2.3. Forget what you know about the job search process

There are a few differences between US and your country’s recruiting process, as many foreign-MBAs from all corners of the world have pointed out:

– You have to sell yourself very aggressively (whereas in most countries is enough to demonstrate your skills)

– The market is highly competitive. Many foreign MBAs are used to being part of an educated elite in their countries (probably among the very top of their class, economically advantaged, and so on). Not in the US, certainly not in Business School, where you meet the best of the best. Even if you think you are the best, there will always be somebody smarter than you.

– With so many bright people from all over the world, it is though to shine; you have to make an extraordinary effort.

– There are many restrictions in terms of what a recruiter can ask (especially personal information that could be considered discriminating), thus you need to be careful about what you say or write.

– Resumes are shorter and more concise. If they don’t follow a precise style, they are not even read.

– Cover letters are needed. Their main objective is to gain the interviewer’s interest in you as a valuable candidate.

– Follow-up is expected. Frequently, it leads to a successful process.


The rules of the game have changed. To make a long story short, you may have to forget what you know about the job-search and start over. The good news is there is a lot of help available.