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Physics 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011

  1. Jul 9, 2012 #1
    23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    Brief background:

    University: I won't disclose the name but its ranked Top 10 in the UK

    Degree: BSc Physics, averaged 65% overall, 2:1 Upper Second Class honours. Don't know whats that in GPA.

    Graduated: Class of 2011

    Any prizes or awards: Never really won anything. Just have a few certificates from school for doing well in this and that.

    Unemployed since October 2011.


    I have since applied to over 150 jobs in various job sectors as far as I can remember. Only received 17 interviews after initial psychological aptitude tests. Have been rejected from all so far. I do not know why as they never say the reasons for my rejection. I don't know whether its my long difficult to pronounce name or whether I'm simply failing the interviews..

    All my mates and people I know are already in a job. Some even failed their degree or dropped out before but are still doing better than me. Frankly its quite depressing. Either I'm doing something terribly wrong or there are just not enough jobs.

    Have I considered teaching? To be honest no because I do not want to get into teaching at all. I know people will ask why but its just my personal choice.

    Have I tried applying to menial jobs like cleaning, janitor, crate unloader or at Mcdonalds? I thought about that but I have left it as a last resort.

    I am thinking about studying Accounting because it seems to be easy for my background. Engineering maybe too late but I am not sure. The reasons why I do not want to do a masters in Physics is because I struggled through the entire course plus found the course material really hard to understand. Don't get me wrong, I still like Physics but don't want to carry studying it higher.

    If anyone thinks it would be better for me to just stick to physics please give reasons why.

    Other than that, any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2012 #2
    Re: 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    Hi. I think it would help if you told us what types of jobs you are applying for and what it is that you actually want to do?
  4. Jul 9, 2012 #3
    Re: 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    It is a fact that those with non-English names which are difficult to pronounce are at a severe disadvantage in the job market. If this is your worry, you might consider a more mainstream first name. Are you Indian? So if your name is say... Chandreshakar Singh, you might consider switching to say... Candy Singh (female) or Charlie Singh (male) just as a nickname to write on your resume.
  5. Jul 9, 2012 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    Why do you think it's too late to go into engineering?
  6. Jul 9, 2012 #5
    Well I want to get into finance particulary IB, but have been unsuccessful so far. I have also tried to appy to defence, Multinationals, pharmaceuticals, oil, energy, science & tech and various other sectors.

    No luck so far but still trying...
  7. Jul 9, 2012 #6
    Well my name does get shortened to the first 4 or 6 letters after the initial awkwardness. But I use my full name when applying.

    Is name discrimination common when applying to jobs?
  8. Jul 9, 2012 #7

    I like Serena

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Re: 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    If you want to know why, just give them a call.
    Usually they will explain why, assuming you ask politely.
  9. Jul 9, 2012 #8
    Re: 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    Well I really don't want to rack up a student debt of £100k+ ($155k+) by the time I'm 30 by switching to engineering. If money wasn't the case I would switch. Ideally I rather get into work now and then maybe do a masters in something later. But getting a job is proving very difficult...

    I just do not understand how the people I know who failed or dropped out seem to have more luck than me..
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  10. Jul 9, 2012 #9


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    Education Advisor

    Re: 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    To the OP:

    I can't answer why some of your fellow classmates had an easier time finding work than you. It could be due to many factors, some of which may be beyond your control. What you can control is how to go about the application process.

    Does your university have a career centre? If so, I would suggest you consult with someone there, for they might give you good advice on how to prepare your resume, as well as improve on interview techniques. It may be possible that you may not be doing enough to distinguish yourself from others when you are applying.

    In the meantime, if it is possible for you, I would suggest applying to unpaid internships or volunteer. Doing nothing since Oct 2011 will look worse on your resume than having done something during that time, even if it is not a paid position.
  11. Jul 9, 2012 #10
    Re: 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    In the 10 or so months you've been unemployed, you've only applied to 150 jobs! Thats only 15 a month. You have to keep hammering at it. Treat looking for work as a full-time job. Set up an office space or go to a coffee shop and spend a solid work day getting applications out. If you lack the skills to apply to a certain sector, spend some of your time learning those skills.
  12. Jul 9, 2012 #11


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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Re: 23, BSc in Physics, unemployed since October 2011....

    Do an internet search on yourself. What information can a potential employer find out about you? What's on your Facebook page? Or MySpace? Or Linkdin? Or your own personal a.sub11.com website? Is this information your want to be out there? If not, do as much as you can to clean it up.

    Establish a professional web-presence. Your resume, your card, your Facebook profile, should all point to a professional site that reads like an expanded version of your resume. There you can provide details about projects that you've done, classes you've taken and enjoyed, work experience, volunteer experience, etc. that you wouldn't normally have on a resume.

    Network. Find out what the big conferences are for the field(s) you want to get into and figure out how you can attend. When you go, talk to people. Not just the ones who are doing the hiring, but as many as you can. Sometimes entry-level sales reps can be fountains of information about how a company is doing and what they're looking for in their applicants.

    This extends beyond conferences. Contact your old classmates. See how they are liking their current jobs. Find out how they got hired. You could also try getting in touch with head hunters. Another option is job-shadowing.

    As much as possible try to speak with people involved in the decision-making process. Try to give them copies of your resume directly in addition to firing it through the HR machine.

    Get critiques of your resume. Usually your university career office provides this service for free or for a menial fee. Also, tailor both your resume and cover letter to the specific job. Don't just play a game of [insert job title here].

    Finally follow up. When you're unsuccessful find out why. Also see if you can find out if there are any similar jobs being offered elsewhere. Sometimes jobs come in clusters, but resumes aren't automatically transferred over.
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