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by Connie and Caroline | April 27, 2009


Posted by Caroline Ceniza-Levine 

In our January 20 post, we advised December grads on actions to take if they haven’t gotten a job.  Same suggestions apply to May grads so revisit that post.  At the same time, if you have been taking our suggestions and still haven’t landed anything, then you need to find out what’s wrong:

Are you really working on your search?  How much time have you spent?  What exactly have you done?  How many companies have you targeted?  How many people have you spoken to? 

You need to speak with 50 or more people who are in a position to hire or refer you.  If your target companies are small, and there may just be a handful of positions there that are relevant to you, then you need 30 or more target companies.  If you are not spending 15 hours on your search, it will be hard to get traction, so target 15 hours or more once you graduate.

Where are you getting stuck in the process?  Are you submitting resumes but not getting interviews?  Are you getting first rounds but no callbacks?  Are you getting called back but no offers?

If you are not getting interviews, then your resume, networking pitch, online profile and other marketing collateral aren’t working for you.  You also may need to target different firms.  She came from a fine school but it wasn’t a target of the big strategy firms.  I told her to try for those firms but to also target certain boutique firms that were a better match.  She got her consulting job (she actually got two offers, including one from a bulge bracket investment bank, but she’s sticking with consulting).

If you are getting first rounds but no callbacks then your interview technique needs work.  We always do a mock interview with our clients, from prospective interns to million-dollar producers.  Interviewing is a skill.  We drill the 12 common interview questions and teach our clients how these questions might otherwise be framed, so they basically have a roadmap for every interview situation.  This doesn’t mean you need to be an automaton.  We coached a recent grad whose earlier jobs and internships were mainly music-related, and he felt music was diminishing his chances (he now wanted a corporate environment).  Not at all!  Music was his unique value proposition, if positioned correctly.  He got a job after working with us for less than 3 months, and his employer pointed to music as a factor that put him over the competition.  (His employer also gave him a larger job than typical entry-level hires because he interviewed so well!)

If you are getting to the finals but no offers, there is something you are saying or doing that is turning off prospective employers.  You clearly have the right background or you wouldn’t get this far.  One accounting major came to us only after being shut out of 3 of 4 Big Four audit firms (note: you don’t want to wait till you have exhausted almost all of your dream targets before seeking help because you put a lot more pressure on every subsequent interview).  Nonetheless, we mock interviewed, we got to the source of the problem (she panics on curveball questions), we practiced, and yes she got the last Big Four.

May grads, if you don’t have a job, it might not just be the market’s fault.  Look at your search and your results.  Tweak something.  Get help.  Be proactive.

Now What? Guerilla Tactics! Part 2 On-Campus: May Grads Without Jobs Need To Troubleshoot

Posted by Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio

If you graduate in about 20 days, and are still without a job, it’s time to use our “guerilla tactics” for getting a job.  I’ll use some movies that may help you to see exactly what we are talking about because it’s time to focus and target your search like never before.

Did anyone see Slumdog Millionaire?  Remember the early scene where little Jamal wanted to get the autograph of the famous movie star, but his brother had locked him in a small structure and there was only one way out.  For those of you who didn’t see the movie, I won’t spoil it for you, but for those who did … you know what I’m talking about.  Little Jamal didn’t let anything get in his way and that is how you need to be.  If your resume isn’t as well written as it should be, get someone to help you … someone who knows what they are doing – either Career Services or a career coach or a friend who landed the job they really wanted.  If your interview skills aren’t as strong as they should be or you just get too nervous, find someone who knows interviewing like the back of their hand because you need 1:1 coaching to lower the anxiety and excel.

Sylvester Stallone created some of the most memorable movie icons ever:  Rocky and Rambo.  What did they have in common?  Neither gave up and both did whatever necessary to succeed.  Whether it was Rocky pounding slabs of meat to strengthen his punch, or Rambo camouflaging himself in the jungle, they never gave up and ultimately succeeded.  Caroline outlined several of our clients who sought us out for their job search and ultimately did what needed to be done in order to find their job, so you don’t need to be a fictional character to succeed.  That help can come from Career Services and they probably have extra time to help you now …. or you could employ the services of a coach because there is no time like the present!

If not now, when?!  People are getting jobs and why shouldn’t you be one of them.  What is standing in your way?  Identify it and then bowl it over.  Don’t waste another second!




Filed Under: Job Search

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