Advanced search

To resent the length of the average job application.

(57 Posts)
BinkyBaa Wed 11-Sep-19 14:10:18

Currently struggling to find a job despite a distinction (first) class masters degree. I'm desperate to get out of retail but I'll honestly take anything that pays just enough to cover rent at this point.

The thing that's really getting me down is that nowhere seems to want a CV and a cover letter anymore. Everything takes a series of tedious drop down boxes to put in qualifications and experience, followed by pages of rephrased "why should we give you this job?" boxes. Theres generally a quiz or three too. Every time I think I've gotten a quick application, theres a "please take 90 minutes to fill in this questionnaire" waiting in my emails.

It took me 4 hours to apply for aldi, who rejected me without feedback 2 days later.

Aibu to think it shouldn't take so long to apply for jobs that are just going to automatically filter me out anyway?

LizziesTwin Wed 11-Sep-19 14:12:59

Why are you applying for jobs in retail? Or are you applying for management training positions? What did you do your Masters in? How can an employer benefit from your academic history? Dd couldn’t get shop work but has been offered a well paid job as they need someone with the skills she has.

BillywilliamV Wed 11-Sep-19 14:14:55

You are less likely to get time wasters if people have to commit some effort, that’s especially important now that people on job seekers allowance get their benefit on the basis of how many applications they make.

Fifteenthnamechange Wed 11-Sep-19 14:15:51

I agree. 8 fucking hours on Sunday for a civil service one, rejected by Tues. Got 3 more to apply for by Monday-shoot me now

BinkyBaa Wed 11-Sep-19 14:16:39

@LizziesTwin it's in history and I really truly don't want to teach. I have a background in retail (like most students).

I started off looking for heritage management but theres not a lot going so I moved onto retail management, civil service and HR. Nothings come through on that front, so I've lowered my expectations to being a supervisor in a shop again.

SnuggyBuggy Wed 11-Sep-19 14:19:59

YANBU, it sounds soul destroying and tedious. I bet not all employers like it either (in some cases is probably forced on them by higher ups)

LizziesTwin Wed 11-Sep-19 14:25:28

History - great at analysis of materials, good at writing especially if you got a first. Advertising or marketing? How is your maths? Digital marketing as you have skills a pure maths/STEM grad wouldn’t have.

Didiusfalco Wed 11-Sep-19 14:26:56

Are you me? I’m not applying for retail (yet), but also have an msc and I’m finding the whole thing such a grind. Applications take so long and it’s impossible to find out why you’re not hitting the mark. With regards to retail, I wonder if it’s actually quite competitive? I read something this morning about the numbers of retail positions that have disappeared with the decline of the high st - it was thousands and thousands. I have no answers, but I know exactly where you’re coming from.

LizziesTwin Wed 11-Sep-19 14:28:00

What A levels/BTEC did you do? My next door neighbour on one side did history & worked for a bank, a friend’s daughter did history works in HR, another neighbour has just done a law conversion course. Your analytical skills can’t be duplicated by AI, demonstrate that.

BinkyBaa Wed 11-Sep-19 14:38:44

@lizziestwin Advertising is a good idea, I hadn't thought of that!

I did English Language, History, Film studies, General studies and Physics at A level.

I'm considering law conversion but I'd need to work for a while first to afford it. I believe the LLM comes under the same funding as MA, so I've already used all of the student finance for it.

LizziesTwin Wed 11-Sep-19 14:43:35

So you have really great training in analysis of images, which is vital with the spread of non verbal advertising; these skills are wonderful in global marketing, what about film distribution companies?

LizziesTwin Wed 11-Sep-19 14:46:50

Just thought of another career, editing for film & tv, especially documentaries. Need your analytical skills to maintain narrative of programme. You did physics so clearly good at maths & technica stuff.

RosaWaiting Wed 11-Sep-19 14:50:39

OP yes this seems to be on the increase

You don’t have to concentrate though, the way these things are designed, so you can watch TV as well.

It is fecking annoying.

Basketofkittens Wed 11-Sep-19 15:00:07

All those applications and getting rejected or not ever hearing back! It’s awful. Why do I want the job? Um because I have a mortgage to pay?

It seems to be low skilled jobs that make candidates jump through hoops and you have to pretend to be really enthusiastic about working for £8.21 an hour.

HavelockVetinari Wed 11-Sep-19 15:10:34

I know it seems like a real PITA, but for recruiters it helps filter out the candidates who aren't what you're looking for, so that you don't have to waste hours interviewing.

I recruit in the Civil Service fairly often, and the application forms are very detailed because (a) it filters out people who can't be arsed and so aren't suitable for that reason, and (b) it filters out people who genuinely aren't suitable despite taking the time to fill it in properly.

RosaWaiting Wed 11-Sep-19 15:17:06

In terms of filtering out people who can’t be arsed, the job I’m in, I did the application while binge watching something....Helen Mcrory in the lead, left her husband for a younger man? I took several phone calls too.

I couldn’t really be arsed but it was the shortest commute possible with the right hours, so I did the form. There may be several people who would be far better and just couldn’t face the form. I also withheld my highest qualification in case I was overqualified. I just needed the best fit for bills, commute, timing and my elderly mother.

I’m sure recruiters know this happens but it still seems weird.

Unihorn Wed 11-Sep-19 15:23:12

I recruit in hospitality and only invite people for interviews who seem like they want to actually work there. We get so many applicants who write "I live around the corner/I need a job" and we live in an area of high unemployment, recently released prisoners and benefits claimants who unfortunately have quotas to meet. I always like someone to show they've done at least a tiny bit of research. (I'm not implying this is relevant to you by the way as I'm sure you put the effort in!)

museumum Wed 11-Sep-19 15:23:45

I totally understand and sympathise. but it's difficult to persuade them you really want the job when you actually don't you just want a job.
How long ago did you graduate? most universities will let you use the careers service for a good while after graduation, why not take some time to identify an actual career route you can be excited about? I know we all need to pay the bills but you'll find it harder and harder to get out of retail if you don't do it now. Have you tried applying for any graduate schemes?

hazell42 Wed 11-Sep-19 15:32:38

You are not going it right
You need to be organised.
You will be putting the same information in over and over again, and you need to have it saved on your computer in a convenient format
You need to make a job specific application, but you're probably not applying to.more than 3 or 4 areas of work.
Spend a couple of days going though previous applications for each area and make up a bank if answers

Write your model answers based on the job specifications for each sector. Save them
When you apply for a job cut and paste you answer in and tweak if necessary.
If a job spec includes a question you haven't answered before, answer it, copy it and include it in your bank of answers.
Dont start from scratch with every application. That's silly

Wexone Wed 11-Sep-19 15:33:26

It is tough and soul destroying but due to GDPR rules no where will take your CV now and you have to apply online. Try recritemnt agancies they are very helpful, Its take hard work and percerverance now to get a job. But don't give up

SnuggyBuggy Wed 11-Sep-19 15:46:28

I also think the way the job centre has pushed people to apply for everything available regardless of how suitable has harmed the job application process. Employers now do all sorts of things that aren't helpful and can even be detrimental because they have more applications than they can read.

PlatoAteMySnozcumber Wed 11-Sep-19 15:55:32

With a first class master’s degree you are way overqualified for retail. They want to hire someone who wants a career in retail not someone desperate to get out to do something better but wants to pay the bills. If you must apply for this type of work, remove the masters and probably your first degree too, massively dumb down your cv and tailor it to the job.

Think about what you actually want to do. Start looking on LinkedIn and targeting people to connect with in the chosen area who head the department you want to work in or do the job. Network. You hear this advice over and over for a reason, it’s right.

I know looking for a job is soul destroying. I tried applying for jobs online and got rejected every single time. I finally followed the networking advice as I was just so annoyed that I didn’t feel embarrassed to start reaching out to strangers.

EmAreSea Wed 11-Sep-19 16:05:56

My least favourite part is going to meet recruiters who already have my CV, and being handed a clipboard with a form where I have to spend ages re-writing everything that is on my CV!

BarbariansMum Wed 11-Sep-19 16:06:07

I recruit for certain posts for the charity I work for. I dont want to spend a couple of days sifting through 200 cvs working out whether the person who sent it is worth interviewing, using application forms mean I can whittle down to the final 20 quite easily. If you cant find the time or enthusiasm to spend an hour and a half filling in the form, move on along. There's no shortage of well qualified people who will.

Userzzzzz Wed 11-Sep-19 16:11:32

It seems like you’re a bit scattergun in your approach to different sectors. Are you applying to specific grad schemes? Do you have relevant work experience for the various things you’re interested in?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »