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Thread: Seriously, am I cursed?!

  1. #31
    Junior Canuck
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    Have you tried applying at jobs outside your comfort zone?
    Do you have a headhunter or employment advisor at your university?
    Have you looked at opportunities outside of Canada?
    Have you tried joining a startup at your university?
    Have you tried to get employment at your university?
    Have you thought about going to law school?

    Frankly, applying to and/or working at low skill customer service jobs is a waste of time. You should be pushing to work in professional environments where you can further bolster your employment history.

    Also, you didn't really go wrong by not choosing a business based degree. Most large fortune 500 companies don't hire many middle managers or project managers anymore, making business degrees worthless.
    Last edited by SmartConsumer; Tue, May 14th, 2013 at 02:57 PM.

  2. #32
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    There is a lot of competition for jobs right now, even for minimum wage jobs. My step-daughter, who just finished her first year of university, was lucky enough to land two part-time jobs, but some of her friends don't have jobs yet. And some that do are working very few hours.

    I would second the suggestion about finding out more about what your references are saying or possibly choosing someone different for reference. I have conducted reference checks with the intention of hiring someone and the reference has said something that made me change my mind. One of the last questions I ask is "would you hire this person again?". If the answer is no, unless there is a fabulous reason, chances are, I won't be hiring that person. I've hired hundreds of students over the years and for the record, I don't bother with academic references. They just aren't able to provide the type of info I want. I want to talk to current or former employers, the supervisor.

    As for your plans for teaching, before going that route, if I were you, I would look very carefully at that option. I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but for the past 10 years, Ontario teachers colleges have been cranking out about 1000% more qualified teachers than there are vacancies. There is no province wide strategy, each university does what it wants, and there are so many qualified unemployed or underemployed teachers in Ontario. It is possibly the most difficult field to land a job in right now, unless French is your first language and you qualify to teach in a French language, catholic school. If you absolutely love teaching and that is the only thing you can imagine ever doing, and you are willing to be unemployed, go for it, but if you hope to land full-time work, teaching in Ontario just isn't the place to go right now.

  3. #33
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    Also, to land the best types of student jobs, the ones that pay more than minimum wage and that can provide you with experience outside the retail or food industry, you should start applying in January. Jan-Feb are the big months for student recruitment campaigns.

    Have you ever used a service that provides guidance and critique for interview skills? Perhaps that is what you need at this point, as you seem to be able to create a resume that gets you the interview but you aren't able to land the job. What kind of preparation do you do before an interview? Do you research the company and know about them? Do you work through possible questions and scenarios and prepare answers to "tell us about a time when you did..." type questions? Do you smile and seem friendly, approachable and like you would provide excellent customer service? What does your body language say when you walk in the room? What does it say throughout the interview?

  4. #34
    CaLoonie paciad's Avatar
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    Thanks both @SmartConsumer and @Super807 for the feedback and suggestions.

  5. #35
    Boo Radley Conspirator roseofblack25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by super807 View Post
    There is a lot of competition for jobs right now, even for minimum wage jobs. My step-daughter, who just finished her first year of university, was lucky enough to land two part-time jobs, but some of her friends don't have jobs yet. And some that do are working very few hours.

    I would second the suggestion about finding out more about what your references are saying or possibly choosing someone different for reference. I have conducted reference checks with the intention of hiring someone and the reference has said something that made me change my mind. One of the last questions I ask is "would you hire this person again?". If the answer is no, unless there is a fabulous reason, chances are, I won't be hiring that person. I've hired hundreds of students over the years and for the record, I don't bother with academic references. They just aren't able to provide the type of info I want. I want to talk to current or former employers, the supervisor.

    As for your plans for teaching, before going that route, if I were you, I would look very carefully at that option. I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but for the past 10 years, Ontario teachers colleges have been cranking out about 1000% more qualified teachers than there are vacancies. There is no province wide strategy, each university does what it wants, and there are so many qualified unemployed or underemployed teachers in Ontario. It is possibly the most difficult field to land a job in right now, unless French is your first language and you qualify to teach in a French language, catholic school. If you absolutely love teaching and that is the only thing you can imagine ever doing, and you are willing to be unemployed, go for it, but if you hope to land full-time work, teaching in Ontario just isn't the place to go right now.
    What would you suggest in terms of references that are not your current employers? I'm trying to avoid giving references up front because I don't want that to be the reason I am fired all together if it is learned that I am looking for full time work elsewhere. Since I should ask my reference if they would be willing to be my reference before putting them on my resume, but I don't know how to bring it up without making it look like I don't want to work where I am. I have a feeling the manager would be less than thrilled to find out that I am trying very hard to find something full time. On another note I have another job interview for another part time job ugh! They were hiring both full and part time and when I submitted my resume I made sure to include that my preference was for full time. Grrrrr.....

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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by paciad View Post
    For sure! The few that I was most interested in I either called back or asked immediately. For the most part, it was "we had a large amount of applicants and only picked a select few" and from my understanding it was the people who knew someone already there.
    As someone who works in HR - these is very true. Make sure to network with everyone and anyone you know that you are looking for a new job, it's worth your time connecting with people and mentioning it
    Wanna make some spare cash? Check out Clixsense: http://www.clixsense.com/?5382267

  7. #37
    CaNewbie KAT_5998's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paciad View Post
    I totally regret it now but I'm in the Arts. (Back when I applied, I applied for the Arts and for Business... I should have taken the business route.)
    Anyways, I'm double majoring in English, History, and minoring in Sociology. One more year to go and then I graduate. Afterwards the plan WAS to apply for teachers college (I've always wanted to be a teacher). With the way things are looking in that field I can't imagine how I'll get a position (without real close ties) so now I have my doubts towards that as well.
    In regards to that, I've done a lot of volunteer work in various schools around my neighbourhood and I do have the academic credentials, so the next best option work wise would be working with kids in camp settings, tutoring, etc. But everywhere I've applied they ended up hiring those who have graduated.

    So I'm left back where I started.
    As a Geography graduate, about 98% of my graduating year had aspirations to go to teacher's college. Teacher's colleges are overflowing with Arts Majors from all disciplines.

    If you are passionate about teaching and adventurous, take a year or two and go and teach English in a foreign country, like Japan or China or Korea (out of the three I would strong recommend Korea - standard of living is same as Japan but prices are more reasonable). They are always looking for native English speakers who are willing to land their talents. It will give you a chance to do some travelling, saving some money, and perhaps discovering if teaching is what you really want to do. I'm sure the experience will look good on your resume.
    xox2010 and paciad like this.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseofblack25 View Post
    What would you suggest in terms of references that are not your current employers? I'm trying to avoid giving references up front because I don't want that to be the reason I am fired all together if it is learned that I am looking for full time work elsewhere. Since I should ask my reference if they would be willing to be my reference before putting them on my resume, but I don't know how to bring it up without making it look like I don't want to work where I am. I have a feeling the manager would be less than thrilled to find out that I am trying very hard to find something full time. On another note I have another job interview for another part time job ugh! They were hiring both full and part time and when I submitted my resume I made sure to include that my preference was for full time. Grrrrr.....
    I never place references on my resume. They will be provided upon recruiter's request. Besides, references are the last thing they check before they hire you (at least it is in my experience0.

    If you're uncomfortable with using your boss at your current job, ask a senior staff member to help you out. However, I really don't know what your experience is with your your boss but you always want them on your side. You want them to want to give your a good reference. And you want them to tell you that you are always welcome back if you were to leave.
    paciad likes this.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAT_5998 View Post
    I never place references on my resume. They will be provided upon recruiter's request. Besides, references are the last thing they check before they hire you (at least it is in my experience0.

    If you're uncomfortable with using your boss at your current job, ask a senior staff member to help you out. However, I really don't know what your experience is with your your boss but you always want them on your side. You want them to want to give your a good reference. And you want them to tell you that you are always welcome back if you were to leave.
    Im doing a job search class right now as part of a requirement for my program. We have been told that it is better to provide the references up front. That you should never make your prospective employers work harder by having to ask you for them. Apparently it is a growing trend to check reference before the interview.

  10. #40
    CaNewbie KAT_5998's Avatar
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    I heard that as well, RSAS. Most jobs nowadays require you to fill something out online. Or if you are going through one of those websites like Monster, there is a pre-filled set of questions that make up your profile as well. Anyway, I am sure that at some point those websites require you to list your references. In that case it doesn't really matter whether your references are present on your resume.

    I remember when I first got into my company (I work for a large corporation), I went through the interviews and when they were ready to hire me, they just wanted to check my references as the last step to the process. I know because that's what the recruiter told me.

    The thing is, every company might do things slightly differently. A stellar resume that highlights the skills and experience relevant to the role is the most important thing you can you. Just keep trying, and remember, it's your job as a job applicant to convince them why they need you, so give your best.
    RSAS and paciad like this.

  11. #41
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    As a side note, you might want to consider taking a post grad at a community college. As an employer, I have to tell you that a Bachelor of Arts degree is pretty much a BA (Bugger All). University does a great job of teaching how to think and research and the theory behind a career.... college teaches you how to actually DO the job. My daughter graduated with a BA in Communications, but truthfully did not know how to do anything! She took a post grad certificate course at College in Human Resources and now has an awesome job. How many careers do you know that JUST require a university degree? Teachers need to go to teachers COLLEGE to actually learn how to teach. Lawyers go to law school.. which is virtually a college that teaches them how to apply their knowledge.

    The other thing that I notice lately with job-seekers is that their resumes are atrocious! Cover letters that are not tailored to the job that is being applied for, no reference whatsoever to the skills that the job posting requires, and TERRIBLE spelling and grammar. One resume I received had the name of our company spelled incorrectly! For heaven's sake, make sure you go over it and over it and over it again to make sure everything is correct. One of the qualifications in our job posting was "great attention to detail". Spelling the name of the prospective employer incorrectly is NOT attention to detail!
    You have no idea how many resumes we receive that just end up in the garbage. I don't really care about your education, your experience or your references, if you cannot even take the time to write a decent cover letter.

    Sorry... that was MY rant for the day! LOL

    Good luck with YOUR job search.
    KAT_5998 and paciad like this.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by paciad View Post
    Heads up, this is not a coupon/sale/deal rant.

    I'm still a student, and work one crappy retail job where everyone there doesn't appreciate any of my hard work. I have kept the job though because it's the only thing helping me pay for anything. But, ever since I got the job back in 2010, every summer I start applying for summer positions elsewhere, I have NOT been able to find a second job to help pay off my student loans and other expenses. Nor have I been able to land just a job in general to get out of the place I'm in now.

    In the last two weeks I've been to 5 interviews and all went great, some with a second interview the same day!
    And I'm not applying for anything extravagant... Just been applying to things I'm good at. (Customer Service, Merchandising, Store Management, Stock, etc.)
    Today I got back the last two rejections from the interviews I went to. I was really hoping for both/either of them to be my golden tickets out of my current part time job.

    Grrrr. Just not a happy camper today. I just want a second job.
    Here is some good news for you , if You have been to 5 interviews in the past 2 weeks ..you are actually the lucky one !!!

    Forget getting the job or not..thesedays just getting called for an interview is a big deal ! Most people who apply don't even get called for an interview..the resumes go straight into garbage !

    There are people out there who are unemployed and reasonably qualified, who send out a zillion resumes and apply to a zillion jobs, and don't even get an acknowledgement or an interview call !

    If you are getting called for an interview in the first place , you must be doing something right and will land a decent job pretty soon
    c_mcarthur and paciad like this.

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