Not enough to get a grad job. What can I do?

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Racresmol
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I'm in my final year and I have pretty much everything that I thought was beneficial for employment, including excellent grades, several internships, a work placement, involvement in sport clubs, officer at the Student Union, leadership role in a student charity...

Yet I've been rejected from every single position I've applied to this year, from graduate schemes, to assistant jobs at uni, to research roles in industry.

What more do I need? How does everyone else manage to get a graduate job??
Last edited by Racresmol; 7 months ago
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Miss_Thorn
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(Original post by Racresmol)
I'm in my final year and I have pretty much everything that I thought was beneficial for employment, including excellent grades, several internships, a work placement, involvement in sport clubs, officer at the Student Union, leadership role in a student charity...

Yet I've been rejected from every single position I've applied to this year, from graduate schemes, to assistant jobs at uni, to research roles in industry.

What more do I need? How does everyone else manage to get a graduate job??
Hi Racresmol,

First of all: what did you study? Things like these are different with every trade. I did an undergrad in politics and couldn't even find a student job at first. Then I started replying to the rejection letters and asked why they hadn't considered me. I did this very politely and explained my situation. Then one lady called me back and gave me loads of tips on my application and the skills she was missing in my CV and also referred my to an NGO that finds mentors for female graduates- though I'm sure there will be something comparable for males somewhere

So then I got a menor and she helped me set up linked in, rewrite my CV, gain some skills in volunteering. My first job was some really boring office work at my uni, but it got me an internship at a highly respected development agency in Germany.

Learnings: Be communicative and approach people to give you feedback on your application. Search for people who are a little ahead of you in your carreer and ask them for advice. Make do with a boring job first that teaches you skills that employers are searching for (people told me I need some basic administrative experience, that is what I did and it worked).

Job hunts are exactly this: hunts. I'm sure you'll be fine if you keep at it.
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Racresmol
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(Original post by Miss_Thorn)
Hi Racresmol,

First of all: what did you study? Things like these are different with every trade. I did an undergrad in politics and couldn't even find a student job at first. Then I started replying to the rejection letters and asked why they hadn't considered me. I did this very politely and explained my situation. Then one lady called me back and gave me loads of tips on my application and the skills she was missing in my CV and also referred my to an NGO that finds mentors for female graduates- though I'm sure there will be something comparable for males somewhere

So then I got a menor and she helped me set up linked in, rewrite my CV, gain some skills in volunteering. My first job was some really boring office work at my uni, but it got me an internship at a highly respected development agency in Germany.

Learnings: Be communicative and approach people to give you feedback on your application. Search for people who are a little ahead of you in your carreer and ask them for advice. Make do with a boring job first that teaches you skills that employers are searching for (people told me I need some basic administrative experience, that is what I did and it worked).

Job hunts are exactly this: hunts. I'm sure you'll be fine if you keep at it.
Thanks for the response!
I study biochemistry and I did get some feedback from a couple of interviews, but it was along the lines of "better explain the examples" so not really actionable. And I routinely approach current employees or people who've been in the position before :/
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Miss_Thorn
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(Original post by Racresmol)
Thanks for the response!
I study biochemistry and I did get some feedback from a couple of interviews, but it was along the lines of "better explain the examples" so not really actionable. And I routinely approach current employees or people who've been in the position before :/
Maybe you can train the interview situation some more then? Like actually researching all about the places you apply to and have every answer to the questions they might ask you ready. No offence, I often experience that natural sciences people have trouble "selling themselves" so maybe you have to work on that. But it is really hard to get a job especially right now. You might just have to give it some time.
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Racresmol
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(Original post by Miss_Thorn)
Maybe you can train the interview situation some more then? Like actually researching all about the places you apply to and have every answer to the questions they might ask you ready. No offence, I often experience that natural sciences people have trouble "selling themselves" so maybe you have to work on that. But it is really hard to get a job especially right now. You might just have to give it some time.
In the case I mentioned it was a prerecorded interview and I had like 2-3 minutes to answer, so I'm not sure how I could have done better!
Also, for all but two applications I got rejected even before the interview, even when my CV was matching the job description or even exceeding it
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Johnny ~
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For what kinds of job? Are you sure that you're demonstrating a commitment to a particular sector?
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Racresmol
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
For what kinds of job? Are you sure that you're demonstrating a commitment to a particular sector?
I applied to a law training contract at the beginning of the year, but then decided it wasn't for me. Since then all the positions have been science-related: a management scheme in a Biology funding body, research assistant positions, entry level scientist jobs in pharmaceutical companies, a medical writer position, etc.
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Wick3d
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The recruitment process has been hammered with uncertainty this past year. First the Brexit uncertainty, a General Election, exiting the EU finally (technically) and now Covid-19. Since October I’ve had three concrete job offers, all disappear, one because of Brexit, and the other two because of Covid-19. For now, if you can, aim to get some part-time work immediately, and use any free time you have for self-development. From there, just keep plugging away at it.
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Racresmol
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(Original post by Wick3d)
The recruitment process has been hammered with uncertainty this past year. First the Brexit uncertainty, a General Election, exiting the EU finally (technically) and now Covid-19. Since October I’ve had three concrete job offers, all disappear, one because of Brexit, and the other two because of Covid-19. For now, if you can, aim to get some part-time work immediately, and use any free time you have for self-development. From there, just keep plugging away at it.
Thanks, I appreciate the tips!

That's interesting, it didn't seem to me Brexit was much of a factor (otherwise the job openings wouldn't have been posted at all I guess?) but it could be.

All I can see is that my classmates all have jobs or PhDs lined up and I don't haha so there must be something I'm missing
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Wick3d
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(Original post by Racresmol)
Thanks, I appreciate the tips!

That's interesting, it didn't seem to me Brexit was much of a factor (otherwise the job openings wouldn't have been posted at all I guess?) but it could be.

All I can see is that my classmates all have jobs or PhDs lined up and I don't haha so there must be something I'm missing
Many jobs were still be advertised, however, there was a still a hiring freeze which was weird because why bother advertising the job in the first place? In anycase, you live and learn. Never compare your progress to others, honestly a rookie mistake that. For your own sanity, go at your pace! You do you. It will happen eventually.
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Racresmol
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(Original post by Wick3d)
Many jobs were still be advertised, however, there was a still a hiring freeze which was weird because why bother advertising the job in the first place? In anycase, you live and learn. Never compare your progress to others, honestly a rookie mistake that. For your own sanity, go at your pace! You do you. It will happen eventually.
Cheers, I'll see what I can do, but honestly it's so consuming and it's been driving me nuts the whole year!
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Wick3d
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(Original post by Racresmol)
Cheers, I'll see what I can do, but honestly it's so consuming and it's been driving me nuts the whole year!
Oh definitely! Gotta play it smart. Write a fantastic generic cover letter for different job roles, edit it when necessary. Spam that apply button! For the jobs you really want, take a bit more time to really polish off your application. In terms of a self development, have a look at what others slightly above your position are doing, learn that, but learn it better. Just rinse and repeat. Before you know it, you'd have applied for hundreds of jobs.
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