Finding a Job Without a Harvard MBA

Too many people treat their job search as if they had an MBA from Harvard. They send their resume or apply online for an appropriate job opening and wait for the phone to ring.

Unfortunately, most of us don't have that highly valued sheepskin, or some other "bell ringer" that will jump off the pages of our resume to reliably cause recruiters or hiring managers to call. So the rest of us have to be more proactive in our search. The key, especially in today's job market, is to always remember that a job search is a Sales Process!

For many people that aren't in a sales career the thought of having to "Sell" is frightening. That fear often comes from a misperception of what a good sales person does. Good sales people don't fit the stereotypical "˜Used Car Salesman" persona. They don't deceive, gush false flattery, manipulate, or exude a "large personality". A good sales person is real, and conveys the value of what it is they have to offer to fill the want or need of a potential buyer. That's your job!

It's not good enough to have a good generic resume that you send for every job opening. You must tailor your resume to show what experience and successes you’ve had that matter most for that particular position.

It’s not good enough to wait in the showroom (resume on job boards) for customers to come in to buy. You must proactively contact them professionally to market your value to them.

It's not good enough to expect them to determine your unique value by waiting for them to ask the right questions. You must know, and be able to articulate why you are the best choice for the job.

It's not good enough to boast about yourself. You must show sincere interest in them and the role.

It's not good enough to wait silently for weeks for a decision. You must follow up, thank them for their continued consideration, ask if they have any further questions, express a continued desire for the role, and offer additional reasons you are uniquely qualified.

A good sales person makes sure they are seeking, approaching, and professionally presenting their product or service to enough qualified prospects each day, each week, and each month to reach their goal. As a job seeker, your objective is the same. You must plan your work thoroughly, and work your plan diligently.

If you approach your job search as a full-time job ... a Sales job ... you will get to your goal much more quickly. If you don't have a "Harvard MBA", don't treat your job search as if you do!


Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives and writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search.