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The Hitchhikers Guide to Job Search

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Books, movies, TV shows and a computer game, the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” has many forms. While job search may not be one of them, your job search is a journey nevertheless. Not to disappoint, but this guide may not be as interesting as its namesake. Unless, of course, you are looking for a job and don’t have a clue (meant in only the nicest way). Even for those who have looked for jobs in the recent past, job search can seem daunting at best and lifestyle threatening at worst. Overwhelming as it may seem, your approach will be most influenced by your reason for looking for a new job (do you have a job and are looking to make a change or are you already unemployed?). First and foremost, you are not alone. But most importantly, a structured approach to your search will provide the best chance for finding your new job more quickly. The basics have not changed. You will need:

A job search Plan: Simple as it may sound, sitting down and writing your plan can be time consuming. It does not have to (and should not) be “War and Peace”, but it should be comprehensive and well thought out. Take a look at our job search planning tools.

job search Checklist: A job search checklist is key once you’ve developed your plan. It will include:

  • Everything you need in terms of “materials” (resume, references, cover letters, skills, target companies, etc.)
  • A Plan of Attack – who to contact first in your network, how you will spend your time (spread across recruiters, company career sites, job search sites and research)
  • interview Preparation – questions to ask, answers to questions you will be asked, how you will research companies and interviewers where you get asked to interview
    • job search Checklist – Focuses on planning and preparation with 10 or so points (understand the process, understand the jobs that interest you, creating your list and more).
    • Checklists for Job Seekers – A bunch of checklists for each part of your search.


A job search Marketing Toolkit: Just like bringing a new product to market and getting everyone to buy it, your job search should have a marketing marketing plan as well. The toolkit includes: your resume, Cover letters, References, Thank you letters, Target market, elevator speech, Network and Your experience.


A Focused Approach: If you are not organized, your search will be difficult at best. Who have you called, who do you need to follow-up with, what jobs have you applied for and a thousand other things to organized. Leverage the lists created in your job search plan. Keeping track is key to a successful 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,


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