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When I was growing up, my family used to take long “driving” vacations. You know, you drive for several days, stay in hotels on the road going to (or coming from) your vacation spot. Of course when I was growing up we didn’t have the Internet or GPS. We had to get maps and plan out our trip. If you were lucky, your father belonged to AAA and he would have them create a “triptik” (little books with a page and a fold-out map for each segment of your trip – Google it). Half the fun in taking these trips was following the maps. Nothing like knowing how to get where you’re going.
Job search is much the same. You need a job search plan (your “map”) to help you find the right job without getting “lost”. Balancing your time during a job search can be challenging to say the least. Recruiters, job search engines, company career sites, your network, where do you start? The volume of information available, compounded by automated job search engines which email long lists of “matching jobs” (most of which are not even close) can keep you very busy on unproductive job search activities. It’s so easy to spend all of your time reading the latest job search article or sorting through hundreds of potential jobs. The fear of missing that one important bit of information or missing that important job lead drives most of us crazy. They key, of course, is to have a plan and to stick to it. Your plan should outline how you will spend your time across all of your job search activities.
At a loss as to how to start your plan? You will need:
A Job Search Checklist– Your job search checklist should include:
- Your Resume(s) – Probably more than one depending on your experience. Take a look at
- Cover Letters
- Thank You notes
- A list of your strengths and weaknesses
- Jobs you are qualified to apply for
- Your “dream” job
- Companies where you would like to work (including those that are in your industry)
- Your Network (friends, family, current and former coworkers)
- Recruiters for your industry/field
- Job search boards (we will keep this list short)
Your Job Search Plan – This is your roadmap for how you will spend your time looking for a job. Much depends on whether you are not currently working (so you have much more time to conduct your job search) or if you are looking while you are working. In either case, having a plan will help you manage your time more efficiently and should help you find a job
- Executing on Your Job Search Plan – This article provides an number of resources to help you create your job search plan in this article.
- 50 Ways to Leave Your Job Search NOW – This list of resources is from JobMob and provides a bunch (50 to be exact) of ideas and leads to help you in your job search plan.
- Job Search Planning Lessons – Three lessons with step by step instructions to help you get started and complete your job search plan.
- Your Action Plan – Creating a plan for your career is important. This action plan is from Temple.edu’s career center provides some great ideas.
Career Tip of the Day: Where Will Your Goal Take You Today?
Suggested Reading: Job Search Action Plan
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Good luck in your search,