Your University Name    the Competitive Edge

by Susan Whitcomb

Overview/What You Will Learn

Having so many career options as an MBA can be an asset as well as a detriment in your job search. It can make it difficult to narrow your focus to a particular position or field.  MBA Career Strategist Susan Whitcomb presents a step-by-step strategy in her 3-part series for assessing your unique strengths and determining your career direction. Here, in Part 1, she focuses on matching what employers seek with your own skills and interests; or, as she explains it, finding the right “FIT.”

Key Points

  • Employers want you to manage your career the way you would run a business.  They look for candidates who have clear goals, a defined strategy and who know their product – the product being you.
  • Employers are looking for the right fit for their organization, and so should you.
  • “FIT” has two components or perspectives. The first is the “External FIT” -- what the employer seeks. 
    • “F” is for Focus.  Prospective employers want to know what position and what industry you seek.
    • “I” is for Identity. Employers want to know that their ideal candidate matches what you can offer.
    • “T” represents Treasure, or your value proposition. How can you help contribute to the employer’s bottom line?  
  • Understand the connection between interests and abilities.  If you’re interested, you’ll be much more engaged and fulfilled in your work. And, if interested enough, you can persevere to overcome an ability deficit.
  • Examine these clues to help you identify your focus:
    • Your initial motivation for attending business school;
    • The classes/subjects you gravitate toward;
    • Past work successes (Your “CAR” stories – Challenge…Action…Result)
    • Your fascinations (what you enjoy reading, websites you frequent, activities you engage in that cause you to lose track of time);
    • People you admire, enjoy or envy;
    • Encouragement from people close to you;
    • Emotional connection you share with people through professional associations, clubs or previous work experiences;
    • Job postings that excite you;
    • Assessment feedback. Options include: Career Leader - through your university career center, Strengths Finder – book and assessment tool by Tom Rath, 360 Reach, and Values.

Your Next Steps / Tips for Success

  • List 2-3 top-of-mind position and industry options.
  • Review assessment results to help focus your search strategy. 
  • Proceed to Part 2 of Assess Your Assets…Determine Your Direction to Jumpstart Your Job Search!

Expert BIO
by Susan Whitcomb

Susan Whitcomb is founder and president of The Academies, including Career Coach Academy, Job Search Academy & Leadership Coach Academy. She brings two decades of experience to her work as an author and speaker. People come away from Susan’s keynotes, trainings, and coaching encounters with an “I can do it!” perspective, helping them tap into the awareness, attitudes, and action plans that cause a life-changing shift from stagnant or stuck to unstoppable.

Susan is the author of the best-selling “Magic Series” published by JIST, including Job Search Magic, Interview Magic, and Resume Magic, now in its 4th edition. Her book, 30-Day Job Promotion: Build a Powerful Promotion Plan in a Month, is part of JIST's popular Help-in-a-Hurry series. Her recent book The Christian’s Career Journey marries her career experience with a Bibilical approach to careers and calling. And, coming 2010, Susan’s newest book, The Twitter Job Search Guide, promises to reveal how job seekers and careerists can leverage the power of social media to advance their careers. Susan is also coauthor of eResumes: Everything You Need To Know (McGraw-Hill) and author of a 400-page career coaching reference accompanying the Certified Career Management Coach program offered through Career Coach Academy.

She has been a careers columnist and featured chat guest for and America Online and, as an industry expert, has been cited in U.S. News & World Report, CBS, the Dow Jones’ National Business Employment Weekly, and numerous national publications. She serves on the board of, and was former Executive Director for, Career Management Alliance (formerly Career Masters Institute).

Her designations include Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from International Coach Federation, Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Job Search Strategist, Certified Life Coach, Certified Professional Christian Coach, Master Resume Writer, Nationally Certified Resume Writer, and Credential Career Manager.

Career Coach Academy’s Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC) program and Leadership Coach Academy’s Certified Leadership & Talent Management Coach (CLTMC) program have been designated as providers of 30 hours (each) of Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (“ACSTH”) through International Coach Federation.