When have you "failed" during the job search process?

I'm asking this for a few reasons.
-I think I might have "failed" but not sure when to throw in the towel. I pretty much used my entire network (nontarget, very small alumni base) to get a corporate banking internship and didn't get a return offer.
-Have been looking for jobs but most of it is cold calling and cold emails. Also this is a weird time of year given the holidays so I'm not getting much.
-low gpa (3.2) so I'm not sure about my chances at grad school.

Now obviously I probably could get a random back office job that will make it impossible for me to transfer and could get me stuck. When should someone throw in the towel? Obviously sometimes not everyone can making into banking and I understand that. I was always told, top performers will know who they are very early on. Top performers are the ones who make boat loads of money and if you are not a top performer it's not worth it.

Now I don't want to quit or give up but it seems like I'm out of options? My backup is to apply to a STEM grad school (thinking medicine because I was also a bio major and enjoyed it)

Comments (45)

Dec 7, 2013

never give up

Dec 7, 2013

What year are you? How high could you get your GPA before graduating? Might still have a shot at grad school if you can get it up some more and have done a lot of outside class stuff (club leadership, working, etc.)

Dec 7, 2013

never give up bro
you cant fail if you never give up bro

good luck let me know how it goes

you can do corporate finance at f500 and move onto banking
just keep working your networks bro and dont leave any stones unturned

-

Dec 7, 2013

I graduated in January and Internship ended about a month and a half ago. Have been searching for jobs but nothing as of now. Honestly I was stupid. I had the option to go to a semi-target and didn't. Went to a total west coast non-target in the middle of no where.

Dec 8, 2013

Work somewhere (Back Office, Mail Room, whatever), preferably somewhere small/new so that you get good access to decision makers with networks (start for free if you have to and negotiate a living wage after you crush it for a few months) - take classes (prereqs for grad school) and crush them, start your CFA (finish if you prefer), go to the best grad school you get into - preferably one that has a summer internship option - crush classes there and crush your internship. Obviously you are networking this whole time......Get your dream job. I know some stories you wouldn't believe bro - never give up.

yea, yea, yea

Dec 8, 2013

To repeat what everyone else has said don't give up. I had a big mountain to climb to get where I am. There were days I thought about throwing in the towel and I'm so happy I didn't. Just keep fighting.

Dec 8, 2013

You fail when you stop looking.

Dec 8, 2013

its a terrible market right now. no jobs and boat load full of laid off good candidates. so keep looking. its not entirely ur fault.

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Dec 8, 2013

Ok first of all ignore the first guy. It's never a terrible market if you are at a target. If your in the UK, if you're not at Oxford, Cambridge, or LSE - you are not at a target. So you better realize that.

If you are at a target, you must have crap credentials be socially awkward if none of your leads could get you in the door. You should be landing offers left and right. Consider expanding your net firms of different sizes and different roles.

Look at ops, s&t, HFs, PE, VCs, Corp. finance and other roles. You should have a job by now.

The market is never terrible for a target - fact!

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Dec 8, 2013
notatroll:

Ok first of all ignore the first guy. It's never a terrible market if you are at a target. If your in the UK, if you're not at Oxford, Cambridge, or LSE - you are not at a target. So you better realize that.

If you are at a target, you must have crap credentials be socially awkward if none of your leads could get you in the door. You should be landing offers left and right. Consider expanding your net firms of different sizes and different roles.

Look at ops, s&t, HFs, PE, VCs, Corp. finance and other roles. You should have a job by now.

The market is never terrible for a target - fact!

would you rather listen to the guy with 6 monkey shits to 1 silver banana or 1 monkey shit to 4 silver bananas? its entirely up to u OP but i would listen to me

Dec 8, 2013

I'm at one of the target unis you listed above.
I have solid grades so its not that.
Socially awkward. Definitely not that either. In an interview at a BB I had last year the positive feedback was that I was cool/they wanted to work with me etc. (i flopped a couple of technicals which is why i didn't land the next round - was my fault).
As for contacts forwarding my CV - they sometimes do. HR still doesn't invite me for interviews etc. Then they make you wait for months for a reply. And then they are full or the contact tells me they did forward it so are not sure what happened. 'Bad luck' is what I keep getting told.
I've looked at 'market' roles but you cant apply for IBD and market roles (apart from MS). I've also applied to the big 4 for corp finance roles and some smaller places... still no luck.
Everyone I speak to is equally surprised I haven't landed anything yet too. Have no idea what to do.

Dec 8, 2013

NOPLAT - I read what you said and I am following your advice atm (applying to other places)... but there must be something I'm not doing in order to fail on the application stage constantly (when newbie people at my uni who have less experience/ECs etc get through).

Dec 8, 2013

Your resume doesn't fit other roles because you didn't tailor to to fit other roles. Make a different resume for each type of role and get back to us.

Dec 8, 2013

F. Ro Jo - I did tailor the resume and cover letter to match the industry/job spec etc.

Dec 8, 2013
cujo.cabbie:

F. Ro Jo - I did tailor the resume and cover letter to match the industry/job spec etc.

obviously not well enough if it still comes across as being IBD targeted?

Dec 8, 2013

F. Ro Jo - they didnt say my application looked IBD targeted... they said I would suit IBD roles better/they go for MBA etc students for consulting or something similar. And tbh most of the stuff I have done is IBD related anyway (ie internships) so I see where they are coming from. Thier feedback doesn't help me tbh...

Dec 8, 2013

I'm in the same boat mate. For British students - no spring week usually means no summer/grad offer. Almost everyone in UK universities I have known, who get summer offers, are people who have spring weeks. This leaves some spots, which are taken up by European students (usually better qualified/know technicals better/have more work experience), so you don't have much of a chance. Apply for a spring week, do a 2 years Masters or something and you will be set. Trust me you will be shocked to see some of the people that get through just because they have a spring week (and vice versa)! haha

Dec 8, 2013

Great post I agree with all of the above...especially #10

Dec 8, 2013

Very helpful info. Thank you.

Dec 8, 2013

Good stuff. What types of internship positions did you have prior to applying for this position?

Dec 8, 2013

10. The same people get all the interviews, and the same people get all the offers - pray you are one of them

Dec 8, 2013

Agree wholeheartedly on most points, with the exception of #7. Obviously MD's are way more helpful, but I had analyst buddies who were able to vouch for me while I was resume-dropping and thus got more interviews than I probably should have. They don't, however, have any input on whether or not you get hired, just who gets interviews. (mostly if you feel strongly about a person one way or another). Having done the fall recruitment for my alma mater, I had a pretty good say. But nothing after that.

*note, this sounds kind of smug and it is not intended to be that way. I've just seen other 1st years who had personal vendettas against some of the younger kids for whatever reason, and unless that kid's mom/dad was a senior person at that bank, they rarely got interviews, esp. if the analyst straight up said "This kid sucks. I know him/her personally."

Dec 8, 2013

I had similar experiences and think this is overall nearly perfect advice. I just accepted my SA and BB. HOwever, I did get an interview at one firm where an analyst who was mentoring me introduced me to her MD. Really stuck her neck on the line bc she believed in me(luckily he liked me). If I hadn't cultivated a great relationship with the analyst, I would have never been interviewed.

Dec 8, 2013

do they really consider apps on a rolling basis?

Dec 8, 2013

umm what is the online assessment?

Dec 8, 2013

I agree with some things... lets start with that...

Yes, applying online and waiting is a waste. Most places you won't even get a call back for just doing that. Also, company presentations ARE very important. WE remember you, WE remember if you came, and WE remember if you made an effort to talk to us...

Let me tell you where you are a little off:

  1. You haven't started your job in Sales yet... so before you go anointing the GS lady that told you to stay away from M&A as the Mother Theresa of Career Advice, maybe you should clear the clueless stage that you are in now and make sure she gave you solid, impartial advice.
  2. Analyst have no pull? Man you are clueless to how things work. Do you think the MD's go through the thousands of resumes we go through to put people on interview preference lists? Do you think the average MD will answer your phone call when you want to talk to someone about the firm's "culture" or whatever other bullshit question you have? Don't flatter yourself, analysts are interchangable for the most part, and are only a part of the MD's life for 2 years, so in the grand scheme of things, You do not matter to them. In conclusion, you would be surprised how great a resource an analyst (I guess at least a 2nd year) can have on your chance of landing an interview, and making it through the process.
Dec 8, 2013

Sooo would you prefer we NOT ask bullshit questions? Aren't bullshit questions part of the game? I personally don't give a damn about culture. All I really want to know is how hard are you going to work me and how much are you going to pay me? I want to ask those questions right off the bat but I get the feeling they would not be well received.....

Dec 8, 2013
  1. When you meet people at a recruitment event, remind them that you enjoyed meeting them with an e-mail if the conversation went well. It worked awesomely for me!
Dec 8, 2013

7. Analysts can't do anything for you: TRUE. They can correct your resume, and that's about it. Hunt those MDs. Please, current analysts do not take offense to this (i'll be one next year), but I have realllly close friends that are analysts and for they couldn't do anything for me.

This is just not true. Analysts can push your resume straight into the "interview" pile. Often, this is the hardest part...if you interview well. Can help you in the interview stage as well. Analysts sometimes interview. They can also pull for you to people higher up.

Dec 8, 2013

7 is definitely not true. I have seen a number of applicants who have been tremendously helped by current analysts.

Think of it this way- analysts and associates are the ones who are going to be most extensively working with the Summer Intern and the new FT hires. Even though MDs and VPs have the most say and the most weight through the whole process, analysts and associates are still crucuial in selecting candidates for interviews and selecting candidates to bring back.

Dec 8, 2013

Couple comments:

-Definitely echo the sentiment on company presentations. When we go and present and then someone actually emails us (like 1/100 or so do this), you definitely remember them.

What tends to happen is the analysts from that school will go to the presentation and "sell" their firm... then they will review resumes from that school. Even if you don't know one of them previously it's a great opportunity to meet them quickly and then email them with insightful questions which will help you get an interview.

-As I wrote above, analysts actually can do something for you. They don't have the clout to actually get you hired but they can most definitely get you an interview. Their power tends to increase as you go toward smaller and boutique firms which don't depend as much on school recruiting and do more lateral hiring/referrals.

-This year especially, targets don't have it easy. I hesitate to give a number here but we might have 50 first-round interviews per 1 offer given out and this year we barely gave out any... way down from previous years due to bad market conditions.

-On the point about M&A being the only thing in existence: I don't think comparing M&A to sales is really an apples-to-apples comparison. That's investment banking vs. sales & trading, a debate which could consume a book if you consider all the angles. More relevant is M&A vs. other IBD areas like ECM/DCM or industry groups. In most cases, I believe M&A wins as far as exit opportunities and learning potential (at least in terms of learning modeling). LevFin can be good for PE, restructuring can be good for HFs though.

Dec 8, 2013

I second the analyst comment; an analyst CAN get you an interview.

Regarding #8, it depends on your career center. I'm sure Wharton's career center is good. Mine was.

Dec 8, 2013

What online assessment are you talking about?

Dec 8, 2013

I can give you some color about my experience, VP's have been the go to people for me, they have always landed me an interview. I will also agree with attending presentations, 100%. That's how i got my FT job for 08, i was shooting the shit with an associate who batted for me till the last moment.

Dec 8, 2013

All of these change on a case by case basis. To say any of these are absolutes is silly, and borders on unhelpful.

Dec 8, 2013

It is quite possible these change on a case by case basis (I have no idea), but most of his advice, except for 7 and 8, seems like it would cause you to err on the side of caution.

For example, surely it is safer to conclude that attending company presentations COULD help instead of concluding they are useless.

Dec 8, 2013

Bullshit questions are part of the game. But instead of saying what is the culture like in your bank? Which mind you doesn't exist, because every group has a completely different culture. You should ask something like what are some stuff you have worked on? What were the deals teams like? How much contact ddo you have with senior level guys? etc... Dont' just ask a fluff question.

Dec 8, 2013

PublicEquity1: M&A is great for some people I am sure, my brother is in it. The thing is M&A is NOT the only thing that exists, and people should not forget that. You mostly hear about M&A, and not so much about other areas. THIS was my point. Whether sales will be right for me, is another issue, and was not my main point.

And yes MDs answer your questions when you call, I got some answers from two different MDs at two different BBs (One of those person was actually a CEO of a BB office in an emerging market). Sure analysts can answer your questions, just like they can correct your CVs, which is something I previously mentioned.
Can they get you a job? if someone this current year got a job thanks to an analyst I would be impressed. I would like to remind you all how tuff the job market is, and I personally doubt analysts can do much for you right now. I have some analyst friends who tried to help me out, there just wasn't much they could do. Maybe in a better year? Or maybe I am still wrong and analysts really can do a lot. I am glad this part is being debated.
In the end, no need to flame me PublicEquity, why don't you try and write something helpful yourself, or try and imitate the courteous style of some of your peers when you disagree with something...

pratibha6: In the UK you have to take some math and verbal tests online when you apply, this is the "online assessment" part I talked about, I think this is used to a lesser extent in the US.

Remember, you will always be a salesman, no matter how fancy your title is.

- My ex girlfriend

Dec 8, 2013

I was helpful. I aided young soon to be bankers into not focusing on calling an MD (which 99% of the time will ignore you) and focus time on getting to know Junior people (VPs, associates, analysts). As a former analyst, i routinely got people in the "yes" stack because they called me, asked insiteful questions, or even just showed actual effort to get noticed.

Dec 8, 2013

How did you get a SA position already if not through SEO or some other sort of special program. Are applications really on a rolling basis? I was planning to apply in January.

The story I heard was that noone has the time to look at your resume until the junior recruitment has all the resumes.

Dec 8, 2013
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Dec 8, 2013
Dec 8, 2013