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Author Topic: Unqualified  (Read 1469 times)

Offline Ajax

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Unqualified
« on: May 28, 2010, 06:39:06 PM »
At the tender age of 23 I graduated from college (yay!) with a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Now I am job hunting (emphatic yay) and I've come to the conclusion that I am unqualified for everything. Even jobs listed as entry level require a minimum of two to three years experience. Either my definition of entry level is wrong, or they just don't want to hire people. The jobs that don't require prior job experience, have ridiculous job requirements. One job is was a desk clerk for the Army Intelligence and they require that I be proficient in Defensive Driving Maneuvers. They will test me they said, with MY CAR. I'm getting a job because I have no income, I can't afford to screw up my car for a job that I more than likely won't get. (Another requirement is getting Top Secret clearance, which I assume comes with a special handshake or something). I can't afford to get a masters degree and I am not qualified to get a respectable job. I refuse to work at Target (or any other HS level job) again after going through all the trouble of getting a degree.  :banghead:

For those older members who have jobs, how did you do it? Now that I'm going through the process, it seems like it requires nothing more than divine intervention to get a job. Am prepared to sacrifice goats to Almighty Zeus.

Offline thalaw2

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2010, 02:45:41 PM »
Gotta think outside the box! Ask yourself....do you really need to work in the country you live in?  Would you be willing to move?  I get paid for 12 months but only work about 9 or 10....I only go home once a year though...it's a trade off. 
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Offline Reepicheep

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2010, 02:57:31 PM »
You'd have better luck with Hermes, if you're in to criminology.

Offline Ephemeris

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2010, 05:00:34 PM »
Ultimately, what do you want to do (beyond get a job)?  You're degree is in criminology and criminal justice, so I presume policing is the direction you were heading?

Offline Podmark

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 06:48:12 PM »
This may or may not apply. A similar question was brought up in my Web Design class this year. Our teacher said that often these job openings asking for years of experience didn't necessarily require you having them. It was the employer using their wish list and weeding out less serious candidates. Her advice was to apply for them anyway.

But thats the web design field, not sure if it would apply here.
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Offline daglob

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 09:00:09 PM »
I agree with Pod. There are a lot of "requirements" that aren't really. However, IF it says "this requirement will NOT be waived", it is really a requirement (seen that on the typing requirement of a lot of governent jobs lately). Sadly, sometimes those requirements are designed to be used to omit applicants who... let's say "don't fit the company profile". At other times, the person advertising the position already has the person he wants to give the job to picked, he just needs a couple of resumes to show that he really did look for someone else...

I see ads on TV locally (Mobile) that insist that The Department of Correction of the State of Alabama is hiring, and Criminology and Justice degrees are required. In line with Thalaw, check out other cities, states, and counties. The Federal government site (http://www.usajobs.gov/) will let you set a distance limit on your search (but you still get listings from outside your search limits if it is posted state/country wide). The State Employment Department also has a set of listings (and no matter what state you are in, if Alabama has it, everyone else probably does too). And just about every job at the local municipal government requires a degree, but they don't often say what kind.

It could be worse; you could be "overqualified" for entry level positions which means "If I hire you the first guy who comes by and offers you a 50K a year job you'll be gone". Like nobody else working there would.

Offline JeyNyce

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2010, 11:32:09 AM »
Apply for the jobs anyway.  Don't be a wuss at the interview, but don't be cocky either.  Having confidence in your skills makes you stand out above the others.  That's how I got my first job in IT.
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Offline BWPS

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2010, 02:06:38 PM »
Remember, experience isn't necessarily paid job experience. Anything you've ever done related to you field can be called "experience". For instance, I plan on making sure I have plenty of non-school programming done which I can easily make available when I graduate so I'll have more done when I can't get job. For you, you'd probably have to do vigilante work, maybe hunt a couple of bounties. Of course if you go the masked hero route, you'd have to reveal your identity on a resume. Wow, that was ridiculous, I really don't think that advice applies to you at all. Good luck!
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Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2010, 05:34:26 AM »
Remember, experience isn't necessarily paid job experience. Anything you've ever done related to you field can be called "experience". For instance, I plan on making sure I have plenty of non-school programming done which I can easily make available when I graduate so I'll have more done when I can't get job. For you, you'd probably have to do vigilante work, maybe hunt a couple of bounties. Of course if you go the masked hero route, you'd have to reveal your identity on a resume. Wow, that was ridiculous, I really don't think that advice applies to you at all. Good luck!

I'd definitely recommend the masked vigilante idea, it's done wonders for me....errr.....what?

Yeah, NEVER let yourself be scared off by being unqualified.  I've been unqualified for most of the jobs I've landed, but sometimes you just get lucky, hit it off with your interviewer, or put out a hit on the other candidates.... :unsure:
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Offline Avalon

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2010, 03:32:41 PM »
Most smaller cities or villages will require a bachelor's degree for police work. Everyone is right, apply anyways if it ask for experience. Chances are they will consider you so they can pay you less than an experienced applicant. They are interviewing you to see if you fit in with their employees, not for the job. They will train you for the job.
On a side note, always dress professionally for the interview. Wear a nice button shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes. I m sure they told you that before but it is good advise.
Check out several towns in the area for police department openings. They will list them in the local paper for sure. I wouldn't recommend correctional officer as they are usually lower paying jobs. I would look around to some of the larger cities as they will have more federal funding to encourage them to hire more officers.
Get the Sunday paper, they usually have the most help wanted ads.
Don't forget the law of averages, the more you apply for, the better the chances of landing something. Apply for any job that requires a bachelors degree or what ever degree you have.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 03:34:52 PM by Avalon »

Offline Tawodi Osdi

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2010, 06:57:49 PM »
I'm sort of in the same boat.  I am currently a college student on summer break, and I was hoping to find some summer work.  For the low end jobs, I am competing with graduating HS students.  On upper end jobs, I am competing with out-of-work college grads.  Ironically, down in Texas there are plenty of full-time jobs that I qualify for but aren't worth giving up college(I hope). 

I agree with the others about trying to be creative.  Maybe, you could find some corporate security job that might find a criminologist handy.

Putting on a mask and becoming a crime fighter might be fun too, but I'm an English major with an interest in technical writing.  What am I going to do, walk up to a drug dealer and correct his grammar.

Offline BlueBard

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2010, 07:57:04 PM »
A friend of mine had his CJ degree and wound up working as a rent-a-cop security type.  Then as a Deputy Sheriff Correctional Officer in the county lockup.  He wound up getting into a Police Academy and worked his tail off on a municipal police force to qualify, only to be shown the door because another probationary officer had better connections.  He wound up back at the county jail.  Then he landed a position within the Sheriff's department providing police services for the airport.  He is still in the Sheriff's department today, having worked various positions at the airport and gotten experience that he probably would not have gotten a chance to get otherwise.

So #1, don't discount getting experience as a security or correctional officer.  No, it is not a fun job and no, it is not the same as being a full-fledged law enforcement officer.  But you can learn skills that you take with you to other positions and you get real-world knowledge of the kinds of people you are going to have to deal with as an officer.  Plus, they are more likely to be hiring correctional officers since few people choose to make that their lifelong careers if they can help it.  The downside is that being exposed to incarcerated criminals constantly can have an adverse effect on your mental state.

#2, my friend used his spare time to develop non-law-enforcement skills that he used for income.  I guarantee he knows more about home repair than your average Deputy and he has a fallback in case something happens and he has to look for another job.  My brother-in-law has been unemployed for nearly two years, but has been able to keep going doing odd jobs at home repair and mechanics.  Don't fixate on "can't get a law-enforcement job" and be open to developing your skills and talents in other areas as well.
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Offline captainspud

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2010, 03:40:18 AM »
1) My current job "required" two years of work experience. I got it straight out of Uni because I rocked the interview.
2) Every job I've ever gotten has involved some level of nepotism. Directly offered by family/friends/family's friends/etc, or referred to someone they knew in some way. It's a huge notch on your card if the hirers get even a casual referral for you-- they know someone they respect can confirm that you're neither a simpleton nor an axe murderer.

So, yeah. Apply even if you lack the experience (you've got nothing to lose, really), get your friends and family to dig around for you (and if possible, have them find a way to casually mention you to the hirer), and get good at interviews. That's all the advice I have.

G'luck. :)
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Offline 77

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2010, 04:03:47 AM »
If your looking for work with the Police, I suggest trying to get on as either a Police dispatcher or a guard in a detention area, neither really require much experience.

This would also put you in a position to "get to know" the right people so when a position does open you can put your name in.

Around here positions for officers rarely open, but when they do they normally offer it "in house" first.
 Just my 2 cents.

Offline Ephemeris

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2010, 11:35:40 PM »
If your looking for work with the Police, I suggest trying to get on as either a Police dispatcher or a guard in a detention area, neither really require much experience.

This would also put you in a position to "get to know" the right people so when a position does open you can put your name in.

Around here positions for officers rarely open, but when they do they normally offer it "in house" first.
 Just my 2 cents.


I agree with everything 77 said.  Another job to look at is working as an EMT on an ambulance (usually requires minimal training).  Being an EMT (especially one with experience) is another way to distinguish yourself from the crowd and show you're serious about pursuing an emergency related career.

Some states/communities require you to take a civil service exam.  Find out when the exams are and take as many as you can.

Offline Xenolith

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Re: Unqualified
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2010, 02:13:25 AM »
I will second (or third, or fourth) that employers advertisements are a wish list, so feel free to apply. 

On the other hand, I have a summer intern position open and I'm getting resumes for folks with masters degrees.  Times are tough.