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Job Search – Adventure or Torture?

Q. Is there a good place to start job hunting for new MBA’s with over 10 years of experience in the work force? I have been mainly in IT support but looking to see if there are other possibilities where I can use my IT experience and new MBA skills.

A. Congratulations on the MBA! By getting an additional degree, you added to your employability, and your earning potential. Looking for a job which will use the years of experience you have, coupled with your new degree, needs strong job search skills in order to be successful. Start with your marketing materials. Make sure your resume is well developed and speaks to the buyer – the hiring manager. In your summary statement, make sure you highlight your past experience, your MBA, the professional strengths and interpersonal skills you bring. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, create one now. If you are updating, add the MBA, and some specific coursework where you excelled. You might list cases you worked on, leadership roles you held, and any academic accomplishments or awards you received.

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The best place to start any job search is always with the people who know you best. Build your network; start meeting with people one at a time. Your college or university career office, and faculty can help you with employer and alumni contacts. Who else could value new MBA grads more than people who share that achievement with you? As you meet with these contacts ask to add them to your LinkedIn network, and ask who else they suggest would be a good person for you to meet, and which companies they think you should look into.

Explore the value of LinkedIn by refreshing your relationships in the IT world, and mining the contacts of people you have worked with in your former roles. Employee referrals are particularly effective, and may provide a financial incentive to employees who refer people who are hired. You can ask former colleagues to write you recommendations to include on your LinkedIn profile. This is a good place to add faculty recommendations as well, particularly if the faculty members consult to the business.

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Once you have developed a target list of companies, and specific industries, research the appropriate headhunters to contact. Find those who specialize in your area, research their web sites and submit a resume. If you have contacts who have successfully worked with one of your target contingency or retained recruiters, use that connection to get introduced. Do not stalk these professionals. If they have an opportunity for you, they will make contact. If not, a barrage of calls or emails to them will not support your cause.

Looking for a job is time consuming, time intensive, and can be an adventure or torture – it’s your choice. There will be highs and lows, but with a plan, efforts spent in the right areas, and a dedication to learning the job search skills needed today, you can start the process of finding the right role for you.

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