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merkon  
#1 Posted : 11 May 2018 10:05:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
merkon

Hello everyone!

I have been applying for several H&S positions across the UK, since the beginning of March.

I have sent more than 500 applications (H&S Advisor, Consultant, Officer, Graduate, Junior, Assistant) and got some feedback for lots of telephone interviews.

However, I still can't succeed in any of the job vacancies that I have applied for.

I have a strong academic backgroung with a 4 years BSc (Hons) in Public Health, with many OHS modules and currently doing my (distance learning) MSc in OHS Management through Loughborough University. I also have 2 years of hands on experience in H&S (telecoms, infrastracture) and OHSAS 18001.

Could you please give me some advice about what's going wrong? Why am I unable to find a suitable H&S position?

I am starting to feel desperate and don't know what to do...

Mark-W  
#2 Posted : 11 May 2018 10:18:06(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mark-W

Are you sending a generic CV? A generic covering letter?

You need to read the advert and write your covering letter to answer the key points from the advert. Always quantify any statements. I used to run a fleet of vehicles when I served in the Army, I always stated I ran a small fleet, this means nothing, It was suggested to me to state the value of the fleet, to reflect the responsibility. So my statement changed from

Ran a small fleet of vehicles

to

Operated a small fleet of vehicles covering use, maintenence and regulations with a vaslue of £300K.

Not sure if it helped but it clarified the very basic statement and put some context to it

merkon  
#3 Posted : 11 May 2018 10:21:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
merkon

Would you like to give me your email and forward you my CV?

George_Young  
#4 Posted : 11 May 2018 10:22:19(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
George_Young

Currently the H&S job market is dead, it is up north at least.

You state you have had some feedback, maybe you can work on the area's identified in the feedback, Review your CV, I tend to review and alter mine to suit the job I am applying for, also practice your interview techinques and answers to popular questions.

Regards

George

Kate  
#5 Posted : 11 May 2018 13:28:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

Since the beginning of March is not that long so it's too early to become disheartened.

Lots of good advice above and also lots more on the web, so concentrate on that and giving a positive impression of yourself to prospective employers.

500 applications (really?) is a lot in such a short time.  Such a scattergun approach suggests that you may be applying for jobs that aren't suitable for you and that you aren't able to put much attention into each application (such as researching the opportunity or tailoring your CV to suit the job).  Suitability and quality of application count for more than quantity.

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 16/05/2018(UTC)
merkon  
#6 Posted : 15 May 2018 10:42:48(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
merkon

Thank you all for the replies and comments.

I have been applying even to Junior - Trainee - Graduate positions, but still got a no.

Someone told me that they cannot offer me a contract because I do not have the NEBOSH certificate or the diploma and he stated that I might be not competent enough to give H&S advice.

I tried to convince him that I have had lots of H&S modules in my BSc degree in Public Health and Hygiene and that I am currently working towards my MSc in Health and Safety Management, which is far better than NEBOSH. Apart from those, I also have 2 years of hands on experience.

His answer was that I might be competent enough, but his insurance partner might tell him that the minimum requirement for a competent person in the UK regarding H&S is the NEBOSH certificate and as a result I am not competent.

What do you have to comment about the above?

I opted for the MSc because of the higher quality and the higher level of degree, but I am starting to have second thoughts. I guess that I will not manage to find a H&S job, until I finish with my MSc degree.

Kate  
#7 Posted : 15 May 2018 13:06:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

My comment about that is that it's nonsense! NEBOSH is just the best known qualification.  There are plenty of alternatives which are better than the NEBOSH Certificate!

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
lorna on 15/05/2018(UTC)
lorna  
#8 Posted : 15 May 2018 14:00:13(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lorna

I agree with Kate. I'm CMIOSH with a cognate degree - haven't done any NEBOSH & have no intentions of doing so... But I have spent much of the last 20 years explaining that IOSH accept my Hons degree as at least equivalent....

O'Donnell54548  
#9 Posted : 16 May 2018 07:29:03(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
O'Donnell54548

Originally Posted by: lorna Go to Quoted Post

I agree with Kate. I'm CMIOSH with a cognate degree - haven't done any NEBOSH & have no intentions of doing so... But I have spent much of the last 20 years explaining that IOSH accept my Hons degree as at least equivalent....

They that pay the wages make the rules, you want the job give the employer what they ask for, its called living in the real world :)

A Kurdziel  
#10 Posted : 16 May 2018 08:20:15(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

You have established that you have a good academic background but what did you do before that?  Employers like to recruit people with experience of that sector as much as with good H&S qualifications. For example I would never apply for a job in construction or the railways, as have no experience of that what so ever.  

They also like people of certain background, for example some employers only seem to recruit ex- military, although that is more to do with group identity and less to do with experience.

When you get right down to it, you are selling yourself to someone and as has been said they who pay the piper decide the tune.

WatsonD  
#11 Posted : 16 May 2018 08:34:25(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Originally Posted by: O'Donnell54548 Go to Quoted Post

They that pay the wages make the rules, you want the job give the employer what they ask for, its called living in the real world :)


I have to agree. If employers are looking for a NEBOSH certificate, and you want the work, then that is what you need to get.

You have a strong academic background but no experience. Your bias towards MSc over NEBOSH suits your sensibility rather than the demands of employment market.

If you want a sucessful career in H&S, you need to, above all else, be pragmatic. Look for what employer wants. That is what will make you more employable.

JamesMc85  
#12 Posted : 16 May 2018 09:13:42(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
JamesMc85

Agreed with the above comments to proide what an employer is asking for above what you believe to be better.

I have read numerous pieces from those qualified who would recommend alternatives to NEBOSH for its learning style and even content - but having been advised from an employer to study NEBOSH and it being more prevalent on job descriptions it seemed the most logical route for me to pursue.

stonecold  
#13 Posted : 16 May 2018 10:32:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

NEBOSH seems to get tons of flack on this forum (never understood why). Funnily enough the criticism normally comes from posters who do not have the qualification(s). 

I have 3 NEBOSH qualifications and the work I put in to acheive them was well worth it in terms the jobs I was able to get. Especially when I got the Dip. Never looked back after that.

If you want to work in a certain sector you really have to make the effort in getting the qualifications the employers are asking for. Its as simple as that really.

Ian Bell2  
#14 Posted : 16 May 2018 12:06:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

#13.

Not entirely true. I did the Pt 1 Diploma back in the 1990s. Eventually got to be CMIOSH.

However I have worked in design engineering safety for over 10yrs. NEBOSH qualifications are never asked for in the oil/gas/petrochemical sector in safety engineering.

No longer a member of IOSH, not needed. No shortage of work.

IOSH qualifications don't teach relevant sybjects/techniques etc used in design / engineering safety.

More to safety than IOSH/NEBOSH qualifications
thanks 1 user thanked Ian Bell2 for this useful post.
lorna on 17/05/2018(UTC)
lorna  
#15 Posted : 17 May 2018 08:21:49(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lorna

They that pay the wages make the rules, you want the job give the employer what they ask for, its called living in the real world :)

I've been working in the real world for nearly 30 years - lack of NEBOSH has never been a disadvantage, my degree/experience/other qualifications & general skills have always been an advantage. I'm not a NEBOSH knocker - I just don'tthink that it's the only option for every job & every person. Ultimately it's the interview that gets you the job - some careful wording on the application form helps.. 

Kate  
#16 Posted : 17 May 2018 09:15:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

Many employers don't really know what qualifications they want anyway.  The daftest requirement I saw in a job advert was "Must be IOSH qualified and NEBOSH accredited."

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
lorna on 18/05/2018(UTC)
Mark-W  
#17 Posted : 23 May 2018 09:00:22(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mark-W

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

 

They also like people of certain background, for example some employers only seem to recruit ex- military, although that is more to do with group identity and less to do with experience.

I have to agree and disagree with you about this statement. I served for 24 yrs, left and then moved into a H&S role.

Yes there are companys that like to recruit ex forces, we are a big family really and like to look after our own. But we have a common bond. A reputation good or bad will follow you around. As an Ex Royal Engineer, we are only 8000 strong the last time I looked, probably less now. But we know most others in the Corps.

I could mention certain activitys about a bridge demolition going wrong in Canada and I reckon most RE soldiers would know exactly who I'm talking about.

So my point is that yes experience does come into play but it's mainly the work ethic and can do attitutude we have that sets us apart. Not saying that pure civilians don't have it.

We know that any construction site we run and operate will be compliant and we understand the intracacies of the work. 75% of all RE's have a construction related trade.

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