Eva – MSc Biology – Junior Variety Testing researcher at Naktuinbouw – November 2021

My name is Eva and I graduated from the Master Biology in September 2020. After a little break I started looking for a job in November 2020. It took me some time, but on my 30th birthday I finally got one! Half January I will start working as a junior variety testing (DUS) researcher at the Naktuinbouw.

I had been looking for a job for some time and it wasn’t easy. Since I hadn’t been searching for a job before, I can’t tell if it was due to the Covid pandemic, but there were not a lot of suitable vacancies. I mostly got rejected by e-mail, the main reason being the fact that they had other candidates with more experience. This was quite discouraging, because how can you get work experience if no employer wants to hire you?

I was invited to some interviews, but not for vacancies I was really enthusiastic about. As you can imagine it is much harder to sell yourself in that case. Since I was rejected a lot I got more and more insecure and therefore the job hunt became even harder. At some point I decided to only apply for vacancies that I was really enthusiastic about so I would be strongly motivated and get less rejections.

At this point I also called in help from Career Services. I had been in contact before for a CV check and some help for finding vacancies, but this time I got in touch with the career coach and we mainly focused on myself. Before the first appointment I did not exactly know what help I needed, but together we found out what was necessary. Through some exercises she helped me to get clear what my qualities were (Ofman quadrant) and how to make these qualities clear to interviewers by giving examples (STAR method).

Not long after my first appointment with the career coach I was invited to the interview for the vacancy I am now hired for. We were able to reschedule the second appointment a week earlier so it would be before the interview. Therefore we could focus on qualities that were needed for this specific job and I was able to prepare the interview really well. Even though I know I managed to get this job myself, I am not sure if I would have gotten it without the help from the career coach.

I would therefore really recommend to other people who are looking for a job to make an appointment with the career coach. She can help you to get insights in what you need in your job hunt and to sell yourself better. Another tip is that I think it is better to look more specifically for vacancies you are really enthusiastic about than to apply for as many vacancies as possible. In this way you will get less rejections and are more motivated, which is the best way to sell yourself.