My job search is now a few weeks old, and I have had a number of interviews. As a new convert to the tech industry, interviews are a different beast from what they once were. An applicant must prove themselves on a different level, and that is foreign to someone coming from a service career. Each experience has taught me something new, and helped me better prepare for the next. I wanted to pass on my story, for the recent grads out there that are struggling like me to land that first job that will get them that one point of experience on their resume that will open them up to more job opportunities.
The very first interview I had went great. It didn't come from applying online or sitting in line at a tech fair for my turn to speak with a recruiter. The opportunity arose when my girlfriend was out having dinner with her classmates, and someone there began talking about their company's need for software engineers. I promptly received a text in all caps and was talking with the company within the week.
Immediately after the interview, I felt like I had the renewed confidence that this is what I was meant to be doing, and that I had the tools to succeed. After weeks of not hearing back from prospective employers, it was the push I needed to continue forward and put my name out there.
I have heard many times from my career coach that, more often than not, the second and third degree connections you make while networking will generate your interviews. If you make yourself available and show up, people will notice.
Good luck to all of my job seeking peers. It's often a discouraging process, but the jobs are out there.