Originally Posted by crotch_rocket_pilot
You seem to have the right attitude.
Another thing that helps is a laser focus in terms of what you want to do eventually. I found a passion for product development and marketing strategy which led me to my career in product management (and hopefully beyond). I love the mix of technical and non-technical skills required. So find a list of three SPECIFIC jobs you hope to obtain someday and work your way back in terms of what real world experience you need to obtain the job. Just because you learned it in school doesn't mean a job considers you to have honed that skill.
Again, consider taking a job more entry level that is below that SPECIFIC job you hope to obtain someday. If you truly have the skill sets to make it to the top you will rise quick. Be patient and think in terms of years and not months.
One last thing. One of the true benefits of an MBA is networking. If you played your time during your MBA right you networked like nobody's business. Personally I network like my life depended on it in my own career. During my stint working on an MBA I was amazed at the numerous networking opportunities. If it was a decent MBA program they continue to hold networking events for your class even after graduation. Check into it and get back in there and use those contacts! Use the resources you have available to you at the business school you obtained your MBA from. And take full advantage of any kind of networking you can do IN PERSON. Linkedin is nifty, but nothing beats networking in real life.
I did network like crazy in school. But the problem is, people (at least in my experience) will help you once or refer you once and then they consider their good deed over. That's been the trend for me in this situation. It's almost as if people don't want to be bothered. And believe me, I am NOT demanding for my next job. I think I'm being pretty flexible at that; I've told employers I'll take less pay or that I'm "open" in terms of pay, that I'll work weekends/nights, that I'll relocate. I don't know what else to do to be a more attractive candidate.
I've done a fair share of interviews from both sides of the table and there are some things you will want to consider.
1. Not being able to land a job in the last 7 months since graduation is itself a BIG red flag for employers. "Why wasn't this person able to get a job? Is something wrong with this person?". The natural question they will ask is what have you been doing all of this time? If the answer is job hunting and riding motorcycles, it's not enough. A better response is one that demonstrates you have been trying to improve over time. That could be additional classes, volunteer work, teaching, tutoring, etc. Help volunteer for hurricane Sandy work to get out there and break up the day to day.
2. Be humble. To echo cr pilot, experience counts and coming out of an MBA still leaves a lot of room for improvement. I worked in consulting and disqualified candidates for being too cocky and trying to bs me during the interviews. When applying for entry level jobs, keep a positive attitude and do not be afraid to stress that you want to learn on the job.
3. Listen and ask thoughtful questions. Take mental notes during your interviews and think about problems your employers are trying to solve. Ask them for more details about their experiences, things they would do differently, or ways you have applied your experience in similar situations.
4. Show you can think logically and thoroughly. I don't care if you think you know the answer to the problem and want to jump right to it. Better candidates are ones that can lay out a plan, explain the reasoning behind it, and modify as necessary when assumptions change.
Hope this helps.
I'm prepared to tell employers that my real job hunt started in October of 2012 instead of May. I'll say I was traveling or something like that. But I'm pretty sure employers are aware that the job market is crap right now. So far I haven't been asked that question, but if it comes up then I'm prepared to answer it.
I'm extremely humble during my interviews and I explain to them that I want to LEARN as much as I want to contribute. I even say stuff like "I'm not looking for a job, I'm looking to start my career and I'm looking to stay in one place and grow". That shows that I'm not the type of person to get the experience then leave for something better. I say all the right things in my opinion.
All the advice in here is really on point. It has already been said, but let me just highlight the one thing that is hardest to get right: you have GOT to get people to like you in your interviews. Opinions vary, but mine is that you can make people like you by acting natural and staying relaxed but sharp. Let's be honest, most interviewers care more about how you would affect their daily office life than anything. A polished "interview mode" isn't enough.
You may already have all of this down, but it's still worth keeping in mind.
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I think you mentioned something that seems to be common sense, but yet something that I fail to do sometimes: get people to LIKE you. Obviously I don't walk in like a douche with extra swag or anything like that, but at the same time I think I focus too much on the professionalism that I tend to not focus on the likability factor. In May, during my first few interviews, I would be ultra serious and not really engage interviewers. Then I realized my own mistake. Now I'm engaging with them, talking about gas situation from Hurricane Sandy, asking them how THEY like working here, etc. I'm always smiling (not in a weird way) and showing interest.
Everything mentioned here was great stuff and I thank you guys for that. I'm about to start my job hunting for the day. Again, if anyone knows of an opening in their work place or know of openings in other places, DO let me know. A fellow .net member really needs a hand right now
Thank you ALL!