Developing your resume and portfolio is like creating a marketing kit for yourself. That’s daunting enough, but doing so after completing a demanding program can be even more challenging. Follow these steps to market yourself after getting your MBA.
Think like a Marketer
When compiling your resume, start with the talking points that your online MBA program offers. Refer to the benefits and skills associated with your degree, and use this language as a springboard in your resume and in interviews.
Once you have the talking points down, don’t wait to start networking. Many of your peers are already executives or industry leaders. Networking with them will expose you to different industries and may open avenues you haven’t yet considered.
Establish a Consistent Brand
From applying for jobs to networking and interviewing, keep your brand professional and consistent in all that you do. Stay authentic by sticking to your personal style and core values, and use your expertise to take advantage of any new opportunities.
As you gain experience in the business world, you may need to revise and refine your brand to reflect how far you’ve come. That doesn’t mean you should wait until you’ve achieved a high level of expertise to establish a brand, though. Start now and you’ll have an advantage over your competition.
Focus on a Single Industry
If you don’t have extensive work experience on your resume, you might be tempted to apply for anything and everything in your field. Contrary to popular belief, this strategy is often counterproductive.
Hiring managers typically look for candidates who have clear intentions and who can articulate their motivations, even if they lack experience. Put in the effort to identify your career goals beforehand, and you can focus your efforts on career opportunities that matter.
Become an Expert
You don’t have to wait to get a job before immersing yourself in your chosen industry. Begin building expertise now by finding and joining professional associations in your field.
Follow industry news, and stay updated on substantial breakthroughs in your field. Remember that keeping up with changes and trends can also alert you to potential job opportunities. Reaching out to the hiring manager of a company that just won a major contract demonstrates your industry awareness and offers an unbeatable first impression.
Turn Theory into Practice
As an MBA graduate, you have extensive experience with business theoryand as the industry landscape continues to change, you’ll have ample opportunity to put this to work.
More than ever before, companies place a premium on candidates who can demonstrate learning agility, or the ability to draw on a broad base of knowledge and adjust to business situations in real time. When interviewing with a prospective employer, identify an industry problem that the company needs to solve. Do your research and suggest a method for addressing the issue and you’ll make yourself memorable to hiring managers.
After completing your MBA, ensure that your degree opens as many doors as possible. From branding to networking to establishing expertise, marketing yourself will help you stay ahead of the competition.
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