A young jobseeker has described the 11 and a half months he has spent looking for work as “hell.” During that time, he says he applied for over 400 jobs but received only four replies – and got one interview.

Bob Jewer, 19, dropped out of his college course – but his story will chime with the many thousands of university graduates struggling to find work. Despite having 11 GCSEs and 3 AS levels, he has been turned down for jobs at KFC and McDonalds, as an Asda cashier and a barman. He told the Daily Mail:

“It’s the fact that I don’t know when it’s going to end. When I became unemployed in January, if I was told then that by May I would have a job, I could have got through those five months because I knew when it would end. But I don’t know when this is going to end, it’s like the past year I’ve done nothing and I’ve got nowhere, my life’s been on hold.”

Bob says he was forced to abandon a college course after the government scrapped the Education Maintenance Allowance because he couldn’t afford the bus fare. He has since moved in with his mum – and says the hardest part about job-hunting is the wall of silence from recruiters:

“I don’t think people realise that it’s not as if you apply for a job then after a week you get a letter for X, Y or Z saying you didn’t this job because of this, they don’t reply. ‘I don’t think they realise that people are going through a really hard time looking for work. They just think that this person isn’t suitable, so we don’t need to speak to them.”

“Living on Job Seekers’ Allowance of £53.45 a week is very difficult. I was living with my brother, but I’ve had to move back in with my mum and dad because I couldn’t afford it. I want to work, I want to pay tax, I want to feel as though I am contributing to a strong, cohesive British society.

“I find it almost slanderous that the mass media in this country has portrayed me, and the one million young unemployed people as feckless, work-shy and downright lazy.”

Graduate Fog knows that job-hunting can be really tough. If you’re struggling, visit our Advice section for tips on How to handle rejection and How to stay motivated.

How many jobs have you applied for – and how many recruiters have replied? Should recruiters reply to all applicants, not just the successful ones? If you’ve found a job, what advice to you have for those still struggling to find work?

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