The Competitive Job Market

Posted by on Sep 25, 2009 in Blog, Networking, Success | 0 comments

I was kind of going to postpone writing this post, but I just went to Air Canada’s website, and saw the blurb below and knew that I had to write this now. So this is what I saw on their website:

**2009 Graduate & Undergraduate Hire Program Update**

Due to the global recession that has impacted our economy and in particular the airline industry, we regret to inform that the Graduate and Undergraduate Hire Program has been cancelled for 2009.

We would like to thank all applicants for their interest in the program and apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused.  We encourage all interested persons to continue visiting our website for program updates and other career opportunities.

The Air Canada Recruitment Team

If it isn’t obvious that the recession is having a major impact on the job market, then it’s time to go to the optometrist. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been going to a couple of job interviews with ‘profit-sharing’ sales companies and getting experience in the interviewing process and also seeing a little bit on how those companies run. I also went to 2 different career fairs on campus in the past two weeks and have had an interesting experience to say the least.

Even though the first career fair was geared towards Accounting and Finance, I decided to attend, partly because two of the team members on my team for the Small Business Management class is on the executive-board of Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) at the Florida International University chapter, had invited me to attend. When I was there, I heard one of the speakers mention a technique that could give priority to your resume when dealing with a company. I would share it here, but I need to test it out first before every one of my readers tries it out and saturates all of the companies that I want to apply to with this technique. I will post it in due time though.

At the second career fair I noticed a couple of things:

  1. Companies that were hiring, were generally hiring for Accounting or Finance for the Business Sector, and tech companies were hiring Engineering and Computer Science Majors
  2. Most companies have little interest in GPAs that are not above a 3.0
  3. The place was crowded with people
  4. The government sector will more readily hire if you meet their criteria than other companies
  5. Many companies wanted students to look at the careers available on the internet

I will be receiving my Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management at the end of Spring 2010 and I’ve come to realize that for where I want to go, there are only a couple of routes for me. I don’t think my degree will directly help me too much though unless I use it as a gateway for Graduate School. I can either start my own company, go to graduate school, or get experience at some company and work my way up. I think I’m going to have to work on all three of these as much as I can and keep on hacking away at them as much as possible.

My GPA is fairly good, but as far as GPA goes, while the corporate recruiter for Lockheed Martin Corp told me that one of the main things they look for is a high GPA, the lady who was critiquing my resume at Career Services today on the Biscayne Bay Campus told me that one of the General Electric recruiters told her that while GPA is important, if the resume looks good and there is a good collection of related experience, that may trump a lower GPA. It seem like if you have a GPA lower than a 3.0, you either need to bump it up by taking easy classes and getting an ‘A,’ filling out a course repeat form and substituting a lower grade for a higher grade in a repeated course, writing an amazing resume, and playing the numbers game a whole lot especially in this economy. I’d also like some comments from people that have done well for themselves in the corporate world despite having a low GPA. I’m mainly posting this GPA thing over here for informational reasons because I don’t think there are many places that talk about how to work the job market for people that are not Summa Cum Laude Wharton School Graduates.

It was ridiculous to see how many people were at the career fair. Luckily, I went there early before so many people had shown up, but I had to leave early to a club meeting and lecture too, so when I went back to the career fair, I saw the difference. People were crammed trying to pass from one table to the next. While IBM had a long line, they managed to go through people really fast since they were mainly looking for Computer Science graduates. Other companies had super long lines and were taking their time with each student. It was a sight to see. I think in addition to students, there were some alumni at the career fair too looking for a job.

I was surprised to see that the Navy were the only military recruiters at the career fair. There were other government recruiters there such as the CIA (recruiter was wearing a CIA pin) which so happened to advertise themselves by some other name (something like Intelligence Community). The U.S. Department of State was there. They always have many positions available to qualified candidates. The have many locations around the world, and there are always positions to fill in one of those locations. The Air Force Research Laboratory was there. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management was looking for people in various disciplines. One of the things the recruiter mentioned about what the office does is to help clean up nuclear waste from times long ago. The NSA was there. The Federal Air Marshals were the only ones that I saw that didn’t have too many people come by. It seems like not many people want to be a Marshal on a plane much anymore. It probably would be good for someone that likes to travel though. If you’re looking for job security and a steady paycheck (not all the time the best), with fairly good benefits, government jobs are the way to go. And if you manage to get into the intelligence field, a security clearance can take you a long way.

One company told me that they were not taking resumes. I asked them what positions they were hiring for, and the lady said that I should look at the website. Why are they at the career fair if they’re not hiring for specific jobs or taking resumes. She said that there was a job freeze and that I should check back on their site in mid-October. I’ll keep on keeping on, but I just thought it was absurd that they were there wasting people’s time. But I guess it’s good advertising for them (can’t remember which company).

*All in all, I wrote this post just to jot down some things I noticed. In no way does anything written down in this post represent a statement of fact. While it may be fact, as a disclaimer, it may not be, and I can’t be held liable for any misinformation or harm intentionally or unintentionally caused.

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