I hope to obtain some advice on this forum in regards to a conundrum I have developed for myself.

I have recently turned 24 years old, and have yet to gain any sort of work experience. I have NEVER worked a job in my life (That is right, nothing.). I know NOW (looking back), that I should have taken a summer job, or perhaps worked on campus (or off) during my tenure at the University, or even attempted to get a job while in High School. However, the fact remains, that I have absolutely no work experience.

I live in a small town of 900 people. The largest City within an hours drive, only had around 30,000 people (and shrinking). The majority of corporations within that city are moving out (such as Genpact, that is officially moving shop within the next month or two). Even the Mall of that City, has 3 vacancies for every shop. Simply put, its not the BEST place to find work.

My graduation from College was exactly 9 months ago (Which I received my BA in Social Science). I had no choice but to move back in with my family (due to having maybe $200 to my name, owning no car, having no one to move in with.. WHICH I did attempt to talk one of my friends into rooming together). ^ In relation to my lack of automobile, I can borrow my families when I find work.. SO that should not be a problem.

I applied to everything from Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Calling Centers. I even attempted to work with a temp agency (Trillium) to find some sort of work, but to no avail. It was quite a depressing issue. I got so worn out trying to find work, that I decided to take the holidays off (which turned into an extended leave, due to having to drive my brother back and forth to school, due to my mom getting work with that SAME temp agency).

Long story short.. I need some advice on this... being that im 24, no work experience, bachelors degree, in a small area, with little to no possibility of moving out... O.o. Who would be willing to accept someone with my issues?

My grandmother has pushed me towards Substitute teaching (I can not legally teach, due to my Degree not being an "Education" degree.. sadly that was the original reason I went to college.. before I decided to change it after my 1st year). I CAN substitute teach, however.

Would it be realistic to get a job waiting tables?? Or am I too "overqualified" for that (Which was a word, a lady at Trillium used to describe my predicament, claiming that many employers would be unwilling to get me a chance, knowing I would leave for a better opportunity). I want to stay completely away from temp agencies (I have seen firsthand the nightmare my mother has gone through).

Where should I start? What should I do? I am at a total loss (YES I know I screwed up in college.. there is no need to discuss that. lets keep to the issue at hand).

Any advice will be helpful! Thank You. (But please try to take into consideration I don't live near a big city, and there is a MASS exodus of people. I however do not have the funds to leave).

Also, I think it might be helpful if someone can teach me how to construct my resume more effectively, with the lack of Job Experience. I should add that I have volunteered for socializing animals (more or less you come in and you pet them, and spend time with them). I also took part in a homeless week at school (more or less you spend an entire week living outside of your dorm, as a homeless person, collecting food and money for the local homeless shelter).

Any help or advice on this would be greatly appreciated. As you could imagine, at 24 (living with my grandparents/mom/littlebro) I feel absolutely stuck in a hole.. and after months of trying and failing I feel absolutely humiliated. I haven't even gotten to the interview stage yet.

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    – gnat
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 7:04
  • I would move. You can search for jobs remotely (some places will pay to relocate you - though that is unlikely for your first gig), or look for telecommuting jobs. If that fails, then I would get a loan and/or credit cards and get somewhere with jobs. It might lead to bankruptcy, but you'll end up with the same fate if you stay. If there are no jobs, nothing you do will make them (short of starting your own company, which I do not recommend).
    – Telastyn
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 15:28

3 Answers 3


You have mentioned that you have participated in volunteer programs. I agree with @Jeanne's suggestion regarding volunteering. You should volunteer more while you hunt for jobs. Employers would be interested in learning that you kept yourselves engaged while you were hunting for jobs.

Some great places to volunteer with a Social Sciences degree include your local library (in the city where I currently reside, I have seen volunteers teach senior citizens some computer literacy). National Parks, State parks have camping sites where they need volunteers to take care of the camp entrance at nights (volunteers are responsible for printing receipts/provide directions/maintain camp bookings etc). Local animal shelters need volunteers to take care of rescuing animals from sites.

I suggest that you divide your day's time into three slots. Look for jobs for a dedicated amount of time through different job search websites, volunteer as well as brush up your skills (learn a new tool that would aid finding a job). Leave no stone unturned (I used to look for jobs on craigslist regularly). You have to be as aggressive as possible. Network with people and do not miss out on ads at the local library.

Never give up!


First, volunteer experience is experience. Take a look at what you have done in that space for skills you can show you have. Or what you can volunteer at to obtain some experience and show you are responsible. (This also helps network.)

As far as paid employment, can you tutor? Buy groceries for the elderly? Look at what you can do informally so you have something to point to as a job.


First stage of getting a job is getting a interview. How to get an interview its all depends on your resume. Change your resume multiple times to the point it stands out well among the thousands and thousands of applicants.Common mistake fresh graduate do is copy and edit their friends resume. Which is completely wrong, imagine you are in HR position need to go through a huge stack of applicants which one would you pick : The stingy/less eye pleasing black and white resume, the same old Microsoft's free sample resume template or something new and unique. When I say unique, I mean it in a professional way. Go and Google up on resume writings. The max number of pages of your resume should be 3 if you are fresh. Remove unnecessary things. If the employee is interested they would contact you and get more detailed information.

The second stage would be when applying for a job. A rule of thumb that I keep is that to get 1 job interview I need minimum 40 applications in jobstreet or any other job application website. So don't be shy or lazy, apply as many as you can. Since online application is all free.

Once you started to get interview, polish your interview skills as your resume has passed the test of getting you into a interview. After several interviews you will get hang off it.

Just a thumbs up, figure out something good to say what were you doing for this past 9 months. Never portray your self as a lazy person that would just sit in office do nothing till a task is given = I sat at home and applied for job, but I didn't get any call till now. I'm not suggesting you to tell lies but do not blatantly tell the truth.

Supporting jeanne, volunteer is indeed experience as it shows your pro activeness and if you could teach, it portrays you as a good leader and a good ex plainer. Just don't sit idle in your house. Opportunity does not fall from the sky instead you need to seek for it.

Lastly You're Never Too Old

  • The max number of pages for an Entry level person is 1. I have over 30 years experience and have only two pages.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 20:09
  • @HLGEM, yes you're absolutely right, but most of entry level person doesn't know where to cut what to put. If you manage to put all the crucial details in 1 page please go ahead. By the way, why do you limit your resume to 2 pages. With your level of experience you shall have a lot to put in. Correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't you have to write in a half page of essay for each company that you have served. Just to tell the various skills, and projects that you have handled. How do you tell a HR personal all your vast experience in just 2 pages. Mind sharing some tips. Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 1:05

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