What to do when you can’t find a job

Sep 13, 2020

Finding a job can be challenging and this year even more so due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Perhaps you have just graduated and are yet to succeed in finding a full-time job.

You no longer have the structure of university classes and assignments and now you are left to your own devices. Feeling lost and pressure to earn money can cause you to feel down and lose hope.

This is completely normal as every year 800k graduates enter the job market, joining the existing group of graduates who are still looking. You also have to compete with another 300, 000 international graduates.

With this abundance of supply, recruiters only want to hire the best candidates, those who can demonstrate that they are work-ready.

To help you in this difficult time here is a guide for what to do when you can’t find a job.

#1: Improve your CV

 The first thing you can do to improve your chances of finding a job is to make sure your CV is as good as it can be.

Your CV will likely be your only opportunity to impress a potential employer and convince them why you’re the best candidate for the job. If your CV is dull or badly written then you’re not likely to be asked for an interview.

If you find that you don’t have enough things to put on your CV, you should look into completing training courses and qualifications. There are some online that are free such as Google Digital Garage. These will help your CV stand out.

With regard to work experience, internships, and volunteering jobs that you may have done, it is crucial that you highlight the skills you have acquired. You can also draw on your academic work and extracurricular activities.

 You need to demonstrate that you have the skills that appeal to recruiters.  You want to have a CV that can tick as many of their boxes as possible.

At Graduate Coach you can download a useful document to help you build an achievement-based CV.

It is available to download as a PDF from our website on the resources page.

For more help on how to build a CV, including examples, you can read chapter 6 (page 69) of The Student Book.

#2: Apply for Internships

If you are struggling to find a full-time job, you might have more success going for an internship. Internships are becoming increasingly important as the graduate job market becomes more competitive. 

If there are some companies that interest you specifically or who you think you would enjoy working for, investigate if they have an internship programme.

 Regardless of the size of the business, many today run programmes. If you can’t find anything out from their website, it is still worth sending them an email with your CV and a cover letter detailing why you would want to work for them.

 You could also try calling them inquiring about internship opportunities.

Networking is important, your friends and family might be able to help you out. Maybe your parents know someone works in the industry you want to intern in, or maybe you have a friend that works for a business you are interested in.

It may not be as simple as this in reality, and you may need to ask around and ask your friends’ parents also, but it’s possible that someone you know will be able to offer you some opportunities.

Of course, you can always look for internships by checking out job boards such as the following: internship job board, and there are many others on the internet.

Due to Covid-19, many workers are not in the office. This has resulted in some companies offering virtual internships. To learn more about these you can go here.

#3: Try a Recruitment Agency

what to do when you can't find a job

Photo by Visual Tag Mx from Pexels

If you find the endless search through job sites to be demoralising, you can try out a recruitment agency to help you.

A good recruitment consultant will be able to help you with CV and career advice, interview training and professional development opportunities.

The agency matches job seekers with businesses. They are a middleman between you and employers, they organise interviews and will relay information back and forth.

The service is free to use. The first step is to register with them and they will probably contact you to have a chat about what you are looking for. When they find you a suitable placement, the employer will pay the agency.

It is the agency’s job to find you a job so they will be supportive and may provide coaching for the interview. It can save you the hassle of searching through hundreds of jobs yourself and sending masses of applications.

To get the highest chance of success make sure to stay in regular contact with your agency and update them to your situation when necessary. You can also regularly check their website for roles that might be advertised, and their social media pages which might have opportunities and resources.

#4: Go and Volunteer

 Whether you want to spend time teaching English to children in Vietnam, supporting rainforest conservation in Brazil or helping at your local youth club, volunteering can be rewarding – for the organisations and people involved, and your CV.

Voluntary work means giving up your spare time for a charity or non-profit.

Voluntary work in the UK covers all areas, from website design and events organisation for charities to mentoring young people and helping at animal shelters. For overseas volunteering, conservation and community are usually the main goal.

Organisations may cover your expenses if you’re lucky. If you want to volunteer abroad, you will likely have to fund it yourself.

Write notes down about your experiences and the skills you have learnt, they will help to provide you with examples in job interviews. If you decide that working for charities or non-profits isn’t the right career path for you, you will nevertheless develop transferable skills that will help you with landing a job.

If you want to volunteer in your local community, try visiting a council for voluntary service or a volunteer centre or look for their websites. You can also apply online at various volunteering websites such as: Do-it , TimeBank and Volunteering Matters.

#5: Get a Graduate Coach

Graduate coach is designed to help graduates that are struggling to find a suitable graduate role.

We offer Digital Marketing internships as part of our 6-stage 1-2-1 career coaching programme. On this programme, candidates gain theoretical and practical experience in areas such as SEO, PPC and Social Media.

If you are struggling to find employment post-graduation, do not hesitate to contact Graduate Coach. We have been coaching students, graduates and career changers for over 10 years. We can help you to boost your employability and teach you lifelong skills such as how to perform well in interviews.

That’s why we offer interview coaching as a stand-alone course and as part of our full one-to-one graduate coaching programme.

The programme teaches lifelong skills such as:

  • How to write excellent CVs.
  • Writing impactful cover letters.
  • The art of performing highly in interviews.
  • Being able to clearly articulate that you have the skills employers are looking.
  • The ability to demonstrate your aptitude to thrive in the role.

Summary: What to do when you can’t find a job

Hopefully, you now have a few practical ideas about what to do when you can’t find a job. The most important thing to do is not to lose hope. The process can be demoralising and take time but eventually, you can land a job in your chosen field.

It is important to keep yourself busy and pro-active whether it be with improving your CV with online training or approaching a recruiter or coach for help. 

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