About You

You’re an undergraduate student or recent graduate.

You’re a little lost about the job searching process.

You’ve tried all the conventional things and need a new, professional perspective.

You’re curious about what employers REALLY think when they see your resume.

You have big dreams for yourself and your career.

You’re awesome.

You’re unemployed or searching for that next new adventure.

One response

21 07 2009

So I am awesome and employed right now. Not really in theme with this blog, but it’s ok, I’m here to offer my perspective on the all intimidating “job search”.

I’ve had my current job for just over 3 years now straight out of grad school in engineering. I didn’t do exceptionally well in undergrad (but still over 3.0 cumulative), in fact, I got rejected on my application to grad school, but I had the worked the secret sauce (networking!!! You may now take your mind out of the gutter as it will not get you up the ladder of success) with a professor as an undergrad and he pulled some strings to get me in. I did some solid research for his lab as a grad student and excelled in my classes, so sticking his neck out for me paid off for both of us. This had a large part to do with my success in my job search (ok the booming economy helped too). The lesson? If you are taking a class that really piques your interest, go to the professor, ask him/her about their research, ask them if they have any opportunities for an undergrad research assistant. Even if unpaid financially in the short term, it may pay off academically and/or financially in the long term (and there is certainly some reward in working on something that really interests you, trust me, it’s less common than you think!).

2 – School Isn’t everything (but don’t suck!)
One thing I learned is that GPA doesn’t mean a whole lot in the scheme of things. I, like many others, lived in the dorms my first year and enjoyed the college life a little too much and my grades suffered. However, given my natural interest in my major, once I got past lower division and GE classes and into the more challenging and fun classes, I really excelled. My GPA at the end was not stellar, but it didn’t suck either. When it came to interviews, I pointed out that my “Major GPA” was very high and was able to enthusiastically talk about school projects that I worked on that were relevant to the job I was applying for. I recently took part in an interviewing panel in our department; we interviewed 3 candidates for the same job. All 3 were recent grads from SLO with the following GPAs: 3.8, 3.4, 3.1. Know which one I though was the most highly qualified? Read on.

3 – Apply for the right job
It wasn’t the guy with the 3.8. His resume was poorly written and it seemed like he was applying for a job other than that which we were offering. He was genuinely disinterested during my interview with him and his skill sets were outside those which we desire. The 3.4 and 3.1 were fairly similar; both talked very knowledgeably about their school projects, both had skill sets that worked, and both knew a little bit about our company and asked intelligent questions. Knowing that one of these guys could be working with me, I don’t want any part of a guy that isn’t going to be invested in what he is doing; coworkers sometimes have to depend on each other for success, and a “flight risk” is someone I can’t depend on.

That is all.

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