You’ve done it! You made it through grad school and your MBA’s in hand! Now it’s time to get busy and launch your new career. Use these key strategies for starting off on the right path towards that bright future.
Five must-have strategies for finding a job, right out of grad school:
1. Know how to market yourself
An MBA alone won’t get your foot in the door. While the Harvard Business Review reports that “employers value the skills that new hires from graduate business schools bring to their companies,” it’s not enough to secure a job.
Give your job search a boost by determining how you add value to organizations. Do research to determine how your skills, experience and education will benefit an organization. PricewaterhouseCoopers recruiter Holly Paul told the Wall Street Journal, “I’m looking for those applicants [who] have good experience, but can also relate that experience to what we do…..It will give that job seeker a leg up because they have moved the ball forward.”
2. Capture interest with an elevator pitch
Just like good marketing conveys a product’s unique selling point (USP), an elevator pitch captures how you add value to an organization. An elevator pitch is a 30 second synopsis of your goals, the kind of job you’re looking for, and the niche that supports your unique selling point. Craft an elevator pitch to instantly give potential employers, contacts and leads insight into your value.
3. Tap into the hidden job market
An effective job search strategy should include searching publicly posted jobs, but there’s a hidden job market that arguably holds more potential than those published jobs. Before a company advertises a position, multiple points of contact within that organization learn of the opening, from managers to human resources personnel. Often, the job may never be advertised on public channels. This is where successful networking can link you into the hidden job market.
4. Network, network, network
Networking is just as important as having a professional resume or top-notch interview skills. Friends and family can introduce you to industry leaders and executives who know of open positions and can provide job leads. Colleagues and industry contacts can also help you take the pulse of an industry. For example, if you know how a new technology is shaping an industry, you can align your job search to show how your education and skills address emerging issues and problems within this niche.
According to Ruth Mantell in the Wall Street Journal, networking is a proven job search strategy. She advises job seekers to avoid “the “post-and-pray” technique in which job seekers apply to positions online, and then wait for the offers to roll in.”
Brandon Miller of Monster.ca agrees that network contacts hold much potential. He recommends that new grads, “find mentors and pump them for as much knowledge as possible…Observe how they approach certain tasks and ask questions about how they moved up in the ranks.”
Other effective job-search strategies include networking with your undergraduate and graduate alumni. Get in touch with your alma mater to find out if there is an alumni chapter in your city. Also, attend professional association meetings and trade shows to create a database of contacts with whom you can network.
5. More job search strategies
That’s not all. Cover your bases and use these additional strategies:
- Register for temporary work through recruiting agencies. Work with a recruiter to help you get your foot in the door of an organization, and potentially extend a contract into a permanent job opportunity.
- Use social media like Twitter and LinkedIn. Use these platforms to search for a job, follow companies you want to work for, as well as learn about industry issues and problems organizations face. Be sure to professionalize your profiles as employers are vetting candidates’ social media profiles in addition to their resumes.
- Continue to search job boards, and when you see an opportunity within 72 hours apply to opportunities that align with your areas of expertise.
Stiff competition, the economy, limited job leads – these are real challenges MBA graduates face. But these proven job search strategies will help you avoid job search failure and successfully launch your new career.
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She specializes in coaching professional and executive clients, and providing career advancement strategies. Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.
Wishing you much career success!
Joanne – Lead Career Coach – JL Careers