Job Hunting For The Recent Grad- Guaranteed To Kill Your Soul

August 3, 2012

No jobs, no hope, no cash- HA!


HA!  See kids? Being a recent grad in a down economy can actually be quite hilarious.  I am going to warn you, faithful blog readers, that this will not be my normal “informational” post.  This will be more of a spilling, or a rant per se.  For nearly two months I’ve kept the nail-biting job application process to myself because I had some solid leads and some great interviews with some stellar companies.  I’m currently looking for a full-time gig with a dynamic company with an appreciate for innovation and out-of-the-box thinking as a social media strategist.


Y’all know I also run my own gig at Cake Mix Media doing social media consulting for bloggers, authors & brands.  Why am I looking for a job?  I love running my own show at Cake Mix- being the official mixtress of your own business is a pretty snazzy gig, I must admit.  I love working one on one with smart and savvy people who want their businesses to grow and learn to do that on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook & Pinterest- but developmentally, I feel like I’ve hit a bit of a wall.  I want something big and new to nosh on, I want some new challenges and a collaborative environment to bloom in.


That being said- I’ve hit a wall, and it really really sucks.  I had some great interviews, even where I was flown out to interview with the recruiting team, all expenses paid.  During these talks, I get plenty of positive feedback but there’s one thing that keeps coming up… “Your work is impressive, you have the heart of an entrepreneur, but….you don’t have a lot of __________ experience.”


This is where I try not to get defensive-  “Look at my resume, now look at me, now look at my resume, now look at me.  I started a business and blog while in grad school. I just graduated in May of THIS YEAR.  Does that not (at least a little bit) demonstrate that I’m hungry to learn, a multitasker and can think on my feet?”  At first, I took it with a grain of salt.  There is nothing I can do to change the dates on my resume paper, but obviously, I need to work harder at proving that while I lack the years, I’d like to think that my work has been concentrated.  I’m not sure if I should be flattered to get so many callbacks or totally exhausted that they always seem to find my lack of (paid) experience at a big company to be a deal breaker.  


It’s easy to get frustrated- since I’ve had several powerhouse interviews that have since lead nowhere, and usually they’ll tell me before the phone call concludes that I just don’t have enough time clocked in.  In the world of social media, I would like to hope that there’s hope for recent grads and young guns, but perhaps I’m doing something totally wrong.  It’s exciting to see that people are interested in me as a potential social media manager or social media strategist, and a total disappointment when the feedback I’ve gotten time and time again is that I’m “too inexperienced” in one arena- like management or retail for them to feel I could do the job.

In terms of the job hunt for a social media job,  I’ve hit a wall and I’d rather use humor than get agitated- it’s easier that way.


Things That Crack Me Up About Applying For Jobs In Social Media:

5-8 years of experience required.

My response: “Yes, I have extensive experience in LiveJournal, Myspace, Friendster, Geocities blogs & Second Life, all social media platforms that are no longer relevant but would help me meet your unrealistic experience requirements.  Considering that Facebook wasn’t open to the non-collegiate public more than 5 years ago and Twitter wasn’t around, well, why are you so hung up on “time served?”


Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office & Excel preferred.

My response:  Pfft, I use cloud based software like Google Docs, besides, Excel is a gimme, I promise.  If you want to speed up response time, go cloud baby…see? I’m hip, I’m cool. My young whip style could be of use to you.   C’mon let me show you my ways.  


MBA preferred.

My response:  MBA? Puh-lease.  I got an M.A. in sociology while blogging like a maniac.  Just because I wasn’t trained formally in “business” doesn’t mean I can’t rock your socks off at data analysis, responsive trending & content curation that amplifies engagement.   Sure, I didn’t get an MBA but I assure you, I wasn’t sitting in some liberal-arts college listening to some washed out professor blathering on about Marxism, I was using my time in class to make money online & research philanthropic entrepreneurialism.  I’d like to think it was time well spent, lay down your expectations.


I love social media. I’m totally thrilled at the prospect of working for a company that is ready to collaborate- swapping thoughts and experiences for bigger picture objectives.  I know this is just a stumbling block and eventually, despite all the *facepalm* inducing moments I will come out of this with a good story to tell and some lessons learned- and let’s just hope…a job!  I just have no idea how long this will take, if I have unrealistic expectations and what I should anticipate, and that’s splendidly exciting!



What frustrations or lessons have you encountered on the job hunt?

How long did it take you to find a job after college?

14 comments so far.

14 responses to “Job Hunting For The Recent Grad- Guaranteed To Kill Your Soul”

  1. That’s so frustrating! I feel like us 20-somethings are being forced to make our own jobs (not that there’s anything wrong with a little entrepreneurship). I’ve done some 2-week free consulting engagements on the side so I can build my experience and my references. And those have also turned into paid consulting gigs later on.

    Have you seen Susan Hires A Boss? It’s a refreshing take on the job hunt 🙂

  2. Bridget says:

    It took me about 2 months to find a job after I finished going to school, but I feel I was lucky.

    Job hunting is SO frustrating. The expectations are so warped.

  3. Er well, I’m way out of college (and that was a different time), but I’m a freelancer who is also looking for a full time job. I have the opposite problem. I have years of experience, and therefore I appear sometimes to expensive. Never mind the fact that I’ve managed to live off 48k in Los Angeles which is probably below the poverty line is you were to equate that with different states. I also crack up and job adds that say “entry level” yet they want you to master every program known to man in video post production. Gone are the days of the expert. They want someone who knows everything, then they don’t want to pay them. It’s a frustrating process!

  4. Will @ HTB says:

    Keep sticking with it Shannyn, you’re doing all the right things. My Fiance is in a similar position and the job hunt is slowly killing her. Each interview brings hope only to have that hope be deflated a few days later. I think it’s key to avoid taking any rejection personally and just to keep on trucking along.

  5. Job hunting sucks! I graduated undergrad in May with a Marketing degree. I was lucky (well really, smart) enough to do two internships and a co-op while in college which I think really helped me. I started a job in Product Marketing about a month and a half after graduating… but I had been looking for jobs since March. It really is rough out there. I want to get in SM as well, but the jobs are far and few between. I am just going to wait out about a year at this job, then start looking for something better. I just hope this economy gets better.

    Good luck to you, dear!

  6. I was fortunate to get job offers a couple weeks after graduation, and some before graduating. However, my husband is finding a hard time finding a job. It takes time though. I went to a dozen interviews, had coffees with dozens of people, until I found the right fit.
    Good luck! Hang in there!

  7. Michelle says:

    Job hunting is definitely tough. I just finished my MBA yesterday and luckily I am just staying with my current employer. Makes things much easier for me.

  8. krantcents says:

    Sometimes it id too much competition for too few jobd.

  9. Shannyn says:

    Loved reading everyone’s comments, I’m glad I’m not the only one who knows what this is like or has had to consider the fact that switching jobs could be a serious problem! I know it will all pan out in the end and the perfect fit is waiting for me! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words!

  10. Stephanie says:

    I hear you. It is eternally frustrating to get down the interview path with a company only to have them inform you that you just don’t have enough experience. Honestly, I think it’s a cop out they use to avoid telling you they just hired someone else. They know how much experience a potential employee has the moment they read the resume.

    But, don’t fret – the right job will come along. Just think of the job hunt as one rather long, rather uninteresting first date.

  11. Lynda says:

    Thank you for this post. I’m on the job hunt too and this is the first time in a while I found some humour in it. It is indeed absurd they want almost a decade of experience for a new phenomena. And it seems like I’m only qualified for positions that pay less than what I made as a supervisor at a coffee shop -.-‘

  12. Jaime says:

    It’s seriously tough out there.

    I had a friend that graduated with a degree in accounting and it took him a few months to find an accounting job. It doesn’t really matter these days if your degree is practical or not, it’s very tough especially because companies are so picky.

    They want experience, they want 3-4 references, they want a bachelor’s degree, they want to do a background check, credit check, facebook/twitter/and other social media checks.

    I read this ridiculous job ad in my city’s career website, about this company that wanted a 4 year finance/accounting/business degree for an inventory job. In the past you’d need only a h.s. diploma for such a degree.

    Seriously. The business world has gotten way too ridiculous. Honestly I’m thinking of going the entrepreneurial/freelance route after college is done. A lot of people tend to lie on their resumes and I honestly don’t blame them.

  13. Jennifer M. says:

    This is so hilarious and yet so true. You’re so right about the 5 year requirement… that is a century in the social media world. I say, make your own company. Make your own life. Those old crumugeons with their MBA requirements are completely missing the point of social media.

  14. Monreal says:

    Thank you for bringing this topic up. I like the way you present
    and argue all the facts in addition to your general writing style.
    At times, there’s a scarcity of time to read lengthy pieces, but yours is brief and succinct,
    I spent just a couple of minutes to read the entire article.

    It’s essential since no one has time to read.


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