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View Full Version : Newbie in the job market - help?



Thump
09-08-2008, 02:43 PM
Ok, this is kind of embarassing seeing as how I'm 23. I've never had a real job in the past and now that I'm on my own, I have to get something part-time. Ideally, it would be in a bookstore or library as I'm doing a degree in Publishing but anything that will keep me fed would be good.

Thing is, I don't really know how to write a CV. I've tried a couple of times in the past but never even got an interview so I'm guessing it's all in the CV. I mean, it's not like I'm not literate and numerate.

Would someone be willing to look at what I have so far and give me tips on how to get a decent enough CV that it will get someone's attention?
I'm despairing because there really isn't much to write in. I live in Oxford, btw, if that changes anything.

Thanks guys *shame*

Pagey's_Girl
09-08-2008, 05:19 PM
I'm no expert, but I'll be happy to look it over for you. And don't be ashamed; putting together a decent CV is tough, especially when you're fist starting out.

Yeshanu
09-08-2008, 05:31 PM
I'll take a look at it too, Thump, if you'd like.

JimmyB27
09-08-2008, 06:15 PM
Ok, this is kind of embarassing seeing as how I'm 23. I've never had a real job in the past and now that I'm on my own, I have to get something part-time. Ideally, it would be in a bookstore or library as I'm doing a degree in Publishing but anything that will keep me fed would be good.

Thing is, I don't really know how to write a CV. I've tried a couple of times in the past but never even got an interview so I'm guessing it's all in the CV. I mean, it's not like I'm not literate and numerate.

Would someone be willing to look at what I have so far and give me tips on how to get a decent enough CV that it will get someone's attention?
I'm despairing because there really isn't much to write in. I live in Oxford, btw, if that changes anything.

Thanks guys *shame*
Just to ease your embarrassment - I'm 27 and I still really, really suck at CVs, interviews - the whole thing. Which is why I'm still in a sucky temp job instead of pulling in the big bucks my computer science degree should have led me to by now.

Yeshanu
09-09-2008, 04:37 AM
Thump, my revision is away. Tell me if the format worked for you. If not, I'll re-save and re-send.

Jimmy, Thump, and others:

I've held a variety of positions in the past and currently, from low-life jobs to well-respected professional ones. I generally am not out of work for more than a week or two at a time, unless I'm actively not looking for work. :tongue

Some tips:

The CV or resume is meant to get you an interview, not get you a job. Though I've been hired once simply on the strength of a paper application, generally that isn't the case.

My CV is constantly being revised and updated, even when I'm working. That way I have a running tab of dates and accomplishments.

Make sure someone proofreads your final draft!!!!! Silly spelling and punctuation mistakes are embarrassing, and if the employer has fifty resumes to sort through and only one position, you stand a much lower chance of being called for an interview than if your resume is perfect.

If at all possible, hand your CV directly to the person with the power to hire you, or to someone on the same level. Smile. Shake his/her hand firmly. (I had one person literally back away from me when I offered my hand, and it was most off-putting, especially as he was applying for a customer service position.) Introduce yourself, and tell him/her why you're there. Don't go during busy hours, if you know what they are. (If you don't, make an effort to find out.)

For mailed/emailed CVs, get the name, if at all possible, of the person directly responsible for hiring. Double check spelling of said person's name and their gender.

Phone back a week or so after mailing or delivering your CV, if there was no indication of a possible hire date. Again, aim for slow times for the particular place you're applying, if at all possible.

Don't be too humble on your resume, especially if this is your first job. You need to put down as many of your job-related accomplishments as necessary, because you don't have work experience to fill up that page!

Neat, tidy, and on white or off-white paper, with a clean font. (NOT fonts!)

And you should have dozens of the things printed once done, not one or two. And looking for a job should take almost the same amount of time that actually working at the job does, if you're serious about finding work.

Jimmy, don't feel too bad about the temporary jobs. I've temped before, and I've been hired on three times by the companies I've temped for. A lot of companies now go through temp agencies to find new employees, because if the new employee doesn't work out, a phone call to the agency to ensure they don't come back is less paperwork than having to fire them. Do your best, and keep sending out your CV while employed as a temp, and eventually you'll end up where you're supposed to be.

Pagey's_Girl
09-09-2008, 05:03 AM
Terrific advice up there.

Jimmy, there's nothing at all wrong with temping. I did it for a long time - first as a genuine "temp," then by getting placed on a long-term contract. Right now is only the second time in my working life that I've actually been employed by the company I'm working at. It's a great way to get experience - and you never know when it'll work out and they'll hire you. (And several of the temp agencies around here would be drooling at the prospect of landing someone with your degree. Seriously.)

ETA - If someone has the cojones to walk in off the street and hand me, the receptionist, a resume, I'll make sure it gets to the HR manager. Even if they're not hiring right then, a good manager keeps ones that look promising on file.

JimmyB27
09-11-2008, 03:45 PM
Terrific advice up there.

Jimmy, there's nothing at all wrong with temping. I did it for a long time - first as a genuine "temp," then by getting placed on a long-term contract. Right now is only the second time in my working life that I've actually been employed by the company I'm working at. It's a great way to get experience - and you never know when it'll work out and they'll hire you. (And several of the temp agencies around here would be drooling at the prospect of landing someone with your degree. Seriously.)

ETA - If someone has the cojones to walk in off the street and hand me, the receptionist, a resume, I'll make sure it gets to the HR manager. Even if they're not hiring right then, a good manager keeps ones that look promising on file.
I never said there was anything wrong with temping. It's not the temp bit that's sucky. I could have taken this job permanently, if I'd wanted, but I don't because it's a crap job.
And now I've been here a year nearly, I'm having a hard time imagining anyone is going to want to take me on for a good job. I've lost my skillz!

Going to start trying to get them back though - bought me a book on web programming the other day. Give me a few months and I'll be applying for web developer jobs. :D

Pagey's_Girl
09-11-2008, 04:49 PM
...Going to start trying to get them back though - bought me a book on web programming the other day. Give me a few months and I'll be applying for web developer jobs. :D

You go, boy! :D

Shadow_Ferret
09-11-2008, 05:47 PM
I'm 51 and have no idea what a CV is.

Pagey's_Girl
09-11-2008, 05:51 PM
Resume, to us Yanks.

JimmyB27
09-11-2008, 06:06 PM
I'm 51 and have no idea what a CV is.
Curriculum Vitae. As Pagey's Girl put it, a resume to you Yanks.

Yeshanu
09-11-2008, 06:14 PM
I understood, because Canadians speak both Brit and American. We're schizoid that way. ;)

Jimmy, temping's all very well, but if you're stuck in a crappy job, make an effort to get out fast. Ruts have a tendency to get bigger and bigger, until they're coffin sized. :(

And way to go for updating your skills. You might want to also take a night class or two, if one is available. That way, your upgrades can go on your CV. Good luck!

JimmyB27
09-11-2008, 08:05 PM
I understood, because Canadians speak both Brit and American. We're schizoid that way. ;)

Jimmy, temping's all very well, but if you're stuck in a crappy job, make an effort to get out fast. Ruts have a tendency to get bigger and bigger, until they're coffin sized. :(

And way to go for updating your skills. You might want to also take a night class or two, if one is available. That way, your upgrades can go on your CV. Good luck!
I know, I'm already worried mine's too big.

Screw it, I'm going to be a rich and famous writer pretty soon anyway. (If I say it enough, it has to happen, right?) ;)

Yeshanu
09-11-2008, 11:49 PM
I know, I'm already worried mine's too big.

Screw it, I'm going to be a rich and famous writer pretty soon anyway. (If I say it enough, it has to happen, right?) ;)

:ROFL:

Sorry. You stole my line. :)