Ardently applied to 400 jobs (remote or local) over the past 5 months. Heard back from 20 for rejections, interviewed with 3 for offers, followed up with a select few but haven't otherwise heard back. What to do now?


 I have a bachelor's degree in English, a decent GPA, but after graduating this May I have no experience besides a 3-month stint at a school newspaper and a year working at a grocery store. Basically, my resume and professional network are pitiful.

I recently started working in a different grocery store after a year-long break to finish school, because I need to start saving to pay back the near $1,000 a month I will owe in January for student loans.

At this point, I don't even care if it's something I don't want to do. I have no idea what else I can do with my life atm in pursuit of a more stable, intellectual (so that my degree wasn't an entire waste of time and money), and better paying job/career than grocery store worker (I'm not a favorite, so I probably couldn't work my way up to manager). Unless I just need to accept that I'm doomed like a good majority of people in the world.

Ultimately though, I'll probably be applying to a master's degree program in teaching just so I can delay monthly student loan payments and have some structure for a bit longer (despite the additional 24K in loans, probably). Even though it's not what I want to do either.

At this point, I'm looking for any job or career advice whatsoever!!


Things I've tried hard for to no avail:

  • Started a blog + YouTube

  • UpWork, Fiverr, Substack (for copywriting editing/writing + writing)

  • Jobs areas I applied to besides hourly pay or entry-level jobs not requiring a degree: social media/copywriting/editing/jr. editor or copywriter, etc./data entry/RA/reporter/content writer/teaching assistant/editing assistant, etc/substance abuse counselor/investigator/case analyzer/record keeping/organizing

I hadn't pursued any other independent contractor or freelance jobs because I was trying to find something dependable instead of not knowing how much I'd make a month. I also held back from applying to a lot of jobs because I basically have no one who could be a good reference or writer a good LOR. And I don't have a diverse portfolio or any portfolio, really. Seriously.

JobAdvisor:

A few things here. I was also an English major, and also had to apply for about 500+ jobs before I finally got a decent offer, and it was about this time of year after I graduated that May, so it’s possible for you to do the same. What gives me insane anxiety for you is your insanely large amount of private student loan payments. $800+/ mo of private student loan payments will take up most of your future income, especially because it won’t qualify for income-based repayment. For example, working $15/hr for 40hrs a week will make your check probably about $1,700 a month. I hope you plan to stay at home with your parents or have a roommate.

Now, what do you need to do about getting a job? You need to change how you’re looking. I don’t know if you’re doing LinkedIn easy apply or what roles you’ve been looking at, but start looking at roles in Sales, Higher Ed Admin, Admin Assistance, and things that relate very closely to your transferable skills, especially from your major: communication, critical thinking, analysis, attention to detail, etc. Use sites like higher jobs, indeed, and directly through company websites. Also, reach out to friends and family who might have led to roles since a lot of hiring is done internally. Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn and Alumni of your college in fields you’re interested in.

Now, it also sounds like you need to do some work on your resume and cover letter. You’ll be told cover letters aren’t important to applications before. Don’t listen to that. Cover letters can get you an interview if it’s stronger than other applicants and as an English major, your cover letter should be your pride and joy. Make sure you’re updating your cover letter and resume for each and every job to shine. Make an appointment with a resume editor or your college career center to get feedback.

And lastly, everyone and their mothers, sons, grandmas, and pets are applying to remote positions right now. Keep applying, but cut how many of those you are putting your energy into. Apply to jobs that aren’t local if you’re willing to relocate. Look for jobs in a 2hr or so radius of where you are now if you’re up for a commute. But unless you live in a decently sized city, local probably isn’t the best to find a variety of jobs.

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