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Can't get a job, even with first class degree Watch

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    I graduated with a 1st in English back in 2003. Before completing my degree I never had a problem finding employment, but I always wanted a degree, so I studied part-time whilst working full-time. I never set out or expected to get a first, but I enjoyed my course and was over the moon when I was awarded a first. I never earned a great salary even after graduating. Even so, everything was more or less fine for me until the recession hit back in 2008/9. I was renting at the time but subsidising my rent using interest on savings. When interest rates collapsed my 'rent subsidy' disappeared and it became impossible for me to afford to rent long-term in the area I was working in, unless I started to dip deep into my savings. So, I left my job and moved to a cheaper area, thinking that I would be 'snapped up' by a local employer due to my good qualifications and work experience. I was wrong. Since 2008 I've found it impossible to get employers to notice me at all. I can't get through to interview stage. My savings began to dwindle anyway, and so in response I set up my own business, but my combined income from eeking out my savings and self-employment only just prevents me from having to sign on.

    I always state I have a first class degree on my CV, because logic suggests that showcasing achievements is a good thing, but I have been thinking lately that it might be a good idea to leave my degree classification off my CV, and just state I have a degree. It's impossible for me to omit mentioning my degree altogether on my CV because my current self-employment relies on my graduate status to win work.

    I sometimes wonder whether my first class degree classification puts people off when they read my CV.

    If I was younger, I'd definitely think about working abroad, in a working culture that appreciates academic achievement more.

    The big question to ask, however, is what is the point of having a degree honours classification system at all, if those who get the best grades face discrimination simply because they possess the best grades? It's a fair question to ask. It would be interesting to find out what emotions are triggered in employers when they read that someone has a first. Nevertheless, it's a strange culture we live in here in the UK if those who achieve the best grades have to go to some lengths to hide them, just to find work.

    I am hoping there will be a culture change in the UK soon.
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    (Original post by _icecream)
    Can you code? Why not register with some recruitment agencies
    Even most recruitment agencies DO ask for previous work experience!
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    The part about having an Asian name is certainly something that worries me. I'm a Muslim, with a Muslim name and every time I apply for something I feel as if I will be discriminated, it's just sad feeling like that for starters. Anyhow, I'm a 2nd year business info systems student trying to find summer internships, I've got through on 4 applications and failed the damn psychometric tests, the numerical ones in particular are so hard it's preposterous. Any advice on the tests please I just feel like giving up and I'm already scared about life after graduation....
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    You're problem seems to be that you assume that everybody is going to love you just because you've got a 1:1 degree. Doesn't work that way. If the only thing you can bring to the party is a good degree then you could be in for a long wait.
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    (Original post by BluePot)
    I graduated with a 1st in English back in 2003. Before completing my degree I never had a problem finding employment, but I always wanted a degree, so I studied part-time whilst working full-time. I never set out or expected to get a first, but I enjoyed my course, and was over the moon when I was awarded a first. I never earned a great salary even after graduating, and everything was more or less fine for me until the recession hit back in 2008/9. I was renting at the time but subsidising my rent using interest on savings. When interest rates collapsed my 'rent subsidy' disappeared and it became impossible for me to afford to rent in the area I was working in. So, I left my job and moved to a cheaper area, thinking that I would be 'snapped up' by a local employer due to my good qualifications and work experience. I was wrong. Since 2008 I've found it impossible to get employers to notice me at all. I can't get through to interview stage. In response I set up my own business, but the money I earn from this only just prevents me from having to sign on. I always state I have a first class degree on my CV, because logic suggests that showcasing achievements must be a good selling point, but I have been thinking lately that it might be a good idea to leave my degree classification off my CV, and just state I have a degree. It's impossible for me to omit mentioning my degree altogether on my CV because my current self-employment relies on my graduate status to win work.

    I sometimes wonder whether my first class degree classification puts people off when they read my CV.

    If I was younger, I'd definitely think about working abroad, in a working culture that appreciates academic achievement more.

    The big question to ask, however, is what is the point of having a degree honours classification system at all, if those who get the best grades face discrimination simply because they possess the best grades? It's a fair question to ask. It would be interesting to find out what emotions are triggered in employers when they read that someone has a first. Nevertheless, it's a strange culture we live in here in the UK if those who achieve the best grades have to go to some lengths to hide them, just to find work.

    I am hoping there will be a culture change in the UK soon.
    I've never put my degree classifications on my CV. I never even considered it.
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    (Original post by Joshale)
    Work experience.
    So many kids going to university, thinking if they get top marks they'll get the best, well not best but "decent" paid jobs, not the case for most when you haven't got work experience.
    At least someones got the balls to tell the truth on here!
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    I keep repeating this point in thread after thread, but if you aren't getting to the interview stage in at least 1 in 10 applications IT IS YOUR CV THAT'S THE PROBLEM! The CV (and covering letter, or application form if that's what was required) is the only thing the employer knows about you and it isn't getting you to the top 6.

    What folks don't seem to realise is that having friends and family tell you how wonderful and impressive your CV is is utterly meaningless (and places like Connexions are even worse, just ploughing through clients as fast and easily as possible). They aren't viewing your CV in anything like the same way the employer is.

    When an employer advertises a job, before the ad goes out, they will have done a lot of thinking about the skills they want for that job. More and more often nowadays, they will have the absolute same words/skills they ask for in the advert, in the scoring sheet for filtering CVs. So everything you write that uses those words and shows those skills will get you points. Everything else is just rubbish and clutter, no matter how important it is to you.

    You MUST tailor your CV to each specific job advert is you want a chance to get invited to interview.

    Quality always wins over quantity in job applications. Avoid the high volume recruiters like Read and Monster like the plague - all you are doing is putting yourself in a massively larger candidate pool, but the employer is still only going to invite 4-6 people to interview, whether they have 10, 100 or 500 applicants. So get savvy about the sector you want to work in, bookmark specialist recruiters and company websites and make higher quality applications to smaller recruitment pols to increase your chance of success.
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    I can help. This is what I've been doing, there's two options you can either setup on your own which like any business has an initial outlay or you can work on my behalf.

    You can find details on this link

    If you want any further information please feel free to contact me.
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    Didn't we have this exact thread like two days ago?

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    It really is making me furious, because I worked so hard for this ****ing degree and I can't get a job.
    As I said then, if you thought that a degree alone would get you anywhere you were misinformed. This may not be your fault, but it is the unfortunate fact.

    Extra curriculars are important. Experience is important. Without either, you will struggle to find employment. If you have decent things to say for each and you still aren't getting what you want, you're doing something wrong.

    (Original post by Howard)
    I've never put my degree classifications on my CV. I never even considered it.
    This bit I have to say is a completely new one on me.

    I suppose it's a matter of how relevant your qualifications are to the role.
    • #1
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    #1

    (Original post by Pariah)
    What are you applying for?
    Web development, technical consultant, UX designer. Just a few of the ones that I've done.

    [QUOTE=0123456543210;63177163]'Poor" a-levels is not very specific, we need grades. Also, which uni you graduated from? /QUOTE]

    I got BCC for my A-Levels and graduated from City University

    (Original post by doodle_333)
    also, if you have never had a job or if you graduated last summer, you should get that job in kfc (or anywhere) as it's better to be employed than unemployed and it will give you experience of work
    I did a work placement as a database/infrastructure administrator. The job search for that was also a pain in the ass but that story is for another day.

    (Original post by Death Grips)
    Would also see if you can get some sort of internship (even if unpaid) in the mean time while you search for jobs. Some experience is better than no experience.
    I need a job to get experience but I can't get a job to get that experience, besides, I already did an internship.

    [QUOTE=StayEvergreen;63191001

    Also, take a step back and ask "what did I do at university?". If all you did is study and get a first, great, but you are limited in the scope of what you can apply for. I was a treasurer of a society and it is part of what got me my current job. If you were the social sec of the B's netball team, look how you can apply the skills you learned to apply to an applicable job. The other thing which may be worth doing is talking to your friends who got these good jobs. What are they doing? How did they go about getting a job? And even (this relates back to the pride thing) ask if they are hiring. If they know you and think you could be good, it might just be enough to get your foot in the door.
    .[/QUOTE]

    But the thing is I never studied 24/7. I actually went out and enjoyed myself. I was the president of my society and was part of the football team at one point. This, of course I have declared on my CV so I'm not a person without any social life.

    (Original post by JW22)
    I'm studying CompSci so this worries me
    Can I ask what languages do you know and to what level and where did you graduate from?
    I know Java, C++, HTML/CSS, some PHP and MySQL. My area is more in web design though. Graduated from City University

    (Original post by TheGrammarGuru)
    If your degree was at a lower university, I can understand some rejections. If A-level results aren't great, leave them off. There was an excellent post a couple of weeks ago (search 'computer science graduates highest unemployment') where someone wisely mentioned most CS grads aren't specific enough for a certain type of job. Maybe you could try and develop coding and programming knowledge.
    Good luck
    I am more of a designer than a programmer. I'd rather show my creativity in designing websites or applications than writing software code. Besides, I can't help that the university that I graduated from is crap, that's something I can't change now.

    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    As I said then, if you thought that a degree alone would get you anywhere you were misinformed. This may not be your fault, but it is the unfortunate fact.

    Extra curriculars are important. Experience is important. Without either, you will struggle to find employment. If you have decent things to say for each and you still aren't getting what you want, you're doing something wrong.
    I am probably lacking in the experience department, though having said that I did do a placement year so it's not like I have never worked. That is my only job though.

    I guess the recurring feedback from this thread is lack of experience but I don't really want to get a job just for the sake of gaining experience. The reason I did a placement year was to do just that!! I am already 23 years old and I haven't done anything with my degree yet.
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    #1

    Some answers didn't quote properly...

    (Original post by StayEvergreen)

    Also, take a step back and ask "what did I do at university?". If all you did is study and get a first, great, but you are limited in the scope of what you can apply for. I was a treasurer of a society and it is part of what got me my current job. If you were the social sec of the B's netball team, look how you can apply the skills you learned to apply to an applicable job. The other thing which may be worth doing is talking to your friends who got these good jobs. What are they doing? How did they go about getting a job? And even (this relates back to the pride thing) ask if they are hiring. If they know you and think you could be good, it might just be enough to get your foot in the door.
    .
    But the thing is I never studied 24/7. I actually went out and enjoyed myself. I was the president of my society and was part of the football team at one point. This, of course I have declared on my CV so I'm not a person without any social life.

    (Original post by 0123456543210)
    'Poor" a-levels is not very specific, we need grades. Also, which uni you graduated from?
    I got BCC for my A-Levels and graduated from City University
    • #3
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I can't secure a job with my first class degree in computer science. I have applied to so many companies but they just keep shooing me away at the first stage. Other times I don't even get a response which is really rude.

    My CV has already been checked several times by professionals so the CV is not the issue. I am good at interviews but it's just the fact that I ****ing can't pass the first stage so I don't even get a chance to be interviewed. I am applying to relevant roles as well, ones that specifically highlight that a computer science degree is a must.

    The only reason that I can think of is that my GCSE and A-Level results were poor but I thought I made amendments by getting a first class degree, that should cancel those out, right?

    All my friends on 2:2 or 2:1 with the same degree have got a job with ease. Should I declare on my CV that I graduated with a 2:1? Maybe these companies are looking for average achievers? Or maybe change my name to John Smith so I don't sound so Asian? I don't know!!

    It really is making me furious, because I worked so hard for this ****ing degree and I can't get a job. I want to give up and just find a job behind the counter at KFC because that's what I feel like right now.

    It's just so depressing because i feel unwanted and useless.
    Computer Science, they have the highest unemployment rate for the sciences for a reason; there's no actual computer stuff. All you guys do is just maths, maths and some more maths. Employers expect you to know how to programme expertly in at least 2 programming languages, seriously. Electronic engineers do 10 times the programming that Computer Scientists do at university, especially top universities.

    If I were you, I'd spending this time learning a programming language, start with Python, then go up to Java and then C++, my cousin did that and he got a programming job in Manchester a month after finishing his Electronics Engineering degree. Learn some programming, seriously.
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    In IT, a degree is pretty useless if you can't code. Your CV should highlight the programming languages that you master (HTML, XML, Java, C++, etc.).
    The employer doesn't care how much you got in your dissertation, he wants to know about your skills.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Computer Science, they have the highest unemployment rate for the sciences for a reason; there's no actual computer stuff. All you guys do is just maths, maths and some more maths. Employers expect you to know how to programme expertly in at least 2 programming languages, seriously. Electronic engineers do 10 times the programming that Computer Scientists do at university, especially top universities.

    If I were you, I'd spending this time learning a programming language, start with Python, then go up to Java and then C++, my cousin did that and he got a programming job in Manchester a month after finishing his Electronics Engineering degree. Learn some programming, seriously.

    I keep hearing stuff like this, but I don't believe your claims about the top universities are true. For example, at the university of bristol, if doing an Meng Course by the time a student will have graduated, they will have done a second year group project, a third year group game project in teams of around 6, and then an even more complex full time 4th year individual project with opportunities to work with industrial or research partners.

    This is ignoring the programming modules you'll have done, as the Maths you mentioned.

    Even then you're assuming the graduate is wanting a programming job.

    Although i dont have first hand experiance, from everything I've seen and heard, the top uni's doesn't have such a problem with unemployment and i'd say its likely that the top uni's are top uni's atleast partially because of their value and connnections/appeal to employers.

    Im not saying simply doing the courses will give you a job, but I just don't see how ee courses have 10 times the programming, or how the employment rate is so high compared to other sciences because their is no actual computer stuff,as those other sciences will most likely contain even less computer stuff and possibly more Maths (e.g. Maths itself).

    As a disclaimer these are my views on this and i'm not claiming any of this is definitively the case.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    But the thing is I never studied 24/7. I actually went out and enjoyed myself. I was the president of my society and was part of the football team at one point. This, of course I have declared on my CV so I'm not a person without any social life.

    I got BCC for my A-Levels and graduated from City University
    Then your CV is not working effectively for you. You need to get advice from an employer. The CV Help forum on TSR might be a starting point if you haven't been there already.

    Note that President and the football aren't there to show you had a social life, there are tools to show you have the soft skills (communication, teamwork, hard work, dedication, achievement etc) as opposed to the hard/technical skills of your degree, coding wtc
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Some answers didn't quote properly...



    But the thing is I never studied 24/7. I actually went out and enjoyed myself. I was the president of my society and was part of the football team at one point. This, of course I have declared on my CV so I'm not a person without any social life.



    I got BCC for my A-Levels and graduated from City University
    I, as other people have pointed out, was not referring to your social life. I was referring to the skills you can advertise to employers. I asked how you can use the skills your learnt in things other than your degree to help you get a job. Employers don't care that you had fun and enjoyed yourself- they care that you are a skilled applicant who can do their job.

    On another note, when I mentioned pride earlier, I was serious. You are being hugely defensive with everyone on here, many of whom have been in your situation or have managed to get jobs and are trying to give you legitimate advice. Instead of taking a lot of it on board you are saying "but" an awful lot and trying to justify why reasons people have pointed out are wrong. There are a lot of experienced and well meaning people here and you've reached out to them. There is a tone to the way you speak that isn't flattering and there is a chance that if that is the approach you take to applications that that is what isn't endearing you to employers.
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    With CS degree you should have been doing some related work experience. what are your interests in that field on the digital, media and creative side, you might find work there but as the advice given already suggeste, go for anything to get in to show how good you are.

    At the same time widen your search - you could look at Technician jobs in Surveying, IT support in schools, universities and colleges. Have you thought about teaching at Primary, 6th Form or in your university, perhaps doing an MA or PHD??

    You do not have to put grades for GCSEs and A Levels on CV, just which, when and where is enough and perhaps say you now realise how much effort is required for future success and thT you are prepared to put this in.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Didn't we have this exact thread like two days ago?



    As I said then, if you thought that a degree alone would get you anywhere you were misinformed. This may not be your fault, but it is the unfortunate fact.

    Extra curriculars are important. Experience is important. Without either, you will struggle to find employment. If you have decent things to say for each and you still aren't getting what you want, you're doing something wrong.



    This bit I have to say is a completely new one on me.

    I suppose it's a matter of how relevant your qualifications are to the role.
    No. It's just because I am older and I tend to get job offers based on my experience, contacts industry, word of mouth, and a whole lot of other things.

    Though my degree is very relevant to what I do for a living nobody actually cares two hoots about it. They want to know "can you do the job"? My CV helps them to answer that my focusing on my relevant experience in business/industry and not my classroom performance of some years ago.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    No. It's just because I am older and I tend to get job offers based on my experience, contacts industry, word of mouth, and a whole lot of other things.

    Though my degree is very relevant to what I do for a living nobody actually cares two hoots about it. They want to know "can you do the job"? My CV helps them to answer that my focusing on my relevant experience in business/industry and not my classroom performance of some years ago.
    Right, but you said you've 'never' put your grades on your CV. Do you mean even as a fresh-faced young graduate?
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    (Original post by StayEvergreen)
    I, as other people have pointed out, was not referring to your social life. I was referring to the skills you can advertise to employers. I asked how you can use the skills your learnt in things other than your degree to help you get a job. Employers don't care that you had fun and enjoyed yourself- they care that you are a skilled applicant who can do their job.

    On another note, when I mentioned pride earlier, I was serious. You are being hugely defensive with everyone on here, many of whom have been in your situation or have managed to get jobs and are trying to give you legitimate advice. Instead of taking a lot of it on board you are saying "but" an awful lot and trying to justify why reasons people have pointed out are wrong. There are a lot of experienced and well meaning people here and you've reached out to them. There is a tone to the way you speak that isn't flattering and there is a chance that if that is the approach you take to applications that that is what isn't endearing you to employers.
    I would have to disagree with you about the poster's attitude. I think it's understandably a distressing and bewildering situation. It would be safe to assume that he came on here looking for support and advice; if he lets his guard down a bit in the process (he actually says in his original message that it's getting him down and affecting his confidence) then that's probably not a bad thing. We all need an outlet and a student forum is a fine place to go to in relation to graduate employment!

    The thing no one's mentioning - which amazes me - is the DIRE state of the employment market. It's true a few people have said that unemployment amongst computer scientists is high. Is this not at the root of the poster's problem? I think it might be. If we're not open about the actual source of the problem - which is a state of austerity - then we risk personalising the problem and making it about the individual - which it clearly isn't!! By all means offer strategies for dealing for the situation - but don't blame him!
 
 
 
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