There are two reasons why more and more MBAs are going online to find work. The first is that recruiters are increasingly hiring through online portals.
Lisa-Jane Perraud of the Grenoble Ecole de Management notes that her institution has seen the internet “becoming a ‘sine qua non’ strategy,” for job hunting and networking.
The second reason is obvious: we’re all on the Internet anyway. Online job-hunting is not just more efficient for employers; it’s more efficient for job seekers too. Hence the success of IvyExec, LinkedIn and an entire industry of online careers portals.
However, just because we all have to do it, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all good at it. Hence, this article and why you’re still reading!
So let’s get to it. Here are five tips to build an online profile that maximizes your chances of landing a great job:
1. Be Active.
You’re active on your own social networks, so why not do the same on professional networking sites like BusinessBecause, which focuses on MBA careers? Business school clubs and groups are a great way to make professional connections in a specific sector. The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, for instance, has active MBA groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter focused on specific industries like investment banking, or regions such as Europe. Join, interact with and comment on their pages to build your reputation as someone with expertise.
2. Be Alert.
But it’s not enough to be active. You also have to spot opportunities as they come. More than 90% of US companies are using social networks to fill their open positions – but you have to do the work and seek them out. You may have signed up with LinkedIn but make sure you’re signed up to relevant professional groups and updates on jobs. Recruiters use these professional networks when they’re hiring.
3. Be Brave.
Being active and alert online has helped you build a network of your own. Now you have to be brave enough to actually use it. Message that guy you met in that one class at college or business school. Or maybe it was at a career fair. It takes more courage than you would think to reach out to strangers online. But that’s what professional and social networking sites are for – to provide transparency and opportunity. You just have to seize it.
4. Be Nice.
Connect to people online, but keep your expectations in check. Not every recruiter will give you the time of day. However, your online footprint also doubles as an online profile from which others draw conclusions about your skills, your personality, and most importantly, your suitability. So be nice and remember to offer something back if you’re asking for help.
5. Back to Basics.
At the end of the day, no matter how active, alert, brave and nice you are, you still need to have the basics down pat. You could be the most networked person on the Internet, but no one’s hiring you if your resume is a mess and your cover letter is in the wrong format. Make sure you have them covered. Then, properly armed with the right resume and introductory note, you can go off and conquer the digital frontier, hunting down that elusive target – a job.