This blog hasn’t really been living up to its title of late. This is mainly because I’ve been trying to pitch the concept to various papers for money and it feels a bit unprofessional to blog about my adventures for free when I’m trying to sell them. There again, I probably ought to be talking about it a bit more in order to maintain my reputation as an expert.*
So. I have been temping since August 2010 and freelancing on the side, but just lately I’ve started applying for the odd proper job here and there again. I’ve only been going for writing/communication ones, because the agency gets me enough work that I don’t feel obliged to return to the harrowing 6 months post-graduation, when I was applying for 10-15 crappy admin jobs a week and never hearing anything back.
The BBC posted an article mentioning my experience yesterday, actually. ‘More graduates taking low skill jobs’ the headline goes, as if this is somehow surprising or new. (For those not up to speed, I graduated from The University of St Andrews in 2008 with a 2:1 in Modern History and a raft of extra-curricular detritus on my CV, and then spent 6 months on the dole before finally securing a job with the council starting on 11k pa. I was certainly not the only one.).
The idea I’ve been trying to pitch for the past 6 months (if not longer) is basically a series of blog or diary entries about the experience that these graduates are having. I’m pretty well equipped to do it, on account of being one. But clearly I’m not targeting the right editors. Either that, or I’m not approaching them in the right way.
Earlier today I came across this article about how to get work using social media, and realised there might be a very good reason why my last application went ignored. Seriously, read it, this girl totally deserved to get that job. Meanwhile I limited myself to hyperlinks in the cover letter and a pretty CV (you can have a look at it if you want by clicking the tab above)… It’s pretty clear I need to up my game. There are only about 2 creative vacancies in Edinburgh at any one time, and they’re being applied for by 3 or 4 years worth of graduates, as well as untold professionals and optimists. Proving you’re the best one is hard going.
As if the pressure wasn’t enough already, you then read stuff like this about the problems with using t’internet to get an employer’s attention. Oh, the irony of not being able to use social media to socialise in case you give a bad account of yourself in the working world! (Course you can just make your profile private. But that only works with strangers – can you refuse a friend request from your boss?) It’s just as well I’m a teetotal, non-smoking, 100% attendance record holding freak of nature, hey.
*it’s what you might call a localised reputation.