Discover Career Opportunities

Planning for Your Job Search – Lesson 1

career plan

We may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

A friend of mine (let’s call him Phil) just started his job search and he asked me to review his resume. When I started talking with Phil about his resume, I realized that he had not given any thought as to the type of company he wanted to work at, the types of jobs he was considering, where he would start his search (recruiters, job search sites, etc.) or any other aspect of his job search other than his resume.

While your resume is the most important document in your job search and you certainly can’t start your search without an updated resume, you definitely should not start your search until you’ve come up with a high-level approach or job search plan. Starting your job search without a plan is akin to putting on your shoes and then picking the socks you are going to wear.

“While you may have all good intentions in launching your search, a poorly executed plan will most likely have you chasing hundreds of leads without any real benefit.” – Reasons to Use a Recruitment Agency

There are many reasons to launch a job search: not satisfied with your current job/salary, your company is not doing well or possibly you’ve just been let go. Many of us know that feeling – you’ve just lost your job and you need to land a new one as soon as possible.  Your first thought is to apply to as many jobs as possible and to send your resume to everyone you know. Whatever the reason for your job search and no matter how urgent your need to find a new job may seem, you will save tons of time and aggravation if you first spend a little time planning out your job search approach. A good job search plan will help you land a new job as quickly as possible.

No matter how urgent your need to find a new job may seem, you will save tons of time and aggravation if you first spend a little time planning out your job search approach.

Tweet This

This article is the first in a series of “lessons” to help you create and execute your job search plan. This post will focus on what you need to create your plan. Lesson 2 will go into more depth on each item.

Your Job Search Plan

You can’t execute on a plan if you don’t have one. Don’t worry, this is not about spending all of your time creating a plan, but you do need to know how, where and what you will do in your job search. Your “plan” is essentially to create the lists you will need to get your job search started. You need to create lists of (don’t forget to prioritize within each list):

What You Will Need:

  • Documents you will need (your job search marketing plan):

Book CornerThe Job Search Action Plan: What You Need To Know To Get The Job You Want

  • Lists you will create:

    • Your strengths and weaknesses
    • Jobs you are qualified to apply for
    • 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 (keep this list short)
    • References
  • Other actions you will take:

    • Utilize you College Career Office (ton’s of resources)
    • Build and leverage your Network (friends, family, LinkedIn, etc.)
    • Prepare your marketing materials (Resume, Cover Letters, interview questions)
    • Prepare your marketing plan (companies, recruiters, job boards, etc.)

Good Financial Future

Where to Start:

Your first step will be to create some of your lists (see below).  This will enable you to create a resume that best matches your qualifications and will provide the best chance for landing a job quickly.

Step 1 – Make a list of jobs you are qualified to apply for. This should include jobs that are at your current level as well as the next level up.

Aptitude Test Practice – Prepare yourself with aptitude tests practice packages
Job Search Marketing Toolkit

Step 2 – Research companies where you would like to work (and that have your type of job). Make a list and prioritize (favorite to least favorite).

How to Build a Job Search – Company Research
8 Resources to Help Find the Right Company for Your Next Job

Step 3 – Create or update your resume based on the lists in steps 1 and 2.

Free Resume Evaluation Service
CVs Made Easy

Career Tip of the Day: Get more interviews with Resume Companion’s Free Resume Builder

Suggested Reading:

2 Hour Job Search

What's next?

home popular resources subscribe search