As an international graduate student in a business school, my life revolves around only one thing – my career search. Well, in my case, it’s two things – Indian food and my career search – but that’s not the ideal. Here’s my life at a glance:

Wake up career search eat career search sleep dream about career search repeat

However, searching for a job is tedious and monotonous. At the same time, it’s essential! So, in this blog, I am going to talk about how I make my career search fun by relating it to marketing, something I am passionate about.

I call this the career search<>marketing integration. Yes, really.

As a marketer, I honestly believe that marketing applies to everything in our life, and I recently discovered how aptly it applies to my own career search. Here’s what I realized. In this context, think of yourself as a product. Product = you (in my case, an M.B.A student). Next, product features = your skills and target market = your target companies. You can go on and on.

So what’s career search? I would say career search = launching a product. It’s about launching you as a resourceful hire to all the amazing companies recruiting out there. I personally enjoy the startup method of launching a product, i.e. launch MVP (minimum viable product) iterate.

Here is my process with my analogies:

  1. Create a minimum viable product: Create your first resume draft ASAP. Make sure it’s out as fast as possible. Don’t wait for that perfect resume because it might never happen.
  2. Know your target audience: Generally, research companies you’d be interested in working for. If you’re not American, find out which companies hire international students and which roles they hire for.
  3. Seek quick feedback from your target audience: Conduct informational interviews, and lots of them! And understand what skills are required to succeed.
  4. Iterate your product: Develop new skills and highlight them as per the feedback. Resume iterations are key; I have nearly 100.
  5. Refine your messaging: Improve your pitch to a recruiter. What’s your USP?
  6. Validate product features: Ensure that you have the right skills for a job. Get that interview.
  7. Repeat.

Some of my other favorite analogies:

  • Marketing channels: Online job portals, LinkedIn, meetups, conferences, and, the best option, your network
  • Open leads: Any conversation with a recruiter/manager
  • CRM tools: I use Streak and Microsoft Excel
  • A/B testing: Experiment with your resume. See what works best.
  • Field research: Throw yourself into the field and talk to people. I think this is the part I loved the most. I live in College Park, Maryland and went out to California to meet with people!
  • Field testing: Apply to jobs!
  • Word-of-mouth marketing: Get referral at those companies. We all know referrals are the best means to conversion!

Now, before you think too much about my analogies, please stop.

It’s simple, really.

Research plan develop launch market feedback and relaunch.

Or, in startup mode, launching a product means launching MVP (minimum viable product) feedback and relaunch.

I took the startup route. I did not wait to perfect my resume before I jumped into the job market. I jumped, spoke to people in the industry, understood which skills I needed to make the cut, and then…?

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