Unemployed Graduate

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drewx46
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#1
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#1
Economics Graduate here. I finished my local average-tier university last May and was awarded a first but had zero luck with anything since and am just feeling completely stuck.

I expect this is because of this historic issue- long story but I only went to uni at the last minute because I couldn't get work then and it persisted throughout with other stuff, from various internships to no less than three attempts at getting into the student union shop (interviewed on the second). Things finally began looking up when I got a Placement but eventually that went sour by the end and didn't get a post graduation offer- not that I particularly wanted one anyway by then.

Now it seems it was all a complete waste of time anyway, this month I was even rejected by Tesco for a basic service role after interview despite some experience in that area. After eight months and still nothing in sight after countless applications my career is seemingly already over. I wanted to know if I'm not alone in this.
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heretohelp13
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#2
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#2
Hey, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having this issue. You’re definitely not alone, it is very tough finding work even for graduates nowadays.

I think I need some more information before I could really suggest anything. What kind of jobs and placements are you applying for? What kind of job do you ultimately want to do? Do you need to do PG study? Why did your placement “go sour”?
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Blue_Cow
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#3
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#3
(Original post by drewx46)
Economics Graduate here. I finished my local average-tier university last May and was awarded a first but had zero luck with anything since and am just feeling completely stuck.

I expect this is because of this historic issue- long story but I only went to uni at the last minute because I couldn't get work then and it persisted throughout with other stuff, from various internships to no less than three attempts at getting into the student union shop (interviewed on the second). Things finally began looking up when I got a Placement but eventually that went sour by the end and didn't get a post graduation offer- not that I particularly wanted one anyway by then.

Now it seems it was all a complete waste of time anyway, this month I was even rejected by Tesco for a basic service role after interview despite some experience in that area. After eight months and still nothing in sight after countless applications my career is seemingly already over. I wanted to know if I'm not alone in this.
It's a numbers game especially if you are going for roles that do not require any specific technical skill and will take anyone with a degree above a 2:1. Keep at it.
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drewx46
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#4
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#4
(Original post by heretohelp13)
Hey, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having this issue. You’re definitely not alone, it is very tough finding work even for graduates nowadays.

I think I need some more information before I could really suggest anything. What kind of jobs and placements are you applying for? What kind of job do you ultimately want to do? Do you need to do PG study? Why did your placement “go sour”?
I don't really have any fixed job in mind and have applied to multiple sectors, mainly consultancy and analytics but also others offering posts I'm transferably qualified for such as business services, finance and legal. This includes both permanent and temporary positions, even a few grad schemes just for a laugh. Given how competitive the market is I don't want to concentrate on one fixed idea.

As for the placement, it went that way because to put it nice and brief, I eventually discovered the public sector working culture just didn't suit me. I did finish it, but on a very negative note.

(Original post by Blue_Cow)
It's a numbers game especially if you are going for roles that do not require any specific technical skill and will take anyone with a degree above a 2:1. Keep at it.
Some of the ones I've applied for have specified equivalent experience and/or coding skills, and I'm apparently still not enough.
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username5809954
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#5
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#5
(Original post by drewx46)
Economics Graduate here. I finished my local average-tier university last May and was awarded a first but had zero luck with anything since and am just feeling completely stuck.

I expect this is because of this historic issue- long story but I only went to uni at the last minute because I couldn't get work then and it persisted throughout with other stuff, from various internships to no less than three attempts at getting into the student union shop (interviewed on the second). Things finally began looking up when I got a Placement but eventually that went sour by the end and didn't get a post graduation offer- not that I particularly wanted one anyway by then.

Now it seems it was all a complete waste of time anyway, this month I was even rejected by Tesco for a basic service role after interview despite some experience in that area. After eight months and still nothing in sight after countless applications my career is seemingly already over. I wanted to know if I'm not alone in this.
Have you tried for any civil service jobs? I didn't have much experience but managed to get a HEO role. As long as you can apply the skills you have (e.g. by sports, group projects at uni, volunteering, etc.) by using the STAR technique for the interview questions, it's not that difficult. I know that these aren't as fancy as IB, consulting, etc. but in the mean time it would be good to put something down on your CV. You could always still search for the other jobs whilst you're working.
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drewx46
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Econ.grad)
Have you tried for any civil service jobs? I didn't have much experience but managed to get a HEO role. As long as you can apply the skills you have (e.g. by sports, group projects at uni, volunteering, etc.) by using the STAR technique for the interview questions, it's not that difficult. I know that these aren't as fancy as IB, consulting, etc. but in the mean time it would be good to put something down on your CV. You could always still search for the other jobs whilst you're working.
No I haven't- after the placement experience I really don't want to go back there again.
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username5809954
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#7
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#7
(Original post by drewx46)
No I haven't- after the placement experience I really don't want to go back there again.
Do you mind me asking what placement you did? I'm assuming it was a civil service placement then. How bad must it have been?
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drewx46
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Econ.grad)
Do you mind me asking what placement you did? I'm assuming it was a civil service placement then. How bad must it have been?
Yes, I got a the GES placement in a peripheral organisation, couldn't stand the working culture. Well most weren't even working most of the time, just sat around for 4/5 weeks of the month. The guy managing the team across the floor even had to entertain his team with games and puzzles. For a long time I tried to make the best of it but the bureaucracy and patronising groupthink got in the way of nearly everything and I often felt the only one who actually believed in the project. Such a disappointment from what it was sold. Now it's since been also proven how much that experience actually counts elsewhere- I may as well have never bothered.

Not saying you can't have equally bad experiences in the private sector but it's hard to imagine it being as personally soul destroying. We all have our own preferences of course and others might enjoy that sort of thing but I just couldn't put myself through that again.
Last edited by drewx46; 3 months ago
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drewx46
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#9
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#9
I was immediately rejected after interview for a COFFEE SHOP job today, I'm fuming beyond belief.
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FreshPrince102
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#10
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#10
(Original post by drewx46)
I was immediately rejected after interview for a COFFEE SHOP job today, I'm fuming beyond belief.
How long have you been unemployed and how old are you?
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drewx46
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#11
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#11
(Original post by FreshPrince102)
How long have you been unemployed and how old are you?
I finished uni last May, I'm 23. Apparently they'd already filled the position so it was a complete and utter waste of time anyway.
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0le
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#12
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#12
(Original post by drewx46)
I finished uni last May, I'm 23. Apparently they'd already filled the position so it was a complete and utter waste of time anyway.
Be wary when making an application for part-time basic roles. It can use time and energy which can further demotivate you during your "main" job hunt which is to secure a full-time entry/graduate level job. If you do need the money, be sure to claim universal credit.

If necessary, find yourself a volunteering role (or two) and use them to cover gaps in the CV. You will only rarely be rejected from a volunteering role and the chances are that you will find it more enjoyable. You will probably also have a greater deal of flexibility to manage better your time.

I would suggest that you eventually stop making applications to large companies - only doing so if you really like the role. This is because there are too many hurdles for you to overcome for these "graduate schemes" which include multiple psychometric tests, video recorded questions and assessment centres with potentially several interviews. I think you will find more success identifying opportunities on LinkedIn from small companies. You can set up job alerts which are sent to your email:
https://www.linkedin.com/help/linked...nkedin?lang=en

Try and find a specific sub-domain where you can objectively demonstrate interest. For example, "data analysis" is a wide domain and can mean lots of different things. Even machine learning can mean many different things. You want to be quite specific, for example "image processing", "neural networks" or "analysing environmental data" and then have examples from your degree/ extra-curricular activities where you can demonstrate that interest. This will help you set up specific job alerts and assist you with writing better cover letters.

After eight months and still nothing in sight after countless applications my career is seemingly already over. I wanted to know if I'm not alone in this.
The mindset of job hunting is very challenging. I found that the best approach is to feel sad immediately following a rejection and then move on the next day. It is easier said than done. But try and have at least 5 "active" applications ongoing at any one point in time. Otherwise if you get rejected it will feel as if you are "back to square one" since you have no other ongoing applications and will have to literally start over again from the very beginning.

You are only 23 and have many long years ahead of you. The job hunt can be a tiring process but you are so young that you have plenty of time ahead of you. If we assume that securing a job hunt is similar to a normal distribution, then most people find jobs after a few months. However there are people at both extremes, where one set of people secure a job after a few days but another set take years to find a role. So you are not alone in your job hunt.

From the above, try and aim for about 2-3 applications a week. You can aim for more or less, but by doing your applications well, you should find that this is a decent target, alongside any tasks set by an employer (presentations/ interviews) and life commitments.

It goes without saying that you should make sure that your CV's and cover letters have been checked by others and that you also have examined your interview technique - not just things you say but also your body language.
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drewx46
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#13
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#13
(Original post by 0le)
Be wary when making an application for part-time basic roles. It can use time and energy which can further demotivate you during your "main" job hunt which is to secure a full-time entry/graduate level job. If you do need the money, be sure to claim universal credit.

If necessary, find yourself a volunteering role (or two) and use them to cover gaps in the CV. You will only rarely be rejected from a volunteering role and the chances are that you will find it more enjoyable. You will probably also have a greater deal of flexibility to manage better your time.

I would suggest that you eventually stop making applications to large companies - only doing so if you really like the role. This is because there are too many hurdles for you to overcome for these "graduate schemes" which include multiple psychometric tests, video recorded questions and assessment centres with potentially several interviews. I think you will find more success identifying opportunities on LinkedIn from small companies. You can set up job alerts which are sent to your email:
https://www.linkedin.com/help/linked...nkedin?lang=en

Try and find a specific sub-domain where you can objectively demonstrate interest. For example, "data analysis" is a wide domain and can mean lots of different things. Even machine learning can mean many different things. You want to be quite specific, for example "image processing", "neural networks" or "analysing environmental data" and then have examples from your degree/ extra-curricular activities where you can demonstrate that interest. This will help you set up specific job alerts and assist you with writing better cover letters.



The mindset of job hunting is very challenging. I found that the best approach is to feel sad immediately following a rejection and then move on the next day. It is easier said than done. But try and have at least 5 "active" applications ongoing at any one point in time. Otherwise if you get rejected it will feel as if you are "back to square one" since you have no other ongoing applications and will have to literally start over again from the very beginning.

You are only 23 and have many long years ahead of you. The job hunt can be a tiring process but you are so young that you have plenty of time ahead of you. If we assume that securing a job hunt is similar to a normal distribution, then most people find jobs after a few months. However there are people at both extremes, where one set of people secure a job after a few days but another set take years to find a role. So you are not alone in your job hunt.

From the above, try and aim for about 2-3 applications a week. You can aim for more or less, but by doing your applications well, you should find that this is a decent target, alongside any tasks set by an employer (presentations/ interviews) and life commitments.

It goes without saying that you should make sure that your CV's and cover letters have been checked by others and that you also have examined your interview technique - not just things you say but also your body language.
I've given up on the graduate roles, every single "advert" in that category is a complete waste of time if you don't have inside contact but recruiters are lying f***ing scum wherever and I'm just furious at getting the same old insulting treatment for low skilled positions where there's supposedly "desperate shortages".

The large schemes are indeed useless but the equally useless LinkedIn can go bloody screw itself too, flushing a CV down the toilet is a more productive activity than trawling through its not-actually "entry level" listings or asking a clone for a stock "tOo MuCh CoMpEtItTiOn" spiel. My account was deleted months ago after nothing but weird, wonderful and irrelevant alerts.

Subdomains? Again, every single listing may as well be a fake scam without inside contact. I was doing 10 applications a day at one point in a wide variety of fields, absolutely no results from any of the ungrateful s****head recipients. The last one with the slither of decency to interview me tried to explain why I probably wouldn't want the position and virtually begged me to withdraw! No matter how shiny your CV is it's just wiped with the same old excrement.

I understand you want to help me but this charade is driving me to new heights of pure rage.
Last edited by drewx46; 1 month ago
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0le
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#14
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#14
(Original post by drewx46)
I've given up on the graduate roles, every single "advert" in that category is a complete waste of time if you don't have inside contact but recruiters are lying f***ing scum wherever and I'm just furious at getting the same old insulting treatment for low skilled positions where there's supposedly "desperate shortages".
Whilst having contacts can help, it is not always the "be all and end all". I am not sure what "insulting treatment" you have received. Usually a rejection from an organisation is an automated response from HR. The best approach is to not take any rejection as a personal insult. I appreciate this is difficult but a good compromise here is to reach a point where you have an attitude of "do not care" (but remain professional) rather than feeling long periods of frustration and sadness.

I would also advise you to take on board what a recruiter has said but to put it into the context with which the comments were made. If a recruiter has told you to "adjust your CV" after making an application for a specific role, then you should obviously do it. The recruiter will usually have a good understanding of what the organisation is looking for. However, if a recruiter gives you general comments about your CV, then you can choose if and when to apply those adjustments, depending on the role and industry for which the application is being made.

Recruiters can be hit or miss and it is usually better to apply directly to a company where possible. Having said that, people can and do find work through recruiters. If you are having difficulties with recruiters then just do not use them and instead apply directly to the organisation.

The large schemes are indeed useless but the equally useless LinkedIn can go bloody screw itself too, flushing a CV down the toilet is a more productive activity than trawling through its not-actually "entry level" listings or asking a clone for a stock "tOo MuCh CoMpEtItTiOn" spiel. My account was deleted months ago after nothing but weird, wonderful and irrelevant alerts.
A lot of roles advertised across multiple job boards do look suspicious but as you become more experienced with job hunting, it is usually easier to weed out those type of roles.

In my experience, some potential (though not definitive) warning signs are:

  • Short job description (i.e. just one paragraph).
  • No person specification (key personal skills).
  • No salary mentioned.
  • The position has been advertised for longer than a month (it is probably gone).
  • The link to submit an application takes you to two or more other job board websites.


I find LinkedIn has far more legitimate roles than say Indeed or Reed. Two of my last interviews have come from roles identified on LinkedIn. Many companies advertise directly on LinkedIn whereas with Reed and Indeed you are more likely to find roles advertised through agents.

If you do not want to use LinkedIn, other options are:

  • Google jobs: Just type "jobs" into Google and a panel will open listing jobs in your area.
  • University career boards:You will likely retain access for at least a year, probably 2-3 years.


Either way, you will need to find a job board which you like. Learn how to use it well to find roles which you find interesting.

Subdomains? Again, every single listing may as well be a fake scam without inside contact. I was doing 10 applications a day at one point in a wide variety of fields, absolutely no results from any of the ungrateful s****head recipients. The last one with the slither of decency to interview me tried to explain why I probably wouldn't want the position and virtually begged me to withdraw! No matter how shiny your CV is it's just wiped with the same old excrement.
You should not be doing 10 applications a day. This will just lead to burn out. After taking a break (see below), try doing one a week and build it up from there. If you can do more than that, then great. If not, then do not worry.

You have mentioned earlier that you may be interested in consultancy and analytics as well as multiple sectors and a wide variety of fields. These are huge fields and you are going to get burned-out by constantly having to make wholesale changes to a CV and cover letter. Are you interested in a particularly type of consultancy or applying analytics to a particular field? You will find it easier to "sell yourself" when you can identify roles which you are at least vaguely more interested in than others. It can be really difficult, but it can also help improve your chances of securing an interview over making generic applications across the board.

If the job advert is written well, it should take you an hour or so to tweak a CV and adjust it to cover the main aspects of the advert. A cover letter can be more difficult to write, particularly the motivation. I found it easier to write it in three key paragraphs (which could be split further if necessary):

  • First paragraph: 2-3 sentences describing your background.
  • Second paragraph: 3-7 sentences. Each set of 2 sentences describes in a few words one experience and then closes with a few words on how the experience directly relates to the general organisation, description of the role* or some related case study. *The description of the role comes before the person specification in the job advert.
  • Third paragraph: Describe how you meet three of the key skills mentioned in the person specification of the role. This will be the longest section of the cover letter.


I understand you want to help me but this charade is driving me to new heights of pure rage.
The only thing you can do is to keep identifying areas where you can make improvements in your soft and technical skills. You can find volunteering roles and given your technical background, you will likely be exposed to databases, website management, accounting and admin tasks. This can provide valuable experience which can help broaden your skills.

The reality of the job hunt is that you will always go through periods where you feel rage and are annoyed. Try and take as many breaks as you need. A one week break here or there is absolutely fine.
Last edited by 0le; 1 month ago
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drewx46
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#15
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#15
(Original post by 0le)
Whilst having contacts can help, it is not always the "be all and end all". I am not sure what "insulting treatment" you have received. Usually a rejection from an organisation is an automated response from HR. The best approach is to not take any rejection as a personal insult. I appreciate this is difficult but a good compromise here is to reach a point where you have an attitude of "do not care" (but remain professional) rather than feeling long periods of frustration and sadness.

I would also advise you to take on board what a recruiter has said but to put it into the context with which the comments were made. If a recruiter has told you to "adjust your CV" after making an application for a specific role, then you should obviously do it. The recruiter will usually have a good understanding of what the organisation is looking for. However, if a recruiter gives you general comments about your CV, then you can choose if and when to apply those adjustments, depending on the role and industry for which the application is being made.

Recruiters can be hit or miss and it is usually better to apply directly to a company where possible. Having said that, people can and do find work through recruiters. If you are having difficulties with recruiters then just do not use them and instead apply directly to the organisation.



A lot of roles advertised across multiple job boards do look suspicious but as you become more experienced with job hunting, it is usually easier to weed out those type of roles.

In my experience, some potential (though not definitive) warning signs are:

  • Short job description (i.e. just one paragraph).
  • No person specification (key personal skills).
  • No salary mentioned.
  • The position has been advertised for longer than a month (it is probably gone).
  • The link to submit an application takes you to two or more other job board websites.


I find LinkedIn has far more legitimate roles than say Indeed or Reed. Two of my last interviews have come from roles identified on LinkedIn. Many companies advertise directly on LinkedIn whereas with Reed and Indeed you are more likely to find roles advertised through agents.

If you do not want to use LinkedIn, other options are:

  • Google jobs: Just type "jobs" into Google and a panel will open listing jobs in your area.
  • University career boards: You will likely retain access for at least a year, probably 2-3 years.


Either way, you will need to find a job board which you like. Learn how to use it well to find roles which you find interesting.



You should not be doing 10 applications a day. This will just lead to burn out. After taking a break (see below), try doing one a week and build it up from there. If you can do more than that, then great. If not, then do not worry.

You have mentioned earlier that you may be interested in consultancy and analytics as well as multiple sectors and a wide variety of fields. These are huge fields and you are going to get burned-out by constantly having to make wholesale changes to a CV and cover letter. Are you interested in a particularly type of consultancy or applying analytics to a particular field? You will find it easier to "sell yourself" when you can identify roles which you are at least vaguely more interested in than others. It can be really difficult, but it can also help improve your chances of securing an interview over making generic applications across the board.

If the job advert is written well, it should take you an hour or so to tweak a CV and adjust it to cover the main aspects of the advert. A cover letter can be more difficult to write, particularly the motivation. I found it easier to write it in three key paragraphs (which could be split further if necessary):

  • First paragraph: 2-3 sentences describing your background.
  • Second paragraph: 3-7 sentences. Each set of 2 sentences describes in a few words one experience and then closes with a few words on how the experience directly relates to the general organisation, description of the role* or some related case study. *The description of the role comes before the person specification in the job advert.
  • Third paragraph: Describe how you meet three of the key skills mentioned in the person specification of the role. This will be the longest section of the cover letter.




The only thing you can do is to keep identifying areas where you can make improvements in your soft and technical skills. You can find volunteering roles and given your technical background, you will likely be exposed to databases, website management, accounting and admin tasks. This can provide valuable experience which can help broaden your skills.

The reality of the job hunt is that you will always go through periods where you feel rage and are annoyed. Try and take as many breaks as you need. A one week break here or there is absolutely fine.
The coffee place wasted my time with an interview for a position already filled, what an insult. By recruiters I just mean whatever generic clowns are pissing away qualified candidates wherever, they're all spouting the same stock responses regardless. I've given up on the fool's errand of graduate roles, they're just a black hole no matter how well written your CV is cause CoMpEtItIoN and all that tripe but I expected a slither of more respect from low skilled positions with supposedly "desperate shortages". But no they're proving all just as equally comtemptible wherever. And thanks to nearly a year of this I now have a near-permanently bad temper.
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LouiseRu
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#16
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#16
Look at roles in Army, RAF and Navy.
Not all roles are front line but some are in support operations such as HR, Logistics, IT, environmental science etc.
You will get training to do these roles and most do not require previous experience as they will be training you.
You will of course have to leave home, get a certain level of fitness and be able to live with military rules.
However this will allow you to restart your life and also consider whether to retrain for a new career.
They all have their own websites and you can speak to advisors and visit their career centres.
Look at all roles for at least those with Alevels and above.
So do not just confine yourself to Graduate roles for officers.
At least look at the websites as it is likely to surprise you.
I know a number of people who have done this and been set up nicely in life for later opportunities.
At least you know they are really looking for people to fill positions.
Also there is a lot of information on YouTube etc which will enable you to research the lifestyle and careers and the best ways to interview and what they are looking for.
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drewx46
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#17
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#17
(Original post by LouiseRu)
Look at roles in Army, RAF and Navy.
Not all roles are front line but some are in support operations such as HR, Logistics, IT, environmental science etc.
You will get training to do these roles and most do not require previous experience as they will be training you.
You will of course have to leave home, get a certain level of fitness and be able to live with military rules.
However this will allow you to restart your life and also consider whether to retrain for a new career.
They all have their own websites and you can speak to advisors and visit their career centres.
Look at all roles for at least those with Alevels and above.
So do not just confine yourself to Graduate roles for officers.
At least look at the websites as it is likely to surprise you.
I know a number of people who have done this and been set up nicely in life for later opportunities.
At least you know they are really looking for people to fill positions.
Also there is a lot of information on YouTube etc which will enable you to research the lifestyle and careers and the best ways to interview and what they are looking for.
I'm not suitable for this, I still need to be at home for now.
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0le
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#18
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#18
(Original post by drewx46)
The coffee place wasted my time with an interview for a position already filled, what an insult. By recruiters I just mean whatever generic clowns are pissing away qualified candidates wherever, they're all spouting the same stock responses regardless. I've given up on the fool's errand of graduate roles, they're just a black hole no matter how well written your CV is cause CoMpEtItIoN and all that tripe but I expected a slither of more respect from low skilled positions with supposedly "desperate shortages". But no they're proving all just as equally comtemptible wherever. And thanks to nearly a year of this I now have a near-permanently bad temper.
It is okay to feel angry and upset, but it is better to channel those emotions than to simply ignore all entry/ graduate level jobs. You can if you want, work in a low paid and/or low skilled job for the rest of your life. But you already have the qualifications and experience to apply for higher positions. Many people either do not have that and/or do not have the capability nor opportunity to get that.

I think you need to find a balance between making applications (however many per week) using platforms that you enjoy. I also think taking a short break (2-3 weeks) may help you as well. You are still young and highly employable. Finding a job is difficult. When you do land a role, you will look back at this current period of your life, learn from it and be stronger for it.

As a tip as well, you can also cover gaps on your CV by only providing the start/ end years but not the months.
Last edited by 0le; 1 month ago
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drewx46
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#19
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#19
(Original post by 0le)
It is okay to feel angry and upset, but it is better to channel those emotions than to simply ignore all entry/ graduate level jobs. You can if you want, work in a low paid and/or low skilled job for the rest of your life. But you already have the qualifications and experience to apply for higher positions. Many people either do not have that and/or do not have the capability nor opportunity to get that.

I think you need to find a balance between making applications (however many per week) using platforms that you enjoy. I also think taking a short break (2-3 weeks) may help you as well. You are still young and highly employable. Finding a job is difficult. When you do land a role, you will look back at this current period of your life, learn from it and be stronger for it.

As a tip as well, you can also cover gaps on your CV by only providing the start/ end years but not the months.
It would just be nice just to get something, but after nearly a year I don't think there is anything for me. The grad stuff is just absolutely saturated wherever.
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drewx46
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#20
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#20
Well that last post aged well...

Last weekend I finally got a part-time customer service role in a new place that will soon open locally. Still not happy that was the best I could get after nearly a year wading through this horrible market. Really wish I'd gotten a better placement, then I probably wouldn't be in this hole.

I hope I will eventually escape for something better and suited to my degree. But the amount of doors slammed in my face, and in a few cases outright disrespect has really clouded my outlook of what I want to do. I had just applied to wherever I could promote transferable skills that didn't have the usual experience requirements but I'm really not sure anymore after going through all that. Maybe at some point down the line I'll be able to afford a part-time Masters and see where to go from there. But at least I won't have to explain long term unemployment.
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