Alright well, I'm looking for a job and I can't help but feel... defeated.  So far I've sent out about 20 resumes, given 12 follow up calls, and even talked to the GM's.  Nothing... I hear, "well, we'll give you a call..." or more bluntly, "We are not hiring."

Though, here is the main catch and probably the reason why I'm not getting any bites.  I'm a college student.  The only time I can work if around 5 p.m or 4.  I get out at 2 from my classes and then I have to set up schedules with other people and collaborate on projects.

Here is my main dilemma. I have not much work experience.  Most work experience was in construction, and I'm applying for service industries.  Not only that but construction jobs were in the summer time so there really is no real longevity in my work.  I'm terrible at making connections, but I know that I'm a good worker.  I've been in masonry work, worked with power tools, and have experience working 70 hr weeks when necessary.  Construction is just not a very stable career at all.  So when it comes to filling out online applications,  I always have holes in the application due to my lack of connectivity and the instability of past businesses.

I'm honestly just...stumped.  Im tired of having to rely on family members for help.  I've really only gotten one interview and I think i blew it when I told them I was shaky on the prospect of having to do deliveries. (I don't know the town that well, so I'm a bit hesitant on taking it up.)  I'm really just wanting to call the buisnesses and just ask for the Manager or whomever does the hireing and put it bluntly to them, "Hi, my name is Dakota.  I just wanted to take a minute of your time to ask that if you were hiring, and what shift would need to be filled because I'm a college student and Only available after 4 p.m."

I know it's a bit unorthodox, but I'm sick and tired of putting my resume online and it most likely not even reaching the GM.

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FInding places that only need that specific shift filled is always going to be hard. I expect that's a much bigger barrier than your work history - especially since you are a student. Nobody (frankly) expects a student to have a work history without gaps.

All I can say is to keep at it. You might see if your school has a jobs office as well - either to help with finding potential employers (in your anticipated field), or just for part time options. 

Never never never never never NEVER open with your availability. Don't talk about it at all unless prompted in an interview or AFTER you've been hired.

Also, 20 resumes isn't a lot. I'm working in a profession where having lots of part-time subcontracted jobs is the norm. Last September I send out about 100 applications, got offered about 12-15 interviews and parlayed that into 4 new part-time employers. 

Even in such a flexible situation, when I'm better qualified or experienced than many of my peers in the industry, I'm not getting much over a 10% return. If you're not nearer the top of what you're doing then even a 1% hit rate would be good.

You also mentioned opening with a problem, that's not the best approach because rather than building a positive impression it does the opposite.

There's not always a necessity of getting through to the GM, most companies have god-awful HR departments. These are responsible for many of the problems businesses have in recruitment, and agencies are just an even more extreme version. Once people have their career firmly linked to hiring others they don't look for the best candidate, they look for the safest. And safe here means the most standard. You need to either exploit this and find an area where employing college students is the standard, or be prepared for an uphill struggle. It's hard, not impossible.

First what is your major?  Talk to the job center on campus. There is often jobs doing paperwork, or whatever on campus that is very flexible.  Try the food service industry. Usually waiter do not start work until 4 or 5 anyway.

Taylor your resume to each job specifically. Don't just go after jobs that are advertised. Go to a place you want to work, meet the manager, and give him your resume.

OH! The naivety!

Dakota, a blind hard copy resume, as a rule, isn't going much further than the trash can next to the HR Department "incoming desk."

If you've been submitting your resume exclusively online, it never made it past the screening software at HR.

Second, a college student who can't start work until 5:00 PM?  Right there you've limited yourself pretty much to graveyard shift at the 7-11 or a weekends only, part time gig.

Third, it sounds like you're presenting yourself as "I can do anything", which is the same as saying "I don't have any marketable skills."

And not to denigrate resumes, but "networking" contacts, especially in a tight job market are often far more important than a killer resume that sits on a HR desk then goes into the trash can.

What is your major?  What is your career goal?

Ask your professors.  Seriously that is where you already have contacts built in.  I worked term writing a manual for programming a custom bit of hardware.  They like me because I wrote well and did not know the project.  That meant I had to learn the system and write the manual.

Is it a college town or a major city with a college?


Also, have you checked with the college itself? Most of my college aged jobs were with the maintenance crews at the university. Yeah, they were usually during the summer, but I got one during the year after I was done with the Corps

1. Ask your professors (beginning of your network).  Ask them if they need help in their labs (if they have labs).  May not start out as paying but can lead to such.

2. Inquire on campus.  Most campuses have jobs that they hire students to do and not just during the summer.  Book store, library, campus offices, maintenance, janitorial, whatever.

3. Ask your fellow students many of them work and know if there are positions where they work that are open.

4. Restauraunts on and off campus.  One of the mainstays of all campus life are the restauraunts around the campus highly mobile workforce.

5. Bars around the campus.  Nightlife.

6. Think Best Buy, Target, Walmart and the Food Stores around campus.  These companies hire young workers all the time and can offer flexible hours.

20 resumes is not even a good start; keep going.  Instead of online submissions do more of a door-to-door search.  This shows your willingness to get out there and work and who knows you may run into a manager who, if they don't have a position, knows of another establishment that does have an open position.

Just 20 resumes? That is not alot my friend.

You have some strikes against you right off the bat, with your spotty work history, and the fact that you have very limited availability.

Just keep pluggin away. Focus on those jobs which specifically are hiring for part time in the shift you are available to work so that you can get started somewhere. Keep applying. 

You must be frustrated and maybe even discouraged. I'd like to help if I can. Unemployment rates are high, so this is important, so please excuse my bluntness.

put it bluntly to them, "Hi, my name is Dakota.

This will get you nowhere and is an act of desperation. It will burn up your time and discourage you.

I've really only gotten one interview and I think i blew it

You're right, you did. Employers are not looking for reasons to hire you; they're looking for reasons NOT to hire you. You offered them one, and they took you up on it. Interviewing is a filtering-out process: for any one job there are multiple candidates. They narrow it down by asking filtering questions. You gave them a reason not to hire you.

Nothing... I hear, "well, we'll give you a call..." or more bluntly, "We are not hiring."

Whatever you are doing to find companies that are hiring is not working. You need to respond to actual offers of employment. If a company isn't looking, it's not going to hire you. Perhaps you've been reading magazines aimed at college students that give bad advice like that. Don't waste your time with random contacts; you need to do a targeted search.

Now it is very true that many--perhaps even most--job openings are not advertised. There is a hidden market for them. But you do NOT get those (usually) without an introduction. You find those by social networking, which generally does NOT mean Facebook; it means real-life, palm-to-palm, face-to-face contact in a variety of social settings. If your social life sucks--which is true of most young men because they spend too much time interfacing to machines not humans--then there's your problem.

But it's not your only problem. Your hopes of finding an employer who can work around YOUR scheduling needs is unrealistic. With real unemployment rates around 20% (the roughly 9% figure quoted in the media is recent unemployed--long-term unemployed fall off the count)--I'm assuming USA but they're even worse in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece--then YOU need to make some hard or perhaps creative choices to increase your flexibility for the employer, and not the other way around. That also includes being more flexible regarding what you're willing to do.

Not only that but construction jobs were in the summer time so there really is no real longevity in my work....I've been in masonry work, worked with power tools, and have experience working 70 hr weeks when necessary.  Construction is just not a very stable career at all.

Well it was feast and famine. One problem that might be impacting you is that we had a horrific housing bubble, that resulted in huge numbers of workers flooding into the market, then the market itself bursting.

Open your mind to other possibilities that might make use of your skills. "Construction" per se is in a slump, but people still need "repairs".

Be flexible as regards the terms of employment. It is easier to find temporary stints than so-called "permanent" positions that aren't really "permanent".

I'm a college student.

How does that fit into your long-term employment plans? Are you pursuing a major that is in high demand? If not, rethink your plans right now, before you have any more sunk costs that you already do.

Great success and prosperity to you, bro.

Like others have said, don't state your availability right off the bat.  Let the employer like you first, and then move in with your hours.  If your pitch is tight, then the hours shouldn't be a problem.  

Also, follow up with some good emails and phone calls.  If you have a chance to talk to the GM's, really show your interest in the job and how you would make a great assest to their team.  Remember, it's about what you can do for them, not what the job can do for you.  

Good luck with your search. 

If you just want a job to get some cash coming in, there's always several industries with a high level of staff turnover you could look at.

Identify them (where I studied it was caring for people with disabilities and food packing. Both operated 24/7 and once they knew they could rely on you there was always work available).

It will be something crap,you'll probably hate it, it's why noone sticks around. This means they'll take anyone who can turn up on time and get it done.

Print 100 resumes and walk. It's not glamorous, but if you need work right now it's worth it.

Then, once you're doing that job in your sleep and you've got a bit of regular income, start looking at what university/college contacts you can leverage for some relevant work experience, perhaps trying for summer internships towards the end of your study.

The simple idea is do whatever you can to get money now, but work towards something relevant to your field of study.


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