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Be passionate about your job hunting

posted Jul 4, 2011, 1:28 AM by Alex Wong   [ updated Jul 19, 2012, 11:55 PM ]

In a busy month for final year students with projects, exams, applications and interviews, life could be hectic and hopeless for some people but exciting and fulfilling for some others. Let me share with you two real life examples.


Ken is an average students who doesn't plan well, nor passionate about job hunting. He applied right before deadline without putting effort in application essays (and missed a couple of deadlines), prepared for interview only after he got a phone call from firms, and did not study for exam in advance such that he had no time for interview preparation lately. He feels headache whenever he hears words like "interviews" or "offers".


Janice, in contrast, plans well ahead. She started to apply to jobs before the term began and finished almost 50 of them before November. For application she submitted she had a strong sense of accomplishment since she put in a lot hours in them. She started to get rejection letter before others but also got interview invitation at the same time. She got rejected occasionally but she wasn't worried at all, since she got even more interviews in progress. For each interview done, she felt great since it had lead to more final rounds and potentially more offers. While Ken is checking out Janice's Facebook nervously, she's working on her own job hunting excitingly and passionately. 2 weeks ago Janice got an offer from a top-tier investment bank and she felt even more motivated to get more interviews, offers and options.


Life is full of choices and you can choose to be Ken or Janice. There is no secret when it comes to application - hard work pays off. Assuming the probability of getting rejected by any firm is 90%, the chance of getting no offers out of 10 application is 35% (0.9 to the power 10). If you apply for 20 firms, the odds of no offer go dramatically down 12%; 30 firms, 4%. It's a simple math that you learned a couple of years ago. It's time to put it in practice.