Here's my background:

1) Went to community college for 2 years. Graduated with a high GPA.

2) Transferred to university and earned my BSc in Computer Science.

3) During my 2 years at university, I did unpaid work for a business and had an unpaid internship that the university made me take.

4) I took 18 credits/semester of all math and science courses for 2 years. I ended up with a low GPA due to health issues.

5) After graduation, I did more unpaid work for a business. I also did volunteer work.

It's been 13 months since graduation, and I haven't found a job. I'm local to NYC.

I've had my resume checked a million times. My university's career center doesn't want to help me find something, and neither do my professors. I get denied from all new grad programs due to my low GPA.

I do get interviews, but none of them have been technical. They have been with dinky companies. I did get two offers: 15/hr (that's much less than any internship at any company around here) at an expensive area and an unpaid internship at a newborn NYC startup.

I have tried meetups and networking. For example, there were 5 meetups + 1 workshop (I paid lots of money) this month. Sometimes companies recruit from there, but they always want people with lots of experience.

A fairly known company was recruiting at a tech convention I went to. After much networking, I earned a chance to interview with them. I did two phone interviews, then I was promptly rejected due to "lack of skills and experience."

So, what in the world am I supposed to be doing now? I never get any tech interviews. I have a 50/50 chance of passing phone screens. For the few on-sites I've had, it was framework or language trivia. I can't continue being unemployed for so long.

If you're wondering what my skills are: Java, C# and ASP.NET, various web technologies, Ruby and F# (recently started really focusing on it).

  • "I have a 50/50 chance of passing phone screens." - then you have only to double the number of applications you send out.
    – Brandin
    Jun 24, 2016 at 9:40
  • "So, what in the world am I supposed to be doing now?" Apply to jobs that match your profile. VTC as personal advice is off-topic here. Consider asking in The Workplace Chat if you're after a resume review or personalised suggestions.
    – Lilienthal
    Jun 24, 2016 at 13:43
  • 2
    Dont discount the "dinky companies". You say the jobs you want are not taking you because of lack of experience, use the small companies as the place to get that experience.
    – JasonJ
    Jun 24, 2016 at 14:10
  • @JasonJanowitz By "dinky" companies I'm referring to the ones offering unpaid internships and the like.
    – user53174
    Jun 24, 2016 at 17:37
  • Why not take the $15/hr jobs to get some experience?
    – HorusKol
    Jun 25, 2016 at 15:00

4 Answers 4


You're in a bad situation, jobs are not as easy to come by as people make out sometimes. My suggestion is take any work that keeps you in funds regardless of industry, I've done cleaning, bouncing, painting, labouring and a bunch of others.

This will keep you in food and rent until such time as you can land a job in the industry you want. Never give up and never lose faith in yourself. Eventually a position will show up and you'll have your opportunity to make a good impression and kickstart your career.

When I was a forestry worker, one of the other planters had a uni degree in maths. I've met farm workers and furniture movers with degrees (the furniture mover actually had two degrees, one science and one business). My own uni studies have nothing to do with the industry I'm in.

  • 2
    The face of degree holders in the 21st century. Jun 24, 2016 at 13:13
  • 1
    Probably why I didn't hurt for work too much. Like you, I'd do anything. Jun 24, 2016 at 17:37
  • 1
    @JoelDeWitt it's like that because many people has one now. It's not a bad thing though, because you can easily see who are willing to work and who are not... those that are willing to work will be working. Having a PhD but feeling entitled makes that person a much worse employee than a high school drop-out that is willing and ready to bust his balls.
    – Nelson
    Jun 27, 2016 at 1:12
  • @Nelson, that's interesting, because you would expect it to be the reverse, right? High school drop-outs typically don't show initiative, and they're not willing to bust balls. Also, actually finding work is not really the problem ... it's finding work that is in alignment with our respective degrees. Read more at The Broken Bargain With College Graduates. Jun 28, 2016 at 13:23
  • @JoelDeWitt it depends why they dropped out, and people do change and mature as well. I'm a school dropkick myself, I dropped out because we couldn't afford it so I started working at 15.
    – Kilisi
    Jun 28, 2016 at 13:27

I worked as a security guard for two years.

then moved into customer service for an "entertainment center" a.k.a a cashier

And did not finish my computer science degree due to financial issues.

But, while I was in these jobs I always had my main goal at the back of my mind, I setup a site dedicated to developing websites for local businesses(free of charge) in order to increase sales, this built a portfolio of my skills and what I have done, while doing this I managed to land a part-time support engineer job where if I was available and they needed help I would work on-site alongside other technicians and from there I landed a full time job as a Junior Sys Admin.

What i'm getting at is, take the little jobs, once you know where you want to end up you can always focus on that as well, experience is such a huge requirement when looking for jobs and if you even have 3 months more than someone else it's a huge plus, and you will learn new skills along the way which is only beneficial.

There's no better way to improve your skills than working alongside like minded people in a team, you might not love what you're doing but once it pays the bills and adds to your resume, that's all that matters.

Don't give up, apply apply apply, eventually you will get where you want to be.


I've done road construction and worked for a convenience store and in retail.

Get SOMETHING, and next time don't pooh pooh the dollar amount or dismiss small companies. You don't get much money in the smaller ones, but if you can eat, it's enough. What you DO get in those companies is the opportunity to learn and get experience in your field. At this point, if I were you, I'd take McAnything, and do some volunteer work part-time to keep your skills fresh. Maybe even pick up a few more skills while you're at it, because your skillset is pretty standard for a recent grad and isn't going to impress anyone beyone the $15/hr you've been offered.

What you're doing isn't working, you need to swallow your pride a bit, understand that you're not going to be making six figures any time soon, and hit the bricks, as they say.

  • $15/hr is no where near the standard for a grad. That's $31k. Go to naceweb.org/s01272016/… The average starting salary is $61k for CS grad. I'm not even asking for that much.
    – user53174
    Jun 26, 2016 at 18:38
  • Here's some basic math: how much more is 15/hr over 0/hr? I know full well what the salaries are in theory. Right now you should be concerned with practice. Jun 27, 2016 at 12:13

It seems as though one of the main reasons that you can't land a job or move past the phone / technical questions is that you are simply not skilled enough for the roles.

My suggestion would be to subscribe to various learning platforms, such as lynda.com or similar, and really spend as much time as you can filling in all the knowledge gaps. (this is what I did when I graduated and went over a year without a job in my field)

In the beginning it is all about getting your foot in some doors. Start at the small, crappy tech jobs, and work your way up. Spend about a year at each place, and then use that as a stepping stone up to something better!

  • Saying to subscribe to a learning platform is very generic advice. I've already been that route. I already know front end, back end, how to make a CRUD web app, MVC, and how to make a compiler. This does not account for what I learned in school. How much am I supposed to know before I can reach the hiring bar?
    – user53174
    Jun 25, 2016 at 5:13

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