Spend more than ten minutes making your resume/CV, having soemthing well-thought out makes a subtle influence on people who hire.
If you have gaps on it, be creative but don't outright lie. Anything but the smallest company will check on previous employment (though they can only confirm dates of employment, at least in America.) if you say things like you volunteered or travelled, that makes you seem more normal anyway. You can also omit things by emphasizing your relevant experience, like only office-type work if you are applying for an office.
Follow up after interviews with thank you letters. It seems patronizing. It very few people do this and it helps you stand out.
Remember that HR people do not have any real input into who gets hired. Worry more about actual managers you meet.
Even in offices, finding someone halfway intelligent who shows up on time, doesn't call out sick a lot, isn't playing on his phone all day and catches on quickly is hard to find.
>>25764978 You really don't need references. How old are you? Are you out of university or did you not go? Give me some background.
Really your best bet is to apply for things in a setting where there are better jobs, but starting out at a position where there is no expectation. Admin staff have a really high turnover rate because they usually put stupid roasties int eh spot who take 8 hours to sort mail because they are on Facebook and Candy Crush all day. Apply for something like that and using partial effort they'll want to have you doing something useful.
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