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Old 08-27-2012, 10:42 PM
 
6 posts, read 13,715 times
Reputation: 18

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I still see people blaming unemployment on the unemployed and downplaying the poor state of the job market. So I figured I would throw yet another example out there (my own). If anyone has any new ideas, let me know, but I doubt it will be anything I have not already tried on my own or done after someone else already mentioned it elsewhere.

I'm in my early twenties, and I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems last year.

After thorough online research into job opportunities and supposed market demand for specific majors, I chose Management Information Systems. Why? Because numerous government, private research/survey organizations, and large corporations themselves were claiming three types of majors were the most in-demand: business, technology, and engineering. As I have a heavy interest in both technology and "traditional" business functions, I figured MIS would be ideal for post-graduate employment, as I was covering TWO of the supposedly in-demand areas, instead of just one. In fact, I remember seeing one survey that showed MIS specifically was in-demand even more than many other "in-demand" majors.

So I did my homework and matched my interests with what all sides of society (government, education, independent research, and private employers) told me it needed. If I had majored in only what interested me most, with complete disregard for what society claimed its needs were, and with disregard for economic conditions, I would have majored in something else that CERTAINLY would have been a ticket to unemployment. So in short, I thought about my future from the beginning, informed myself, and made decisions in a responsible manner. Maybe my information was flawed and business / technology / MIS was not in-demand? But if that is true, how was I to know that? I used the only available public sources of information I could find.

The university I attended is a public, non-profit school (so no, it was not University of Phoenix or DeVry University) with full regional accreditation, and its business college is AACSB-accredited (the highest accreditation for business schools, though it is obviously nothing special).

Due to multiple reasons, I had to take summer classes to stay on schedule, even though I was a full-time student from beginning til end. I did not play during the summer like many - I took a full-time load. I was under the impression that employers looked negatively upon those that graduate late, which is probably true, but it appears they look even more negatively upon those that do not do summer internships. In hindsight, I should have focused on full-time work / internships in the summer and graduated later (and with more debt). But unfortunately, at the time I did not have a copy of the nationally-standardized "Do You or Do You Not Deserve Employment" rules book. Actually, I still do not. Can I get a copy of that from someone? Maybe one of you people that keep telling people like me that we deserve to be unemployed can point me to a copy. I assume the unemployed are allowed to have a copy, since these rules and their priority are so arbitrary and it is the unemployed that are actually affected by them. Anyway, I still see many people who had internships and STILL cannot get a full-time job.

As for extracurricular activity, my school unfortunately had very limited opportunities, but from my very first semester, I participated every chance I got (which was not often unfortunately, but often enough to be more involved than most college students across the nation), whether it was conferences, community service, volunteer work at university events, etc...

Academically, I was among the top students of the entire university. I almost graduated with a 4.0 GPA - I got only one B in a one-hour elective class that was not required for my degree, or any degree in the university for that matter. I only once withdrew from a course. Unlike many of my peers, I never once cheated to make my grades (even when a professor was being unfair and I had a chance to join the others in doing so). I treated the classroom environment and all my professors with respect. When I turned in my work, it was often of much higher quality than the work anyone else submitted (this was the case in many of my classes in many different subjects, not just MIS), even of others that made As. I did not wish to submit the bare minimum to make an 'A,' I wanted to submit my best. I led (and did the vast majority of the work) a class team to be tied for first place among thousands of teams from hundreds of colleges that competed in an international semester-long business simulation. GPA-wise, I was second to only one person in the business college that made a 4.0. On a national business exit-exam, I was the top scoring student of the college.

After graduating in 2011, where am I at now? Still looking for a job.
- I have been looking for post-graduate internships, contract work, and full employee positions.
- I have applied to big corporations, medium-sized companies, and smaller businesses.
- I have applied to companies in all kinds of different industries.
- I have applied to both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations (research/development, big universities, hospitals).
- I have applied to jobs in every part of the United States, including of course my own state, Texas, which is supposed to have one of the strongest economies in the union at the moment.
- I have applied to jobs in information technology, marketing, business operations, research / analysis, supply chain, etc...
- Every time someone comes to recruit from the MIS department at my school, I apply. So far I have yet to even get an e-mail back, and they end up never actually hiring anyone. One of them was looking for a new college graduate that already had multiple years of directly relevant work experience for an entry-level position - I applied anyway, and did not hear back.

Besides countless hours of research on the internet, I have sought personal cover letter, resume, and job search advice from anyone I can. Everyone (whether online or offline) tells me different things, often contradicting what others have said or written. I have tried everything (including different combinations of advice from everyone). I have redone my resume more times than I can count, and have re-wrote the core structure of my cover letters several times. I have created profiles/public resumes and searched on sites like Monster, Indeed, SimplyHired, Dice, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, and several niche sites specialized for new college graduates (these sites are often spammed with the same "entry-level" jobs listed on the others that require multiple years of work experience).

During the very few times I hear anything at all back after an application (extremely rare), if any of the topics come up, I make it clear that I am willing to relocate, willing to work in IT or non-IT, willing to work in a technical job or non-technical job, willing to do any necessary training and learn fast on the job, and willing to be very reasonable on the salary/benefits. Yet, I have still never had more than an e-mail and phone screen, and very few of those.

Who have I personally seen get decent jobs out of my college? People who partied all the time (not just in moderation), didn't take anything seriously - ever, cheated but still made poor grades, treated both professors and students with disrespect, and threw others under the bus when it was advantageous for them. Something is not working right in the modern Human Resources department.

At this point, my plan is to go back to school part-time in a major metropolitan area and look for jobs in the area (right now I am a three hour drive from the area) and hope I find one soon without accumulating too much new student loan debt. I have had the "non-local candidate" excuse given to me before.

Anyway, I think my example proves that the job market is quite bad. It isn't as bad as the Great Depression, but it is bad. And what I think many do not realize is that much of the job loss is coming from other, permanent, factors (outsourcing, foreign worker visas, illegal immigration) outside of the recession, that will lead to even bigger problems in the future.

Last edited by UrbanSeeker; 08-27-2012 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:27 PM
 
Location: NJ
18,677 posts, read 17,063,175 times
Reputation: 7282
Sorry for your experience. You appear to be doing all of the right things. One idea I'd suggest, as it appears getting one-on-one contact with business leaders might be helpful to you, is check to see if your local Chamber of Commerce or any similar orgs, have events open to the public.

If they do, attend some, especially if they bring up finding qualified candidates as a discussion topic. Ask questions during any Q & A sessions. Introduce yourself to speakers at informal moments at the end of the meeting; many will have coffee and desserts at the conclusion, which can be a very good, informal way to get acquainted.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:28 PM
 
Location: under a bridge
580 posts, read 2,018,016 times
Reputation: 1029
Burger King is hiring. I'm pretty sure they have coffee and desserts too.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:16 AM
 
Location: Atlanta metro area
12 posts, read 35,198 times
Reputation: 18
Expand your network. Volunteer at a church or something. Getting to know people and rubbing elbows can open more doors than a Harvard degree sometimes.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:38 AM
 
1,128 posts, read 3,091,072 times
Reputation: 1206
Have you worked at any job since graduating? Assuming you graduated in spring 2011, that's a long time to be without relevant work experience, or any work experience for that matter. At this point it might be a good idea to try even retail or restaurant jobs. Any job would give you at least some source of income and have work experience to put on your resume.

You also might want to have someone look over your resume and cover letter. Those documents might need some editing.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:22 AM
 
2,115 posts, read 3,861,876 times
Reputation: 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanSeeker View Post
Academically, I was among the top students of the entire university. I almost graduated with a 4.0 GPA - I got only one B in a one-hour elective class that was not required for my degree, or any degree in the university for that matter. I only once withdrew from a course. Unlike many of my peers, I never once cheated to make my grades (even when a professor was being unfair and I had a chance to join the others in doing so). I treated the classroom environment and all my professors with respect. When I turned in my work, it was often of much higher quality than the work anyone else submitted (this was the case in many of my classes in many different subjects, not just MIS), even of others that made As. I did not wish to submit the bare minimum to make an 'A,' I wanted to submit my best. I led (and did the vast majority of the work) a class team to be tied for first place among thousands of teams from hundreds of colleges that competed in an international semester-long business simulation. GPA-wise, I was second to only one person in the business college that made a 4.0. On a national business exit-exam, I was the top scoring student of the college.


Anyway, I think my example proves that the job market is quite bad. It isn't as bad as the Great Depression, but it is bad. And what I think many do not realize is that much of the job loss is coming from other, permanent, factors (outsourcing, foreign worker visas, illegal immigration) outside of the recession, that will lead to even bigger problems in the future.
With your credentials, you should be getting interviews. Maybe you need to re-word your resume? Do you have any jobs on there or just coursework?

The market is bad, but for MIS, it shouldn't be that bad. My company just hired somewhere around 50-100 fresh out of college. Almost all MIS.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,759 posts, read 4,419,778 times
Reputation: 1193
If you're interested in something a bit different, many of the investment shops hire analysts from many different backgrounds. In Baltimore, many new grads have engineering backgrounds and were hired because of their analytical skills.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:39 AM
 
1,464 posts, read 2,752,672 times
Reputation: 2817
You say Management Information Systems but that doesn't say what your specialty is?? If you are in Data Base Administration (a DBA) then there is plenty of work out there. Be more specific what your expertise is. Try cutting down your Resume to one page..two at the most. HR people don't like wading thru reams of paper and information. Yes the job market is bad but sometimes it is only a matter of revamping your info..be more specific and less wordy and by all means..BE CAREFUL what you put on Facebook, Tweet or even put on here. HR people are using all of the latter as tools towards hiring a perfect candidate. Good luck!
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:49 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,422,480 times
Reputation: 5453
Quote:
During the very few times I hear anything at all back after an application (extremely rare), if any of the topics come up, I make it clear that I am willing to relocate, willing to work in IT or non-IT, willing to work in a technical job or non-technical job, willing to do any necessary training and learn fast on the job, and willing to be very reasonable on the salary/benefits. Yet, I have still never had more than an e-mail and phone screen, and very few of those.
This might be part of your problem. This sounds somewhat desperate. While I understand that you are definitely willing to do anything, you need to tailor every resume and cover letter to that specific job and company. You can't show up at someone's door saying you will do anything. You need to show up being able to prove you have the specific, exact skills that will fill a need in that company.

How many versions of resumes do you have? Are you using the same one for every job? Would you be comfortable posting your resume here (just leave off names of people/places/etc.)?
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:16 AM
 
4,228 posts, read 6,160,026 times
Reputation: 5324
I went to school all year round. Full time in the summer as well as spring and fall. I also worked part time, because I knew employers wouldn't care if I finished school a semester early if I A.) couldn't provide references B.) couldn't demonstrate I could juggle a hectic schedule C.) couldn't show I was reliable (show up on time) etc.

I've said this more times then I can count on this forum, but everyone needs to at least work part time while in college or do multiple internships in order to be employable in the current job market. Proving you can make it to your 10am class every day and get your homework completed on time-doesn't prove in the real world.
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