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Young Aussie rejected from 100 jobs despite having degree: ‘Wasted my time at uni’

The Gold Coast resident says she’s struggling to even get a job in hospitality.

A young Aussie worker is struggling to find a job, despite spending three years studying at university and holding a bachelor’s degree.

Shakira Coldwell has been applying for jobs for the past month but says she is struggling to find work or even receive a response.

“I went to uni for three years and got a degree in the health profession but, as a new grad, it is so hard to get a job with no experience,” the Gold Coast jobseeker said in a video posted online.

“But how am I supposed to get experience if no one will employ me?”

Shakira Coldwell talking about finding a job
A Gold Coast university graduate says she is struggling to get a job and has applied for 100 positions. (Source: TikTok)

Are you struggling to find a job right now? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com to share your story

Shakira, who has a bachelor of paramedic science, said she couldn’t even get a job in hospitality and had recently been rejected for a position at a theme park on the Gold Coast.

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“I’ve probably applied to over 100 jobs at this point. I’ve probably heard back from maybe three of them,” the 21-year-old said.

“It feels like I’ve wasted my time at uni if I can’t even get a job in what I studied in.”

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A number of Aussies shared they were also struggling to find a job right now, with one saying she had been applying for jobs in Cairns for the past three months and another saying she’d been looking for five months.

Other users commented that Shakira’s experience showed “degrees mean nothing” and that university was a “waste of time”.

Degrees ‘aren't valued as highly’

Superior People Recruitment founder and director Graham Wynn said university qualifications were not as valuable as they used to be.

“Realistically, it’s much easier to get into uni and get a qualification than it was 20 or 30 years ago,” Wynn told Yahoo Finance. “The entry levels are much lower, the pass marks are lower and there are far more uni places than there used to be.

“Consequently, qualifications aren’t valued as highly as they used to be because every Tom, Dick and Harry gets one these days.”

Employers ‘pickier’ with recruitment

With unemployment still quite low, Wynn said the job market was a “catch 22” for jobseekers right now across all seniority levels.

“I’ve run this business for 15 years and I’ve never known as [much of a] challenging time to find candidates for jobs. We’ve got far more jobs than jobseekers,” Wynn said.

“The problem is because it is so hard to find people, employers are being much pickier than they used to be, knowing they can’t afford to get this wrong. Because if they invest time and money and it doesn’t work out, it’s too hard to go find another person.”

Wynn said this was also why employers were being picky about applicants having experience because they wanted someone who could “hit the ground running”.

The bad news? You might have to work free

If you don’t have work experience, Wynn said one way to get some could be doing an internship or volunteer work - things that are usually unpaid.

“Do some voluntary work that’s unpaid. Employers and recruiters love to see voluntary work because that’s a real tip towards your work ethic,” Wynn told Yahoo Finance.

“If you’re out of work at the moment, don’t just sit at home. Go do some voluntary work. It doesn’t matter what it is - it could be at an animal-rescue place, the Salvation Army, an op shop.”

He also urged jobseekers with no experience to provide a cover letter with their applications and to be cautious about their social media presence.

“[Your cover letter] can really talk about your work ethic, your drive and your goals, which your resume can’t. Always do a cover letter if you can. Even if they don’t ask for one, do one anyway because that’s your selling point,” Wynn said.

“If your social media isn’t professional, the employer will not even give you an opportunity because they don’t like how you come across.”

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