They all chuckled and said I would have no problem finding a job when I graduated; they were wrong. The resume assistants at our campus career center said I had the opposite problem of most students, while most students tried to squeeze a fluffed-up resume with too much unimportant and non-relevant experience onto one page, I had too much important and relevant experience to fit on one page.
Recent graduates today face one of the most grueling job markets in our county’s history. Radio morning shows, newspapers and casual conversations are constantly recalling the hike in unemployment with stories of a friend or friend of a friend’s seemingly endless struggle to find work. Until very recently, I was one of those stories.
While still in school, I, like most other seniors, casually pursued post-grad jobs and internships during my last semester. Between schoolwork, my internship, my position on the executive board of PRSSA, training for a half-marathon and my social life, there was little time left to pursue jobs, but I had at least half a dozen applications out before graduation.
Once I graduated and returned home, I spent several hours daily researching potential job opportunities. I sent e-mails to friends of my parents, signed up for virtually every job Web site out there and put out daily applications to positions all over the country.
Despite all of my efforts, days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months since I had crossed the stage proud and tall at graduation, but I had not even been offered an interview for any of the positions I had applied for. When I came across a listing on LinkedIn about the account coordinator position at NewmanPR, I knew that this job was a perfect fit for me. I immediately sent in my resume and cover letter.
I heard back rather quickly from NewmanPR, complimenting my attention-grabbing cover letter, but also pointing out that it contained a spelling error. Mortified by my careless mistake, I was sure that I needed to rectify the situation by doing a flawless and outstanding job on the writing test they asked me to complete. I took a weekend to complete the test, rechecking and editing each part of the test several times.
After I sent in the test I sent follow-up e-mails every few days to check on the status of my application, something I had failed to do with the other jobs I had applied for. After a few weeks of not hearing from them I had pretty much given up hope that I would get the position and focused all of my efforts on researching graduate schools in hopes of getting into a program in the spring and riding out the recession for a year or two.
Just as I had given up hope, I got a call from NewmanPR late one afternoon asking me to come in for an interview within the next two days. Filled with excitement, I rushed around scrambling to get all of the necessary items to look presentable at my interview in one day.
The next night while I was doing research for my interview, I got a call from my father informing me that my unborn baby brother was breached in the womb and the doctors were going to perform a caesarian that night to ensure a safe birth, a whole three weeks before his due date. I contemplated driving up to Orlando that night to be there for the birth, but knew that it would mean I would miss my morning interview, so I decided against it. After a sleepless night, I proceeded to a late morning interview. I left the interview with mixed feelings as to how well it went. My initial feelings were that it went well, but after a few hours of replaying some of my long-winded answers in my head I began to feel as if I would not be hearing back from them again. Luckily, I was wrong about my performance and received an e-mail a few days later requesting a second interview with an account executive within the next few weeks.
This time I was not letting anything go to chance; I spent the weeks before the interview learning all that I could about NewmanPR, the Florida Keys, the people I would be interviewing with and preparing answers to possible interview questions. I breezed through my second interview, spending an hour and a half chatting and laughing with my interviewers. Walking out of the office I knew I had hit the interview over the head with a hammer and nailed it!