I asked Adedayo, a new grad to share her job search struggles because I knew her story would resonate with so many who have just graduated. She reached out because she is at a loss, she is doing everything right and still feels no closer to landing her first job.
The FoodGrads platform was born from a desire to close the gap between students, recent grads and employers. In this instance and at this time when many new grads are job hunting, I can’t think of a better subject to cover.
So let’s hear from Adedayo.
I’m Ready to Quit My Job Search!!
With a With a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, Masters in Food Safety and Technology (with an enviable result, if I might add) and almost 2 years of laboratory experience, I have just about given up on my job search, that is after submitting over 200 job applications in a 3-month period (between March and June).
In all, I have had only about 10 interviews, yet all I get back from these companies is
You do not have enough experience for this position.
Many of these positions are entry level QA positions and some of them even list their minimum requirement as GED/ High School certificate, yet nothing….
I remember an interview I had about a month ago, I was excited about the position and the interview went well (or so I thought). The interviewer seemed to be impressed with the projects I did as a student as well as the fact that I completed my first degree at 19. I was even taken on an impromptu tour of the facility; however, after waiting a month to hear from them, I decided to call, only to be informed that the position had been filled. I’m not sure what was more upsetting, not getting the job, or having to call to find out that I didn’t it. (I really thought I had that one in the bag).
I have read so many articles on how to write a good cover letter or resume and all that, but I just must ask, is there something I am doing wrong? I understand that I am probably competing with other qualified candidates, so how do I stand out from the pile of resumes received by these companies? What are recruiters looking for in an entry level Quality Assurance Candidate anyway?
Is There Something I’m Doing Wrong?
What’s the missing ingredient? Adedayo mentioned a ‘lack of work experience’ but how does she get this when she is still at school? What could she have done differently, so her job search was more successful?
One thing I should note, Adedayo is from the US, so does that make a difference? Are food educated grads less in demand? In Canada for every 3 jobs there is only 1 qualified candidate (especially in Agriculture and Food Processing) so are there less food related job openings in the US?
Employers: What are you looking for?
The global population is growing so jobs in the sector are increasing everywhere, yet her job search experience says otherwise. What’s the answer? I’ve written and shared blogs that address different challenges, but in the interest of closing the gap I would love to hear from you–the employers–to make sure the right information is being passed along.
Feedback from startups, small, medium and large companies would give great perspective, so grads understand the needs of the employer and see the challenges of hiring from that perspective.
Have you had a similar experience? Tell me your story. Students and grads, please share this so we can get some feedback and help you start your career. Leave a comment or email Nicole.
Do you want to connect with Adedayo? You can email her here (especially if you have some direct advice or better still, want to offer her a job!!!) 🙂