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January 2, 2013


Replies: 14

Troubles with Getting a Job/Job Interview

rinatan-chu Jan 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Let me start off by introducing myself:
My name is Marina. I am 18 years old and I graduated form high school in June 2012. In September, I started university at Cal Poly Pomona as a Fine Art major. I want to be an illustrator and draw for things like books, album art, magazines, comics, children's books, etc. But I still need to learn a lot before I can do some of these things and more exposure.

However, that will take time.
Right now, at this very moment, I should get a wage earning job to help pay for my expenses. I am an adult so I should try to not rely on parents, right? Though, even though I have been trying to get a job or at least a job interview for almost 3 years now. I've sent it everywhere I am qualified and I have not received a single interview.
What am I doing wrong?
The only experience I have is volunteer work but I've been told that that doesn't say anything important because it only says that you are a good person and employers don't care if you are a good person.
So recently, I haven't been putting that on my resume.
Still, I have no experience. There aren't any jobs that are in my field at school so I can't get hired there. Sure, I attend school, but I don't do anything other than draw and study.
What should I do? I don't really have any motivation other than I should.

How should I get motivated? Or what should I do to get a job or even an internship? Or even an interview? I am really confused. What kind of jobs do they offer for people trying to get a fine art major? How can I get a job for teenagers like retail, fastfood, or maintenance?

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Devious Comments

RockstarVanity Jan 3, 2013  Professional Photographer
You should definitely be putting your volunteer work on your resume! It doesn't just show that you're a good person. It shows that you have gained valuable transferable skills. When you list your volunteer work, make sure you list what you actually did as part of that work - the responsibilities you had, how you interacted with other people, what you learned from it. This is important stuff that future employers should know :aww:
Make sure you're filling out an application in person. Now that the holiday season is over, you really have to make an effort to stand out as the places you're likely to find a job aren't typically short on help this time of year. Dress at LEAST one tier above the required dress code for which you are applying. Have all of your reference information and resume information printed out on hand so you can fill out applications quickly. Most of the jobs you'll be pursuing (without any work experience) aren't going to ask for a resume as their application covers what they want and they have enough applicants to sift through; take an extra copy just in case but don't be surprised if they don't ask for it. Get a nice, professional binder to carry your resources and keep a couple pens handy. Know the places for which you plan to fill out applications for the day so that you can jot down a few questions that you have should you get an interview. Most retail and restaurants that are hiring have signs stating what days/times they will see applicants. You can call ahead and ask when the hiring manager is available. Otherwise, default to showing up EARLY.

Other than that, you really do have to be proactive and you might be surprised that many people just aren't in their job search. Be the first to shake hands. Be the one to follow up with a phone call asking whether they've had time to review your application. "May I speak to the hiring manager?" When is a good time to call back? My name is X; is it possible to leave a message so that s/he can reach me at a later time?"

Tell them WHY you're ready to do a good job for them-- in other words, sell yourself positively. Read over some typical interview questions and have answers ready for them-- in particular, look at questions that are likely to pop up in retail, e.g., What does a shoplifter look like? A: It can be anyone. It's important not to profile, etc. (Nearly 100% of interviews will have both a 'Tell me about yourself' as well as a 'Why do you want to work for us?')

If you want to stick to campus work, talk to your adviser. S/he will have suggestions and building a rapport with this person isn't bad as it's another potential reference. Don't forget former teachers (it's still appropriate at your age) but contact them to see if they don't mind you using them as a reference. If your adviser doesn't know of any opportunities, s/he could probably still assist you in finding a job coach.

A big, but easy one. Do some mock interviews (even if you haven't had any interviews, body language tendencies will carry over into the rest of your presentation) and let an objective eye look at your resume. Just sending it in isn't going to get you anywhere. You say you're making a follow-up call. Are you calling back until you get an answer or are you settling when someone isn't available the first time you try and touch base?

Stay motivated. Don't take rejections personally. Be aggressive and confident. Good luck!
Even if the volunteer work has nothing to do with the job, I'd say still put it on the resume. It shows not only that you are a good person like you said, but that you are dedicated and hard working, which are things that employers look for.
TsurugiNoMai Jan 2, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
PUT THAT VOLUNTEER STUFF ON YOUR RESUME. like serious. who ever told you that, i dont know. i have certain things that catch peoples eyes on mine, and i could if i wanted to, take them off, but employers want to know YOU. volunteer work is perfect. if you want to tell me in a note what exactly you did, i can probably help you come up with a decent starter remume

motivation to find a job is hard, and finding the right one and sticking with it is hard. try craigs list. video game testing (though only contract and once that contracts up you gotta find something else)
google search what you want to do. if you can, and this is way out there, find a job that caters to your major and maybe theyll help pay for school. for now, get something simple. as much as i hate retail, it is a good place to start.
It may be hard to get a job in the field you're interested in without having your degree yet, so why not just apply for a job on campus that will make you some extra money?

Additionally, I'm sure there are jobs on campus that ARE related to the art field, perhaps at the school newspaper, or if you have one, the art and literary magazine? ^_^
rinatan-chu Jan 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
At school, the jobs that they offer on campus want people who are getting degrees in things like hospitality and management, math, science, business, and graphic design (and of couse, they want to see a portfolio).

The newspaper doesn't have anything for fine art majors, only graphic design.
There's no jobs at the library, food cart, or anything like that? Hrmmm.
rinatan-chu Jan 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Don't you need a degree to work at the library?
You need a degree to be a librarian, but you don't need to be a librarian to work at a library. At my University there are tons of students who work at the library on campus. There are also ones who work at the post office, housing, dorm offices, dining hall, admissions, you name it. It may be different for different schools, but I'm pretty sure there are plenty of opportunities to get a job on campus that has nothing to do with your major. Try looking into it! ^_^
This is all advice for hourly jobs like fast food or retail.

Definitely put the volunteer work on your resume. It's even better if you can use some of the people you volunteered for as a reference. If you put in an application or resume, always call back in a few days or a week to check up on it. There are many places that won't hire people who don't do this.
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