3 Ways To Navigate A Tough Job Market

MBA careers

The current job market is an uphill battle for MBA grads. Some grads are struggling to find work months after completing their degree.

Elissa Harris, an admissions consultant at mbaMission, recently offered a few tips on how MBAs can make their job search more effective.


While many MBAs turn to online job sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed, a number of job openings are never posted online. For the jobs that are posted online, Harris says, hiring managers typically already have a list of top candidates in mind before the job is even posted.

The key to finding a job in real life? Networking. Harris recommends that MBAs devote more than 50% of their job search time to networking.

“Create a list of 10–20 target companies (regardless of whether they currently have an opening of interest posted), and then search your connections to find people who work at these firms,” Harris says. “They can help you understand these businesses, their hiring needs, and any job requirements. Use your first-degree network on LinkedIn to request introductions to people in their network (your second- and third-degree network) who are employed at your companies of interest.”


The reality behind job searches is that even if you are qualified, that doesn’t mean you’ll land the job. Most jobs have an influx of applicants—and the chances of your resume even reaching the recruiter are slim. That’s why, Harris says, customizing your application is critical.

“Using the right keywords and simple formatting is a must,” Harris says. “Analyze your target job description and identify specific skills and/or areas of knowledge in the responsibilities section that are especially important for the role. Use information gathered from your networking conversations to highlight your relevant qualifications on your resume.”


Simply knowing about an industry isn’t enough. Applicants today need to have a thorough understanding of the industry and a perspective on how to make a meaningful impact.

“With so many qualified job seekers looking for their next opportunity, the onus is on you to clearly connect the dots for the hiring manager,” Harris says. “You must demonstrate how you can contribute and add value to the firm.”

Sources: mbaMission, The Wall Street Journal

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