Another job app rejection letter


I've just received another rejection letter for another unsuccessful job application :-(
I have been almost 18 months without any paid work.

So far I have had 5 rejections, and the furthest I have ever gone is a job interview--and that was also unsuccessful!

How many rejections have others had? Until you landed one job.
Would anyone like to share?

I have to admit I do feel depressed now (but will work on it!!!)
love satchi


The only anecdote I have is that there was an EARLY CAREER permanent job recently in my department.

The person who got the job had 2 books, 10+ articles, AND a permanent job already in another institution. How can people coming out of a PhD compete with that?

I've been told that the very minimum that you need for any position - even postdocs - is your book published.

Still in my opinion its who you know and 90% pure luck.

Keep going.


Hi Satchi, sorry to hear you're having a tough time getting a job. Is a really disheartening time. Prior to getting my current job I think I applied for 11 posts, had 4 rejections outright and 7 rejections after interview. (I think what this says is I'm good at selling myself on paper and rubbish at selling myself in person!) The post I am currently in was the first I applied for (and was rejected after interview). The person who got it quit after almost a year. They contacted the original interviewees and encouraged us to apply, by which point only two were still looking for jobs and I got it.

Fingers crossed something will come up. It's a difficult time in the job market. My post ends early next year and I'm dreading being back on the job applications.


I am really struggling to find work. I have recently had a couple of interviews with rejections, but I have been looking for work well over 2 years and I can't even gain experience :(


satchi, If it helps, I've been looking for a job since about March 2011 and have applied for 100's I'd say and I got a rejection last week (after an interview) and a rejection about 10 minutes ago (after an interview). I just have difficulty 'thinking on my feet' at interview.

It's really, really tough out there and so don't take it personally.

Good advice from David, keep going!


hi everyone, thankyou so much for your replies! I have seen "early career" job adverts as well, but the essential criteria seemed impossible. I have also seen jobs advertised on a lower grade, asking for a minimum of a first degree -- and yet, they ask for so much experience. Is the market so big now that many people with only first degrees have so much work experience?

I have also had trouble publishing--I need to get back to my journal manuscripts as well. It has been difficult dealing with myself because I became so depressed. Really need to pull up my socks---get back to it satchi!!!

has anyone applied for those short term posts advertised, for example--research assistant for only 6 months? are those difficult to get as well?

love satchi


Hi Satchi.

Those short term posts are really worth going for - I went for a research assistant job before my PhD and although didn't get the main job they had the odd hour going - 10 hours a week which worked really well for me and gave me valuable research experience which I didn't have before. Try to get as much help as you possibly can - go to your careers service at your old University - or your local one. Most life coaches give the first session free - you can google them in your local area. Something will come up - the other thing you can do to occupy your time is volunteer - get in touch with research groups in your area who you know have projects going that would interest you - offer to volunteer or at least attend meetings - I got three job offers like that. Network for free by volunteering at conferences - just contact the conference organisers. Make sure you fill your days and keep yourself motivated. Write down a list of free treats you give yourself for each task - like a cup of tea for each job app section. Failing all that - go for a 'dead end' job at the University where you want to work - contacts made will be invaluable and you will know when more suitable jobs come up that you can go for. Look on the University websites for jobs. I did this and found my PhD like that. Got the contacts and got to go to networking events, got more job offers. Once you get a little job it will lead to more work. Good luck!


Hi Satchi,

I've applied for short-term posts and a rejection I received recently was for a part-time post lasting less than a year!


I applied for a short term RA post and didn't get an interview. I don't know what it's like at other institutions, but I've been told that at my institution they can't employ someone with a PhD on grade 5 (RA). This would rule out anyone with a PhD as they'd have to be paid grade 6 money, which might not be there in the grant.


Hi Satchi,
Sorry to hear you're having a tough time finding work. It seems like lots of us on here are in the same boat and this is a very common problem. I wish I knew people like this in real life!

I would recommend talking to other people you know (e.g. former students) who have gone on to get jobs. It's really helped me doing that as you can get some useful nuggets of advice. It has also made me feel confident that I am doing everything right.

When you are ealy in your career it is very difficult to get taken seriously (even when you have some stellar publications under your belt). From my experience of interviews, the other candidates really exceeded the requirements of the advertised jobs, so we shouldn't ever feel overqualified. It must just be a very competitive market place.

When you don't have a "real" job, it's super hard to gain the credibility and experience to help you get a job that you would get from working (catch-22 situation)! By staying close to former colleagues and helping out with their work, you are showing your commitment to the profession and also slowly gaining some experience and credibility. Also, if your colleagues have any short-term paid work, you may be the first person to be offered it.

Importantly, try not to get too upset about the lack of success on the job market. You are obviously entitled to feel disheartened, but getting properly depressed never helps anything. Volunteering for your colleagues and submitting publications gives you something to feel good about and a sense of achievement.

Keep going, but keep in mind alternative careers and volunteer to get non-academic work experience as well.


Thank you so much for your replies. It is true that I am depressed--but it's not mainly because of job rejections. Fortunately I am still able to function, get up in the morning, get dressed etc.

This part about staying close to former colleagues and helping out with their work--how do I do this if I am not living anywhere near my university? The main reason firstly is because I can't afford to live there on my own. How do I get around this? There are no universities nearby, the closest is still one hour's train ride away, if I were to volunteer, I still need to have money to travel and this spare money is what I don't have at the moment. I am not new to volunteering, but unfortunately the voluntary stuff I've done in the past will not likely help me secure a job.

love satchi


I've just got my MSc and really to first degrees? For all the time I was doing my distance learning MSc, I never got one. I must've had 2 interviews in the last 2 months. I have tried voluntary experience in a lab (or anywhere) and half the time people don't hear back from you and I am trying to get my foot in the door.

I feel like I am going mad as well Satchi, you're trying so hard to find work and there are people just walking in straight away and you have to ask yourself. What have you done wrong? I am doing everything possible, but still no luck!

It sucks but at least you can maybe do some academic editing from some or something, people like me who are dyspraxic or dyslexic would love an "eye" to check personal statements or assignments like dissertations. I think you'd be ace at that!

Avatar for Pjlu

Satchi, I am so sorry to learn about how tough it is for you at the moment. You have earned (and deserve) so much respect on this forum.

I'm not going to add to the job advice (which has been excellent) but thought that I would offer encouragement regarding your publications-which you mention (see quote below).

"I have also had trouble publishing--I need to get back to my journal manuscripts as well. It has been difficult dealing with myself because I became so depressed".

Don't let the long turn around between journal replies and the usual list of 'reject' or 'major corrections or rewrite' stop you from travelling on the publication trail. It is hard to work through depression, but I'm worried that all of the usual stuff that happens to us when we are trying to get something published, you might feel in your present state that it is because your stuff isn't good enough. Which would not be true at all-it is all just part and parcel of academic publishing.

If you can work through this and just keep polishing up one or two articles and submitting-then rewriting-you will get published. And your university affilliation is still mentioned in the bio-or byline- even if you are no longer with that university. Not that getting published is going to be the answer to everything...but it might be something that is helpful in one way or another-even if it is just reestablishing your 'voice' and presence as a writer and thinker in the public world. (Although a learning community forum is a version of a public world and you have a very strong and valued voice here).

Can I ask one other thing-which might be not possible at present-but could you move at all? You say your nearest university is an hour away and travel fare is hard to find-but is there some way you could move closer to a busier centre? Even if it took a bit of planning in terms of logistics and finances (like a few months or so).


I agree with what the last poster wrote and maybe should have mentioned it in my last post. Things happen for a reason and maybe this is giving you the opportunity to do all your journal manuscripts. It will help to keep your mind off the "lack of job" issue as well, which is in your favour.

Can't you feel us willing you on with this Satchi?


Yup...I am also worried. I had similar rejections for the positions applied through email during last 4 years. Finally I have been called for telephonic interview...which I am scared off. I am not sure what to be prepared for that 20 mins telephonic interview ? I am scared to death! Any tips...pleaseee...