Job Search 101

Sep 13, 2011
Tags: Business School, Career, Find a Job

Job prospects for b-school grads are much improved this year, but the challenges of job hunting in a recovering economy can still be daunting. This year’s grads and employers gave us some insight on the most effective strategies for landing a great job as you finish your graduate program…or later on.

First, we should tell you that b-school alumni overwhelmingly agree that getting a graduate degree was their key to success in securing their current jobs. (Really—we asked .) 

Beyond that, here are a few key job search strategies to keep in mind:


#1: Be social media savvy

Facebook isn’t just for friending anymore. Nearly 50% of b-school grads who sought jobs this year used social media to showcase their credentials for potential employers, expand their professional network, find job opportunities, and seek referrals. And 35% of companies we surveyed six months ago reported using social media as a recruitment strategy, much more so than traditional print ads. Some 48% of companies use social media to advertise jobs and 44% to identify possible job candidates. The most popular? LinkedIn (75%), Facebook (66%), then Twitter (50%).

#2: Network, network, network

Far and away, employee referrals remain companies’ #1 recruitment strategy. This aligns with what we heard from Class of 2010 alumni—79% said tapping their personal network was their top job  search method and most successful means of finding a job.

#3: Use a multi-faceted approach

A successful job search requires using multiple search tools and accessing as many recruitment options as possible. Class of 2011 grads applied directly to companies, leveraged on-campus interviews, searched online job boards and company websites, attended job fairs, and used their school’s career services offices. Go wherever employers are recruiting, on campus or off.

#4: Cast a wide net and be open to new opportunities

Many companies are back in expansion mode, upping recruitment budgets and extending more job offers to b-school graduates, but job growth still varies by region, country, and industry. Last year’s graduates found that broadening their job search—looking outside their preferred industries or geographic areas—exposed them to more work opportunities and more success. The results: 88% of Class of 2010 alumni had jobs when we surveyed them last fall; nearly all of those jobs exactly or closely matched their expectations.

Who’s in your jobs network? 

Time invested in networking—with classmates, professors and advisors, other faculty, mentors, internship contacts, project partners, and eventually fellow alumni—is just as important as time devoted to your coursework (see #2 above). Make those connections and show them what you can do—they will play an important role when it’s time to find your post-degree job. Want more? Read profiles of b-school alumni in specific industries to learn how they landed their jobs and launched their careers.

 -Research Center at GMAC