A job search strategy will help you stay focused
The job search process is much more complicated and time-consuming than it used to be. If you are like most job seekers, you may be searching online and applying to lots of jobs without much of a plan, which leads to big time frustration. This is called "spray and pray" and is rarely successful.
As a first step, our Job Search Strategy 101 Skill Builder Workshop provides a structured method and many tools to create a plan. Plan to attend a session online where you will have a chance to ask all your questions in addition to reviewing this PDF.
A job search strategy starts with the foundation of your Self Assessment work. Don't skip this important self-reflection!
Clarify your target job titles(s). Your self-assessment work should help, and you should discuss this in detail with your mentor if you have one. A great tool to use to help is LinkedIn Career Explorer. Indeed.com and LinkedIn's jobs database are great ways to explore the vast variation in job titles for the same function - just start searching with your best guess of potential job titles and you will start to see alternative titles.
Create a target list of companies you are interested in. This presentation details how to create a target list, step-by-step. Your list will evolve, but is VERY helpful to have a focus. This Target List template is a great place to start, or create your own.
Checklists can be a big help to ensure you don't skip essential steps:
- Career Sherpa: Checklist for a job search
- Job Seekers: Job Seeker Checklist
- Connie Plowman: Job Search Project Management Tool
Tracking your work helps tremendously with accountability:
- Networking Tracker - Spreadsheet to track all network conversations, and follow up dates
- Job Search Tracker - Spreadsheet to track applications, interviews, and take notes
- Teal - Website that offers free online trackers and a Chrome extension to help create and track your lists
- Notion - Integrated job search tracking tool created for our job seekers. Simple and Deluxe versions available. Free. Go here for a quick training video.
A successful job search strategy is multifaceted:
- Use your network -- especially helpful if you are changing careers or took a career break.
- Search online. Job boards are still a significant source of hire according to recruiters. Just don't spend ALL your time on this.
- Use agency recruiters and staffing firms. They can be very helpful getting your foot in the door. Here is a list of local firms. One firm offers a 7-day Job Search Challenge that has high quality advice without trying to sell you anything.
Part of your strategy is to ask for help
Everyone needs support during this process, not only from family and friends, but also from professionals and from others going through the same process.
Talk to your fellow job seekers at our Monday meetings.
Talk to your mentor if you have one. To work with a mentor, attend our Orientation session on Mondays immediately following the meeting.
Meet with other mentors. Read about our backgrounds and feel free to reach out to any mentor to ask questions.
Find more job search groups: LinkedIn Groups for Job Searchers.
And don't forget to join the Lake Grove Job Seekers Connect Group on LinkedIn. It's just for people in our organization.
Find additional content on our website
Use the categories or enter a search term to find more information on all these topics.
- Goals and Action Plans
- Job Search Sites
- Remote / Work from Home
- Temporary Jobs
Also check out the Extras page for more helpful information.