'll certainly tailor my CV to flaunt my abilities.

But I'm not convinced about disclosing my disabilities. Most employers in my country just think that disabled people are gonna cost them due to sick pay and accommodating for their needs. I just don't know how to deal with being asked why I didn't have a job for so long. If I said "It's personal", they might think I am alluding to some sort of illness and they might think I'll relapse. My mother knows that all too well as she has faced discrimination for her long term illnesses and disabilities. One time, her boss said "If I knew you were a transplant patient, I wouldn't have-" and she stopped her sentence, knowing that if she completed it, she would be breaking the law. But my mother knew that she would not have been hired if the boss knew she was sick. No disability act can mitigate bigotry in the workplace, nor can it really protect against disability. If I can't prove that I was denied a job due to being disabled, I can't claim that I was discriminated against, even if it's true.

So, I'm just going to have to be a very good actor for the rest of my life.



AspieUtah
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12 Jun 2015, 6:36 pm

MindBlind wrote:
I think that sounds more practical. I'll certainly tailor my CV to flaunt my abilities.

But I'm not convinced about disclosing my disabilities. Most employers in my country just think that disabled people are gonna cost them due to sick pay and accommodating for their needs. I just don't know how to deal with being asked why I didn't have a job for so long. If I said "It's personal", they might think I am alluding to some sort of illness and they might think I'll relapse. My mother knows that all too well as she has faced discrimination for her long term illnesses and disabilities. One time, her boss said "If I knew you were a transplant patient, I wouldn't have-" and she stopped her sentence, knowing that if she completed it, she would be breaking the law. But my mother knew that she would not have been hired if the boss knew she was sick. No disability act can mitigate bigotry in the workplace, nor can it really protect against disability. If I can't prove that I was denied a job due to being disabled, I can't claim that I was discriminated against, even if it's true.

So, I'm just going to have to be a very good actor for the rest of my life.

Good choice! I just wanted to share all the possible options.


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Diagnosed in 2015 with ASD Level 1 by the University of Utah Health Care Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic using the ADOS-2 Module 4 assessment instrument [11/30] -- Screened in 2014 with ASD by using the University of Cambridge Autism Research Centre AQ (Adult) [43/50]; EQ-60 for adults [11/80]; FQ [43/135]; SQ (Adult) [130/150] self-reported screening inventories -- Assessed since 1978 with an estimated IQ [≈145] by several clinicians -- Contact on WrongPlanet.net by private message (PM)


Suzyqqqq
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12 Jun 2015, 10:51 pm

MindBlind wrote:
I have recently graduated and I am currently looking for employment. Of course, I am interested in looking for jobs in my area of expertise, but I am also looking for general work as I really need the money and I'm just starting my career in the creative industry. The problem is that I have very little work experience.

I have years of voluntary experience as well as relevant skills, but due to my lack of actual paid work I am worried that I will not get any employment. I'm worried that employers will ask why I haven't been working while I was at uni and I'll be browbeaten into describing my aspergers' and history of mental illness, which prevented me from managing both uni and work simultaneously. Employers are supposed to be equal opportunities, but I am highly sceptical of this.

How do I get employment despite my lacklustre CV?


Admin work for the organizations you volunteered for? Professors who might take you on as a research assistant? Temping via an agency?



Scorpius14
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12 Jun 2015, 11:05 pm

I've got no degree but did spend time at university (2 years) but didnt get anything out of it so I failed pretty much. I've only got experience in retail that lasted 2 weeks and unofficially experience in a library at school which was compulsory. I dread interviews because every time I prepare for them the informations gone the next day or whenever I have the interview so in a sense I have very short term memory, but my brain balances it out and gives me a better long term memory which doesn't help interview-wise. There should be a system that lets you do a work trial instead of an interview, since interviews just assess your ability to communicate, in that regard I fall at the first hurdle.

If it was a work trial I could show them the best I can do in the workplace, but although interviews are usually one-to-one, you wouldn't have to worry about remembering details like research of the company, what your ideal job is, why you'd want to work for them, what you can bring to the company etc.

Nothing wrong in terms of my CV but a big gap between education and now.



lordfakename
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13 Jun 2015, 5:46 pm

Easy answer if employers ask about lack of work while at uni: I wanted to concentrate on my studies. Then work it into a general point about how good you are at focussing on a task and giving it your all, for example.

With interviews a good trick is being able to turn a negative into a positive. i.e. 'Yes, I've had a bad experience, but this is what I have learned from it and this is why this job is perfectly suited to me.'



xenocity
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13 Jun 2015, 9:29 pm

lordfakename wrote:
Easy answer if employers ask about lack of work while at uni: I wanted to concentrate on my studies. Then work it into a general point about how good you are at focussing on a task and giving it your all, for example.

With interviews a good trick is being able to turn a negative into a positive. i.e. 'Yes, I've had a bad experience, but this is what I have learned from it and this is why this job is perfectly suited to me.'

Only if that actually worked.
Most employers want to see actual industry experience, not just school projects and classes.


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lordfakename
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14 Jun 2015, 5:24 am

xenocity wrote:
lordfakename wrote:
Easy answer if employers ask about lack of work while at uni: I wanted to concentrate on my studies. Then work it into a general point about how good you are at focussing on a task and giving it your all, for example.

With interviews a good trick is being able to turn a negative into a positive. i.e. 'Yes, I've had a bad experience, but this is what I have learned from it and this is why this job is perfectly suited to me.'

Only if that actually worked.
Most employers want to see actual industry experience, not just school projects and classes.


Yes, but you gotta work with what you have



CateJayne
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14 Jun 2015, 5:13 pm

Scorpius14 wrote:
I've got no degree but did spend time at university (2 years) but didnt get anything out of it so I failed pretty much. I've only got experience in retail that lasted 2 weeks and unofficially experience in a library at school which was compulsory. I dread interviews because every time I prepare for them the informations gone the next day or whenever I have the interview so in a sense I have very short term memory, but my brain balances it out and gives me a better long term memory which doesn't help interview-wise. There should be a system that lets you do a work trial instead of an interview, since interviews just assess your ability to communicate, in that regard I fall at the first hurdle.



Nothing wrong in terms of my CV but a big gap between education and now.


Is there any chance you can transfer the university credit to another uni or a community college, ideally so that by taking just a few more classes you can earn a degree or some sort of community college diploma?

Quote:
If it was a work trial I could show them the best I can do in the workplace, but although interviews are usually one-to-one, you wouldn't have to worry about remembering details like research of the company, what your ideal job is, why you'd want to work for them, what you can bring to the company etc.


Hate to burst your balloon but landing even a "work trial" situation would require an interview... an interview is inevitable. Your best bet is to get some sort of coaching that will enable you to succeed in job interviews.

Do you know anybody who would just give you a job (as a favor)? Or can put in a good word for you at a company you've applied to?

If all else fails, sucking it up and taking a crappy minimum wage fast food or mall job may have to do for the time being.



Scorpius14
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15 Jun 2015, 7:34 pm

CateJayne wrote:
Is there any chance you can transfer the university credit to another uni or a community college, ideally so that by taking just a few more classes you can earn a degree or some sort of community college diploma?


In the 2 years that I studied 2 different subjects, i only passed 3 units that were worth 20 credits each (120 credits would have been needed if I wanted to transfer to another university), besides university life isn't for me, neither is the workload, too much group work and I didn't see eye to eye with my lecturers or colleagues, either you're gonna do well or you don't.

CateJayne wrote:
Do you know anybody who would just give you a job (as a favor)? Or can put in a good word for you at a company you've applied to?

If all else fails, sucking it up and taking a crappy minimum wage fast food or mall job may have to do for the time being.


I don't know anyone in my family, though I have asked and even though they work for big corporations and I have applied for them in the past, they are too high on the corporate ladder to help me (they are in managerial positions and I would realistically be applying to the lowest level such as store floor assistant).

Secondly crappy jobs people seem to tell me to apply for such as fast-food places are always full up especially in my area. I also lack the communication skills so even if i were to apply, get the job, I wouldn't survive a day there.

I'm frequently asked "do you know what job you are searching for?" and "do you need help finding jobs?", questions I can't answer because there isn't an answer, how can I apply for any job as I haven't had one before? They expect you to know everything about being in one.