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I graduated with an MA degree three months ago, and am still searching for jobs. Before matriculating in graduate school, I had thought about deferring enrollment for a year. I was offered a job at a small firm, but I was pressured to pass it by a family member who thought that I would be able to find better opportunities soon.

However, I was very unlucky, so I just decided to just enroll in graduate school without deferring. It has been two years, and during my time in graduate school, I was also unlucky at securing internships even after being a finalist at some places. I just have an extra degree with no additional experiences. Apparently, in the US, the job market is very tight, but it might depend on the region. I live in a large city on the East Coast, but I am still not getting accepted anywhere.

Is the US job market really doing so well right now? Are the rejections because of my lack of experience? I have only one year of teaching experience. Every time I get rejected, I just can't help, but to look back at the job offer that I declined over two years ago. Maybe, these days, experience is much more important than education. I applied to so many places that I can't even count the number of places that I applied to.

closed as off-topic by Dukeling, HorusKol, BigMadAndy, gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 13 '18 at 17:05

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  • What reasons, if any, have you received when being rejected? At least one of those rejections should have mentioned something that may give us a clue – DarkCygnus Aug 10 '18 at 23:15
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    On another note, I'd strongly suggest to make your career and professional calls by yourself. Don't let anyone, even family members "pressure" you into doing something with your professional career. Sure you can take advice from them, but the call should be yours. – DarkCygnus Aug 10 '18 at 23:17
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    The best way to improve your chances of getting a job is probably to ask for some one-to-one guidance (e.g. looking at your resume, cover letters, other interactions with potential employers and online presence and having mock interviews) from an experienced friend, teacher or family member (or a professional). We can't really tell you why you're getting rejected, nor help you much with that, from here. – Dukeling Aug 10 '18 at 23:33
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    Experience has always been important - one of my first job interviews when I was a fresh graduate 18 years ago was specifically listed as a graduate position - I was told the only difference between me and the person that was hired was they had one year experience. Rejection can get disheartening - but remember that for almost every advertised position, there are likely to be 100 or more candidates competing. Rejection doesn't necessarily mean you're not good enough - it simply means someone edged out ahead of the rest. – HorusKol Aug 11 '18 at 1:43
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    " I was offered a job at a small firm, but I was pressured to pass it by a family member who thought that I would be able to find better opportunities soon" - based on what? If that person has no relevant experience, then I would advise you not to listen to their "advcie" in future – Mawg Aug 11 '18 at 7:18
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Is the US job market really doing so well right now?

Disclaimer: I'm not any authority on economics, but a few minutes searching yields some results that appear to show that the job market is doing well in general. However, your industry might be different.

Are the rejections because of my lack of experience?

This is hard to tell without more details, and it probably is not possible to know 100% regardless. There are so many variables that go into either a hire or a rejection. Sometimes there are just better candidates. I will say that it can be harder to get some jobs without experience. It is a classic chicken versus the egg problem.

Every time I get rejected, I just can't help, but to look back at the job offer that I declined over two years ago.

My best advice on this is to not look back. We all have decisions that might not seem optimal in retrospective, but you had your reasons at the time.

What can you do to increase your odds?

No matter your industry, you can do personal projects, job shadow, network with people in your field, volunteer, tailor your resume, and probably most importantly practice interviewing as much as you can.

The amount of actual experience may not be as big of a deal as your ability to portray it as the right experience to fit an employer's needs. Any one of the things listed above could tip the scales in your favor.

Hope it helps!

  • Totally agree on personal projects, volunteering, networking and practicing interviews, often the matter of receiving a job is not what you know, but who knows you and how they see you. Also, ask your interviewers for feedback, it can help. – Pavlus Aug 11 '18 at 12:04

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