The Student Room Group

Graduated with BEng Mechanical Engineering and cant find a job

I have been looking for a graduate engineer job for 7 months now and never managed to find anything after trying almost everywhere in my area and having over 70 interviews, what can I do? I got good grades and graduated with a high first (89%), I even got 100% on some of my exams but I feel like my degree is useless. I haven't worked for 6 years since the summer following 1st year and I took 2 years worth of gaps during my degree and now it has been just over 2 years since graduation. Not even a min wage job will take me and they tell me I am overqualified. Every job I apply to asks about the gaps and wants an explanation for why I never worked since 2017, but I cant tell them the real reasons because it was personal problems with drugs and mental health. I cant afford to do a Masters unless it was at the open university, but I still need a job because I dont want to have gone 8 years without work by the time I wait till September and then finish the course. Shall i try to find an apprenticeship in another field or go back to college to study to be an electrician or plumber? Or do I apply to min wage jobs and tell them i dropped out of uni and study a masters at open university whilst working fulltime ?
(edited 6 months ago)
Original post by danielaj777
I have been looking for a graduate engineer job for 7 months now and never managed to find anything after trying almost everywhere in my area and having over 70 interviews, what can I do? I got good grades and graduated with a high first (89%), I even got 100% on some of my exams but I feel like my degree is useless. I haven't worked for 6 years since the summer following 1st year and I took 2 years worth of gaps during my degree and now it has been just over 2 years since graduation. Not even a min wage job will take me and they tell me I am overqualified. Every job I apply to asks about the gaps and wants an explanation for why I never worked since 2017, but I cant tell them the real reasons because it was personal problems with drugs and mental health. I cant afford to do a Masters unless it was at the open university, but I still need a job because I dont want to have gone 8 years without work by the time I wait till September and then finish the course. Shall i try to find an apprenticeship in another field or go back to college to study to be an electrician or plumber? Or do I apply to min wage jobs and tell them i dropped out of uni and study a masters at open university whilst working fulltime ?

If you "cant tell them the real reasons" why you've not worked since 2017 and had to take two gap year, then what do you tell them? And you vague and evasive, or do you simply lie? It could well be that they can tell you're lying and so (a) assume you were in jail and (b) don't want to hire a liar.

Employers aren't allowed to discriminate against those with mental health issues, so why not explain that you had mental health issues, received treatment, and emphasise that these historic issues won't have any impact on your job performance. (Perhaps don't mention the drugs though!)

I don't see how taking a master's or finding an apprenticeship will help here. A potential employer is always going to see those gaps in your CV and ask what happened.

The fact that you've had over 70 interviews must mean your CV is impressive. So try being honest at your next interview. What's the worst that can happen?
Original post by danielaj777
I have been looking for a graduate engineer job for 7 months now and never managed to find anything after trying almost everywhere in my area and having over 70 interviews, what can I do? I got good grades and graduated with a high first (89%), I even got 100% on some of my exams but I feel like my degree is useless. I haven't worked for 6 years since the summer following 1st year and I took 2 years worth of gaps during my degree and now it has been just over 2 years since graduation. Not even a min wage job will take me and they tell me I am overqualified. Every job I apply to asks about the gaps and wants an explanation for why I never worked since 2017, but I cant tell them the real reasons because it was personal problems with drugs and mental health. I cant afford to do a Masters unless it was at the open university, but I still need a job because I dont want to have gone 8 years without work by the time I wait till September and then finish the course. Shall i try to find an apprenticeship in another field or go back to college to study to be an electrician or plumber? Or do I apply to min wage jobs and tell them i dropped out of uni and study a masters at open university whilst working fulltime ?


You must have a strong CV if you have had 70 interviews, so that's not the issue. The problem is clearly that you aren't explaining the gaps convincingly. Just have a clear, confident, positive ending statement prepared, indeed, you can write it in your application.

"Unfortunately I had a serious health issue during my degree and for several years after. However, I am now fully recovered and looking forward to getting back into work"

There is no need to mention what the health issue was at all. Just say you were ill, say clearly that you have made a recovery, and close off the issue. Employers cannot ask more.
Reply 3
Original post by DataVenia
If you "cant tell them the real reasons" why you've not worked since 2017 and had to take two gap year, then what do you tell them? And you vague and evasive, or do you simply lie? It could well be that they can tell you're lying and so (a) assume you were in jail and (b) don't want to hire a liar.

Employers aren't allowed to discriminate against those with mental health issues, so why not explain that you had mental health issues, received treatment, and emphasise that these historic issues won't have any impact on your job performance. (Perhaps don't mention the drugs though!)

I don't see how taking a master's or finding an apprenticeship will help here. A potential employer is always going to see those gaps in your CV and ask what happened.

The fact that you've had over 70 interviews must mean your CV is impressive. So try being honest at your next interview. What's the worst that can happen?

I have told them lies because I feel like that is the only option. If I was to tell the truth it would be something like, I spent first year partying every other day and failed my exams so had to repeat the year, then I had a mental breakdown in the middle of second year and relationship breakdown and attempted suicide so I took a year out to recover, then after completing the degree I had an existensial crisis and had lost the will to live, I couldnt see any point in working so I just got high everyday and claimed unemployment, once I got sober I spent 6 months learning to drive and since getting my liscense i have been looking for work. They are not supposed to discriminate against people with mental problems but it happens and they can easily get away with it. I tell them i took 1 year out for health problem, 1 year to travel, and 2 years to care for a relative since graduation and now I have been looking for work. Maybe I just need to learn how to lie and get away with it or make up another excuse like i started a phd and dropped out but I dont think telling the truth will work.
Reply 4
May be mechanical engineering is not for you it is not the right choice.
Original post by danielaj777
I have told them lies because I feel like that is the only option. If I was to tell the truth it would be something like, I spent first year partying every other day and failed my exams so had to repeat the year, then I had a mental breakdown in the middle of second year and relationship breakdown and attempted suicide so I took a year out to recover, then after completing the degree I had an existensial crisis and had lost the will to live, I couldnt see any point in working so I just got high everyday and claimed unemployment, once I got sober I spent 6 months learning to drive and since getting my liscense i have been looking for work. They are not supposed to discriminate against people with mental problems but it happens and they can easily get away with it. I tell them i took 1 year out for health problem, 1 year to travel, and 2 years to care for a relative since graduation and now I have been looking for work. Maybe I just need to learn how to lie and get away with it or make up another excuse like i started a phd and dropped out but I dont think telling the truth will work.

Lying isn't the solution. You've had 70 interviews, so clearly your CV is impressive, and employers aren't too bothered about the gaps or lack of work history. You need to tell the truth, albeit though mentioning the drugs as well wouldn't be a good idea. Hopefully you nail your next interview.
Reply 6
Original post by Smack
Lying isn't the solution. You've had 70 interviews, so clearly your CV is impressive, and employers aren't too bothered about the gaps or lack of work history. You need to tell the truth, albeit though mentioning the drugs as well wouldn't be a good idea. Hopefully you nail your next interview.

So should I mention failing year 1 and repeating it then or not?
Reply 7
Hello,

If you've had 70 interviews clearly you have a good CV. You probably don't get chosen because you may not be at your best during interviews. You should watch videos, look online for advice and practise with other people or yourself. Learn to answer common interview questions like 'why do you want to work here?', 'give me a time when you had to work to a strict deadline?' or 'Give me your produest achievement'. Use the STAR technique when appropriate and make sure your answers are coherent because it is not enough that you have the technical skills, companies also want to see if you are a fit personality-wise as well.

Also, if they ask questions such as 'why you haven't worked since 2017', just say that you wanted to focus on university to get the best grade possible. Also I recommend you do not tell them about drugs or your mental health (unless you have criminal record), because although yes you should be honest, at the end of the day they may not hire you because they think you are not a fit. Because no matter how 'nice' the hiring person might be, they will probably have an unconscious bias not to hire you after hearing of your problems.
(edited 6 months ago)
Original post by danielaj777
I have been looking for a graduate engineer job for 7 months now and never managed to find anything after trying almost everywhere in my area and having over 70 interviews, what can I do? I got good grades and graduated with a high first (89%), I even got 100% on some of my exams but I feel like my degree is useless. I haven't worked for 6 years since the summer following 1st year and I took 2 years worth of gaps during my degree and now it has been just over 2 years since graduation. Not even a min wage job will take me and they tell me I am overqualified. Every job I apply to asks about the gaps and wants an explanation for why I never worked since 2017, but I cant tell them the real reasons because it was personal problems with drugs and mental health. I cant afford to do a Masters unless it was at the open university, but I still need a job because I dont want to have gone 8 years without work by the time I wait till September and then finish the course. Shall i try to find an apprenticeship in another field or go back to college to study to be an electrician or plumber? Or do I apply to min wage jobs and tell them i dropped out of uni and study a masters at open university whilst working fulltime ?

Why not consider a career as a Chartered Accountant? πŸ™‚

The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) is made up of six modules:

Each exam costs Β£70.

Business, Technology and Finance,
Management Information,
Accounting,
Law,
Assurance,
Principles of Taxation.

At the end of each module, you will need to sit an exam.

Each module is examined by a 1.5 hour computer-based exam.

The exam pass mark of each exam is 55%.

You must be [url=registered]https://my.icaew.com/studentregistration]registered as an ICAEW CFAB student to book an assessment exam.

When you have passed all six modules, you will receive your qualification certificate from ICAEW – a world leader of the accountancy and finance profession.
Hey what about doing volunteering or an internship to get experience ??
Reply 10
Original post by cherlloydfan1
Hey what about doing volunteering or an internship to get experience ??

I have tried for internships and most need you to be a student. I cant do volunteering because I risk losing disability benefit
Original post by thegeek888
Why not consider a career as a Chartered Accountant? πŸ™‚

The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) is made up of six modules:

Each exam costs Β£70.

Business, Technology and Finance,
Management Information,
Accounting,
Law,
Assurance,
Principles of Taxation.

At the end of each module, you will need to sit an exam.

Each module is examined by a 1.5 hour computer-based exam.

The exam pass mark of each exam is 55%.

You must be [url=registered]https://my.icaew.com/studentregistration]registered
as an ICAEW CFAB student to book an assessment exam.

When you have passed all six modules, you will receive your qualification certificate from ICAEW – a world leader of the accountancy and finance profession.
You are clearly not a Monty Python fan ... the worst job in the world.
Original post by Muttley79
You are clearly not a Monty Python fan ... the worst job in the world.

The belief is of the role of an Accountant is 'archaic' and outdated as it is now more like a Business Adviser/Consultant, especially with Digital Tax. πŸ™‚
Original post by thegeek888
The belief is of the role of an Accountant is 'archaic' and outdated as it is now more like a Business Adviser/Consultant, especially with Digital Tax. πŸ™‚

It's soo boring though ... Monty Python sketch
Original post by danielaj777
So should I mention failing year 1 and repeating it then or not?


If asked you should mention it.
Original post by Muttley79
It's soo boring though ... Monty Python sketch

I understand some aspects of Accounting are boring, but it is amazingly exciting to help clients reduce their taxes and be part of a business's success, that's why, I am going to train to become both an ACA and CTA, effectively a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser at one of the Big 4 PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG.

Please browse and read the "TAX ADVISER MAGAZINE" πŸ˜€ It could enlighten and develop your interest in Tax perhaps? πŸ˜‰ lol https://www.taxadvisermagazine.com/magazines
Original post by thegeek888
I understand some aspects of Accounting are boring, but it is amazingly exciting to help clients reduce their taxes and be part of a business's success, that's why, I am going to train to become both an ACA and CTA, effectively a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser at one of the Big 4 PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG.

Please browse and read the "TAX ADVISER MAGAZINE" πŸ˜€ It could enlighten and develop your interest in Tax perhaps? πŸ˜‰ lol https://www.taxadvisermagazine.com/magazines

Yawn ...

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending