You tossed your mortarboard in the air thinking you’d have a job before it hit the ground. You sent out resumes, went on a few interviews, but the results were always the same—no job. Now you’re starting to get depressed. Some of your friends got jobs—not great jobs—but at least they’re moving out of their parents’ house.
So why doesn’t anyone hire you? Your GPA is good. Your letters of recommendation from faculty are outstanding. But you never get that call that says welcome aboard, we want you on our team. What to do? Some suggestions:
One physics grad noted that many large companies use sophisticated software to sort resumes. The human element is practically gone in these big employers, with most resumes failing to pass the keyword test nose-diving into a black hole. The HR departments in these big companies rarely connect face-to-face with the engineering groups who can properly evaluate a candidate. If HR thinks you’re a square peg, you simply don’t fit and they’re on to the next candidate. To get around this sinkhole, apply to smaller companies—less than 50 people. They usually don’t use Resumix, or other resume tools. And they don’t have HR departments that weed out candidates based on psychobabble criteria no one really understands. A recent article by Rhonda Abrams entitled “Strategies: 7 tips for snagging a job at a small business,” offers some helpful hints on landing a job with a small firm.
Get your best resume, your best suit and your best rehearsed answers to employer questions and walk in the door. No phone call, no email, just walk in knowing the name of the senior engineer or manager you want to talk to. The downside is you’ll be turned away. The upside is you’ll either set up an appointment to see someone who will talk to you, or you’ll be let in to spend a few minutes in an interview. One recent physics grad walked in at lunchtime when the receptionist was out and caught the manager having lunch. He was interviewed on the spot and eventually got the job. Companies sometimes host walk-in interviews when many positions must be filled at once. So do look for those.
If you’re a tech grad with a decent GPA and good recommendation letters from faculty, you should pull out all the stops to get an internship. Business Insider recently published a list of the top 6 tech firms to intern with. The list includes Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Cisco, IBM and Amazon. These internships are highly coveted and pay well—up to $6,463/month at Google. Check out this video made by Cisco intern Greg Justice.
Can’t land a job? Tried everything? Go unconventional with some “outside the box” tactics mentioned above.
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