Job search is no different from any other plan. You just need a robust and comprehensive strategy.
A job search can take many forms and have many activities, the most important thing is to understand what you need to do and when. Planning tasks on a daily or regular basis make it more likely that you will be successful. A good job search strategy will involve not only you but your family, friends and all those in your network.
Job search strategy
- Plan: you want to make a realistic plan, one that you can work to. Set yourself targets and the ultimate goal with the steps you need to take to succeed. Job search is a job in itself, so be prepared to spend a good proportion of time on setting up your plan. You will also need to ensure that your collateral is up to date and relevant to the roles you are looking for.
- Schedule: Manage your diary well so that the time you spend on your job search is productive. Give yourself rewards and time to relax as well as time to be working on the task of job search.
- Monitor and Log: Keep a record of everything you see and do. Ensure you list which CV/resume you have sent to which applications. Note when you have had responses and if you need to follow up. Good record keeping is essential. At the same time, you can keep notes of any preparation or applications you make so you can use similar phrases again.
- Find vacancies: Keep an eye out for opportunities that you are really interested in. On-line job boards are one solution, and it is important to check a wide range of sites so that you do not miss out on vacancies. Set up alerts where you can to remind yourself of where you need to be looking. Some job boards cover a wide variety of industries, others are selective so it is essential to check not only the job boards but also industry, trade associations and recruitment agency websites as well.
- Check daily: Not only do you need to check websites for vacancies, you also need to look in daily or weekly newspapers and other media.
- Prepare and research: Before you can contact organisations directly, you will need to thoroughly prepare and research how you will approach them and what your strategy will be. Once again you will need collateral which may differ from an ordinary cover letter. Research through social media, company websites and using LinkedIn.
- Contact companies direct: Sometimes companies have vacancies advertised on their websites which are not advertised elsewhere. Using LinkedIn you may be able to make a connection and therefore contact someone directly.
- Register with recruitment agencies: Only register with recruitment agencies that have clients you would want to work with. Many agencies specialise in certain sectors. Once they have a vacancy they will contact you directly.
- Build your network: You can never have too big a network. Your network should include friends, family, former colleagues, friends of friends and local business people. Use your network wisely, keep them informed and uptodate. What leads can they give you?
- Book informational interviews: With help from your network, set up informational interviews either with individuals who have a similar career path to you or with an executive from a company that aligns with your goals. Don’t expect to get a job offer from an informational interview, just have some prepared questions that you would like answered. Even if there is no opportunity at the time of the interview, you may pick up ideas about how to improve your application in the future and what skills and attributes are required.
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