Entry Level Statistics Position

#1
I completed my bachelor's in Math in 2006 and master's in stats in Dec 2009. Since then I have applied to just about every entry level position I have seen a posting for but getting an interview seems so difficult.

I am not picky with location - I am open to relocation. In other words, I'm not constraining myself to any specific geographic area.
I am also not picky with the type of industry I start off with - I am open to working in any analytical role whether in the financial world, pharma, marketing, etc.

I know economy is bad but it's been 6 months now! I am not sure if it's my resume/cover letter that's creating an issue for me. Could it be the fact that I didn't go to a top tier school for my graduate studies?

I am getting so frustrated these days. I want to know if any of you are recent graduates and if you've had any luck. Please tell me how you went about securing a job.
 

Link

Ninja say what!?!
#2
Sorry to hear about your trouble. Might I recommend talking to some of your professors or degree adviser? Many companies turn to them to "recommend" a student for positions. Their assumption is that the professors will know and remember the ones who stuck out as stellar.

Also, seeing that you're not even getting an interview, you might want to start getting outside 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinions on your resume. Consider going to the career center at your university and ask for help. Personally, I hate having other people critique my resume because I put so much work into it. However, I know that it's in my best interest to do so.

Also, a big thing that will impress companies and increase your chances is making productive use of your free time now. What have you been doing the last 6 months besides applying for jobs? Are you volunteering? Do you have any projects? Have you been active? This won't really help with your resume as much, though it will help you stand out once you get an interview.

Lastly, how many jobs are you applying to a day? When I first graduated out of undergrad, I think it was around 20-30 jobs a day that I applied to ... 5 days a week. I wanted the best job. Thus, I wanted options. I would schedule the interviews approximately two weeks away so that I could give time to other employers to respond as well.

Good luck in your search though. Please keep us updated!
 

fed1

TS Contributor
#3
I never looked for a job where it took me less than 6 months to find one, so I am probably not much to give advice, but I think maybe try to find jobs that not many people applying for.

Small companies are really great about replying to applications. Are there small statistics buisnesses in your area? (ans = yes)

Dont waste time applying to jobs that are highly advertised, you wont get it. (discouraging but true).

If this is first job, look for internships/volunteer opprotunities.
 
#4
@Link - How did you manage to find 20-30 jobs to apply to every day? I normally check sites like icrunchdata.com, careerbuilder, monster, and indeed.com and I barely see 4-5 entry level positions.

As far as my resume is concerned, I did have the staff at career services at my uni review it. They said it needed nothing more than what it already has.
I also had 2 friends look at it and they both said it seemed good and straightforward.

I shouldn't say I'm not getting any interviews because I did have 3 interviews (2 phone and 1 on-site) but since then, no more.

@fed1 = I applied for a few internships but nearly all of them said I needed to be a student to be eligible. How do I find volunteer work doing stats? If there is something like that available, I'd love to do it. At least this way I won't forget anything.
Please don't say tutoring! :)
I am not sure of the small statistics businesses in the area but I'll see if I can find anything.
 

Link

Ninja say what!?!
#5
Hi Uihiba,

My undergrad degree was in Mathematics with a concentration in Pre-medical sciences. I was applying to both mathematics/analytic positions and research asisstant positions. Also, I didn't restrain myself to one city. I found the most success with Craigslist since there were less people using it (resulting in less app's and more replies). Major sites like hotjobs and monster I felt were somewhat of a waste of time. Didn't help me all that much.

Also, I think I had an edge on other applicants. I constantly tried to go above and beyond all my classmates. So I had a lot of volunteer hours, internships, and work experience to back up my knowledge.

Also, I agree with LTD. If your resume is thought to be sufficient, you might want to work on your cover letter then.

All in all, keep being persistent and go hard. You'll get one.
 
#6
One other consideration applies to both cover letters and resumes: use the key words that are used in the job announcement. Do NOT use synonyms to make it sound better. Many times, an HR employee will be reviewing the applications and doesn't know the first thing about the job or what it entails. (Even worse is when a computer does it automatically.) "Analyzed" and "Performed an analysis of" may not be identical in the reviewer's mind/program. If the announcement asks for a history of "analyzing" make sure you say you "analyzed" the data.

And one other source are state employment websites. I work for a state agency and we recruit both on our web site as well as on the state's Department of Personnel's web site. But I find our keywords aren't always the best. If you limit your search to "statistics," you might not get many hits. Try "analysis" and you might do better.

Good luck in your search!
 
#7
thank you all for your advice!
I checked craigslist a few times but didn't come up with entry level positions. I'll start checking it again.
I do have somewhat of a generic cover letter. I usually look at what the job profile is and try to work my cover letter around it. The last position I applied for was a data analyst position. Here is the cover letter I sent out -

Please accept my application for the position of “Data Analyst”. Both my educational and work experiences have equipped me with the training needed for the position making me an ideal candidate.

I have the knowledge to fully perform the duties of the position. Some of the key strengths I can offer include:

• Experience in dealing with large datasets to competently prepare, analyze, interpret and report statistical findings
• Experience working with statistical software packages such as SAS and R
• Ability to think analytically
• Excellent interpersonal skills

I look forward to hearing from you soon as I am confident I will be a great addition to the team at [company name]. I can be reached either by phone or email listed on my resume. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Please share your thoughts!
 
#8
UPDATE: I have a phone interview for a data analyst position on Wednesday.
I would like to know how I should best answer the question about what I've been doing since graduation if asked.
Here is exactly what I did -
I prepared for my comprehensive exam in January.
Then after I started to apply for work without any luck. As I mentioned I had 3 interviews and that was it.
I took a little break from applying for jobs (about a month or so) in the middle because I decided it was best for me to spend time with my baby instead. I went back to school right after delivery so didn't really have a chance to 'bond' with him.
In May, I decided to study for Exam P (actuarial exam) to take in June however I did not pass the exam. And ever since then, my search is on again.
Meanwhile I did try to find some volunteering work - I sent an application to two places but even they didn't call me back! (Are there too many people wanting to volunteer nowadays?)
Also to ensure I don't forget what I studied, I periodically refresh my memory by looking at my class notes, review basic SAS procedures, excel, etc.

I am guessing I shouldn't mention the actuarial exam preparation since I didn't pass so should I just be honest and say I haven't had much luck?