Many rejections - Not knowing why

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  • Thread starter ProbablyNotMe
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  • #76
Fra
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I have never worked for less than a year for a job, and when I left it wasn't my decision. But I don't take any job just to demonstrate I am reliable. They can inquire about my reliability from the references I provide. I prefer to work on my skills instead and develop personal projects to get better chances than stacking the shelves for 8 hours a day and then left with no time and energy at the end of the day to do anything else.
Is there a chance that you may unconsiously be communicating an attitude that you are a skilled researcher and that what you REALLY want is to do your research but that you are looking for a temporary job, until you get a better opportunity?

As many jobs takes years of experience to learn industry/business/company specific things that are of non-academic nature because some things are even proprietary corporate information. This means that one would not even think of employing anyone that is "likely" to quit the job upon the next opportunity.

I have experience with applicants from researchers (in RELEVANT fields, well qualified) looking for a job in a tech business where it was clear that he was looking for a industri/business job, BECAUSE he didn't get the 50%reserach/50%teaching position he really wanted. This person, even well qualified, would STILL need years of training in product specifics, and would likely not stay that long anyone, so the appliation never reached the table, as i sorted it out directly.

/Fredrik
 
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  • #77
Is there a chance that you may unconsiously be communicating an attitude that you are a skilled researcher and that what you REALLY want is to do your research but that you are looking for a temporary job, until you get a better opportunity?

As many jobs takes years of experience to learn industry/business/company specific things that are of non-academic nature because some things are even proprietary corporate information. This means that one would not even think of employing anyone that is "likely" to quit the job upon the next opportunity.

I have experience with applicants from researchers (in RELEVANT fields, well qualified) looking for a job in a tech business where it was clear that he was looking for a industri/business job, BECAUSE he didn't get the 50%reserach/50%teaching position he really wanted. This person, even well qualified, would STILL need years of training in product specifics, and would likely not stay that long anyone, so the appliation never reached the table, as i sorted it out directly.

/Fredrik

What's wrong with applicants who want a job in the industry because they couldn't get into the academia? What should they do in your opinion? I did 2 years postdoc, but had I given proper advice by my PhD supervisor who didn't care at all in all aspects of my career during and after my PhD, I would have taken internships in companies while I was doing my PhD, and went to the industry directly, and got a decent and stable job. I didn't know better then. But of course I don't say or hint this during interviews. I express my interest in the job and company, and many jobs I applied for were research in nature. Many PhDs went to the industry after years of academic research because, simply put, the number of academic positions is limited compared to the number of PhD graduates. I know someone who did postdocs not for 2 but for 5 years, and has a strong publication record, yet he eventually switched to the industry because academia was a dead end for him.
 
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  • #78
Fra
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What's wrong with applicants who want a job in the industry because they couldn't get into the academia? What should they do in your opinion? I did 2 years postdoc, but had I given proper advice by my PhD supervisor who didn't care at all in all aspects of my career during and after my PhD, I would have taken internships in companies while I was doing my PhD, and went to the industry directly, and got a decent and stable job. I didn't know better then. But of course I don't say or hint this during interviews. I express my interest in the job and company, and many jobs I applied for were research in nature. Many PhDs went to the industry after years of academic research because, simply put, the number of academic positions is limited compared to the number of PhD graduates. I know someone who did postdocs not for 2 but for 5 years, and has a strong publication record, yet he eventually switched to the industry because academia was a dead end for him.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a job in industry of course! And while I can symphatize with struggling between personal interests and getting food on the table. Alot of ppl struggles with this I think.

My only point trying to guess what would be issues as per your description is that: MAYBE disappointment and the view that the industry is a non-preferred option for you "shines through", even if you do not actually say it. People that do hiring do alot of reading in between the lines, and it's not just what you say but how you put it, and wether it seems to make sense or of the totaly picuture getting communicated is still that "here is someone that wants to do research in academia, but says he wants to work for us. Most companies also consider the first years of a new employed as a cost, so hiring someone that is likely to drop out before the red figures turn green is a bad strategy. If this is the case perhaps the rhetorics in the applications can be adjusted?

Did you ask someone for advice, to read your applications and tell you what impression they get (not knowing you)? It's always hard to judge yourself.

/Fredrik
 
  • #79
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a job in industry of course! And while I can symphatize with struggling between personal interests and getting food on the table. Alot of ppl struggles with this I think.

My only point trying to guess what would be issues as per your description is that: MAYBE disappointment and the view that the industry is a non-preferred option for you "shines through", even if you do not actually say it. People that do hiring do alot of reading in between the lines, and it's not just what you say but how you put it, and wether it seems to make sense or of the totaly picuture getting communicated is still that "here is someone that wants to do research in academia, but says he wants to work for us. Most companies also consider the first years of a new employed as a cost, so hiring someone that is likely to drop out before the red figures turn green is a bad strategy. If this is the case perhaps the rhetorics in the applications can be adjusted?

Did you ask someone for advice, to read your applications and tell you what impression they get (not knowing you)? It's always hard to judge yourself.

/Fredrik

I don't think I have any indications in my resume that I would join the academia, other than my postdoc position. That's why I said, if I knew better, I wouldn't have done it. Even without internships, companies hire fresh PhD graduates. Yes, my postdoc has something to do with it, I suspect, but it's not the only reason, because others did postdocs and got hired. I must be doing something wrong, but I don't know what it is, and there is no one to point that out to me in an honest feedback. And thus this thread.
 
  • #80
ohwilleke
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Have you considered working for a non-profit like Engineers Without Borders to develop references who have seen your work and to show that you are "fresh" and engaged in the profession. With the passage of time you may be getting a lemon effect with everyone assuming that you're still looking because someone else decided they didn't want you when it was really just bad luck.

Another thought would be to look for positions in a different geographical area where the market is hotter, or the competition isn't as great.
 
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  • #81
Zap
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I suspect this depends on the job. When we hire people as researchers we generally look for fairly specific (and sometimes unusual) skills, meaning a CV which hasn't to some extent been tailored to the role we are advertising is extremely unlikely to go down well.
Also, our HR department will always do the initial screening meaning any any incomplete/or "strange" CVs will get rejected by them before they ever reach me.
I guess the "shotgun" approach might work if you are applying to more "standardised" job roles, but probably not for R&D positions.
Why would a CV be "strange" while using the shotgun method? You put all the skills you have to offer on your CV, and you target it for whatever type of job you want to get. And then you mass apply 100 per day. How does that make the CV "strange?" It would contain your competencies and what you're looking for. If that didn't cut it, I doubt anything additional would.

If you have a very specific position that you want to apply for, meaning that you are only wanting to apply to one or two job posts, then the shotgun method doesn't make any sense. But applying to just a handful of jobs doesn't make any sense to me, either.

[post edited by the Mentors]
 
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  • #82
f95toli
Science Advisor
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Why would a CV be "strange" while using the shotgun method? You put all the skills you have to offer on your CV, and you target it for whatever type of job you want to get. And then you mass apply 100 per day. How does that make the CV "strange?"
Whether or not it is "strange" doesn't depend on the method. However, a CV which e.g. starts with a paragraph describing why the applicant is really, really interested in antenna design might get filtered out (whoever is looking at is will stop reading) if the job ad is for a role in condensed matter physics (real world example...). Another example might be someone starting their CV with a description of where they grew up...

Even if you are using the "shotgun" method the CV needs to be relevant for the job role; and I think there is a risk that your CV ends up being too bland if you are trying to use the same CV/skills for very different roles.
An obvious way around this is to have a few different CVs and then choose the one that fits the best to that particular role.

Remember that the people who are doing hiring might have to look through many tens or hundreds of CVs before they decide who to interview; your CV is very, very important and ideally you should have some "keywords" that are directly relevant to the role at the start of your CV; do NOT assume that someone will carefully read your whole CV unless you give them a good reason to.
 
  • #83
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If you're trying to apply to hyper specialized roles like antenna design, you can't use the shotgun method, because you won't be able to find 100 antenna design job posts to apply to.

OP mentioned an interest in data science. Data analytics, data science, business analytics, IT, etc, or the broad field of IT/data analytics/development are perfect for the shotgun method, because they all list similar skills and you can easily find 100 job posts per day to apply to. Something like PhD in antenna design wouldn't work. You would find like 5 job posts per month to even respond to. That's way too specialized for OP, anyway. He/she is just trying to break out of university.

I would suggest OP to look into consulting firms. They will take people from random backgrounds. The ability to learn new things is a vital skill for a new consultant. Sometimes, you don't need any skills, just the ability to learn the skills they want you to learn quickly.

My friend went through a paid data engineering training that was paid for by a consulting firm, and now he works as a data engineer making around 60k. They will abuse you at first, and you won't be making six figures, but it's a break into the industry.
 
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