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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:50 pm 
This past 6 weeks, I've been searching for and contacting every gemstone/jewellery retailer I can find in the UK, regarding possible positions in retail. No gemology, just shop-based selling and the lowest possible level. Then, once in that setting, I can impress people and hopefully push-on.

This is the third time I have done a search like this thoroughly in the UK, but the first time since I officially finished my FGA last year.

Most of the UK retailers so far seem to be struggling mightily at the moment, and those that reply are often saying they are more likely to be losing staff than adding more.

I have enough money to work for free in London for maybe 5-6 months, but would prefer it not to come to that.

I was 25 since I started this gemology journey, and now I'm 30. Is my age (when combined with my zero experience in the industry) going to an issue soon?

I've had my CV professionally critiqued, and am really trying to sell myself hard to these places, but am getting nowhere. Could someone in the industry (especially if they do hirings) maybe take a look at my CV and example cover letter, to see where I am maybe going wrong?


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:21 am 
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Location: Devon, UK
Hi Kyriakin. It's very tough at the moment. Yhere are more people laying off than taking on. Have you got any retail experience of any kind? If you have, it's a stronger point than an FGA at the moment. Retailers need people that can sell more than ever.

Hopefully there'll be a few places looking to take on Christmas staff. It's not ideal, but it's a foot in the door and could lead to other things.

If you would like me to go over your CV, I would do so gladly, if I can help in any way let me know (other than the obvious give you a job). PM me with you details an i'll get in touch.

Best wishes and good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:30 am 
Hi. Thanks a lot. That would be very useful. I will send it when I have re-formated it (the text went awry yesterday, when I switched from OpenOffice to Microsoft Word).

Are these retail positions generally in the High Street, High-End or small 'family' retailers?

Unfortunitely, I have no shop-based experience. Factory work and teaching only.

Quote:
...it's a stronger point than an FGA at the moment


Last edited by Kyriakin on Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:01 am 
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The retail positions that generally come up about this time are for independents (family type jewellers) or the general high street multiple jewellers. Maybe not what you want to do, but have you looked at taking a retail position in another luxury retailer, basically another area where people want the product, but don't need it. It might be a good way to build the path to what you ultimately want.

As far as the "money well spent on an FGA" bit, of course it is, but you won't reap the benefits straight away. Most people who go for the FGA have already got their foot in the door and it's a way of progressing through. I think you have just got it too early (if there can be such a thing), but it won't suddenly open a door to a fantastically paid job instantly.

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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:38 pm 
gemsmithuk wrote:
The retail positions that generally come up about this time are for independents (family type jewellers) or the general high street multiple jewellers.

These are the two types of retailer that probably suit me best due to my accent. It's fair to say that I'm not posh!

Maybe not what you want to do, but have you looked at taking a retail position in another luxury retailer, basically another area where people want the product, but don't need it. It might be a good way to build the path to what you ultimately want.

I considered the "apply for non-gem retail" route back in 2010, but thought it a rather round-about way of eventually getting 'in', and decided to keep only applying to gem/jewellery retailers instead, while continuing to teach in Asia. Now, of course, I regret it, but I didn't know at the time that the past two years would be as fruitless as the previous two had been jewellery-wise.

As far as the "money well spent on an FGA" bit, of course it is, but you won't reap the benefits straight away.

I disagree. Using that money to fund a Masters would have been a safer bet. I threw all my chips into the middle for a very specific course/subject/industry, and I have found myself somewhat trapped by the lack of transferability. I have considered diamonds/horology to add a bit more breadth to my knowledge base, but am a bit reluctant to make another big financial investment in education.

Most people who go for the FGA have already got their foot in the door and it's a way of progressing through. I think you have just got it too early...

Exactly. Which is why I think un-networked 'newbies' should pause and think hard before such a big investment (rather than trusting the 'blue skies' employment outlook presented by GIA's/Gem-A's marketing). Pretty much everyone I ever studied with (GIT and London) were either in the industry already, or were from jewellery families.

...but it won't suddenly open a door to a fantastically paid job instantly.

Well-paid was never on my list. I have never earned more than $15,000/year anyway. Just a job which interests me, and allows me to pay the bills, would do.

I am finished with teaching now. At 30, if I don't get out of the dead-end TEFL cycle soon, I will struggle to ever get out of it. It's not a job/reference that impresses employers in non-teaching fields. I was making up to $40/hour teaching English in Japan, but I am not a money person really (beyond being able to afford essentials). I'd happily do something I actually enjoyed for $10/hour


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:03 am 
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The retail positions that generally come up about this time are for independents (family type jewellers) or the general high street multiple jewellers.

These are the two types of retailer that probably suit me best due to my accent. It's fair to say that I'm not posh! Hey what about me. I've got a strong Devonshire accent and have still been offered positions in the west end!

Maybe not what you want to do, but have you looked at taking a retail position in another luxury retailer, basically another area where people want the product, but don't need it. It might be a good way to build the path to what you ultimately want.

I considered the "apply for non-gem retail" route back in 2010, but thought it a rather round-about way of eventually getting 'in', and decided to keep only applying to gem/jewellery retailers instead, while continuing to teach in Asia. Now, of course, I regret it, but I didn't know at the time that the past two years would be as fruitless as the previous two had been jewellery-wise.You've still got to remember that more jewellers are closing their doors in the UK since 2008 than opening them

As far as the "money well spent on an FGA" bit, of course it is, but you won't reap the benefits straight away.

I disagree. Using that money to fund a Masters would have been a safer bet. I threw all my chips into the middle for a very specific course/subject/industry, and I have found myself somewhat trapped by the lack of transferability. I have considered diamonds/horology to add a bit more breadth to my knowledge base, but am a bit reluctant to make another big financial investment in education.Not many people would be interested in a Masters in this trade, even in jewellery or business areas.

Most people who go for the FGA have already got their foot in the door and it's a way of progressing through. I think you have just got it too early...

Exactly. Which is why I think un-networked 'newbies' should pause and think hard before such a big investment (rather than trusting the 'blue skies' employment outlook presented by GIA's/Gem-A's marketing). Pretty much everyone I ever studied with (GIT and London) were either in the industry already, or were from jewellery families.Absolutley right. Before deciding on any investment/expenditure, it should be a very well thought out decision. It took me 4 years to decide on which bit of paper to collect and I've been in this trade for 20 years now.

...but it won't suddenly open a door to a fantastically paid job instantly.

Well-paid was never on my list. I have never earned more than $15,000/year anyway. Just a job which interests me, and allows me to pay the bills, would do. Excellent! If you're picking a career because it interests you, you're most of the way there. I'm in this trade because I love what I deal with, secondly it pays the bills and I'm part time self employed in order to have a little "spare" money

I am finished with teaching now. Funny really. At 36 I feel I'm finished with retail! It's more risky and challenging than it's ever been.At 30, if I don't get out of the dead-end TEFL cycle soon, I will struggle to ever get out of it. It's not a job/reference that impresses employers in non-teaching fields. I was making up to $40/hour teaching English in Japan, but I am not a money person really (beyond being able to afford essentials). I'd happily do something I actually enjoyed for $10/hour

Anyway, we're getting back to an old and dealt with(?) point. Get your C.V. to me, so we can go through it and work out some kind of plan for you. Also, try to get networking in the right places. Try LinkedIn, try and get into some trade fairs using your FGA affliation. You've just missed IJL and the Loughborough conference, but lets see what else we can put in your diary. Time to move forward!

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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:38 am 
I didn't realise you were Devon too. Where abouts?


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:51 am 
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October is when most retailers hire on their holiday staff.

Westfield Shopping Center, White City, might be a good place to try.
Not just jewelry stores but any retailer with a jewelry counter, or perhaps any retailer. Research everyone you send a CV to. Personalize every document making it apparent you understand their business, their products and really would enjoy the opportunity to work with them.

Make sure your CV reflects the interpersonal skills required for your international success. Patience, perseverance, flexibility with adverse situations or unforeseen circumstance, attention to detail, respect for international cultural diversity.

Sidebar: Have you thought of a cruise ship position? I know several gemology graduates who spent a year or two floating behind the jewelry counter on a luxury liner.....


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:49 am 
Barbra Voltaire wrote:
October is when most retailers hire on their holiday staff.

Westfield Shopping Center, White City, might be a good place to try.

I am a QPR fan (soccer team in White City), so that would be epic. Although, they are shite at the moment.

Not just jewelry stores but any retailer with a jewelry counter, or perhaps any retailer. Research everyone you send a CV to. Personalize every document making it apparent you understand their business, their products and really would enjoy the opportunity to work with them.

I am more 'generic' with uninvited emails to jewellery companies for whom I have seen no positions advertised (you are talking about literally hundreds of emails here, and life is too short to overly-personalise something which has a 10% chance of a response), with just small adjustments for the company's name, location and type of business. However, for advertised positions, I tend to write each email from scratch; removing the tempation to cut-and-paste a lot of what I have written for previous application cover-letters.

Make sure your CV reflects the interpersonal skills required for your international success. Patience, perseverance, flexibility with adverse situations or unforeseen circumstance, attention to detail, respect for international cultural diversity.

Do you just list these things as character attributes? Or give examples of past actions which display these attributes? If it is the former, it seems anyone could write it, but I have been told that a CV of more than 2 sides of A4 is a big no-no, so it seems like it would be hard to give any specific examples (when you already have personal details, qualifications etc. in the document).

Sidebar: Have you thought of a cruise ship position? I know several gemology graduates who spent a year or two floating behind the jewelry counter on a luxury liner.

I have seen a few of these cruise ship positions dotted about on the "Big-4" main UK-based jewellery recruitment sites (Jackson Maine, retailjewellerjobs, jeweller-recruitment, Jolyon Marshall), but they always seem to say stuff like "with a track record of achieving sales targets within a fine jewellery environment".

I am still sending off the emails, but having no luxury experience is probably causing there to be no reply so far.

Thanks a lot for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:12 pm 
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I can see you behind the counter of a fashion forward retailer.....you look hip and edgy.
Did you send a copy of your CV to gemsintheuk for review.
Here are some good tips:
http://www.rockportinstitute.com/resumes

Every retailer makes a big deal about the bottom line, sales goals, etc. Don't let it intimidate you. They just don't want to hire someone who spends the day on Facebook, or feels too entitled to dust a shelf, rearrange a display or spend a little extra time on customer service.


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:37 am 
God damn it. Thought I had one there.

A company (who also sponsor their staff to take free JET, NAG qualifications etc.) said I had an edge on interview and qualifications, but decided to go with another candidate with the experience.

We'd got as far as discussing starting dates, and them advising me on nearby accommodation options, so that must have been pretty close.

I've had a few email replies from employers recently, who have looked at my CV and told me I must get some related experience urgently before I could be considered. But this is hard when you can't get a job (paid or unpaid) due to lack of experience.

Catch-22.

Oh well, got another interview up Birmingham way this week. That will be my 3rd gem/jewellery-related interview in four years (although, with two of them being in this month, maybe I'm slowly getting some momentum).


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:25 am 
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Barbra: we did have a look at the CV and gave it a tickle for the UK. Unfortunately it hasn't worked (yet). I've got my ear to the ground for him though.

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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Right back at 'm... just send 'm this...

Quote:
Dear Madam/Sir,

Thank you for your rejection of my job application at your company.
I've read your letter with great concern. After careful consideration,
I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer
me a position in your company

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually
large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising
field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite your outstanding qualifications and previous experience in
rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs
at this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of senior gemmologist
in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.

Sincerely,
Kyriakin


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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:33 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Employment in the UK. Where to start.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:07 am 
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