How to Plan a Strategic Job Search

“By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Franklin knew first hand that having a plan was the only road to success.  Job search can be ver overwhelming, especially if you have never been in the position you are currently.  So many feelings that constantly control your brain and can leave you “paralyzed” in action.

So how does one prepare and strategize a job search? By researching, targeting and drilling down.  See most job seekers are in too much shock initially to really think about a plan.  Most react and go through a series of emotions and then go to the job boards where they think all the jobs are.

In reality, job boards are the most unproductive place to go.  Hundreds and even thousands of people may be competing for the jobs you are applying for.  Still other jobs may be ads just to collect fresh resumes but no job actually exists.  Still other ads may already have a designated person they want to hire, but the company is required to post the job.  And sadly, some job postings may not even be real jobs, just a ploy to make the company appear to be growing.

Job search requires that the candidate think of themselves as a “product” and then go about designing a marketing plan to sell that product to the ideal customer.

As a job seeker, there are many steps to your plan, however, these 3 are at the top of the list.

1) Research your past jobs and establish what your ideal roles are. 

It is important in order to know what jobs you are best suited for, that you go back and examine your past jobs, duties and accomplishments.   This research into your past gives you better insight into what you can do and want to do in your next job.

2)  Update your resume and social media pages.

One of the first actions should be to update your resume.  Not merely adding an end date, but going make thru each job experience and really thinking about your accomplishments at each.  Rewriting the duties and spotlighting your best work.  In addition to the resume, this is also a great time to review your social media accounts, specifically LinkedIn and updates all your past experience with a fresh look at your accomplishments, certifications, and yes even a new profile photo.

Take a good look at any other social media accounts, like Facebook, Instagram. etc.   Review them for any inflammatory posts, photos, etc and clean up the accounts.  Your employer WILL google you so go head and do that now.   Every employer will likewise look you up on all social media accounts as well.  Be prepared and head-off any issues now before your start interviewing.

3)  Network online and offline.

I can not stress this phase of your plan enough.  Networking with people both online and in person will be the best resource for you getting your next job.  No one likes talking to people they do not know, but once you start, each time will get easier and easier.  If a hiring manager (your next boss) does not know who you are then there is no way they can hire you.

While there are so many parts to a great job search plan, the ones just mentioned will indeed jumpstart your job search with a bang.