Post 3, September 2012
Danielle King graduated from Aston University, Birmingham, with a BSc in English Language. She's now pursuing writing jobs after realising that's the career for her.
Apparently time flies when you’re having fun... but, as I mentioned in my last blog post, it goes even quicker when looking for a job. Seven weeks of searching, applying, and hearing nothing back has passed and it was all starting to make me feel a little despondent. But as more time elapses, the more I've started to doubt whether I'm missing one vital ingredient: adequate work experience.
Unlike many other graduates, I decided against a placement year - for me, four years under the thumb of a university was too much, not to mention the added debt that I'd have to balance on top of my pre-existing loan. I don’t regret the decision, but I have realised that to bag my perfect job, I have to work a little harder than everyone else to convince a company that I'm right for the role. Unfortunately for me, the best way to do this is through a top-notch cover letter.
I've never been one to toot my own horn, so the idea of selling myself through a short cover letter makes me want to shrivel under a rock and hide. Since I haven't yet found a rock big enough, I thought it best to tackle the dreaded 'CL' head on and fish out an old notebook to brainstorm my strengths.
It wasn't easy, but it turns out that I have a lot more experience than I first thought. I kept forgetting the fact that my degree isn't just a pretty certificate hanging next to a not-so-pretty picture of myself in a mortarboard. It's given me: excellent time management skills - I organise so much that I even organise what I have to organise; the ability to work independently and co-operatively; as well as three years of refining my IT skills and gaining a meticulous eye for detail.
I certainly don't shy away from working for free, and since writing for my uni's newspaper and graduating, I've also gained valuable work experience writing for charities (as well as Prospects) and have finally taken the plunge to start my own blog, which I've promised I won’t give up on after a few weeks!
You see, in this current job climate, it can be so easy to cling on to a negative mindset which in turn drags down your chances of getting past the CV stage of an application, let alone the interview stage. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should an employer? I still haven't given up hope, and signing on at my local jobcentre has made me even more determined to make my first visit, my only visit. In the words of Barney Stinson, 'challenge accepted'.
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