Andrew McLeod: Getting used to the rejection letters, but the hunt goes on

I'VE found myself going back to the same part-time jobs I did as a student just to make sure I can pay the rent.

It's not what I want to be doing but I need to make sure I keep some money coming in.

Initially, it was just graduate jobs in psychology I applied for but very quickly widened that search.

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I've now been applying for administrative jobs and even for those I'm rarely being interviewed. On my CV, I just say I have a second-class degree rather than say I have a 2:2 but I'm sure it's a factor.

I am also a percussionist and play in ceilidh bands which helped support me through university.

I don't regret doing my degree because it's been useful for a lot of things, but I honestly think: "I could have done my degree in any one of 2,000 other subjects and I'd be in the exact same position as I am now."

I think it's just a job market thing. I've found, especially when I'm going for administration jobs, employers can afford to be really picky because they know they have so many applicants coming in.

I've applied for a couple of graduate schemes and one last year actually told me I was over-qualified but most ask for a 2:1 so I don't apply as I know I won't get accepted.

Andrew McLeod graduated in 2007 with a 2:2 MA in psychology from Edinburgh and has not found a job yet.

Also struggling in the fight for a graduate job is Pam Mitchell. She graduated with a 2:2 in complementary health and life sciences from Napier earlier this month, and has yet to find employment.

Ms Mitchell blames the harsh economic climate for reducing the numbers of those willing to pay for alternative care.

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And she accused employers of being "unwilling to invest in graduates".

Universities, she claimed, caused further difficulties by ignoring specialist subjects over more general ones, leaving the former students to fend for themselves, while the latter are treated to seminars and fairs aimed at finding them work.

Despite these setbacks, however, Ms Mitchell said: "I don't regret doing a degree - it's been a positive experience."

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