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To ask how I'm supposed to get a job when they're all either closed to external applicants or priority is given to internal applicants?

(41 Posts)
Iodine Thu 08-Nov-12 13:25:55

I'm sat here bashing my head against a brick wall. I have a degree yet I'm not qualified enough for minimum wage jobs. Jobs with a salary of 15K with an hour commute each way for me want 2 years managerial experience.

Totally fucking fed up.

IvorHughJackolantern Thu 08-Nov-12 13:28:29

Hold at it! I got a job yesterday. FINALLY. I took a career break to be with DS for first 18 months - have an under and post grad qualification and 4 years work experience, which aint much in this market. Most of the jobs were as you describe- but I started applying for those where priority was given to internal applicants and yesterday, I got the one I wanted. Keep applying!

givemeaclue Thu 08-Nov-12 13:28:34

What type of jobs? Do you have any experience? What was degree in?

Iodine Thu 08-Nov-12 13:48:39

Well done Ivor! My degree is in biochemistry. I have experience in sales in the pharmaceutical industry and am trying to get back into the lab. Am applying for basic lab roles but don't have enough experience.

Elongase Thu 08-Nov-12 13:50:44

Don't have much helpful advice but all I can say is you are not alone, I am personally facing a very similar situation - HOW can you ever get any job if all the jobs need experience.

I can only say, try not to get too discouraged and keep at it, something WILL come up in the end.

And where possible, get some voluntary experience, even if it's not doing what you want to do, you can discuss your 'transferable skills'.

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Thu 08-Nov-12 13:51:18

How many jobs did you apply for, Ivor, and how many interviews did they generate? Or a ratio if that's easier. Just trying to get a sense of what normal is.

<prepares spreadsheet>

Elongase Thu 08-Nov-12 13:51:38

Can you apply to do some volunteering or a two week work experience placement in a lab? Perhaps at a university?

iseenodust Thu 08-Nov-12 14:01:42

You have my sympathy. I have a shed load of experience/transferable skills etc and have hit the same internal applicants only wall. It's particularly bad in the public sector. When I've applied for lower paid roles I've heard nothing so assume written off as over-qualified/won't stay.

Iodine Thu 08-Nov-12 14:06:05

Elongase- I have already done 6 weeks work experience in my old uni lab. I can't afford to keep working for free for any longer. I can't pay my rent as it is.

It's a bugger isn't it? I have plenty of transferrable skills from my old job. I accounted for the sales in entire counties and did all of the admin side of that plus the actual sales. I think, for someone 2 years out of uni, I have a lot of skills under my belt. But no one else does.

Pendeen Thu 08-Nov-12 15:16:10

Are you applying for public sector jobs?

The cuts are starting to bite and most public sector employers are having to give preference to their own staff first to minimise the compulsory redundancies.

FireOverBabylon Thu 08-Nov-12 15:33:45

Iodine, how are they prioritising internal candidates? They should either be advertising it internally first, so you never see the advert, or thereshould be a fair playing field within a pool of internal and external candidates, although tbf internal candidates often give better examples because they know the sort of situation you'll have had in mind when you drafted the question.

I'm interviewing next week for a post, 13 candidates, 3 internal. I've interviewed one of the internal candidates since we appointed her, for a promotion, and she made an utter balls up of the interview. Similarly I got my job as an external against an internal candidate.

Generally, if you don't need a degree to do the job, you need previous experience and to really give examples to show off your skills not just say "I am an excellent team player". For the post above, we had 74 applicants, but only had 20, max, decent applications, and we wittled those down with relevant sector experience. If you're applying and not getting interviews, or not getting through interviews, please do go back and ask for feedback from the shortlisting / interview panel - not from HR. They should be able to give you detailed feedback although sometimes it's not that you did anything wrong, only that someone else had more extensive experience and interviewers can't interview 30-odd people for a job so have to cut the applicants down to a workable number, setting some obviously good candidates aside as they do so.

Iodine Thu 08-Nov-12 16:12:29

Hi Babylon, a job I looked at applying for today had "priority given to internal candidates" at the top in red.

I make sure I put examples of when I have used all key competencies in my applicaions. E.g. "In my previous role I worked as part of a successful team for example (insert success here), I can apply this to the role of X by (insert example of where it is needed in new job)".

I wrote an amazing applicaion for a role I ticked every box for. I had it checked over by friends in recruitment who said it was great. Didn't even get an interview, just an email saying no thanks. I did reply and ask for feedback, even general as I said I appreciate they probably had many. They have ignored my email.

It's just so hard. I have an interview on monday for a part-time waitrose role that doesn't even cover my rent but it's something eh? I just cant be dealing with all these arguments in the supermarket with DP about whether to get bread or milk as we can only afford one!!

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Thu 08-Nov-12 16:21:43

Iodine, I've had similar experiences. So many people have looked over my CV, looked over specific applications, tested me on interview technique.

I've concluded that the advice one might have been offered 10 years ago just isn't applicable any more (ie you're applying for too much, too little, you're not tailoring enough, your applications are too long, too short, in the wrong order, blah blah blah). There isn't anything we're doing "wrong". The market just sucks.

<not helpful> sad

Iodine Thu 08-Nov-12 16:51:57

MulledWine- I think you're right. I've had lots of careers advice, many people tell me what to improve on my CV and when I get interviews they always say I'm a great candidate and did well but someone else was better.

The last job I got to the final 2 for was a maternity contract on entry level pay. I was pipped to the post by a lady with 30 years experience who had been made redundant and was willing to take a huuuge pay cut. I can't ever win when applying against people like that for entry Level jobs.

You have tempted me to make mulled wine tonight.

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Thu 08-Nov-12 17:05:27

Mulled wine makes everything better.

I think my low point was an interview for a 10 week temporary contract, I met all the criteria and more, it was a (pro rata) 40% pay cut for me, they told me I interviewed brilliantly, and I got pipped by someone else because they'd done the exact same job before (as in same job title, type of workplace etc) - and they couldn't even do the whole 10 weeks!

I suppose they reasoned that for that length of time it was better to have someone who had the exact same experience already even if they came with other disadvantages, but it was still pretty depressing. What are the odds? These days, high.

Iodine Thu 08-Nov-12 17:13:37

Oh how frustrating! I felt the same with the job above. It was clear (and she told me herself!) that as soon as a better job came up the woman with lots of experience would leave. I have done many mat covers so would've stuck it out till the end.

I went to an interview organised by an agency. I had quizzed the agency to make sure the company knew where I lived and were happy and was assured it was fine.

I drove 2 hours to the interview and the first thing they did was look at where I lived and said it wasn't in the right area. I was not happy!!!

IvorHughJackolantern Thu 08-Nov-12 17:16:07

Ooh good question Bus Lady.

I applied for eleven and got three interviews. Iodine - same thing happened to me recently, I applied for a job I woud have been good at and I had all their essential criteria - and I wouldn't expect a large number of people to have all that critiera - and I didn't get an interview, nor any feedback when I asked why. Sucks. Some of the time it feels like I don't get given interviews for the jobs I could do with my eyes shut hanging upside down - since it probably appears that because I'm over-qualified, I'd use it as a stopgap - but nor am I shortlisted for jobs I'm qualified for but possibly under-experienced. AAARRRGGH.

<passes the (mulled) wine >

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 17:21:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 17:27:12

iodine i am a biochemist too and have been struggling to get back - it is really hard but can honestly say i haven't been usurped by international candidates (unless they have been better for the job - in academia jobs are advertised in the scientific community which is worldwide.

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Thu 08-Nov-12 17:27:45

Wow, Ivor! That's pretty good, I think. I did about 110 applications over about a year and got 5 interviews, and no job. And I also had the "over-qualified" problem. One interviewer (nicely, I think) tried to suggest repeatedly that I'd find the job boring because I had a Masters degree. Was all I could do not to cling to his knees weeping, "I promise, I wooooooooon't."

Really dreading trying again, actually.

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 17:30:35

I am volunteering in a uni lab just now iodine, it has opened a LOT of doors for me. definately worth it x

Who mentioned international applicants?

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 17:35:28

Shriek that would be me, because i blatantly can't read!!!!! blush sorry! im an idiot

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Thu 08-Nov-12 17:38:27

grin Damned international applicants. Coming over here confusing our threads!

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 17:48:22

grin blush sorry

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