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Feel like I’m never going to be employed

KBee99KBee99 Posts: 46 Boards Initiate

I graduated last year with a first class degree and ever since I have been applying to jobs and I always either get rejected instantly or rejected after my interview or even ghosted. Is anyone else having the same problem as me? It very much feels like all my friends are easily securing jobs and I’m failing at it.


  • MaisyMaisy Moderator Posts: 531 Incredible Poster
    It can be really disheartening getting rejected a lot, more so when it feels like all your friends can easily get jobs and you can't.

    I'm wondering what kind of jobs you have been applying for? Are they related to your degree or are you just applying to any kind of job in general? Some people find that even with a degree, it can still be difficult getting jobs in your chosen career, and if this is the case, then you might want to talk to your university's career advice.

    In general though, it's good to try to match your cv or application to the job role/description and show how you're a good fit for the job. If you don't have the exact experience or skills the employers are looking for, you can always use transferrable skills, to show your potential for doing well in the job. For other jobs, particularly retail, you may get instantly rejected for things like flexibility e.g. a store may want someone who is flexible to work any day of the week, or work during weekends/unsocial hours, so if you aren't able to commit to that, you may unfortunately get rejected.

    It's good that you have made it to the interview stage though! It shows that your cv/application has been good enough to get considered for interview. If you get rejected after having an interview, is it possible to ask for feedback? Some employers are happy to provide feedback so that you know how you can improve for next time. And in some cases, it might be that it was really close between you and someone else but that the other person had a bit more experience or something. So having feedback will allow you to reflect and take on board what you can do to improve your chances.

    As for being ghosted, that seems like bad manners. In some cases, some employers may be too busy or not have the time or resources to give feedback or even send out a rejection email. In these cases, they will generally say something along the lines, "if you haven't heard back from us within [timeframe] consider your application to be unsuccessful at this time" so at least you know where you stand. But if they haven't said that, then it does seem a bit rude they couldn't just let you know that you didn't get the job.

    You're not alone in finding it difficult to get a job though. And as for your friends...try not to compare yourself to them. If you wanted, you could ask them how they got their job, and if it's a job you want, you could even ask that they put in a good word for you or let you know of any jobs going where they work. But in general, comparisons aren't helpful. You'll get there, it might just take some time <3
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  • KBee99KBee99 Posts: 46 Boards Initiate
    @Maisy my degree was in psychology so it relates to a wide variety of roles. But it’s also tricky in the fact that I can’t really progress in any field without returning to education :(

    I am a good writer so I don’t think it’s my written application that’s the problem. I think my downfall is the actual interview process. I struggle with understanding questions and knowing how much to say or sometimes even what to say.
  • AzzimanAzziman Moderator, Community Champion Posts: 1,707 Extreme Poster
    Hey @KBee99, I hear you loud and clear. You've done everything right - going to university, coming out with a fantastic result, and looking for roles proactively is the right approach. But it's hard to get a role out of university for a few reasons at the moment:

    - The economic situation means that many companies are reducing intake of new hires, if not laying people off. New hires are typically hit hard by this, because companies instead focus on retaining their current employees, or look for experienced hires if they really need to bring someone in.
    - There is a backlog of students from the lockdown years who are still looking for roles, so competition is higher than pre-pandemic years.
    - Hundreds of thousands of students each year graduate from UK universities, and are looking for roles, so competition is always high, especially if you're looking for a London-based role.
    - The hiring process is becoming increasingly computerised, so there is a good chance that your application might be being rejected by a software before a person even reads it. More likely than not, being rejected isn't because your application is "bad", but because it might miss a keyword that the software is scanning for.

    Job hunting is not easy at the best of times, and looking for a role out of university is possibly one of the hardest times to find a job. So it's completely understandable that you might feel frustrated or dejected, and you're not alone - there are hundreds of thousands of students who are in the same position as you. Everyone I know (including myself) found the whole process involves a lot of time spent writing applications, getting rejection letters, interview practice, and some difficult moments.

    It's a rough process, so please be kind to yourself! Your friends are likely to have received plenty of rejections before an offer came through. Keep up the applications, and an offer will come your way soon enough - trust the process! Comparing ourselves to others is natural, but it can also make us feel worse and more dejected. So it's best to focus on your own efforts, and remind yourself that you're doing your best to find that role.

    You might find it useful to speak to a careers coach, or someone you know that currently works. They can look over your application, help you with interview prep, or perhaps see if there is an opportunity to shadow or intern with their firm, or with someone they know.

    On understanding questions, I can understand how that might be challenging for interviews. Some interviewers will be happy to accommodate by sending you written questions ahead of time, so that you're able to follow along in the interview. Or, if not, it's okay to ask them to clarify the question during the interview if you need help understanding what's being asked. Other than that, I'd say that the best approach to answering interview questions is lots of practice, and looking at online materials to see model answers. The "STAR" approach is quite a common tool that gives the information required but keeps the response concise :)

    I wish you the best of luck with your job hunting! Please don't lose faith, because you're taking all the right steps through what is a very difficult process. Take courage that you're doing your best, and I hope that an offer comes your way soon! Feel free to let us know how you're getting on, we're cheering you on through this! :)
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  • SherlockSherlock Posts: 10 Settling in
    Hey @KBee99, I was in nearly an identical situation to you. I graduated in August also with a first class degree in psychology and really struggled in the job market. I spent months getting rejected for assistant psychologist positions and other positions similar to it. I have recently got very lucky and managed to secure a offer as a peer support worker for the NHS (I haven't started yet, still undergoing DBS and reference checks). The past few months I've spent job searching have been some of the most mentally challenging months in my recent memory. The job market at the moment (especially in mental health and psychology) is a disaster, and its very easy to compare yourself to class mates who got high paying grad jobs instantly and look like they're living the dream life. The biggest issue with trying to find a job in psychology is that there are few to none 'starter'/ entry level jobs. All psychology graduates (the 40,000 of us per year) are going for the same few assistant psychologist jobs on the market and competing against people with masters and years of experience.

    Really what I'm saying is try to be kind to yourself, its a tough field to get into because there are no grad roles and little to no internships unlike other fields. My main advice would be to look for jobs on local charity websites. Before I was offered this role I was looking at the charity 'Minds' career page nearly every day. There are three Minds local to me and I was checking their career pages religiously and applying for roles I somewhat fit. I managed to secure a couple interviews for their posts and this really helped me gain confidence in interviews. Also the NHS jobs website (https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/candidate) is your bestfriend. Apply for any and every entry level roles involving mental health you can.

    In terms of interviews the questions I came across most often were to do with safeguarding, boundaries and teamwork. Interviews, in my opinion, are unfortunately more about just doing them and getting experience so you feel more at ease at future ones. In my job search I accepted interviews I knew I didn't want just to get some experience of being in a room with hiring managers etc. That meant when I was in interviews for jobs I did want I was alot more prepared and ease.

    Job searching is mostly luck, you have to be in the right place at the right time and that's a very hard thing to do. So please be kind to yourself and remember you are not alone, what you're feeling is very common. Also, give yourself time off from job searching. Handing out 100s of applications everyday is very taxing mentally and allowing yourself to take a week off to do things you enjoy is important. After all, your life is so much more then looking for work!

    I wish you all the best! Don't give up, you'll find something soon
  • MaisyMaisy Moderator Posts: 531 Incredible Poster
    KBee99 wrote: »
    I am a good writer so I don’t think it’s my written application that’s the problem. I think my downfall is the actual interview process. I struggle with understanding questions and knowing how much to say or sometimes even what to say.

    Interviews can be tricky, especially since you don't know what questions they are going to ask in advance. That said, it can help to look around websites like indeed or glassdoor where people have asked/answered or reviewed the interview process for a particular company or a particular role. You can then get a rough idea of what might be asked during the interview, which you could use to prepare answers for. It's also good to go over the job description again as they might ask questions based around that, so for example, they might ask how would you handle a particular situation or they might want you to explain how you have previously handled a stressful situation etc. These types of questions you can try to prepare for in advance by keeping a record of things you do that you could use as examples in interviews to show that you have the necessary skills for the job. But generally, the more interviews you do, the more aware of the overall interview process you'll become and some employers might even ask similar questions so it might be easier to prepare for. Alternatively, you could always try job/employment coaches as they might be able to help you with the interview process.

    Best of luck <3
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