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Old 16-02-2013, 23:26
Nicky_Byrne_Fan
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I'm job hunting at the moment, and finding it so incredibly hard. There's so much you have to do and information to take in and look at, its overwhelming.

For me the most frustrating things are:

1. There's so many jobs out there. Put a search in on indeed for admin positions in my local area and it bought over 100 up. It can be overwhelming reading through that many. Knowing where to begin with it all.

2. Job descriptions. I hate them. Some of the ones on indeed are incredibly long and have a massive list of re kind requirements. They are kind of intimidating. Some of the ones on directgov recently have been poor and unclear we
hat the job is/where the job iz.

What as a job seeker was the most frustrating/hardest rhings for? you
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Old 17-02-2013, 03:37
Abomination
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I finished school in late 2010 and have yet been able to secure my first job. I've been long-term unemployed and am just wondering if it'll ever get better

Hardest things to cope with during unemployment...

- The Stigma: Whatever people say, there is a level of judgement that a lot of people pass on you for not being employed. This judgement turns for the worse if you're claiming benefits, and worse still when it becomes a long term problem. You have to put up with politicians calling you, via your generation either "lazy" or "unmotivated". You have to deal with being referred to as "the lost generation"... it's nice to know we don't instil hope in people that things may eventually pick up again. Instead, I'm forced to live on as little money as they can permit, and am made to feel bad about it, despite my efforts.

- The Effort: If you want a sporting chance, you've got to tailor your CV and cover letter for each and every application, of which you're expected to do about a dozen a day if you want to be taken remotely seriously. I spend hours doing this, almost as if it WERE a job. I then have to attend a demeaning meeting at the job centre that gets nobody anywhere as they have no job applications to give out to people any more, and then a pointless couple of hours each week at the work programme applying for jobs on a computer far slower than my own. I clock in at least as much time as a part-time job would allow, and had to sign on on both my 18th and 21st birthdays. Many people are of the opinion that the unemployed aren't entitled to holiday time, but I sure as hell could use some... I haven't ever had one, and all I want is a few care free weeks, even spent at home where I don't have to go out of my way for these people all the time.

- The Roundabout: Most job centres are unable to give people a dedicated advisor for more than a few weeks any more, as there's just too many people to go through. As such, you'll encounter a different person each time who leads you in a new direction. I have an advisor one week trying to get me doing work experience to up my chances of employment, but come the following fortnight a new person I've never even spoken to before tells me they're casting all that aside, as my case is too severe and I just need to get a job, right now! Two weeks after that, I'll be criticised for not trying to secure any work experience by yet another unaware job centre employee.

- The Experience: Job sites let you narrow down your options to find the job suited to you in various ways, but rarely by your level of experience. I've not had a job before, and over 95% of jobs require you to have had some previous experience or training. I can literally search for an entire day and not find anyone who would even consider me because I lack the training that older people are going to have.

- The Grades: A weird one that I never truly accepted until I was told as much by Vodafone's recruitment staff. I was told I am "over-qualified" for the job position I applied for, and that it was likely someone like me would leave the job for something better sooner than they cared to risk. It's reached the point where you have to tailor your CV so much you have to under-sell yourself for some job applications.

- The Fine Line: There is a limit to what I will and will not do, and I know what I won't enjoy doing. I'm not hugely fussy about what I do, but I refuse to just apply for everything. You need to figure out the fine line between being fussy, and having principles. Unfortunately, the job centre and the work programme will constantly try to make you sell out on your principles... it's their job to get you off the dole, and out of their buildings.

_____

In May 2012, I carried out jury service up in London. I didn't get paid for it, obviously, but it required me there for nearly two months. That was a workers commute, and a workers hours...I absolutely loved it. The sense of belonging I've not had the luxury to feel before, the sense of worth rather than feeling degraded and useless. I made new friends I'm still in contact with, and everyone I knew noticed a huge change in my confidence and moods. It was then that I noticed how staggeringly much unemployment and job searching can make you. I can't speak for everyone as I know there are a lot of scroungers out there, but I'm aged 21 and have been unemployed since just turning 18. Much of my life has been absolute hell in these few years, with no money, no security and the fact that all my plans and hopes have had to either be shifted back or fall by the wayside. It can only get better, right?
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Old 17-02-2013, 12:14
sarah0890
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Abomination I loved your post and can relate entirely to it as I'm currently in the same position of being 'long term unemployed'.

One of the things main about the stigma for me is that I have certain family members who don't actually believe I'm looking for a job at all. One close family member said to me 'are you even looking and sending applications off?' which really upset me at the time. I mean if a member of my own family doesn't believe that I'm doing my absolute best, what chance do I have of other people believing that I'm trying my damn hardest?

I find the job centre an absolute joke. There has only been 4 people in there that have actually treated me like a human being who is doing her best. I'm just about to finish a Level 2 Mentoring Skills course (4 hours, 1 day a week for 4 weeks), one advisor at the JC was all for it, saying it shows I'm willing to learn, not just sat at home, am being proactive etc - another simply said to me 'and why would you want to do that?' as though I should be sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle repeats all day!

I've recently been referred to the work programme a4e and find that just as useless. My first advisor meeting, she couldn't get anything about me right so think she has just made it up. Then she referred me to the Money Advice bit for an appointment and I got there to find I shouldn't have been sent there as I still live at home etc so when I get a job I won't be entitled to anything extra. This was on my sheet that advisor woman just ignored. Then I attended a silver event which was just as unhelpful - I know my skills and am perfectly capable of linking them into job applications, I know how to write a cover letter and adapt it to specific jobs, I know my barriers to work - so not sure why I was sent. Plus there were people there who were attending for the 3rd time so it obviously doesn't work!!

I volunteered in an infant school between Jan - July 2012 and I absolutely loved it. Like you say, it gives a sense of worth and gives something to do. I loved the fact that I was busy and helping etc. I learnt so much there that it was a learning experience for me too and the staff were so helpful. A couple of the teachers told me at end of term in July that they hoped I'd be back volunteering there again but unfortunately they have a waiting list and I've joined the bottom which is ony right as I've had my turn and someone else should have a go. JC weren't happy about me volunteering, maybe because I sorted it out in Oct/Nov 2011 to start in Jan 12 and I didn't apply for JSA until Feb 2012. Some advisors were all for volunteering, others accused me of not looking for jobs, having no time to look etc...

I'd like to think it can get better... it has to surely?? Saying that though, I have a degree and a lot of my feedback has been about lack of experience, hence why I volunteered, why I'm doing the short course, why I keep applying for more volunteering/am on lists at different organisations... no one at JC/WP seems to understand that I need to go out and gain experience, a job isn't going to just land on my doormat! Keep at it!
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Old 17-02-2013, 13:25
whiskysmum03
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Hi there Nicky_Byrne_Fan!

Just to say what a great thread you've started here You've had some excellent responses!
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Old 17-02-2013, 13:55
JumpTheShark
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What I hated most:

1. Applying for jobs I was absolutely perfect for - had ALL the requirements, lived locally, was actually enthusiastic about the job - and not even getting a reply, let alone an interview.

2. Nobody would give me feedback after unsuccessful interviews telling me what I did wrong. They just ignored my polite requests completely.

3. Competency based interviews. The argument now is that people who are good at traditional interviews are not necessarily good at the job, and CBIs are supposed to test the latter. But of course they don't, all they test is if people are good at coming up with examples on the spot! I am not, so even when I can do the job perfectly well I come off badly in interview. I wish jobs would have practical tests (e.g. typing something up for an admin job) rather than asking you meaningless questions.

4. Job descriptions with typos and bad grammar. Lazy lazy lazy.

5. Job descriptions that say "You will have 5 years' experience in blah blah sector, be proficient with blah blah software..." etc. YOU WILL really winds me up!

6. Jobs requiring X amount of years' experience. Why, is someone who's been in the same position for 5 years better than someone who's been in it 2 years?

7. The attitude that job seekers should take any job that they can get and should be grateful for it. Anyone physically fit *can* be a cleaner, anyone who can use a computer *can* be in admin but that doesn't mean they will enjoy it, be good at it, or should be forced to do it. I really believe that being in a job compatible with your likes and skill strengths is very important for mental health and happiness. That doesn't mean someone who doesn't have any qualifications can refuse to work because they want to be a rocket scientist, but everyone can find SOMETHING entry level that won't make them hate getting up in the morning to go to work.

The best thing about job hunting was that I found out exactly what I did and didn't want for my career and my place of work, and now that I've found a fantastic company where I'm achieving all my goals and, most importantly, where I'm happy, I will cling onto it for dear life!
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Old 17-02-2013, 19:22
clarribo
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Thank you for starting this thread, I was thinking of starting a similar one. I am currently temping but it is due to end soon so I have started looking for something else and sometimes it feels like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Oh and the less said about the disaster that is universal job match the better. Used to think the old direct gov one was bad but it was amazing compared to UJM.
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Old 17-02-2013, 19:35
Aztec23
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I'm job hunting at the moment, and finding it so incredibly hard. There's so much you have to do and information to take in and look at, its overwhelming.

For me the most frustrating things are:

1. There's so many jobs out there. Put a search in on indeed for admin positions in my local area and it bought over 100 up. It can be overwhelming reading through that many. Knowing where to begin with it all.

2. Job descriptions. I hate them. Some of the ones on indeed are incredibly long and have a massive list of re kind requirements. They are kind of intimidating. Some of the ones on directgov recently have been poor and unclear we
hat the job is/where the job iz.

What as a job seeker was the most frustrating/hardest rhings for? you
To answer your question, firstly, I'm not at all enjoying the new design of the Jobcentre Plus Jobsearch Database, Universal Jobsearch;

This is because I find it a little too exercising in trying to extract certain jobs from specific categories - the old format was a lot straight forward and user friendly.

I think in terms of the challenges, everything is driven online, and I actually now have more confidence and a preference of attending open days and group activities.

The challenges are also devising more than one CV for each different area of occupation, you have to tailor your CV that not only mirrors the job spec, but evidence and examples of how you've demonstrated your claims.

Agencies - hit and miss, but if you find the right one, you're in luck!

Application forms that can take best part of 4 hours (yes it's true!)

So from the job spec, I tend to write out my examples and save them in word, and cut-paste if identical in job, but from a different employer.

The ones I have though need to be visited and revised to see if I can add anything better as this is a little outdated in thought!

From my own wear and tear of experience, it's clear that with the right focus, application and prep, this should begin to earn you interviews and allow you to grow in confidence and get better and better.

All the best.
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Old 17-02-2013, 19:42
Aztec23
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What I hated most:


3. Competency based interviews. The argument now is that people who are good at traditional interviews are not necessarily good at the job, and CBIs are supposed to test the latter. But of course they don't, all they test is if people are good at coming up with examples on the spot! I am not, so even when I can do the job perfectly well I come off badly in interview. I wish jobs would have practical tests (e.g. typing something up for an admin job) rather than asking you meaningless questions.
I'm exactly the same and I've grown to realize why somebody out there pips me or beats me to the post.

It's because of the fact that I didn't prepare and that I didn't blow my trumpet hard enough and that my examples were vague and weak.

I am currently in the process of preparing for an interview of which I have tomorrow afternoon.

Competency-based questions rely upon Situation-Task-Action-Result.

Follow this method when for example asked where you have demonstrated good communication. You are scored and measured on your score, and a lot of employers use this process as a fair way in sorting out the wheat from the chaff.

Remember, they only get a snapshot of you, and you only have x amount of time to 'sell', so it's only right that you go into the interview with ammunition.
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Old 17-02-2013, 21:55
KT-Williams
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I've been waiting for my (FLR)M Visa for 8 months!!! Let alone think about applying for jobs....

Good luck to you all looking...

Kyls
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Old 18-02-2013, 02:08
SuperAPJ
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5. Job descriptions that say "You will have 5 years' experience in blah blah sector, be proficient with blah blah software..." etc. YOU WILL really winds me up!
Ditto. It sounds like an order! They say stuff like 'you will be friendly and enjoy working in a team environment'. Oh will I? What are you going to do if that doesn't happen?!
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Old 18-02-2013, 20:08
Nicky_Byrne_Fan
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Some very good replies in here, I agree with every point made.

Does anyone get where I am coming from when I said about there's so many different sites to look at, and jobs adverts to read. It all gets overwhelming. Can be hard to decide which jobs to apply for and which to leave etc. My head feels like its gonna explode with it all.
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Old 18-02-2013, 20:18
JumpTheShark
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I'm exactly the same and I've grown to realize why somebody out there pips me or beats me to the post.

It's because of the fact that I didn't prepare and that I didn't blow my trumpet hard enough and that my examples were vague and weak.

I am currently in the process of preparing for an interview of which I have tomorrow afternoon.

Competency-based questions rely upon Situation-Task-Action-Result.

Follow this method when for example asked where you have demonstrated good communication. You are scored and measured on your score, and a lot of employers use this process as a fair way in sorting out the wheat from the chaff.

Remember, they only get a snapshot of you, and you only have x amount of time to 'sell', so it's only right that you go into the interview with ammunition.
That's all very well if you've anticipated the question and been able to come up with an answer for it using the STAR system. Where I came unstuck was with unexpected questions, I simply couldn't think of a single thing and I looked really stupid!
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Old 18-02-2013, 20:27
Abomination
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Some very good replies in here, I agree with every point made.

Does anyone get where I am coming from when I said about there's so many different sites to look at, and jobs adverts to read. It all gets overwhelming. Can be hard to decide which jobs to apply for and which to leave etc. My head feels like its gonna explode with it all.
Agreed. You usually need an account with each of them individually, they spam the hell out of your emails and yet the generic approach to their filtering means that most the jobs aren't even suitable. If you have the time to cypher through them all, which as an unemployed person everyone presumes you have no life at all*, then you've still got to do the application itself... these range from an hour to four hours in my experience, or a very specifically crafted CV will be needed for each and every one of them. If in the event that you don't get totally ignored**, then you probably then have to do research into the company as well just so you can sound like a serious contender, if it makes it to an interview stage. Not having a job can come across as one of the hardest jobs of all.

* That's something else that bugs me. The job centre, the work programme, and a considerable number of ignorant people seem to presume that as an unemployed person, you have no life. Each and every day is just search and sleep, with occasional intervals for eating...if you can afford it!!! It's beggars belief I may actually have friends and family I want to see, some of which might not be close enough to home to warrant a five minute visit... I may indeed want to do a small amount of travelling, or something, between my job searching, because I am a person, and I actually have a life!

** I think it's rude and wrong that a company doesn't respond to you regarding a job position, especially given that they seldom give you a closing date for the application. How long do you wait to hear back? Am I wasting my time and other employers times because I'm applying for jobs when one may be already in wait for me?
They say there's too many applications to go through, and the sad thing is that there probably are. But that doesn't excuse a company from dismissing you altogether... at least take the time to send a message out to everyone telling them they were unsuccessful. According to 2010 statistics, as few as 10% of applications actually make it through to employers, with 90% consigned to spam bins, or actual bins. Furthermore, they only look at half of these. What chance do we have?!
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Old 18-02-2013, 22:07
MarzBar85
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I was given a good tip at interview. For crucial thinking time and to avoid leaving a gap between question and answer repeat and reword the question to the panel.

So, tell me about when you worked in a team?
A time when I was a good team player was in my work at...

What skills can you bring to the post?
The skills I could bring include... (Name them from the job spec) ...and an example of this is when I worked with...
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Old 18-02-2013, 22:16
Aztec23
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That's all very well if you've anticipated the question and been able to come up with an answer for it using the STAR system. Where I came unstuck was with unexpected questions, I simply couldn't think of a single thing and I looked really stupid!
I went for a job interview today for a position that I've been interested in for quite some time.

I have previously applied for this particular company (in 2 different locations), so this time around, I went in prepared and 90% of the competency-based questions asked I had the answers for.

You're right that it is obviously better before-hand to be clued up and yes, I was challenged in a roleplay scenario where at times, I struggled to get together a coherent sentence - sometimes, even when you do know, you mind can go blank.

It can happen in an instance, but I didn't give up, and I managed to find an answer.

If you familiarize yourself with the role, and the common themes in communication, teamwork, how you positively influenced a customer etc etc, you can sit down and put together some bullet points.

It's can be trying to pull teeth at times, but once it's out there in front of you, the question seems a lot straight-forward and clearer to answer.

This breeds confidence, somebody who knows what they're doing and it shows the interview many positives.
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Old 18-02-2013, 22:38
Nicky_Byrne_Fan
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I put a search in on Indeed for admin positions and it bought up over 100, how are you meant to start with that. It just bought up every job with the word admin in. I just want a simple admin job, if that makes sense. Get Finance administrator and all that stuff coming up which are completely different to what I want.

Does anyone else fins job descriptions a bit intimidating ? Or just find it hard matching jobs to your requirements/skills ? You have to check if you can get there, if its a job you can do etc. I find the deacriptions on Indeed especially intimidating, some are so long with millions of bullet points and required skills.
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Old 19-02-2013, 01:18
Aztec23
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I put a search in on Indeed for admin positions and it bought up over 100, how are you meant to start with that. It just bought up every job with the word admin in. I just want a simple admin job, if that makes sense. Get Finance administrator and all that stuff coming up which are completely different to what I want.

Does anyone else fins job descriptions a bit intimidating ? Or just find it hard matching jobs to your requirements/skills ? You have to check if you can get there, if its a job you can do etc. I find the deacriptions on Indeed especially intimidating, some are so long with millions of bullet points and required skills.
Having read one or two of your posts on this subject, I seem to get the impression of where you are coming from:

Job search through an internet can be different for example compared to an Advertisement from a local newspaper.

Some details are straight-forward in what the employer wants, others are ambiguous, and others go into greater depth depending of course on the occupation and the job spec.

Different job-search databases in the way they are designed and structured can work well for some people, but off-putting for others.

Personally, I prefer the ones where I can apply by emailing a CV/Covering Letter, or upload electronically directly onto the ad, than the ones where you have to complete forms and match the person spec.

Which websites have you been using so far?

I know the universal jobcentre plus website hasn't goine down too well with many.

I think the key thing for me is the information being accurate, and up-to-date as well has having the relevant and the right information:

1) Job title
2) What the employer is looking for
3) Location
4) Hours
5) Salary
6) Posted Date/Closing Date
7) The process - how do expect to hear from the employer (if).

If you have signed up for a lot different database website, this can be a little overwhelming and with daily email alerts, it can sometimes de-motivate a person from exploring the different vacancies.

You got to be fully focused with a clear head, and with energy. Sometimes, I don't feel like this, so I get on with other practical and domestic duties, and then pick a day (ideally away from home territory) whereby I can carry out a through search, and put in the applications.

I write these down, and monitor my emails/progress.

I have more than one CV designed for more than one job to make the process easier as well as a number of different covering letters.

I know that when I'm armed and prepared, I'm a lot happier, and relaxed.

Hope by sharing my own experiences, this may have shed light into what you yourself seem to be going through.
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Old 19-02-2013, 16:59
JayPee86
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im never going to get a job again am i??
all the jobs i have been applying for have had 50+ applications each.

this. is. a. NIGHTMARE!!!!
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Old 19-02-2013, 17:06
Aztec23
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I was going to start a new thread in GD, but I wanted to get the thoughts of anybody who has experienced inconvenience with the jobcentre plus database?

Everything is now through Universal jobmatch and 3 vacancies that I printed off today from the jobpoints didn't even state details in how to apply as well as a phonenumber for jobseeker direct.

I've been advised that once I've registered, the application process is straight-forward.
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Old 19-02-2013, 17:57
clarribo
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im never going to get a job again am i??
all the jobs i have been applying for have had 50+ applications each.

this. is. a. NIGHTMARE!!!!
Someone of that 50+ has to get the job, stay positive, my boyfriend was unemployed for over a year and was losing all hope but he got some temp work over christmas until new year and although he had to sign on again for a few weeks after that he just got a new job ok only temp but at the moment you take what you can get. Good luck with your search.
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