Students: Preparing to land a job in a down economy


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Students: Preparing to land a job in a down economy

Lorna White (Microsoft)

Given the current state of the job market, concerns over how to get a job after graduation are becoming increasingly more valid. You make have questions about how to prepare yourself to compete in an already overloaded job market with little or no work experience.  We spoke with various graduating and recently graduated IT majors from different universities about what they are doing to set themselves apart and how to overcome any hurdles they have faced in gaining employment. Here is what they had to say.


Mathew, a senior at Brigham Young University in Provo Utah, has been able to set himself apart during his interview process and even gain employment before graduating. He has been working full time now for two and a half months while finishing up his degree in IT. A few advantages Mathew feels set him apart from the crowd are his previous work experience in the IT field, and the extracurricular projects he took on which he did purely for enjoyment. He recommends applying for a job at the IT department of your university or a local business, or to just think up a unique project and do it! When asked about how he was able to successfully land his interviews, Mathew says he tapped his own network and spoke with an associate he worked with previously to help him get noticed and in for an interview.


Vik, a recent graduate in Information Systems Management from Long Beach California, also was able to get an edge on the competition. Although he had to go through numerous interviews with accounting firms and other companies in need of IT help, Vik was able to get the job he was looking for. The main factors that Vik says contributed to his success in the job hunt were the IT related certifications he earned, as well as the associations he had with other IT professionals. Vik mentioned the importance of not just networking for networking’s sake, but being sociable with the IT professionals. 


Speaking of networking, Born to Learn is a great place to get acquainted with IT pros from around the world who can help you get started in IT.  Join in the discussion and tell us your story. 

  • rellufgerg

    I think it's important for students to also list the projects that they have done while in school as experience on their resumes. They may have been as a homework assignment, but those assignments help build a level of experience. It's all about selling yourself as an educated, motivated hard working individual. If you don't love the work it will show. Luckily for us in this field, it's only going to grow as the world becomes more reliant on computers and computer related objects. Good luck to all of you in the future.

    FYI second sentence i'm guessing was a typo. I think *Make should be May :)

  • rellufgerg

    Hi Lorna,

    Those stories are really inspiring because I am on the same scenario years ago. Yes it is true that it's really hard to find a job nowadays especially in this time of crisis  and global recession.

    Let me share my short story, my IT career begun (6) six years ago and started as an OJT on a small company in our town, back then, I am working to support myself for my computer studies. I am working and studying at the same time, it's kinda bit hard at first but I got no choice left since I can't afford to educate myself so finding a job would be the best solution.

    I admit that I still lack the necessary "IT SKILLS" that is why I pursued on continuously educating myself with the latest trends in Information Technology thru reading IT books, participating in forum sites, finding resources at the Microsoft website, attending IT training seminars and dedicating my time on applying my skills on a real work experience.

    It is just a matter of time management - time for work, time for studies, and time for family. I didn't stop learning and I even tried to get my first MCP credential a year ago and it was a success. It also gave a huge impact on my IT Career and I am very proud and happy for being a Microsoft Certified Professional, and especially I got everyone's acknowledgment and recognition.

    I hardly believe that hard work, perseverance and dedication (with God's help ofcourse) would "ALWAYS" result a positive output, maybe not today, but for sure you'll gonna see the positive result in the near future.

    Speaking of networking, I regularly visit this site but I rarely post any comments. I was inspired by your stories Lorna and thought of sharing my story as well.

    "I'm an MCP and I'm proud of it."

    "Education + Real Life Skills & Experience + Certifications = Job w/ good pay"