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When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, the 4th of July was a big deal and, if you didn’t have fireworks (illegal as they were), it was a big deal – you were considered a woose (look that one up in the Urban Dictionary if you need to). Pretty much every teenager knew where to get fireworks and it was somewhat of a competition as to who had the most and best fireworks. One year, my best friend and I scored some smoke bombs which were pretty neat. We decided to conduct an experiment to see how much smoke was really in a smoke bomb. So, we took an empty pickle jar, lit a smoke bomb, dropped it in the jar and closed the cover. About 2 seconds after we closed the lid we realized that we had not thought the whole thing through and that the jar (a glass jar at that) was probably going to explode from the smoke filling the jar. We ran for cover and luckily, only the cover blew off the jar.
The moral of the story? We clearly did not have a plan. We did not think through what would happen and, luckily, we walked away without getting hurt (except for our pride).
Job search is much the same. Implementing a job search plan is key to finding a job. By now you’ve finished the items in the first two Lessons and are ready to put your plan together and that’s what today’s lesson is about – implementing your job search plan. We’ve included lots of resources for you in today’s post.
Your Daily and Weekly Job Search Ritual: How much time you spend on your job search depends mostly on whether you are looking for a job while still employed or if you are unemployed. Regardless of your situation, your plan will look much the same. You will have stuff you will do weekly and then your daily tasks. With any of the resources listed below, there is always the danger of focusing on one job search channel at the expense all of your other resources. Be careful to balance your resources as appropriate.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is one of your best resources, and there are lots of things you should do on a regular basis. Do you need Premium access? This is a personal decision that you will need to make based on the value added perceived.
- Your Profile – Update your profile once per week. Your updates could be just small tweaks, a word here or there. Profile updates are noted by recruiters and this potentially gives you additional exposure. – 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile
- Job Search – Leverage LinkedIn’s job search function. Sort by relevance and use the options on the left hand side of the page to narrow and focus your search. Date posted is really important – limit the age of the posting to no more than 7 days. The volume of applications already submitted for jobs older than 7 days is probably not worth the effort.
- Groups – This is another option that you should look at (but also balance). Limit the number of groups to something that is manageable and focused on your career and industry.
- Contacts – “Networks” are covered more broadly below. Your LinkedIn contacts are one part of your overall Network. Don’t accept connections from just anyone. Limit connections to those you actually know. “Mine” your contacts on a regular basis (at least weekly) and leverage your direct link contacts with your job search, not only on LinkedIn, but in all of your job opportunities.
- Network: Not everyone in your network should be a LinkedIn contact. Some family, personal friends and recruiters will be part of your network but may not be a LinkedIn contact. This does not make them any less important. On the contrary, your entire network should be leveraged in the same way. Stay in regular contact (contact at least one individual every week) with your network, ensure they are all aware of your search and don’t be shy in contacting them.
- Industry Groups, Trade Organizations, Professional Organizations: Join professional and trade organizations for your career/industry, join your alumni association and contact your former schools, colleges and universities (especially their career offices). People in your field will have some of the best contacts for jobs in your field. Stay active with these organizations, and attend as many job fairs or networking events as you can.
Daily Tasks – “One a Day”: As mentioned above, much of the time you spend on your job search depends on whether you are unemployed or looking for a job while employed. Building your visibility in the job search market requires a minimum effort every day (more effort generally results in more results). My rule of “one a day” refers to taking at least one action per day to further your search. This includes any one (or more) of the following:
- Contact a new recruiter –
- Sign up on a company career sites –
- Apply to a job postings –
- Connect (or re-connect) with someone in your network –
“One a day” means that at the end of every week you will have expanded your exposure by 7 actions. Over a period of weeks this has a multiplier effect and increases your chances of landing a job as soon as possible. “One a day” is a very small commitment of time that you should be able to invest in your search.
We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.
Good luck in your search,