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Glenford Smith | Blocked from the job market

Published:Monday | October 8, 2018 | 12:00 AM

QUESTION: I write to you today because I think my degree is blocking me from attaining the jobs that I want. I have a degree in communication with four years of work experience as an administrative assistant/secretary. When I apply for those jobs I am not even shortlisted for interviews. I try not to apply for jobs in communication because I am told repeatedly that I lack the necessary years of experience. What should I do? I really need a job.

- C.E.

CAREERS: Thank you for your query. Please allow me to tell you that your degree is not blocking you from receiving the jobs that you want.

Have you looked at various reasons why your applications are rejected? It could be that your rÈsumÈ and cover letter are not done properly; your competitors are objectively better for the job position than you; or you've just not applied to the company that can best utilise your talents.

Perhaps the rejection of your application has absolutely nothing to do with you. Maybe the interviewers found the candidate that they wanted and did yours out of courtesy or to fill a quota. My point is that from the information shared, you cannot tell why your job application was rejected. Many times, candidates make themselves feel awful with self-critical reasons as to why their application was turned down.

I have one piece of advice that I give everyone. When your application is rejected, look to improve it for the next application. You may be glad you did not get the initial job. I have seen candidates overjoyed at not getting a job before, because they have landed a way better one than the previous ones for which they were rejected.

With regard to your current qualification, it is commendable that you have acquired four years working as an administrative assistant. From this position, you can send out feelers.

You can prepare a letter asking people in your field to look out for job openings for a secretary, to put in a word for you, and to call you immediately. You have a ready-made advantage with a job - use it. Be careful with your current employer that he or she does not find out, though.

Why do you not apply for jobs in communication? You are prejudging the case. How do you know that they will disregard you because you don't have the experience? Don't listen to what other people say. Apply.

In order for anyone to rack up 10 years experience in communication, the person would have had to start with the first day. Don't oppose yourself. By not applying, you are making sure you don't even stand a chance of being selected.

Get someone who can look over your rÈsumÈ and cover letter for you. A paid professional or a competent friend will do.

And finally, you must know what you want. Without knowing what want, you are like a person in the dark - searching for something they know not what. If they happen to grab hold of something, they don't know how to judge it - good, bad or indifferent. You have to know what kind of job you are looking for. That's where you start.

Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.