Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stanford Graduate School of Business Report on Job-Hunting

Stanford Graduate School of BusinessBased on responses to the employment survey, we estimate that at least 65 percent of the second-year class has an offer, is starting a company, or has accepted a full-time job. For those of you who are in job search mode, be confident-the employment market is very healthy this year.

Here are some tips on how to get a job this Spring Quarter.

1. Clearly define your goal. One of the primary reasons a job search fails is that the goal is not crystal clear. Define your job search goal by naming the location (e.g. San Francisco area, Manhattan), the function (e.g. marketing or consulting), and the field or industry (e.g. real estate development or internet consumer services).

It's acceptable to have 2-3 alternative job search goals, but I highly recommend that you focus on only one location. Multiple locations greatly complicate the job search process and dilute your networking potential. It can be done, but it makes the search exponentially more difficult.

2. Validate your pitch. The " pitch " is a short explanation for why you want a job and why you're the best person for the job. Test your pitch with one of the following people: a) a classmate who worked in the industry or obtained a job in it this year, b) a young alum who works in the industry now (but would not be evaluating you for a job opening), c) an advisor at the CMC. As much as a good friend can be helpful, s/he may not have the knowledge required to give you honest feedback. Plus, it can be difficult to give candid, personal feedback to good friends.

Job searches can be frustrating when you experience many interviews, but are not able to get beyond the first round. To get a home-run response from your interviewers, you have to make the right pitch.

3. Share your goal broadly. People like to help other people. It's just the way we are wired. The only way others can help you is if you tell them what you're specifically looking for.

Make a list of 30 people with whom you'd like to share your goal. Consider your parents, your friends from college or elsewhere, your current classmates, your professors, your former work colleagues, GSB alumni, college alumni, folks in the CMC Contacts Database. Go to an industry conference and share your goal with everyone you meet.

I highly recommend that you tell a CMC advisor or your CMC point person. Organizations and alumni regularly contact us looking for candidates. The folks in the PMP, GMP, and CES are also very connected and knowledgeable. If we know your goals, we can pass on relevant opportunities to you.

Stanford UniversityWhen you share your goal, you may feel like you are imposing on others. It's up to them to decide to help you. Don't worry; you'll get your chance to help someone else sometime in the future.

4. Search for and apply for job openings. Once you know your goal, it's easier to start searching for jobs at organizations that fit your requirements. If you want to use the GSB's powerful databases to identify contacts and organizations, talk to Rebecca Chopra, a CMC advisor, or see the folks at Jackson Library. Tap into their vast knowledge and experience.

There are many sources for job opportunities that you should check at least once per week: the GSB Job Board, the CMC Job Leads bulletin, and your target organization's website.

Apply to any jobs that interest you and write an outstanding cover letter that communicates your pitch. Don't wait for a reply, as you probably won't get one. Find someone who can help you get an interview with the hiring manager. The more creative, resourceful, and bold you are, the more likely you will stand out from the crowd and get the interview.

Desire and attitude impress employers much more than skills and experiences on a resume. Employers really want to see your excitement and enthusiasm for the job and organization.

5. Create a job. There are many employers who may not be in hiring mode at this time. This is a good time to go create a job.

One way to create a job is to meet with a top executive and discuss the strategic priorities of the company. Identify where there are gaps in the allocation of resources. Really understand the issues.

Submit a proposal (verbal or written) describing how you could make immediate impact on these issues, quantifying the potential deliverables with metrics that matter most to the executive.

Often, executives are so focused on daily business needs that they miss potential opportunities and innovative solutions. This is your opportunity to show them the possibilities.

Stanford CampusThe most appealing aspect of creating a job is that you get to play a major role in what your job will be. Also, you won't be competing with anyone else. If you want lifelong job security, learn this approach.

Several of your classmates created their jobs. It's not as unusual as you might think.

6. Keep the faith. Believe in yourself and the process. The job search process can be frustrating and uncertain. As you ride the turbulent waves, you learn about yourself and about different organizations and career paths. You also solidify your foundation for handling adversity and challenges.

After the process, many students tell me that they are a stronger person (and often have the right job) for having gone through it.

If you need encouragement, moral support, or a new perspective, please see a CMC advisor. At this time of year, we are " Hope Dispensers. " We'll help you stay on the road to success.

By Andy Chan, CMC Director

5 comments:

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