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Jump-Start Your Job Search by Going off the Screen

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Summary: Find out how to broaden your job search for a better shot at success in this article.


Question: Nothing seems to be working in my job search. I graduated with my M.B.A. degree in May with a 3.9 grade-point average and have six years of work experience with an insurance company in India. I have tried sending resumes online and also through some friends. What else should I be doing?

Answer: Your degree and strong GPA are assets, although they are just the points of entry when conducting a job search as a recent grad in a competitive market. In this cautious hiring environment, you can’t rely on an online approach alone. To increase your success, broaden your efforts by building a network and going to employers directly.

Taking your search off the screen and into the streets requires a dramatic shift in focus. Spend 10% of your time on the computer and 90% making contact. Aim to have between nine and 15 conversations each week, in person and on the telephone, related to your job target. Try the following and add your own creative approaches: Talk with alumni of your college who work at the companies you are interested in, participate in professional association events to meet new people in your field and show up at small companies to attempt to meet prospective employers in person.

Once you have an audience, be sure to strategically leverage your six years in insurance. Take care to successfully translate the experience to fit local practices and terminology.

Target specific employers (insurance is a natural fit if you have that interest), research their needs and get very specific about how you can help them solve their problems. Because offers go out to those who make the most compelling case, practice your presentation. Concisely and convincingly describe your background, ask relevant questions and address employer needs.

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Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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