I can't even get an interview

(33 Posts)
MrsReacher85 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:06:45

I've not really worked since having my DS, 4.5 years ago. I've also now got DD, 15 months, and I'm desperately trying to get back to work. I've got an undergraduate degree and a masters from a good university, a few years work experience after that and have worked constantly since being 14.

I cannot get an interview anywhere and I'm starting to feel like I might as well have just had the kids when I was 18, and never mind all that education! Am I doing something wrong or is it just the years off work that are putting employers off?

I'm finding it really hard, it's destroying my confidence, which was never high anyway. All my friends seem to have amazing jobs and are moving up, and I'm stuck.

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OurMiracle1106 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:08:33

Just a suggestion have you tried temping? I left a corporate role and temped for a well known agency and was in Feb offered a permanent contract in the same role

OurMiracle1106 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:09:24

I also had a lot of time out of work. So maybe volunteering to get recent experience on your cv

BritInUS1 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:10:05

What industry are you in?

Are you trying to get back in at the same level as when you left?

QuiteLikely5 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:10:17

What area of work is it? Are your degrees relevant

MumUndone Tue 06-Jun-17 19:11:02

I agree - temping or contract roles can be a good place to start. You may need to look for a more junior position than the one you were last in.

MyCalmX Tue 06-Jun-17 19:11:07

Definitely do some temping to get updated experience on your CV. In my industry with 4.5 years out we wouldn't even finish reading your CV after seeing that.

MrsReacher85 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:19:35

Temping is really difficult for me, as my DD doesn't yet attend nursery and I can't afford for her to go if I'm not working. It takes time for me to get her settled and booked in, so short notice work is hard.

I'm not trying at the same level, I'm applying for basically everything! My degrees are history and Law. I'm not a qualified solicitor, but looking at paralegal, legal sec etc in that area.

I did do an admin role for a little while, but fell pregnant while employed and didn't go back after mat leave. I've been leaving it off my CV as I didn't think it looked very good, and I don't want to back to that type of role as it wasn't leading anywhere better. Do you think I should put it back on?

Thank you for all comments, it's really helpful.

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Winterflower84 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:42:46

You are not alone. I have a one-year gap since my last job, a Master's Degree from a good UK uni, quite a long experience in my industry (media) but still don't get an interview. I think my problem is not the gap as much as the fact that I am not a native English speaker and media is possibly the only industry where being a native speaker is almost a must as it is so heavily based on language skills. However, I'm married to a Brit and we are going to live here in the foreseeable future so I have no option but keep trying. Just before reading your post i received another rejection.sad

MrsReacher85 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:46:07

Winter if you hasn't said so, I would never have known that you weren't a native speaker! Can you basically hide that fact on your applications? Just so that you can meet them and impress with your language skills! I'm sure you've thought of that though.

It really is hard, spending so long on applications to get nothing back.

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MrsReacher85 Tue 06-Jun-17 19:52:53

*hadn't said so

Damn typos!

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Winterflower84 Tue 06-Jun-17 22:01:24

MrsReacher your reply is very encouraging, thank you!
Re your question - usually I cannot hide that fact as in most cases they ask for visa information right from the beginning (if applicable), plus most of my work experience comes from another country.

I am considering two strategies now: 1. Identifying the companies I would like to work for and emailing them directly with no job having been advertised. It is highly unlikely that I will get many responses but I want to try. 2. Using career consultants'' services. They cost money but hopefully it will be rewarded!

It is hard indeed and absolutely exhausting!

CVsEtc Wed 07-Jun-17 00:08:03

Hello! MrsReacher it's all about how you present your skills and experience on your CV / application form / covering letter.

Are you tailoring your applications to each role? It's better to just apply for a small number of roles and really think about each one - what are they looking for and how do you fit that?

Btw - if you're applying for paralegal stuff then maybe some of the stuff you did in your recent admin role could be relevant?

CVsEtc Wed 07-Jun-17 00:11:26

Winterflower and MrsReacher - can you contact any of the places you've already applied and ask what you could have done differently to get an interview?

Also can you ask anyone you know in the industries / good at recruitment stuff to have a look at your applications and give you some feedback / advice?

SettlingOrLucky Wed 07-Jun-17 00:14:26

You're not alone. I am trying to stay positive but I can only control my own mindset. I can't control employers around me. I do lack confidence but only in my ability to GET a job, if I could get one I know I would be a good employee. I've been out of the work place longer although recently I have worked but then I was made redundant. Recruitment agents are useless. I already do what's suggested (ie, tailoring a cv for each application). It is so hard.

MrsReacher85 Wed 07-Jun-17 08:24:02

Thank you for all the replies, it's helpful to know that I'm not alone!

I am trying to tailor my applications, and I think that's part of why it's so depressing to get nowhere, having spent so long on it.

I've asked a friend to look at my CV and applications, but will do so again, maybe a different friend!

Thank you for the advice and support. I hope everyone finds wonderful jobs soon!

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MrsReacher85 Wed 07-Jun-17 08:24:42

Forgot to add- i have asked for feedback but been given generic answers about people with more experience

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ssd Wed 07-Jun-17 08:36:13

It really sounds like you are doing all you can and you just haven't been lucky yet.

CaulkheadUpNorf Wed 07-Jun-17 08:42:19

Is there any volunteering you can do which would help? I imagine if it was regular then you'd know nursery days for your DD.

I've always gone with the "get any job and then apply from there type thing". Is that an option? I'm aware retail and hospitality have shifts so that might not work for you.

Any local universities? Ours have huge amounts of admin roles and some within the legal side i.e. Compliance and appeals.

emilycrosby Wed 07-Jun-17 10:12:47

When I was looking to get back to work I started out volunteering doing admin jobs for a local business (which was great cos I could work from home and look after my little ones) so that could be a good inning for you. It really helped to build up my CV before I started to apply for jobs.

I also tried a website called DYWAJ to upload my CV and they found me interviews which really helped to boost my confidence smile Definitely worth a try!

blueshoes Wed 07-Jun-17 11:18:15

OP, with your background and law degree, have you considered compliance, particularly in anti-money laundering. You can start in a junior admin role and build up a career track from there. Banks are crying out for people in those roles. Law firms also hire for those roles. They are much better than paralegal roles which IMO lead nowhere and are highly competitive.

Legal secretaries are a dying breed and there is a lot of flux. In big law firms, unless you work for a senior lawyer, you may end up working for 8 lawyers doing more PA-type role like arranging travel, claiming expenses, photocopying, printing and typing.

Try to get do a junior maternity cover AML job. Even though it is for 6 months to a year, you should not have a problem getting a more permanent position after that. Your law degree, analytical skills and admin experience is your USP.

Are you in London or outside.

user1495915742 Wed 07-Jun-17 19:17:31

Agree with blueshoes. Also, what about going the Company Sec route?

Don't bother with Legal Sec, PA or admin roles. Very few jobs around these days and they are generally supporting too many people to make it a pleasant experience. They are also the road to nowhere.

MrsReacher85 Thu 08-Jun-17 21:50:09

blueshoes Thank you for the suggestion, I'll look into it. I'm in Yorkshire, so I'm not sure how many of those types of roles there are but I will definitely have a look.

At this point, I can't afford to volunteer and pay for childcare.

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Believeitornot Thu 08-Jun-17 21:53:26

Put the admin role on the cv. Any recent experience is better than none

MrsReacher85 Thu 08-Jun-17 21:55:34

Thank you, I've started doing that tonight as having thought about it, I agree!

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