Map out a two month plan.
The job search takes time. Start by listing out activities and goals. You can’t control the employer end of the process, but you can take ownership of what you do. Here’s a sample:
Week 1: Update LinkedIN and resume, line up three references.
Week 2: Search online for jobs – using LinkedIn, Google, Indeed, etc. Write cover letters and apply.
Week 3: Start a list of target companies – look to see if you have any mutual connections at those companies (via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter). Reach out to those connections.
Budget out your time.
If you’re currently employed, your time challenges need to be addressed. Carve out time after work or on weekends. This should be scheduled in – not just a haphazard thought. Schedule it like you would any appointment. For instance, “I will job search for one hour every Tuesday and Thursday night between 7 and 8 pm.”
If you’re currently unemployed, you have more time to search, but you also have more time to procrastinate and get distracted. Schedule your time in shifts, allowing for breaks. For example:
9 am to 10 am – Do a LinkedIn status update, look at the job listings on Monster or Indeed, reach out to two contacts.
10:00 to 11:00 – Attend local networking job search group
11:30 to 12:30 – Meet former coworker for lunch
1:00 to 4:00 – Write cover letters and submit applications.
Get a support system and get serious about networking.
The job search has its ups and downs, and you have to be prepared to handle the uncertainty. Discouragement and disappointment ARE part of the process. It’s how you react and forge forward that is going to make the difference between a short job search and a long one.
Learn how to effectively network. Looking for a job is a full time job, so you should attend networking events and get to know people in a similar situation. If someone you met gets a job, they could potentially refer you to any openings they hear of, and vice versa.
In addition, use LinkedIn and follow the companies you are interested in working for. Try to connect to some employees who work there. Also, join groups pertaining to your field or industry.
– Matt Weinrich, Lead Operations Recruiter, Oldcastle
Just get started and keep going
It’s really important to not get sidetracked. It’s easy to let the day-to-day, along with holidays, vacations, etc. – even the change of season (“It’s so nice out, no one is hiring in the Summer, I’ll just take a break!”) cloud your thoughts and get you off course. The longer you resist or postpone the search, the longer it will take – and you are letting your competition win. If you find this happening – do some real soul searching. Maybe you aren’t really ready to leave your current job. And, if you are out of work, maybe it’s the type of positions you’re looking for. Is a career change in order? Our thoughts and actions (or in this case, in-actions) give us clues. Listen, learn and act upon them.
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