This Woman Went Viral For Sharing She Was Rejected By 357 Companies, And It's The Most Relatable Job Search Story

Though "Help Wanted" signs can be found on many busy intersections, the positions are seen as less than desirable. In a study conducted by FlexJobs, a job website dedicated to flexible and remote work, about 48% of people surveyed said they are frustrated with today's market because jobs in their field are hard to come by. Likewise, 46% said the available listings often come with low wages.

A Now Hiring Sign in a window
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For recent graduates and those who made a recent career shift, finding a position can be even more challenging — especially during a pandemic. "Everyone is in a tough position right now, trying to look for a job during the pandemic and trying to get back on their feet," 25-year-old Sophia Cheong told BuzzFeed.

A person updating their resume as the enjoy an espresso
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Sophia falls into both categories that can make finding a job feel nearly impossible — she graduated from Fullerton College in 2018 with a degree in business administration but discovered a passion for tech in early 2021, starting a path toward becoming a software engineer before navigating her new job market in April.

  Sophia Cheong / Via LinkedIn
Sophia Cheong / Via LinkedIn

"Looking for a job, especially if you have no prior experience, is so difficult, especially since everyone is trying to get back on their feet and there is someone always better out there," Sophia said when reflecting on her six-month search.

An illustrated search button
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To help get through it, Sophia moved in with her parents, and while this helped alleviate financial pressure, the mental hardships were still there. "The job search was very draining for me. Applying and interviewing for positions felt like a full-time job. Getting rejected left and right isn’t the best feeling either, and wishing that someone would take a chance on you to help you get your foot in the door is tiresome when it doesn’t happen very often."

Sophia smiling
Sophia Cheong

"Receiving multiple rejections, [undergoing] multiple interviews and conversations ending with 'We’re looking for someone with more experience' — it was a mentally exhausting whirlwind, but worth the ride."

An illustration of someone saying Can I have a job?
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After receiving 357 rejections, tackling 40 job interviews, and considering two offers, Sophia finally landed a position as a full stack engineer.

  LinkedIn: Sophia Cheong / Via linkedin.com
LinkedIn: Sophia Cheong / Via linkedin.com

Her LinkedIn post detailing the hurdles she jumped through to get hired quickly went viral and, unfortunately, many in the comments could relate to her struggle. Among the notes of congratulations, similar stories to Sophia's can be found.

One person said "I'm at 400 rejections and zero interviews. Either I'm doing something wrong or the job search systems we have in place are highly inefficient"
LinkedIn: Sophia Cheong / Via linkedin.com

Having recently faced it herself, Sophia understands the position job seekers are in, especially as work culture changes, shifting favorability toward remote life, and these perks breed competition.

A drawing of an office desk and computer
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"I posted [about my rejections] so my fellow cohort mates would not give up hope during the job search," she said. "What got me through this was [the] advice: 'This job search will be the hardest one yet, after getting your foot in the door it gets a lot easier.' It only takes one!"

Sophia posing for a photo near Times Square
Sophia Cheong

Are you searching for a job during the pandemic? Tell us your story in the comments below.

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