This guest post is by Jane Trnka, career coach and executive director of Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business’ Career Development Center.
Searching for a job can be a tiresome process for anyone, let alone a recent MBA graduate. Many job seekers work hard to leave lasting impressions during each interview, but forget to expel that same enthusiasm before and after meeting with a possible employer. Here are four tips to help any MBA student or recent graduate go against the grain and find that perfect job, whether they are just beginning the hunt or well into the interviewing process.
- Create a personal brand. Show your value up front. What do you want people to know about you and the contributions you will make to their company’s success? It is important to be able to articulate these questions both in a résumé and in person. Practice your “elevator pitch” that demonstrates to leaders you know what to do to help them make money, retain customers, improve processes, etc.
- Be persistent, but don’t be a stalker. Follow up with leaders and recruiters every once in a while, and not only when you are searching for a job. Keep in touch to let them know that you graduated or completed a project. Even if you have no personal accomplishments to announce, send an article that may be of interest to them or reply thoughtfully to one of their posts on Twitter. Staying fresh in a leader’s mind will set you apart, but remember to reach out in moderation; nobody likes a “stalker.”
- Offer to assist someone. Offer to help out a recruiter, fellow classmate or possible employer with any expertise or insight you may have into the industry. This is easy to do and very much appreciated. Even if they don’t need assistance, they will remember that you extended yourself.
- Send a hand-written note. – Hand-written follow-up and thank you notes are more valued and longer lasting than emails. Many business leaders are flattered by this personal gesture and will keep the note on display. Instead of cluttering an email inbox, be different from the competition with a memorable, hand-written card.
Ultimately, setting expectations and being realistic about what you can contribute will help you stand out along the way. And never forget the old adage, “The more you put in, the more you get out.”