Having a plan for your job search will help you achieve your career goals more easily. It will keep you on track and identify those activities that keep you busy but do not add value to your plan. Mapping out a job search plan will help you identify opportunities and keep you focused.
Knowing what you want to achieve is a great start. If you are unsure of your ultimate career goal, it will be difficult to identify opportunities. Unfocused people have a difficult time telling others about their goals. Identify your goals – you may have several avenues that you want to explore; that is good and a worthy use of time.
Tailor your resume to the types of positions you are seeking. A customized resume that shows exactly how you meet the employer’s needs will get more attention than a generic document. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume. Use the resume and cover letter to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the specific requirements of the position.
Network to Expand your Sphere of Guidance.
Networking is an excellent way to identify job opportunities that are not posted online or in any job database. Reach out to others who have experience in the field and who can help you identify possible jobs and companies to explore.
Informational meetings. One of the best ways to network and let people in a position to help you know that you are searching for a job is through informational interviews. Set up informational interviews with people who are in your field; ask for advice – never ask for a job. You are gaining information and impressing people who can direct you to unadvertised jobs.
Following up with connections. Once you have made a contact, either through an informational interview or at a networking event, be sure to email or call. Provide new information or offer to help your new contact – networking is not a one-way street. The connection must go both ways in order for you to build a substantial base of people who know you and are willing to assist you in your career goals.
Say “Thank You”! Send an email or handwritten thank you note to your contacts, whether they are established or new relationships. This is an opportunity to deepen the connection and demonstrate that you were listening and engaged during the informational interview or networking event.
A job search plan is vital to ensuring that your efforts and time are spent on valuable activities that will lead to the next step in your career. Take a look at your plan and identify those activities that take up time, but do not add value. Focus your energy and efforts on those steps that will move you closer to your career goals.