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People around me think that I am talented: my former professors, classmates, even my friends. Some of the people I met in university still ask me to advise them about their research papers even after I've completed my Computer Science degree. Recently I've even received a message from my professor that my research paper was chosen to be presented internationally. Sounds good doesn't it.

The problem is I can't land a job. I've been searching for almost seven months. I always get feedback about my applications and I've also tried going to seminars, attending training, and taking free online courses to enhance my skills. I'm frustrated because I think I'd do well in industry.

What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate?

closed as off-topic by Dukeling, Twyxz, gnat, Jim G., IDrinkandIKnowThings Oct 18 '18 at 14:03

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for advice on a specific choice, such as what job to take or what skills to learn, are difficult to answer objectively and are rarely useful for anyone else. Instead of asking which decision to make, try asking how to make the decision, or for more specific details about one element of the decision. (More information)" – gnat, Jim G., IDrinkandIKnowThings
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  • If you are in the US, go to AskAManager.org and read through her blog on resumes, cover letters, and interviews. – thursdaysgeek Oct 18 '18 at 0:10
  • I'm located in the Philippines. No I didn't talk to my university about my problem. and yes I've got an interview. I'm always looking for a job actually i also trying to apply as a trainee for some company and talk to a american manager the next day is my application is denied. The problem that I'm thinking is maybe I don't have an expertise so here am I studying some web development, thinking about data analytics and for the business analyst roles – immabeast666 Oct 18 '18 at 0:11
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    If you don't get interviews, the problem could be (a) how much, where or what you're applying for (you should apply to many jobs that are well-suited to you), (b) what your resume and cover letter looks like (there is much advice about this online, but you may also benefit from having someone you know look your specific documents) or (c) what's actually in your resume (which takes some time to fix, and is a harder problem to address). If you do get interviews, the problem is more likely what you say there (you can also read up on this online, but mock interviews might help a lot too). – Dukeling Oct 18 '18 at 6:18
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Here are some broad categories of steps that I think will help you. From your post I see you are already doing some or all of these:

  1. Enhance your skills: you're on the right track on this one. If there's any particular field or technology you'd like to work with I'd suggest to focus on that. If you don't already have one I strongly suggest you to build a portfolio of work samples. Create a code repository on a site like GitHub so potential employers can see what you can do. Deploy a simple web application to somewhere like Heroku. Sites like these have free tiers and are great for students and job-seekers.

  2. Build your network: you mention that former professors and classmates admire your knowledge and skills. You can ask them for advice on your job hunt. Tread lightly, though, people like being asked for advice and being able to help colleagues, but they may not like it if they feel you're just using them for your benefit. Another thing I would suggest is to join technology meetups in your area. Find a group that interests you and make friends. Bring something to the table too: if someone gives a talk ask relevant questions, maybe give a talk of your own. I used to attend meetups in Manila and know that people do find jobs/new employees this way.

  3. Digest feedback and iterate: you mentioned feedback from companies you've applied to but the experience you get from doing the above also counts as feedback. Try to evaluate it all objectively. You don't have to take everything onboard but don't dismiss anything out-of-hand, either. Repeat #1 and #2 above.

  4. Organise your search. If it works for you, keep a spreadsheet of your target companies, contacts, and what stage you are at with each. Find people you may know who work there. Ask them what it's like working there and what skills you might need to brush up on. Ask for advice, don't ask for a job. Make sure you tailor your resumes and cover letters to each job posting. Make it how about you can help the company and why you are a good fit for the role.

Be patient, good luck!

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As a fellow Filipino who went through that stage two years ago, I think I can offer a few words.

Broaden your choices

If your goal is to simply find a job in the IT industry, then don't be picky about any opportunities you can find online. If you're more of the developer type, then continue to send applications to potential developer positions, regardless of whether the company is well-known or not. You're a fresh graduate, so realistically speaking, you can't really aim that high.

Don't stop searching once you start getting called for interviews though, you want to open yourself to opportunities as much as possible and your application can still fall through even when you get to the interview stages.

However, you don't have to accept the very first job offer that comes your way unless it is something you really feel great about. By sending applications everywhere, you're increasing the likelihood of getting simultaneous offers, so at that point, you could show up to interviews and get a feel for each company, giving yourself choices. Don't delay this process though, only compare one job offer to another if they're all just one contract signing away, as you risk letting a good opportunity get away by waiting.

Maximize your network

You said it yourself, the people around you recognize your talent. If you have friends that are now employed, then try asking them about how they applied and their work environment, and if you like what you hear from them, try asking them if they could refer you as a potential applicant. From back when I started job hunting, most IT companies in the Philippines offer bonuses for employees that could refer other applicants so if you have friends that are employed in such companies, then they'll likely be more than happy to help you out, as you'd be helping them out as well if you eventually land a job in that company.

Continue enhancing your skills

In my experience, IT job opportunities appear in bursts and are quite varied with regards to the skills they're looking for. You're already off on a good start with this so just keep at it and you may just end up finding the perfect job opportunity for your newly-learned/enhanced skills the next time you browse for jobs. Also, don't forget to update your resume everytime you feel like you have learned enough of a new skill. Some employers make a points of a fresh IT grad's technical skills on their resume so make sure you sell yourself to your full capability.

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