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Job searching is time consuming and like any other project - you need a plan. Organizing and optimizing your efforts can slash your job search in half. Related: How To Demonstrate To Employers That You're The Best Talent There are several ways in which you can conduct your job search: job boards, recruiters, and networking. Knowing that networking offers the greatest effectiveness rate over the others, you should craft a plan that includes networking time.

4 Steps To Building A Job Search Plan

Follow these steps and you will slash your job search time considerably. Take these steps:

1. First, get all the materials you need ready.

Before you even target any contacts, you have to have certain materials and tools ready to work with. This includes your resume, LinkedIn profile, and elevator pitch/phone script. The elevator pitch and phone script essentially offer a brief summary of who you are and what value you have that distinguishes you. For more help crafting you elevator pitch and phone script, read “4 Steps to Crafting Your Elevator Pitch.”

2. Determine how much time you will spend towards you job search.

If you are unemployed, you should spend 30-40 hours per week on your job search. If you are employed, 10-20 hours per week. These numbers are just general guidelines. You determine how much time you want to put towards your job search so that you can organize how to allocate your time.

3. Allocate your time for specific tasks.

If you have 30 hours to work with during the week, allocate how much time to put towards each task in your job search. For example, X hours per day for conducting follow-up on submissions and other communication, Y hours per day networking and making new contacts, and so on. Just keep in mind that to get your resume in front of employers, there are only three ways: Job Boards, Recruiters, and Direct Contact through Networking. You want to spend most of your time networking because it is the most effective way to get a job. Often, job seekers spend most of their time on job boards, and that is a big mistake considering it only has a 3-6% effectiveness rate. More employers are relying on Applicant Tracking Systems, so with submissions through job boards, only the top 20 ranking resumes (based on the ATS search results) out of the hundreds are reviewed by a human. If you do want to use job boards, you should look at the niche job boards. Either way, make sure you are not allocating more than 50% of your job search time to job boards.

4. Have goals and keep a log of your work.

Setting goals will help direct your job search efforts. For instance, you may set goals like making 15 networking contacts per week. Depending on results, you may want to modify how you allocate your time with the goal. This entire process needs to be well organized, and to help you do that, keep a log of your work. Keep track of where you’ve applied, when you applied, the status of your submission, next steps, and so on. This way when you are contacted you will have all the information you need. Finding a new job takes a lot of work – much like a full-time job, but armed with a good job search plan you can stay organized and utilize your time wisely for the best results in securing job opportunities.

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About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.   Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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