Guest post: Story of Winston

This LinkedIn stuff doesn’t work…

Like Moses turned to see the burning bush, you may have “turned” what this “burning bush” post is all about. Please grab some popcorn.

Earth has seen no fury than a frustrated graduate and you’ve been there, job hunting for months or some a year plus, then we can take a been there done that selfie together for the gram. Some might even be in that position at the moment. Well then how about a family photo if you may?

Let’s get into it, shall we?

So I graduated in July with a Distinction in Information and Communication Technology Advanced (Masters) from the prestigious University of Wollongong. Woohoo! Excited much does not do justice to the feeling. It was an I finally did it feeling because I was about 2 marks shy of a First Class in my undergrad and this time I went in for the kill and cooked myself a delicious meal. No no no (hehehe), it was not going to escape me this time. “If we perish, we perish” in the library/lab, but this Distinction must be acquired. There was no pressure really from parents, it was a determination of mine, plus I wanted to make them proud. It’s the least I could do after all the thousands of dollars.

Back to matter… So, having secured the Distinction Masters bag, I started applying for jobs even before graduation. The first month went by, I was like ok, cold start, not bad, I’m fresh from the graduate oven so it will come through. Then continued the process after graduation, spending sleepless nights fine-tuning my CV to match the job descriptions but nothing was coming through.

Having learnt of the LinkedIn premium benefits such as InMail, applying directly to the companies etc, I subscribed and applied for several but to no avail. Not even an interview. The frustration had started kicking in. It was at my knees, climbing up to my head before I finally lose it. Meanwhile, I also contacted several agencies but nothing really came through at least not the kind I was looking for, yet I did some IT Technician casuals here and there and other blue colour jobs to stay sane and keep afloat until The Job came forth.

Towards the end of September the frustration has reached my stomach and climbing to my neck and though I kept hope alive, I had reached a point where I was like this LinkedIn thing is not working for me, all I’m getting are notifications that my profile came up on so and so search but nothing to show for it. And at this point, I unsubscribed from the LinkedIn premium service because to me it just wasn’t working. A couple of days later, I got a LinkedIn message from Nima Beik, of ManTech Careers, for a chat about a possible full-time opportunity. And as frustrated as I was of applying and not receiving feedback from different recruiters, I took a chance and gave it a go. This was in October and was still expecting my TR so I was like there goes another one. Oh yes, that was another issue, most of the jobs did not want to hire someone on a student or bridging visa and mine was taking quite a while.

As soon as my visa came out the first person I messaged was Nima asking if the opportunity was still available and he said yes. Oh my goodness! I was super excited because he was confident about my competency for the role and the organisation. I was then called for the first interview, then the second and two days after, I got a call that I had got the job. Honestly, I didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh, but the excitement within was overwhelming. The frustration was gone and I was happy and so were my family and friends. I was smiling brighter than the noonday sun.

Thank God Nima messaged me when he did, but I had even stopped applying at that time. Also, a special thanks to Miss D of Performance Education whose workshop on writing resumes and cover letters help in preparing me for the application and interview.

– Winston Cole

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