[I originally wrote this in mid-August,2010, shortly after I got my first payslip. I am re-promoting it this October 2011 since I am marking my first year with my present company.]

I promised to write about my entire job hunting experience once I finally get hired. I earned my Journalism degree (with honors) from the country’s premiere state university last April 25. Though I never had illusions of getting offers without having to apply, I never expected job hunting to take three months. In fact, I’ve lost count of how many times I passed/emailed my resume to prospective employers. Here are my most memorable moments:

*One Saturday last June, I got a call from a Makati City-based insurance company. The HR lady invited me for an interview the following week. Though I never heard of them before, I tried my luck for the position Assistant Communication Agent. Probably out of naiveté, I wrote P22, 000 as my expected pay. The HR lady asked, “Where did you get this?” She said she’d call after two days. She never did.

*I then sought a reportorial job for a business daily. I assume I passed the written and IQ tests there because the HR lady scheduled me for an interview with their managing editor. On the day of the interview, bad luck prevailed. Instead of dropping me off in E. Rodriguez Avenue (in Quezon City), the jeepney I rode took me to E. Rodriguez High School. I arrived 15 minutes late, and Mr. Managing Editor refused to even see me.

UP diliman graduate
The author earned his journalism degree from UP Diliman in 2010. He is flanked by veteran journalists Luis Teodoro and Conrado de Quiros in this photo

*Why not be an English teacher for Koreans? I applied in two such schools, one in Ortigas and one in Commonwealth. I decided not to pursue it just when I was about to start my training. By this time, the issue on pay has already been discussed to me. Teaching Koreans the very basics of English (similar to how we begin at Grade 1) requires tons of patience. Patience? I don’t know that word.

*Early this month, I applied to be a content writer for a web hosting company. The interview lasted for over an hour. It deviated from the normal question-and-answer scheme of things. The interviewer asked me about my job hunting experience and I told her that “it’s not the easiest experience I’ve had.” Instead of speaking to impress her, I found myself plainly expressing my thoughts. Though I didn’t pursue a full-time job with her company, I appreciated being able to speak out my mind.

Companies stress that “fresh graduates are welcome to apply” but when these job seekers (despite of their academic credentials) are pitted against more experienced applicants, the former isn’t likely to be hired. Both the employers and job hunters are choosy. The question is who can afford to be choosy for a longer time? Throughout my job hunting, I stood by my belief that I should only seek jobs commensurate to what I’ve studied.

Come to think of it, there will always be available positions for everyone. Of all the vacant jobs out there, we can only get one (in most cases). Somehow, I never stopped believing that all of us have several career options, and we should take the time to study them. Before July ended, I already turned a new page in my life. Last Saturday (August 14), I got my first pay slip.



6 thoughts on “A UP Diliman graduate recounts his job hunting experience

  1. Job hunting ako for the second time. Haha. Thanks for this Mark. Nakakainis ka humihingi ako ng payo then mega-promote ka dito sa blog mo, instead na malungkot, napatawa talaga ako ng malakas! Haha.

    Anyway, keep writing =)

    1. Grabe, no? Maski paano na lang, magpo-promote pa rin ng blog. Haha. Super thanks for reading my blogs. Hindi sa nagpapaka-cheesy ako, pero it feels great to have people reading your work. 🙂

      I shared you my blog para malaman mo na pareho rin tayo ng pinagdaanan. Nothing was ever easy, pero once naman na naging employed ka na, medyo kampante ka na na you’ll never be unemployed again. 🙂

  2. 🙂 Nice! Inspiring siya lalo na sa mga people na hindi agad naha-hire.. Parang sa Law of the Seed.. Yung “You need to attend 20 interview to get one job” Apir Kuya Mark!

  3. Hi Mark! Sigurado ko kilala mo ako thru facebook. Anyway, ganda nang post mo at naenjoy ako magbasa kahit papaano. Nais ko ikwento ang aking Job hunting. Marami nakakatuwang experiences pero gusto ko lang ikwento mga pano ako naghahanap. Naka job hunting na ako nang dalawang bese na. Tulad sayo, di ko na mabilangan kung ilan beses ko na pinadala ang aking resume ko sa HR. Usapan naman nang work experiences, may freelancing experiences ako (2 yrs habang nag aaral) and marami ako nexpertises na mga skills kumbaga, “Jack-of-all-trades” sa software engineering (planning, design, development, etc). Un unang job hunting ko bago nakapasok sa trabaho, naghahanap ako nang trabaho sa loob nang tatlong buwan bago ako nakahanap nang trabaho. Umalis na ako sa unang kumpanya na inaply ko dahil di ako pasado sa probation. Kahit man pasado ako, aalis pa rin ako. Ayaw ko lang bumakstab nang kumpanya pero di ko gusto magtrabaho dun. Kahit papaano, maghahanap ako nang trabaho na isa sa pangarap ko. Tuwing naghahanap ako nang trabaho, eto lang mga ginagawa ko. Straight to the point lang na umamin ako na ano mga gusto ko sa bawat interview. Choosy ako pero ganyan ako kapag may goals ako. Pag wala sila maoffer nang job para sa goal ko at kahit maganda salary pa naman, di ko tatangapin kasi mas bagay sa mga tao na may hilig sa ganyan career kahit walang experiences. Ngayon, nagtratrabaho na ako uli at masaya ako ngayon. Di siya perpekto pero “more than enough” siya para maging stepping stone.

  4. Based on this write-up, companies look more for applicants who have had some experience rather than greenhorns. Companies may not investigate the applicant’s attitude over his aptitude.

    Hence, these kind of companies may be losing out in hiring more effective applicants rather than those with more experience but possessing poor or weak attitudes.

    Attitude is primal over aptitude. Aptitude is easier to mold than attitude which is the results of a human’s whole life of ‘mental implantation’ since birth.

    I’d rather hire an awkward looking youth with a healthy attitude. I can groom him/her to be the best human professional he/she can be…better than those with straight A’s or high-fallouting wackos who just want the money.

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