Just like you’d properly prepare and plan before heading into a job interview, your job search efforts also need planning and preparation. When you build a job search plan, you have direction on where to go seek out job opportunities, what types of job opportunities to seek, how much time to spend on each area, and a process to go about applying and conducting follow-up to bring in results.
The fact is job searching is time consuming and as many can tell you, it can feel like a full-time job in itself. It’s no wonder job seekers can spend several hours at it each day. But, the main issue is not that too many hours are being spent on job searching, but that there are job seekers going about it aimlessly and finding very little in return for their efforts.
This is where the job search plan comes in.
4 Steps To Building A Job Search Plan
Take these steps to build a job search plan so that you spend your time wisely and bring in better and faster results!
1. Define when and how much time you will spend job searching each day.
Think about it – when you’re working, you typically have a set schedule of when you work and deadlines to meet. This is the same process that needs to be applied when conducting your job search. By setting a schedule and a time limit, you keep your mind focused and get the job done better and faster.
2. Break down the components to job searching and allocate your time.
Once you know how much time you have to work with each day or each week, define what you will do with that time. For example, two hours researching job opportunities, one hour preparing your resume and applying to jobs and one hour conducting follow-up and communicating with potential employers.
To break it down even further, you may also allocate how much time to spend on job searching between job boards, recruiters, LinkedIn, and through direct contacts from networking. Knowing that networking and referrals tend to have a better rate of effectiveness, it would make sense to allocate more time towards those efforts than say the job boards.
3. Define goals.
When you have a goal to aim towards, you know where to focus your efforts. For example, if you’re goal is to get 2-3 interviews per week and at the start of the week you already have two interviews set, then you know you’re ahead of the game and can work towards achieving your goal for next week or taking more time to prepare for the interviews. On the other hand, if by the end of the week you’ve received no call-backs, it’s time to evaluate your resume or your method to getting in front of the right contacts.
4. Record your activities.
When you apply to as many as 20 jobs each week, you can lose track of things even with the best memory. Develop a record system for your job search activities that details when you applied to a job, what feedback has been received, and where you need to continue follow-up and when. In the process, also carefully gather the job description information so you can refer back to it when you do need to make the follow-up call or respond to an employer inquiry.
A job search plan that is implemented wisely will have you spending your time effectively, efficiently and you’ll see faster results to the types of job opportunities you want.
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.
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