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- How to Land Remote Jobs for MBA Grads
How to Land Remote Jobs for MBA Grads
The job market has changed for new MBA grads and the search for remote jobs is more competitive than ever. Here is everything you need to know to land a remote job that values your MBA.
The market has shifted since you started your MBA program. Although remote jobs are more common than before the pandemic, the competition for such roles is more competitive than ever before with the return to office mandates. Our team of executive recruiters, professional resume writers, and career coaches put together the following tips to help you land a remote job that values your newly obtained MBA. Here is what you really need to know in the current remote job search market as an MBA grad:
Identify Your Skillset
The key to any effective job search, remote or otherwise, is to start with evaluating your strengths. In your MBA program, you probably performed lots of SWOT analysis. Now, you should do the same for yourself as a candidate.
Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is key to best positioning yourself in the market for a remote job. You may even need to perform this analysis multiple times for different types of jobs. However, you do it, make sure to write it out and use that information as a springboard to the next steps of your search. This will enable you to stay focused on each part of your search and to make your message more effective in the process.
Leverage MBA School Resources
Most MBA programs have career services that can help you with your job search. They also have established networks of alumni and employers that can help you land remote job opportunities. These resources are a great starting point for any remote job search as an MBA grad.
You should leverage these resources to connect with alumni in your field of interest, attend virtual career fairs, and participate in other remote networking events. You can also explore job boards and career portals provided by your MBA school and stay updated on the latest job openings.
Market Your Remote Work Skills
A remote job search also requires a different message from a search for an in-office search. This is because remote work requires a different skill set than traditional office work. Employers are looking for MBA graduates who can work independently, communicate effectively, and manage complex projects remotely.
As a new MBA grad, make sure to incorporate these unique remote work skills in your message and your search strategy. You may have even taken classes remotely to obtain your MBA. Whatever it is, make sure that you are clear in how you articulate that message and that you stay focused on the remote jobs if you really want to land a remote job with your new MBA.
Remember that remote jobs are also incredibly competitive. So, you will need to move quickly on the postings for remote jobs. This means that you must apply, network, and follow up on remote jobs with a sense of urgency that does not apply to traditional in-office jobs. This is important not only to get in the mix but to also show the hiring team your remote work skills in the hiring process.
Keep Building Your Skills with Freelancing or Entrepreneurship
The average job search after completing an MBA program can take months. That is the time that you can and should be building your skills beyond your degree program to land the job that you want.
Make the most of your job search time by looking at ways to gain as much experience as you can apply your degree. For many, this can be pursuing freelancing or entrepreneurship to gain remote work experience and build your portfolio. This will show potential employers that you are serious and it will help you stand out from the other new MBA grads by adding relevant work experience to your resume.
If you aren't ready to launch your freelance career or a new business, then look at volunteering to serve on boards or committees. This work will help you gain leadership experience, build your resume, grow your network, and give back to the community.
Polish Your Online Presence
One of the first things you should do when looking for remote jobs is to update and polish your online presence. This is a must for any job search, but it is especially important if you are looking to land remote jobs.
Your online presence should include your resume, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio (if applicable). Make sure each of these elements reflects who you are as an MBA grad and that they reflect the skills that employers want from remote workers. Showcase your ability to learn and leverage technology by creating a robust LinkedIn profile and digital presence. This not only adds credibility to your message but will also make it easier to network as part of your job search.
As part of doing this, take the time to separate your personal and professional online presence. Many people will use platforms for different purposes. But, you need to use the security settings to prevent potential employers from seeing your personal profiles. Go through the platforms, check your security settings, and delete any content that you don't want potential employers to see. The internet can be unforgiving, so take the time to do a comprehensive review of your online footprint so you can do what you can to keep it as professional as possible.
Tailor Your Resume
Many employers receive hundreds of resumes for a single job opening within 24 hours of first posting a remote job. To stand out for these remote jobs, you need to move quickly, but also with precision to stand out from the crowd.
Tailoring your resume is the key through the applicant tracking systems (ATS) and having your resume seen by an actual person. This is true even if you are going through a referral for a job.
You should start the process by reading the job posting. Dig deep into the job description, company website, news about the company, and other sources of information to get a real sense of what they are looking for. From there, you can update your resume to fit their language and needs as much as possible.
This includes removing anything on your resume that does not relate to the job you are applying for, adding as much detail as possible, and creating versions of your resume tailored to each job. Including relevant keywords and phrases for the specific job is essential to landing the interview for remote jobs in the current market. This will help you stand out in an ATS system and possibly even get seen by a human.
Put Achievements on Your Resume
The most overlooked way to make your resume stand out is the achievement statements. These matter more to the people that will be reviewing your resume and comparing you to other candidates. They cannot do that without clear achievement statements on your resume.
Achievement statements are results that you achieved in a particular job. These are bullet points that show the result you obtained and the impact of that result. The best achievement statements include numbers and use keywords to show the skills you used to obtain that result.
For example, instead of saying, "Managed a project," say, "Managed a $1 million project that resulted in a 20% increase in sales revenue." This will be much more impressive to the person reviewing your resume and will help you stand out from other candidates.
Networking is crucial in landing any job, whether remote or not. You are 14x more likely to land the interview with a referral to the position instead of a cold application. This means that you can and should spend equal time in your remote job search as a new MBA grad looking at job postings and networking for your job search.
You can take a broad view of networking to strategically grow your professional network. Make sure to reach out to your contacts – classmates, professors, mentors, and alumni – and let them know that you're on the lookout for a remote job. Be sure to tell them exactly what kind of job you're looking for. You may be surprised at who has a connection that can help you find the right opportunity.
Also, use networking events and online resources to connect with professionals in your desired industry or role. Make sure to follow up with these contacts as well, so they remember you if any job openings come up that match your skills and experience.
Finally, look for virtual events and groups related to the remote job you are looking for. Attend industry-related webinars or networking sessions, join online discussion forums, and follow relevant professionals on social media. Doing this will help you become a part of the conversation in your desired industry and to further your long-term career goals for years to come.
Apply for the Right Jobs
Do not apply to any and every job. Take the time to apply the skills you learned in your MBA program and to find the right jobs to apply for and to do it well. Apply the insights you gained from your personal SWOT analysis to find and pursue the right jobs for your career and experience level.
Make sure to not apply for jobs that don’t fit your skillset. It's a waste of time and it will feel like you are throwing darts into the dark. This method may or may not work, so be strategic in what you apply for and make sure to include only information that is relevant to the job you're applying for.
Also, understand that many companies have limits to how many jobs that you can apply for at their organization every quarter. So, be mindful of those caps and only apply for the jobs where you meet the requirements. If not, you may be automatically prevented from applying for the jobs that are a better fit for you.
Keep in mind that you don't have to be a perfect match for the qualifications of the job posting. But, you should reasonably meet those requirements to take the time to apply for the position. Generally, the rule is about 70 percent. If you hit about 70 percent or more of those requirements then it is probably work applying for the position. But be mindful of those very specific requirements as they may be hard requirements for the job.
Prepare for Remote Job Interviews
Remote job interviews are different from traditional face-to-face interviews, so it's essential to prepare accordingly. Make sure that you have a quiet and distraction-free space for the interview. Test your camera, microphone, and internet connection beforehand. Dress professionally, and be ready to answer questions regarding your ability to communicate effectively, work independently, and manage your time remotely.
Invest in Yourself
The smart people in your class are also going to career services. To stand out, you can't do what everyone else is doing. That means going beyond career services and exploring what other gaps you can fill with the help of building a robust professional network with the investment of time. For others, it can also mean investing the money to engage professional resume writers or career coaches like those at The Contingent Plan to help you stand out from the competition. Professionals will know exactly what hiring managers are looking for now in the current remote job market and they will be able to guide you through that process.
Landing remote jobs as an MBA graduate requires a combination of technical skills and soft skills, such as independence, communication, and problem-solving. By polishing your online presence, leveraging your MBA school resources, customizing your resume and cover letter, developing your remote work skills, and networking and following up, you can increase your chances of landing remote jobs that align with your career goals. Remember, the key to a successful remote job search is to stay focused, proactive, and persistent. Good luck with your job search!