MBA Job Search: Leverage your Network for Career Success!

  • Are you job-searching, but feeling stuck? 
  • What is the hardest part: resume writing, introducing yourself at events, finding job-leads, interviews etc? 

Job-search is hard work! Each of you will have aspects of job-search where you excel and others where you struggle. A skilled, career-coach can provide some clarity and help you get unstuck! In this week's post, we'll look at business networking and how to improve your referral rate. 

Networking is of  major importance in conducting an effective job search. In particular, the higher up you are on the career and salary ladder, the more important networking and generating leads becomes. these top level jobs aren't posted on job boards, they are hidden and it is your job to dig them up. So, networking isn't something that only occurs when you are job searching. You should be building, growing and nurturing relationships throughout your career. The best way to network is to begin with your primary, secondary and tertiary circle of friends, family, and colleagues. 

I've been working with one MBA client who has great business contacts in his extended circle of family and friends. He reports that he's asked family and friends to introduce him to their colleagues or people they know at top companies. However, after 6 months of such requests he's feeling very frustrated. He still hasn't received a single follow up email or call from any of the contacts he was targeting.  

Where he's currently struggling is generating warm leads and referrals from his personal contacts. I wasn't there to hear how he asked for these leads. But this is what I plan to review with him in our next career coaching session:   

 Are you giving your networking contacts the best or right information to effectively refer you to an employer for consideration. Do they have a current copy of your resume? Have you spent time explaining it? Do they understand it?

 How clear are your career goals? Train your team of supporters. You need to have a very focused career goal; industry, companies and job function. Then, you must convey this succinctly to your team. Your team then needs to convey it to their contacts. Is something being lost in translation?

 Are they taking you seriously? Do they believe that what you are asking aligns with your skills? Do they question whether you are committed to a job search?  Keep accurate records of who you spoke to, what you requested and when you requested it. Then, you can follow up with your contacts at the appropriate time.

Ensure you actively market yourself to your network (within appropriate boundaries of etiquette)
No-one will do the leg-work for you. Getting your network of contacts to share the right information about you is essential. Readers let me know if you'd like career coaching sessions to  help get you "unstuck" in your job search.

Keep me posted. I'd love to hear about your job search. 

Author: © 2016 -present All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Counseling Psychology, CPRP. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist. 
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  1. What is CRM in general? Customer relationship management..
    "קוגן שלמה"

  2. Yes, I recommend managing networking contacts like clients. A relationship takes time to build and gro. Stay in contact and provide updates with contacts.