Jeff D'Andria

Job search advice: how many applications led to Microsoft

By Jeff D’Andria, G ’12

Jeff D’Andria, G ’12

Hi SU family! Here are a few nuggets of job hunt knowledge I picked up from being in the trenches myself for a few months. The following tips were instrumental in me landing a job with Microsoft as a University Recruiter. I really combed through my journey and came up with the things that not only helped me, but I believe will help you too!

  1. Get over your false confidence. I was so sure that my cover letter and resume were the bomb.com, so I was confused when I wasn’t getting any call backs. The most pivotal step in my job hunt was going to Career Services and getting all of my application materials looked over. After I got them checked, I suddenly had many interviews come my way. Get your stuff checked! I worked at Career Services for the two years I was in graduate school and still needed help. Tuck the ego aside and make an appointment.
  2. Keep applying, even when you’re interviewing. Remember, they’re considering many candidates. Even if you make it to a final round interview, chances are you’re contending with 3-4 other strong candidates. At this final round, you only have a 25% chance of being chosen as the best candidate. Bottom line: it’s too expensive to stop applying, so keep doing it until you have an offer in hand.
  3. Rules are meant to be broken. Since when does an M.S. in Counseling = a job at Microsoft? Worked for me. If you’re feeling like your major doesn’t line up with a job or internship you want, there’s hope. The education section on a one-page resume takes up maybe 10% of the visual space available. I’m a huge believer that the remaining 90% is what sets you apart and lands the interview. To make this theory work, you have to intern, volunteer, work, overall just DO pertinent things! If you are strategic enough, you don’t have to feel ruled out of opportunities because of your major.
  4. Get what you’re worth.  I knew I wanted to work at a high caliber organization and didn’t settle for anything less. Your first job affects the second job/salary you get, and the third and so on. It’s critical that you talk to people you trust (i.e. Career Services) to learn what your options are. Do not rush into a lesser opportunity for a reason like, “hey I’m lucky to get a job.” Know that you’ll have to start your job search early, roll with the punches for sure, but that’s part of the journey and if you stick with it, you’ll get what you’re worth. A YouTube video that illustrates this point: http://youtu.be/8xFEqdkO5UI
  5. Be graceful and grateful. When I accepted the job offer with Microsoft, I was in the interview process with two other organizations. I made sure to genuinely thank them for considering me and ensured that I would love to stay in touch. For one of the organizations, I even referred a friend for the opportunity and they proceeded to invite her on-site for an interview. If you think big picture for a moment, you’ll see that after your first job, you’ll move onto another opportunity. Be grateful and helpful to places you turn down because 1) it’s the right thing to do and 2) you don’t want to burn any bridges.

One of my favorite quotes that applies to the job search is: “Luck is the residue of design.” If you put in your due diligence, it’s only a matter of time before something awesome happens for you. Good luck and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter, @jeffitout, if you have any questions.

Spring Break Tips

Stop and smell the flowers AFTER following up on this advice!

By Jeff D’Andria, Graduate Assistant

At Career Services, we understand the importance of resting up during spring break, but here are a few small things you can do to make a gigantic impact on your future. After all, your future doesn’t take breaks.

Your spring break to do’s:

  1. Add one new person to your network. The best tool for researching and contacting persons of interest is LinkedIn. Check out two groups on LinkedIn: ‘Cuse Connect and the Syracuse University Alumni Network. Once you’re accepted to these groups, click on the “members” tab and identify people you’d like to contact for an informational interview. Outside of those two groups, you can utilize the “advanced” search function to find people that went to S.U. and  currently work at the companies you’re interested in. Reach out!
  2. Reconnect with one person in your network. After you make contacts, it’s important to keep in touch. Send an email to catch up by asking what they’ve been up to and be sure to inform them of your latest updates. There’s a big difference between being in touch three times a year vs. once a year. You don’t want to be “that person” asking for a favor after being completely out of touch. Check in!
  3. Apply to one position. If you’re graduating this May and looking for a job or simply need a summer internship, the time to apply is now. For the job search, check out indeed.com and many other job search engines on our website. For you internship seekers, NYJobsource lists companies and organizations to intern with in New York City. Here are a number of other internship sources on our website. And no matter what, remember to customize your resume and cover letter to the positions you’re applying for each time you apply.

After completing these to do’s you’ll have made one new contact, reconnected with another and applied to one dream opportunity. Get these things done and you’ll be way ahead of your competition that snoozed during the break.

We’ll be in the office over Spring Break so stop in if we can help! Drop Ins are Monday – Friday from 1-2:30pm and appointments are still available.