Dear grad job applications, I hate you

Usually, job applications are short. Usually they are quick. Usually you send a CV and either get an interview within two weeks or not.

Not grad jobs. If you have ever applied to one you will understand what I mean. You oftem start with a basic application, either providing a CV and cover letter or answering a series of essay questions, sometimes both and usually pretty time consuming. If you pass that, you get invited to situational judgement tests, that, after doing 10 others, become incredibly boring. Then, depending on the role, you might additionally need to do more tests, in my case usually math tests that never give you anywhere near enough time and always make you feel like you failed. If you are lucky, you might get told the outcome of your tests within weeks, but for some of my applications, this turned to months. The next part is usually an interview, again a lot of preparation and I doubt anyone feels particularly comfortable in AI interviews, answering questions while having to stare at the mirrored version of their own face. Then you wait a few weeks again (or months) and maybe get invited to an assessment centre. These tend to take hours and tend to involve group work and presentations and interviews that you need to spend time preparing for. If you get that far you might also actually get some personal feedback.

Since the likelihood of getting a job with one application is slim, you obviously have to complete a few. I applied to 10 in October, 10 more in December and a few more in the new year, with each one taking hours of effort to then either be told I would have been a great candidate but they chose someone else after an assessment center or to still be waiting for an answer. Some have only just offered first interviews, eventhough I applied in October, so I might have to wait until April or May for the final outcome. Some I did not even apply to because they require a Master’s and multiple years of industry specific experience for an entry level job with an entry level salary. The assessment centres I have attended were often filled with people who were already working and a who were a fair bit older than me. For environmental jobs most companies were offering one single grad role and I just was never the number one candidate.

I do wonder, why do I waste my time like this. I spend time I could be using for my dissertation preparing for interviews to then be told I am second best. A regular job application takes a matter of weeks, my shortest grad job application took two months.

After wasting time on over 20 applications, I still do not have an offer, I am running out of jobs to apply to, and being one of the top three applicants is useless, when it does not get you a job offer.

So dear grad job applications, that is all the reasons I hate you.


A student who will probably soon be working a minimum wage restaurant job (if they will even take me)

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I'm a 4th-year Environmental Science student from Switzerland. I'm interested in all things outdoors and sports and mostly use this blog to talk about my adventure trips around Dundee and further afield, so come along while I discover Scotland bit by bit!

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