PhD in Physics and still unemployed after 3 months

15-Dec-18, 14:25
edited about 8 minutes later
Avatar for redmond89
posted about 6 months ago
Hi All,

Its been a rough couple of months since I finished my PhD. I had several rejections just hit me the week before Christmas. These were also places I passed several screening stages and interviews for, hence absolutely gutted.

I try to personalise my CV and cover letter for each and every application but this doesn't seem to be working. I get automated rejection emails a few days or weeks later. Try to follow up on feedback and in a few rare cases I have been told that I was just not experienced enough.

I can perhaps try applying everywhere with the same CV, but I don't think that would have a higher success rate...

I have so far been applying to jobs with some element of programming because I used that during my PhD. Also been applying for Data science jobs but was foolish enough to think I could get in without relevant experience just because I may have used some of the techniques during my PhD. Hence this stupidity caused me to miss the deadline this year for a lot of the Data science fellowship bootcamps which I believe is the standard track of entry.

I don't know.. these areas could just be hyper competitive areas to get into, hence I am seeking advice on where else I can try applying?

Based on the current time it is taking me to research a firm, personalise the CV and cover letter, submitting the application, and going through the screening rounds (if I don't get rejected immediately), I estimate I can focus all my time to apply to about 30 - 40 more places until March 2019, by which I will be 6 months unemployed if I don't get in anywhere.

After a certain point, I am worried that a several month long unemployment gap could deter employers from even considering me.

What options do I have to avoid such a scenario?

Thanks for reading and greatly appreciate any advice anyone may have.
16-Dec-18, 10:26
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 6 months ago
You didn't actually say what type of jobs you are applying for besides data science or the organisations that you are targeting.

If your are targeting postdoc positions in academia, could your supervisor help? Usually the first postdoc position is secured by recommendation from your supervisor.

If you are targeting industry positions, then just having a PhD does not mean that you will have the advantage of getting the job. Big companies like Astra Zeneca, GSK and GE has industry postdoc programmes which you could apply. Or you could also try getting into the graduate roles with the Big Four accounting firms.

Searching for a job can take from 6 months to a year. Don't give up. Persevere on.
18-Dec-18, 20:13
edited about 18 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 6 months ago
Rejection can be really tough especially after putting so much effort in. I can feel for you. Also the experience problem happens to all graduates and is utterly frustrating.

It is only been a few months, I think up to a year is fine even then it doesn't really matter. Though you might want to figure out what you really want. If you are writing tailored letters for every job you can find it is time consuming. But if you are applying for similar positions it can be a lot easier. Also are you willing to move or want a specific area? Being more flexible with location might be better if you want the dream job.
19-Dec-18, 04:36
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 6 months ago
You are talking about going through several screening phases and interviews.
This suggests you are focussing on large companies.
You might have better joy with small and medium companies who generally don't have multiple phase hiring policies.
25-Dec-18, 20:10
Avatar for Alexdworth
posted about 6 months ago
There are many similar posts on this forum. The truth is a PhD in physics is pretty much worthless (this is coming from someone with a BSc in physics and an MSc in nuclear engineering). Search this forum and the physics forum and you will see many similar posts. Experience is key and its a buyers market. You may have some some data analysis, but there are other applicants with years of programming experience. You are starting from scratch basically.


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