"My name is Jessica and I am a recent York University graduate…"
Since June 2012 I have become strangely familiar with writing that line, I know it off by heart and where exactly it should be place within one of the hundreds of cover letters I have written. I graduated with a BA in English Literature in October 2012 and of every single job posting I applied for, full-time, part-time and even internships, the only job I could successfully land is close to home; and for my father.
I am grateful to have this business to fall-back on, but there’s not much writing involved in filing and window-quotation preparation. The only problem is, University did not prepare me for the full-time job that is LOOKING for a full-time job. Everyone I’ve spoken to has said the same thing, that they have been unnsucessful in finding something substantial in the field that they have studied. I, however, have located many jobs in my field, but lack the experience to actually receive the job. I am fully aware that an employer cannot just randomly place a former-student in a job that she knows nothing about, but what happened to the employers who cared enough about their workers to offer some-sort of training. It’s not rocket science here, people, it’s an assistant to the Editor or Internship at a magazine - we’re not constructing a spaceshuttle to send cats in.
Literally, and I mean LITERALLY, every posting for an internship I have looked a specfically states, “previous experience is necessary” or “prior experience is essential to succeeding in this job”. I don’t know about anyone else but, can one gain experience if one cannot EVER just receive the job? I appreciate the fact that these employers have high standards, as do I which is why I’m even applying for the job, but knowing how hard the economy is right now, these employers are REALLY that picky? How are we really supposed to stay positive when every response is a rejection?
Furthermore, are we supposed to take this as a life-lesson? “When in doubt, try, try, again?” NO. It’s more like, “when in doubt, crawl into bed for a week with a tub of icecream and hatch a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme”. This rejection cannot be good for the psyche, and we will most likely just carry this negativity on in the other parts of our live: family, friends, relationships. As if dating wasn’t hard enough, let’s add this to list, “prior experience required”.
With a University degree, I had no idea that I would be having the same amount of trouble in the work-force as an immigrant new to the country. If I have to start driving cabs or baking bread, I wish all my customers luck; because I have no experience.