What's the real way to get through to hiring managers? I know that its a tough economy right now but I feel as though I've tried everything that the "experts" say to do but to no avail. How can this recent college grad break into the field of her dreams?
Before I start, I have read all the other job search threads (and also have no "real" job experience unlike many posters) but I have some questions of my own that hopefully you guys can answer :) I've been trying to do this job hunt on my own and am reading lots of conflicting or confusing advice. I'm not sure what is right and what is wrong. This is also very very long but I want to provide lots of details.
I graduated this December with a communications degree and I am looking for a job in marketing or public relations. I have previously done two internships, a marketing one at a company that buys ad space for international publications and a pr one for a fashion designer. I have been looking for a job since May (although I officially graduated in December, I had no classes since I completed my final credits by taking a CLEP exam)
I have been relying on just internet listings. I go on craigslists marketing section every day and try to apply to any position that I can see myself being able to do. I've been told by numerous people to ignore mentions of "2-3 years experience required" as long as I fit the other criteria listed. I also have read numerous articles and comments about how simply applying to jobs online is ineffective but I don't know any other way besides going through a temp agency. I've used indeed which usually takes me to the company websites to apply and no luck. I've also heard that indeed listings are often days old and recycled from other job sites. (Sometimes I can see when the position was originally posted when I go to the website but it is not always listed).
I hear all the time that I should go with a temp agency. I would do that but I have some concerns:
1) There are many many extremely qualified and experienced folks out there that have been unemployed for some time. If they haven't had luck w/temp agencies then what chance do I possibly have?
2) What are some good temp agencies in NYC that place you in jobs for marketing/PR companies? I read this article about temp agencies
and upon further googling, read mixed reviews about Atrium, Addecco and Core.
3) I have signed up with agencies in the past and was called once about a position that was out of the city which I could not take because I rely on public transportation. Is it true that I should these agencies everyday so they can remember my name? It seems as though that would just piss off the recruiters... None of the agencies ever called me to ask me to come into the office.
If replying to online listings really is ineffective then what can I possibly do to even get an interview?
To be clear, I have followed the conventional advice. I have a general cover letter but I change things around and customize it to each position. I try to go on the company's website and mention that XYZ project sounds interesting and I would be able to contribute well to that or that I admire certain aspects of the company. I take keywords listed in the posting and integrate it into my cover letter. I try to send my emails to not just the generic craigslist email listed but to also go on LinkedIn and find the email addresses of HR people and send to them as well. If I can find a HR person's name, I will write Dear Alice Smith or Hiring Manager.
A family member told me that they know someone in HR at a company near me and told me to send my resume and such. I really did not want to go through this family member but they insisted in having me send them my resume to them and that they would forward it to the HR person. This family member is a huge meddler and troublemaker and will use information against you. They contacted me and told me that the HR person found my resume to be amateurish and this family member proceeded to give me unwanted advice on crafting a resume. I came up with the resume myself after consulting numerous online examples. I brought what I had to an adviser at the career services center at my school and she suggested various things to what I had already had. I don't mind constructive criticism but this family member was just full of criticism and they know nothing about crafting resumes. It really upset me for a while and I really would rather not take leads from family members anymore.
As for the content of my resume, I think that it is the best it could possibly be. I did try to quantify anything I could but I really have not done anything like 'developed strategy that increased profits by 70% in three months' nor 'increased productivity by X%. I haven't won any awards or anything. I also really did not do much pr work at my pr internship. Since it was a position in the fashion industry and I was the newest intern, I was mostly responsible for grunt work like delivering samples to editors. I tried extremely hard in that position to get the boss to like me but it seemed like the harder I tried, the worse things turned out. So that boss would definitely not be a reference. There was also no opportunity for paid employment at that company seeing as how the intern supervisor (who I do list as a reference) had been there for some time and was basically the boss's right hand man but still continued to work for free.
I don't know anyone who works in marketing or pr AND has any say in hiring decisions (they just got hired), so I don't see how I could network. I do not have a network.
I know that this is a super tough economy, but its really depressing to send out really well-crafted cover letters and not get even one response in a week. After freshman year of college, my group of friends got smaller I don't have too many ins that way. I can't ask them to put in a good word for me because either my friends work at places that are not currently hiring, are still in school, unemployed, or no longer live in Manhattan. I feel as though I have done my due diligence and followed everything that the experts say to do but nothing works.
I applaud you if you read this far! I'm just so upset and feel like a failure...
My family has also been financially supporting me while I job hunt but can no longer afford to do so. I'm scared and I can really use some advice.