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Posted in The Job Search on May 25, 2010
“Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing.” – BC Forbes
Today’s job market is not what it was 5 years ago but I’m no business major. Instead I am a recent graduate from Chestnut Hill College with my B.S. in Computer Information Technology (2008) and M.S. in Instructional Technology (2009). I currently hold a position as a Client Services Representative for a software-development company located outside of Philadelphia in Bala-Cywyd. This August will mark a year since I have been with the company.
So far I have found my experience with this job very ideal. I not only enjoy what I do, but I am also able to apply knowledge I learned, and paid for, during college. Getting here however was a journey that is unavoidable. Fortunately there are plenty of tools and services available for you right now.
After graduating with my bachelors degree in 2008, I began a paid internship at Henkels & McCoy in Blue Bell, PA. The job was slated to last only 6 months, so I had to continue job hunting in the meanwhile. At Henkels I was responsible for various information technology (IT) tasks and I was assigned a major project right from the start- to help design/develop the company’s intranet site. This intranet site would be home to department documents, contact information for each employee, and a place for company/department-wide announcements. I spent most of my time meeting with department managers discussing what the new intranet site would be used for and gathering information.
I’ll be honest, this wasn’t the “dream” job I had hoped for after leaving college, but it paid the bills and was ultimately giving me experience to add to my resume. You see, experience is key when finding a job. Internships are a great way to not only build up your experience, but also to make and meet contacts in the work environment.
Unfortunately while I was Henkels I ran into a road block as I continued the job search. Job postings for “Entry-level” positions still required a year or two of experience. How backwards is that? This concept was disheartening to me, but I went about the job search anyways. I still applied for these jobs because you can’t go wrong with applying for a job that you are “unqualified” for. If you don’t hear back from them, then move on and continue to chug away at other places.
I created accounts on Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and Dice.com- which has postings for technology-related positions only. These sites let you upload your resume, allowing employers the ability to search and view it (if you enable that option). What’s also nice about these sites is the ability to search for jobs. Filtering is immense and features tons of criteria including; industry, geographical location, career level, years of experience, etc. This gives you the option of finding a specific position that matches your skill set.
Another practice I found to be helpful was “shotgunning” my resume out. What I mean by this is that I sent my resume and applied for many jobs, even ones outside of my field. By doing so I had a greater chance of receiving feedback than I would if I chose to be more selective and only apply to one or two jobs at a time. Even jobs outside of your career field can provide you with universal experience; interaction with other people, micromanagement, office-jargon, etc., all of which can be put on your resume giving it more depth. Just keep in mind that you are not looking for the job you will be spending the rest of your professional career with, but instead a stepping stone to reach that spot.
I wish everyone success.
~ Myles Ferich