Project Plan Your Job Search

Are you struggling to stay on top of your job search? Do you need help in prioritizing your time? It can be a challenge whether you are doing a search while working a job or in between jobs, juggling the time and tools it takes to get your next gig is an art form. I have discovered there are six key areas in effective job searches.

  1. Target
  2. Tools
  3. Timeline
  4. Tackle daily
  5. Talk your story
  6. Take the job
Today, let’s discuss timeline – planning your job search from beginning to end.


As for a timeline for your job search, be realistic. If you are just getting started, most job searches are taking 6 – 12 months. The average for those unemployed is about 10 months. Though working with a coach will make this shorten, sometimes significantly. But don’t tell your coach at the end of May you want that perfect job by July. Not going to happen for most people. Job transition takes time and a whole lot of thought but it doesn’t have to wipe you out. First off, all job seekers should have a project plan developed for their search. It can be as basic or elaborate as you want it to be. The key is to have one. I have seen too many of my clients come to me for one area of the job search but then flounder horribly in the time management and planning aspect. This is usually the area we tackle next. Below are some of the tools I utilize with my clients. Attached are two documents. Pick the one that feels best to you and how you work. The key to planning your search is to plan. Sit down and write out the steps you will take and when and how. If you have no idea how to do this, call me. We can talk it through. Write the tasks in the left column. Break them down to as small a step as you can, as in project Plan two or in more general terms but still a functional task, such as in project Plan one. All tasks listed must be defined enough to be able to be checked off all by itself.

Job Search Project Plan 1

Tasks Due Date Completion
First draft of resume 9/14 9/15
Second draft of resume 9/20 9/20
Final edits of resume 9/22
Networking into top 5 companies On-going

Job Search Project Plan 2

Action Items Duration Who Wk. 1 Wk. 2
*Clarify Target*
- Decide on job search goal/target 2 weeks Me
- Establish milestones 1 day Me
*Strategy Development*
- Develop long/short-term strategy 1 week Me/Coach
- Research & review job search tactics
- Choose tactics to be used in campaign
*Create List of Potential Companies*
Note: On this plan, the weeks can go out as far as you want. So it breaks the search down by weekly segments. There is more detailed plan which ensures a step is not missed or overlooked and that all chosen steps are assigned to the appropriate parties. I think you get it by now. You have to have a written job search plan and to take action on it. Next up – tackle daily. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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