The Proven Strategy Outstanding MBAs use to Job Search
Have you ever applied for jobs online and never received an interview?
Maybe you got a couple of interviews but then never got called back?
Or maybe you did, went through a few of interview rounds, but didn’t got the job.
What went wrong?
We have all been there. Playing the situation over and over in our heads. Questioning every word we said or action we did.
Wondering what we could’ve done differently to get a better result.
This happens to all of us. We are not alone in this feeling. Yet, most people keep doing the same things and thus keep getting the same results.
There is good news! We can stop this cycle.
There is also not so good news! You will have to do some work and make changes to get different results.
Yes, there is no quick fix or magic pill. But, there is a simple process we can all follow.
The goal of this post is to share that process with you. That way, you will be able to have a clear strategy and tactics, to get the results you want in your job search.
We will share our process when doing research about industries, keywords, and companies so that you can take your career to the next level. Then, we will share how to understand that research and how to use it efficiently.
You will speak the same language your dream company speaks so that you can connect with them. Also, you will understand the skills they value so you can highlight your abilities and align them with their desired skills.
In some cases, you will even be able to know more about the company than the recruiters or employees of that company!
But to get to that point you will have to do the work. There is no easy way around it.
Now, let’s take a look at the process.
Get the Job before Applying
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
As usual, I am going to tackle this issue abstractly and let Alejandro handle the tactical components of doing proper research for your job search. First, let’s get what should be obvious out of the way. You do not attain a dream job by applying online. Plain and simple. Get over it. The process is difficult.
If you want to sit from the comfort of your house, binge on Netflix, and apply to 100 jobs to feel a sense of accomplishment . . . go ahead and click backspace, this article is not for you.
On the other hand, this is the article for you if you are willing to put in some work.
Okay, now that the slackers are gone, I will go into BizLatte’s overall process of attaining a great job and Alejandro will drill down to the technical steps.
In order to speak the language of your dream company, you must first know your dream company. I know that sounds redundant, trust me, I am sober. It will make sense.
The single biggest mistake the BizLatte team sees with our coaching clients is their romanticization of a company. Once people find their professional purpose, they start the quest of aligning their purpose with their dream job. The issue is most people don’t really understand the companies where they want to work. They look at large and small companies and then start to fantasize about company culture, salaries, perks, and more. What they should be doing is gaining actual data to determine if their fantasy is reality.
Here is how you do that.
Look through your contacts once you find the company or industry where you want to work. Go through your phone, social media channels (especially LinkedIn), and think of your family. Who in your immediate network already works at the company or in the industry where you would like to land?
Make a list of those people and start to set up informational interviews, if you don’t know what those are, check out our free guide, we don’t have time to go into the details. During these informational interviews, listen. I mean really listen.
Pick up on company culture clues. In the industry or company where you want to work, find out:
- Does the industry/company have a reputation for long hours
- Do they burn people out
- What are the benefits like
- Are there opportunities for continuous education
- What is the normal dress code
- What is the turnover rate
- Is the business and/or industry moving in a profitable direction or losing money
- Do they used advanced technology or are they in the dark ages
- What’s their take on remote work
- Do they practice business ethically
- What is their maternity/paternity leave like
- Are they supportive of people when they leave the company
There are so many questions which can be found out with an informational interview which will save you time and possibly heartache. Imagine landing a role with a company you admired and after a few months realized it did not align with your ideals, ethics, or desires? I have been there . . . twice . . . those jobs set me back years of wasted time.
I am ranting a little, but for good reason. You must truly know the battle you are getting into before you fight. And trust me, getting a dream job is a battle because others want the same job!
So take the time to set up informational interviews and get as much data points as possible before you take the time to network your way to an interview and customize your resume. Oh we can help with those when you are ready. But for know, make sure the place where you think you want to apply is actually where you want to apply.
You must do everything Matt mentioned… that’s only half the battle!
Yes, finding a job that you enjoy and brings meaning to your life will not be easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Results are earned, not given. So, let’s get to it.
There’s three layers of research that we will go about to understand the company that you would like to work for.
- What everyone should know
- What employees should know
- What leaders within the company should know
The first layer is simple.
- Go to their website and read their “about” section
- Check their social media accounts and see what type of content they post
- If it is a public company: go to Yahoo Finance and read the recent news about the company and their financial information summary
- If it is a private company, search for “name of company” and the Google news section
- Also, read the top content that shows up when you search for “name of company”
This should give you a general idea about the company. If you are a true fan you might already know most of this information.
The second layer takes a bit more time.
- Go to their website and read their “leadership” section
- Write down the names of their leadership and then research them on Linkedin
- If they have white papers, reports, or portfolios, download them and go through them
- Go through the job postings they currently have and search for common terms, skills they are looking for, and look for commonalities within the positions and your transferable skills
At this point, you should be able to answer confidently, and with valuable information, why they should hire you. You should know the different ways to bring value to the company.
The third layer is what will allow you to get the job and be in the best position to advance your career.
- Go through their latest 10-K if they are a public company
- If they are private, do some research on Hoovers
- Research their industry in IBISWorld or any other business intelligence resource
- Read industry reports from top-research companies
At this point, you should understand the company, its competitive advantage, and why they are better than their competitors. You should also know their strategy going forward by doing Porter's 5 Forces, SWOT, and any other type of analysis (IBISWorld makes this easy for you).
If you follow these three steps, you will likely know more about the company than the majority of their employees.
Think about it… Have you ever know this much about any company that you’ve worked at? Probably not, I know I didn’t.
But now I do, and you should too!
Is this a lot of work? Yes, and it is exactly why it will differentiate you because most people don’t do it.
The good news is BizLatte can help you through this process. We’ve done it successfully before for others and helped them land their dream job. Therefore, we can do it for you too.
Action, Action, Action
There is no way around doing the work. It just has to be done. This is not the 1950’s where you can graduate, walk into a company, speak to a manager, hand over your resume, and start a new position.
It just doesn’t happen anymore.
Attaining an amazing job requires amazing effort. The above appears daunting, but only if you have never done it before. Everything becomes simpler once you acquire the skills. Think about anything you do which is simple for you, but appears difficult to others. It looks like magic until you reveal your process and display it’s actually not that hard.
The same is true for the above steps. It feels like second-nature once you have gone through the research process a few time. There are plenty of free resources on BizLatte to help you gain the needed skills.
However, we are here to help those who want to go faster and utilize professionals who do this research on a daily basis.
If you are one of those people, click the link below to receive FREE monthly resources, we are here to help you go through the process of positioning yourself as an ideal candidate for your dream job.
Alejandro I. Sanoja & Matt Avery