Knocked Down 13 Times Before Lucky Number 14

Hello,

It feels incredibly weird yet liberating to be blogging again. My last blog post was in September 2015 and to be honest, judging by its content it wasn’t exactly the most interesting of reads.

My blog went from weekly posts to basically… nothing. Zero. Zilch. Pretty pathetic eh? So much for a journalist wannabe.

So of course, I am super happy to be writing again and cannot wait to see what will become of this blog.

The main reason that my blogging life had become virtually non-existent is simply because I had been applying for jobs – not just any job though – more career based job roles.

It all began in April 2015 when I was looking for internships. I was very lucky to had been offered an internship with Neola working in PR and Marketing. I had originally planned to stay at my internship for three months (until July 2015), however decided to continue working there whilst applying for new job roles, as it was a way of further developing my experience in PR and Marketing (also bringing my experience from three months to a more creditable six months.) It was an absolute BONUS to have enjoyed my time there too!

It is no lie that from July to November, my emotions were on a rollercoaster due to the constant job applications to the interviews leaving me excited that I could possibly have a job and then disappointed at my rejection and then excited with another interview and then disappointed with another rejection – see rollercoaster!

Over the course of those four months, I had done over 200 applications (not even kidding – I was advised to do 30 a week and I made that my target – most weeks.) And over those four months I had 14 interviews.

FOURTEEN INTERVIEWS? That’s quite ridiculous is that not?

Aside from the fact that I am a university graduate with a 2:1, I had my own blog (at the time it still looked consistent didn’t it hehe) and I had experience in Journalism, PR and Marketing. Why was it so difficult to find a job?

The main feedback I received with each interview was that my experience was always “not enough,” or someone else had “an extra skill,” or my ultimate favourite “you were in our top two, but we have decided to go with another candidate.”

Not only did my responses become tediously repetitive, but I was so frustrated that I was never given enough critical feedback that I could actually work on.

Not enough experience? WELL the reason I am applying for your internship is to get experience? Or is that not how it works these days?

If anything I would have definitely preferred it if they had said: “Your interview went really well and you were close to being chosen. However we believe that if you had another 6 months worth of experience in *insert specific skill i.e. affiliate marketing, PR, copywriting*, and learnt how to use *insert relevant computer program i.e. Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Indesign,”  then you would have been an ideal candidate for the role.”

See. SO MUCH BETTER. Something I can actually work with as well.

Without naming companies aside from Recruitment companies here are the 13 face to face interview I had.

  1. Recruitment Agent for a recruitment company (I withdrew my application after my interview because I realised this role was not for me.)
  2. Gemini People – recruitment agency
  3. Affiliate Marketing Executive for a marketing company
  4. Marketing Assistant for a recruitment company
  5. Headhunter for a recruitment company (I withdrew my application after my interview because I realised this role was not for me.)
  6. PR Internship 1 year
  7. Cahoot – recruitment agency
  8. Copywriter for an online fashion retailer
  9. Marketing Assistant for an education centre
  10. Communications Assistant Internship 1 year
  11. Careers Moves Group – recruitment agency
  12. Recruitment Agent for a recruitment company (I withdrew my application after my interview because I realised this role was not for me.)
  13. PR Internship

I know, I know – why did I apply for recruitment and headhunter roles? Well, it was an easier field for me to get in to considering my experience in journalism, customer service and sales. But, it just wasn’t for me. And there was no way I would be happy doing a job I didn’t love five days a week, eight hours a day.

However, I am pleased to say that with lucky interview number 14, I was offered the job role as a PR Executive for a beauty company. Needless to say it was ‘faith’s plan all along’ as I am super happy there and doing what I love – playing with makeup. Just kidding. I love writing the press releases, the organisation of events and building networks with journalists and bloggers. You also get a sense of self-accomplishment when you see the press coverage of the brand’s products because YOU were the PR contact between the brand and the publication.

It has been a difficult couple of months but I am ever so grateful for those who have supported me and dealt with my emotional breakdowns, who pushed and motivated to continue with my search, and those who told me to always always believe in myself. Never give up.

Here are a few tips on what I learnt when it came to applying for a job role:

  • Get to know recruitment agencies and always meet up with your point of contact, so that they can fully understand your experience and your CV, as well as understand what type of job role you are after.
  • Do 30 applications a week. Yes, it sound ridiculous – but out of 30 applications you can probably expect a reply from maybe 5 of those if you’re lucky. So don’ be disheartened if you don’t get a reply.
  • Don’t be too picky about location or money.  I went for an interview that was TWO hours away from me and only offered me £16,000. It doesn’t matter if you get offered the position or withdraw your application – interview experience is so rewarding and helps to give you the confidence for future interviews.
  • Sign up and register with everything: Reed, Indeed, Monster CV, Give a Grad a Go, Inspiring Interns, etc. P.S. – every week make a change to your Reed account so that it refreshes and more agencies will contact you!
  • At an interview I always made a point to myself to ask these questions
    • How many other people are applying for the role? (You want to know what your competition is like. Plus, when you find out there were 10 of you competing for one role and you don’t get it. You think “well, I only had a 1 in 10 chance.” But… sucks when theres only two of you. “I HAD A 50% CHANCE TO GET THIS JOB!” – basically my mind at times.)
    • What should I expect to do in a normal work day? (Because well obviously you would want to know what you’re doing.)
    • Is there anything on my CV that you would like me to go through to help you find me as a suitable candidate for job? (I guess it sounds quite scary asking this… but hey SECURE ALL POSSIBILITIES.)
    • When will I find out? (As daunting as it sounds, waiting for a response from a job interview is like ripping a plaster. You just want to know now, so you can move on.

So there you have it, my 1239 word excuse on why I haven’t been blogging. Well as far as excuses go- I think this is a pretty damn good excuse…

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