There comes a time in every student’s life when he has to become a hunter even if he is vegetarian. I become a job hunter as I approached the end of my MS degree. As a hunter you can go after the prey or wait for it to come to you. The latter (campus placements) doesn’t really happen often in the US. The other option, go after jobs out there.
Everyone talks about how important networking is in the job hunt. I think I do quite well on Facebook with an average of five likes and two comments for every post. But alas, Facebook doesn’t give you a pay check unless of course you work for Facebook. There are many ways of networking. Ask all you friends and acquaintances if they know anyone working in your field. Talk to profs about their industry connections. Go to job fairs. Attend seminars, workshops, etc. I have shaken so many hands that I think my right wrist needs reconstructive surgery. And I have collected so many business cards that I think I can play poker with them.
As far as applying for jobs goes, a good error free resume is a must have. For interviews it is useful to have a FAQ sheet. Those standard questions like tell me about yourself, where do you see yourself five years from now etc. I had trouble thinking of answer for the weakness question? The only weakness I have is that I have no weaknesses. And don’t forget thank you notes after the interview.
Over the months I had many leads but nothing concrete. Maybe I needed some cement. I think the two main issues for me were visa sponsorship and security clearance. And the best things about job applications? The interviews! You get to boast about yourself (the selling yourself part) and someone is actually listening! And the on site interviews are cool for meeting some really wonderful people besides the all expenses paid aspect of them. As a grad student, spending nights in posh hotel suites is never an option.
But the wait can be long, the wait can be tedious, the wait can be frustrating. All you need is faith in God and yourself. Trust in God that He has a plan for you. Confidence in yourself that you are great and some company will discover your greatness. Pray, talk to your friends, write a diary, sing out aloud, play sport, anything that helps stay sane. And try to have fun as you wait. It is going to be alright.
So I retire from my job hunting career and settle into the retired life of working at an awesome company!
Pic courtesy: http://cascadeclimbers.com, http://www.rightattitudes.com