POST-GRADS: GIVE US A CHANCE…WE HAVE A LOT TO OFFER

GIVE US A CHANCE, POST-GRADS!

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“Dear job applicant,

We regret to inform you that we have selected another candidate with more experience.

Thank you for taking hours to personalise your CV and cover letter, fill out our unnecessarily lengthy online form, and prep for 4 interviews over six weeks.

Due to our outdated hiring process, we’re unable to pick up the phone or send you any form of real feedback to help you in your continued job search.

Sincerely,

-DONOTREPLY”.

I don’t have to scroll too far down my inbox to find it practically inundated with emails of this nature.

And although I do feel slightly nauseated by the robotic, repetitive and automated rejection template…

In most cases, young jobseekers can feel lucky to receive a response at all.

Beth here, by the way. Recent graduate, Social Media Marketer and youngest member of the Expert Empires team 😊

Throughout my education, I like to think I did everything I could to set myself up for a great career.

We’re talking:

I was assured by multiple teachers that I would be ‘snatched up’ the minute I graduated from university.

But there I was, a First-Class graduate, eight months down the line…

Exhausted, disheartened and feeling completely useless.

A lot had happened in those 8 months.

I completed every online marketing course I could find.

I finished the ‘Disney+’ app in two weeks (yes, the whole thing).

I redecorated.

I learnt how to play the ukulele.

And I cried…a lot!

Seeing fellow classmates and friends secure amazing graduate schemes and exciting new job roles, my LinkedIn feed flooded by people embarking upon their dream career…

Inevitably, I began to compare myself with these people and feel inadequate.

I couldn’t help but think:

‘Why does nobody want to hire me?’

Three months post-graduation, I was yet to even receive the offer of an interview (despite my relentless job search).

I began to experience what I like to call the ‘post-grad blues’:

When I received my final result in June 2020, I felt unstoppable, like I could achieve anything I wanted to.

But in all honesty, that feeling quickly vanished.

This was when I began to find myself in a rut.

I don’t know how many jobs I’d applied for at this point (and I don’t think I want to know either!)

But every application was either ignored or rejected with zero useful feedback.

Everyone tells you:

‘Patience is key’ 

And 

‘Your time will come’

…But nothing prepared me for how demoralising and emotionally draining job searching really is.

Now, at this point you’re probably thinking:

Hello, you graduated in a global pandemic…what did you expect!?

And I’m well aware that my experience differs significantly to those before me.

I mean let’s face it, 2020 will go down in history as a less than ideal year to enter the workforce!

I don’t need to impress you with the facts and figures about a global recession or the plummeting employment rate for you to know that.

I’ll never forget reading a news article with the headline:

“Under-25s give up dream job hope in pandemic”

Talk about a reality check.

Students undertake a minimum of £27K in debt just to get a mere glimpse of the career ladder…

What a shame for their hopes and aspirations to be shattered in the year of 2020.

HOWEVER…

I do believe that this is an issue that goes beyond the current state of the world.

There was one word that I could not escape throughout my job search, no matter how hard I tried.

And that word was:

EXPERIENCE.

Now, one thing that I do take pride in is that I’m an extremely determined, motivated and hard-working individual, who puts their absolute all into everything they do.

But if you don’t have experience, you often don’t get a look in.

What a waste, eh?

Recruiters want young people to have experience, but how are we supposed to find experience without being given a chance to gain it in the first place?

Why do so many ‘entry level’ and lower salaried jobs require so much experience?

We’ll never be able to develop or learn if we’re never given the opportunity.

At one point, I was rejected from an internship, so I asked for feedback on how to improve.

This was their response:

“Many applicants had years of experience in the field. Please don’t feel discouraged.”

…But isn’t “years of experience” and “internship” an oxymoron?

Rather than asking 22-year-olds to have 5 years of industry work experience for entry level jobs, instead, ask if they will:

Oftentimes, it’s the person with less on paper that will perform better when given a chance.

Lack of experience does not equal lack of skill or ability!

And in my opinion, it’s better to hire a motivated person and train them, than to hire a highly skilled person and have to motivate them.

It’s time to change the obsolete hiring model…

So, here’s a few reasons to hire fresh graduates:

1. They bring enthusiasm and great energy.

2. They provide a fresh perspective.

3. They demonstrate flexibility.

4. They’re a “blank canvas”, open to obtaining new skills and experience.

5. They’re tech-savvy.

It took me another 5 months, along with countless tears, rejections and setbacks for me to finally secure a job that I love, at a company that I love even more.

(All thanks to EE and their progressive hiring model!)

But there are still a shocking number of graduates in the position that I was in, and life is pretty tough for them at the moment.

They’ve been facing many realities, including application rejection, stress, frustration and hopelessness.

Some are desperately editing their CV to try and make it stand out.

Some are struggling with interviews and interview questions.

Some are being rejected from casual jobs after 17 years of education, all while attempting to kick start their career.

So, if you do encounter someone in this position…

Please be kind to them.

Be human, empathic and approachable.

Help them as much as you can.

Answer their questions.

Reply to that LinkedIn message.

Offer feedback after that interview.

And give them a chance…

I promise, they have a lot to offer!

Having experienced this stuff first-hand, this is a topic I’m really passionate about.

So, I’d love to know your thoughts and feedback!

Head over to the Expert Empires Community and let me know your opinions (make sure you tag me in your post).

Beth x