MBA Q&A Spotlight: I didn’t spend much time in the fall recruiting, but now I’m ready to dive into my search! Where do I begin? 

The Dirt Road is just getting started and will continue through the spring semester, so now is the time to kick your search into gear.  Before you start updating your resume or applying to jobs, it’s important to first take time to reflect. Example questions include:

  • What are the top 5 skills I most want to use in my post-grad role?
  • If I’m pursuing a career change, what are my key transferable skills?

Equally important to assess is feasibility: 

  • Have I talked to hiring managers in this industry and received positive feedback on how competitive my candidacy is for the kind or roles I’m targeting?  Where do they see my strengths and where do they see potential skill gaps?
  • Can I write down the top 5 things hiring mangers value for this kind of role? Do I have any clear skill gaps and a strategy to address them?

Once you are clear on this, then you can define your target role/industry/geography, ideally having a Plan A, B, and C. (For additional guidance, refer to these slides on finding your path and running a strategic search from Fall 2023 Career Core). Clarity here will help reduce friction in your networked job search, and if you’re finding it challenging to gain clarity, sign up for next week’s Career Clarity Bootcamp with alumna Jess Galica!

After you’ve done the research to determine that your Plans are both a fit and feasible, create a target list of around 40 companies of interest for each plan (here are some research resources, and see the previous newsletter’s Q&A for additional suggestions). Then start identifying alumni or contacts at those companies for networking. Leverage the networking resources on Your CDO and the directories to help you find people to connect with. Attend events at and beyond MIT to expand your network. Check out this blog post on How to Network for the Dirt Road Recruiting Path.

This foundational work is crucial for a well-prepared job search, particularly in today’s job market where it’s key to develop a clear value proposition. Take stock of your progress now and throughout your search with the Market Readiness Scorecard. For additional resources on updating cover letters and resumes, preparing for interviews, etc, check out the MBA resources page on Your CDO.

Lastly, remember that job searching is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires time, resilience, and patience. Stay organized, create an action plan, and find people to support you along the way. 

We highly recommend setting up a time to meet with an MBA Career Advisor 1:1 and to work with 1 MBA Career Advisor throughout the spring who can track your progress and guide you around your strategy.  If you haven’t met with us already, now is a great time. Meeting regularly (such as biweekly or monthly) with a dedicated MBA Career Advisor can help provide continuity, accountability, and momentum in your search.

By MIT Sloan CDO