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What could be the reason I am so consistently declined for jobs I apply for?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 May 2015) 4 Answers - (Newest, 2 June 2015)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, *weetpie89 writes:

Hi there

I started to feel sad and upset with my situation. I have a degree in event management and also worked for 2 years for a well known company with good money too.

Since I had the baby I left the job because I was commuting long distance.

Now whenever I go for a job interview for good jobs I am declined.

Is it because of my faith as I started to cover hair for religion reasons. What can I do? Where can I start because I need a job to support myself and my baby. Thank you

View related questions: long distance, money

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A female reader, sweetpie89 United Kingdom +, writes (2 June 2015):

sweetpie89 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

sweetpie89 agony auntThank you all for your help. Very helpful answers and so detailed. I'm looking in a different way and areas in jobs such as administration, etc. As I am looking for career where I can make a little difference in my experience and skills. Thank you again and will definitely keep u posted.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 May 2015):

Honeypie agony auntIs it THE reason? It's hard to say. It think it depends on what kind of events management/planning you are looking to work in.

If it's weddings for instance, I can see someone thinking that a covered up girl has NO experience in that.

Some people just don't want religion to be the main focus when it comes to their employees.

I worked with a Muslim girl at a hotel, and to be honest the amount of rules the management HAD to follow in order for her to work there, made it a little hard to work her into the regular schedule. She actually didn't do 1/2 the work the rest of us did. Like she wasn't ALLOWED to talk to make guests by herself (like part of the job was to take the guests to their floor, show them the room and give them the basic details, like how to contact room-service, hours of the gift store, the concierge, the car services, the roof top restaurant etc.) so basically, SHE was USELESS in the front house business and ended up working with the managers in the back for a while. She had originally been HIRED because she spoke Arabic, but when she really couldn't fulfill the JOB requirements NEEDED (such as interacting with strangers) she was "let go".

SO yes, it CAN be because you choose to wear a scarf. Though I have found England in general are fairly OK with "covered heads".

But it can ALSO be the fact that you have a small child. A mom or single mom, can't always put the same hours into a project/event as someone who don't have a child to go home to.

I think Abella provided a LOT of really good an useful tips for you to go over and maybe redo your CV - I would NOT focus on the head scarf thing, for now. Redo the CV, consider adding new skills (for you), so maybe a few more classes? And lastly, do not give up.

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A female reader, Abella United States +, writes (30 May 2015):

Abella agony auntExperience is the key.

And if you do not have specific event management experience of actually managing an event you need to draw on what you have done that is experience that relates to event management and could then be applied to event management

Even community events that you did as part of a group count.

Community Experience counts even if as a volunteer.

My community wanted to raise funds for a good cause and promote some local businesses.

Our budget was minimal.

But we organised several events that all made a profit and attracted customers who were curious about the events organised.

We did not get any payment and we did not call ourselves event managers but many of the things we did were "event managing"

An event manager needs a positive approach as they need to inspire others to do their best. Though there are many skills a good event manager needs,

Sometimes event management will require you to travel long distances. If that will be problem then seek a job closer to home. Also often an important event to organise will mean that you are working long hours. Including in the evening so that an event can open on time first thing in the morning.

Once again, examine if you could specialise for the next couple of years in event management area where you will not be expected to work late and start early. It is still experience towards the better job later.

Was the company, where you previously worked, a place where you could do event management? If not them draw on any skills you did there to demonstrate your suitability as an event manager.

Time Management being one.

Keeping within a budget would be another key skill for an Event Manger.

Meeting deadlines is also important.

Think about how you do use tasks (in outlook) in your private time to manage your life and your responsibilities. It can demonstrate your commitment to meeting deadlines and keeping others informed.

Demonstrating you already have the skill is one thing. But then you need examples.

So it is not enough to say you "studied the theory of "jumping over tall buildings"

It is not enough to say "in my last job I was required to jump tall buildings" -but did you?

What you do need to say is how you did it. (fictitious examples below:

As part of our "tall buildings project" I developed some concept drawings for a team of ten to jump a talk building using a gigantic trampoline. We successfully cleared that building of 150 feet and a team from the Guinness Book of records confirmed that we broke the records.

(b) this year I gathered a new team to jump a higher building using a gigantic Catapault.

We gained funding to create jet propelled jump suits to propel the team members higher once they were sent up by the catapault. The 15 members each managed to clear the 320 feet high building and since them the event has received good coverage in the press and the catapault has been donated to the Smithsonian

Look at some of the events organised in your community. Who are some of the top event organisers of local festivals, sporting or cultural or community events?

Apply before they advertise. Make an appointment and give a 3 minute presentation of your key skills. Leave him a card with your name and contact details and your resume/CV

Identify some key event organising groups and research each one.

Make an appointment and give a 3 minute presentation of your key skills. Leave him a card with your name and contact details and your resume/CV

It is about them wanting you because you offer them something they want. Simply by applying before they advertise shows initiative and planning.

Let them know what you have discovered about their organisation and their projects and their direction for the future.

Sell them that you have those key skills that they will need

Look at some public celebrations – observe how well they did it – find out who was the company that did the event planning

Approach them – identify key things that went well.

Let them know that you are looking for work that will allow

you to learn more and make use of all you learnt in your studies on event management.

How good are your negotiation skills?

Are you especially skilled at sticking to a budget and meeting time frames- demonstrate it with examples

Do you belong to any service groups where you have helped organise an event in a voluntary capacity - shows commitment to event management

What type of events excite you and draw you – sport, cultural, high end, community, weddings, exhibitions, trade events – find out which companies do the ones you like. Target them.

What events did you organise while studying ?

Are you a good ideas person?

Are you committed to Occupational Health and Safety? All community events have to take that into account

How outstanding is your presentation of your CV?

If it is boring and plain it will not inspire.

Get a cover and reappraise the content so that your application stands out.

Do a lot of mock interviews.

Practise and develop your presentation skills.

If you cannot inspire the panel then how will you be inspirational on a team of people working to a deadline?

Your wearing apparel in general should be smart and professional with a matching head attire that co-ordinates with your chosen clothing.

Personally I believe it is none of the business of the panel to know if you are married or single or in a relationship and should be of no consequence that you do or do not have a child.

That way you are chosen entirely on your merits

How many times you have given birth to a child, or not and how many times you have been in a relationship or not is not anyone's business but yours.

If I see an application that includes:

"single and currently engaged and have one daughter"

or "divorced and no children"

or "married three times, currently single and have five children" I would wonder why the applicants included these details.

None of those relationship details will help nor hinder person's ability to do the job, but it will make the applicant look like a 1950s dinosaur.

If I had a potential employer asking me if I was married and how many children / had given birth to I would be questioning if the employer was too sexist for me.

It should not make any difference.

Once you get the job they will see that your education has made you an excellent choice.

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A female reader, celtic_tiger United Kingdom + , writes (30 May 2015):

celtic_tiger agony auntSadly this could be for a lot of reasons.

I am in a sort of similar position, but more that because of extra qualifications, and have been told on numerous occasions that I am "overqualified". I have priced myself out of roles that are now being given to younger, fresher graduates who will work for a lower salary, but who have little experience in the field.

There are SO many graduates being churned out every year now, that the job market is awash with cheap, fresh faces, who are all looking for a job.

For many companies, experience does not matter. It is cost that counts. So they can employ a new graduate at a much cheaper rate than someone who has been in the industry a few years.

If you are older, with experience, they may feel that you would require the highest salary offered, whereas they would prefer to offer the lowest they can.

The fact you have a child might also count against you (although it shouldn't) as they possibly feel that you would not be able to give the high level of commitment and extra hours needed for the job.

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