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Opt for Strategy Instead of Frustration

NEW YORK, NY- February 28, 2017- Despite a resilient U.S. economy and continued employment growth, today’s job seekers are more likely to cite frustration rather than optimism.

“I’ve conducted thousands of career advising appointments with alumni and graduate students and, while each person brings a unique story to the table, everyone is facing similar job search challenges,” said Lindsey Plewa, Associate Director at Baruch College’s Graduate Career Management Center. “Instead of feeling frustrated, job seekers must opt for strategy and map out a way around those roadblocks.”

Below are the five common job search roadblocks that Plewa hears about every day and her specific tips on how to start getting past them and keep up the momentum.

I’m applying online but rarely hear from the employer.

If applying online is your sole strategy, think again. “There is only a 20% chance you’ll land an interview from an online application,” said Plewa. "Instead, focus on people, not postings. LinkedIn is the primary way to find connections at your target companies. Here’s a short video on how to create a compelling LinkedIn profile.     

I’m a career changer and fear that my graduate degree isn’t enough to make the transition.

Get experience and expand your network by volunteering, working part-time or joining a professional association in your new industry and/or function. A few resources to browse for volunteer opportunities include MBA Project Search, Taproot Foundation, and Volunteer Match.

I know that I need to network but I’m intimidated by networking functions. 

You’re not alone. Set a goal before attending, such as: “I will obtain at least three business cards tonight.” This will keep you focused and help to reduce anxiety. If large networking events aren't your thing, consider setting up informational interviews with people at your target companies. It gives you a chance to ask questions and learn more about the company on your terms. 

I’m not sure how to follow up with networking contacts or leads, so I don’t.

“Not following up is the biggest job search mistake, “said Plewa. Candidates that land the most interviews are often the ones that follow up on leads. Tread smartly though. There’s a fine line between being too aggressive and just being proactive. Her recent article on striking a balance between enthusiastic and pushy can help.

I’m interviewing, but not landing a job.

Though you may be qualified for a position, many factors can turn an interview into a job offer. Make sure you’re avoiding these common interviewer pet peeves: not doing enough research on the company, not preparing thoughtful questions for the interviewer, not displaying enthusiasm for the role and/or company. Know how you’re qualified, but also know what's important to the company and why you want to work there.


5 Common job search mistakes

Lindsey Plewa
Associate Director, Graduate Career Management Center, Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business

Lindsey Plewa has coached thousands of students on how to successfully navigate a job search for over 10 years. She is currently the Associate Director of The Graduate Career Management Center at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. She holds an MA and two professional certificates, one in Adult Career Planning and one in Leadership Skills, from New York University.


About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 164 countries and speak more than 129 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to


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