We have all heard the quote from Rita Mae Brown, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This quote is particularly applicable to many job searches I see out there.
Below is my checklist for making sure your job search strategy covers all your bases and effectively delivers the results you are striving for.
Example of an Ineffective Job Search Strategy
At a recent networking event, someone asked me why he still hadn’t found a job even after 9 months of trying. I asked him to describe his weekly job search process. Here are his steps:
- goes to four job search websites
- conducts searches based on his criteria
- reviews the jobs that meet the criteria
- sends his resume and cover letter to each of the jobs he determines to be a good fit
He repeats this process each week. Sometimes he receives a reply from an employer, but oftentimes he does not. Even still, he repeats this process each week.
If this sounds like your job search, ask yourself if what you are doing is working? Are you getting the results you want? If not, have you altered your approach? If not, then stop for a minute and examine your process and make the necessary changes. You need to determine why you aren’t rising up to the top of the candidate list and fix your process so that you do!
Job Search Checklist
Strategy – you need to do the right things
- What are the components of your job search?
- Do you have a plan with measurable targets (i.e. number of networking connections you will make, jobs you will apply for, etc.)?
- Is the plan written down?
- Are there other job search tactics you should add to your plan?
Execution – you need to carry out your plan consistently each week
- Which parts of your job search plan do you like to do?
- Which ones don’t you like to do?
- Do you spend more time doing the things you enjoy (i.e. searching for jobs online) and less time doing the things you dislike (i.e. finding networking connections)?
- Do you document your actions each week?
- Are you meeting the targets in your plan?
Connections – you need to connect with the people who receive your resume
- Are you getting your resume and cover letter to the right person at the company?
- Are you spending time trying to find that person?
- Are you making connections at that company to ensure the hiring manager does review your resume?
- Is your profile on LinkedIn or other professional social networking sites updated?
- Are you using these sites to make connections with others?
If your job search is not yielding the results you want, ask yourself when was the last time your reviewed the plan and made some changes. Review the checklist above and see what changes you need to make and implement them. These changes are going to yield positive results.
What job search technique have you found most useful in your search? Let us know in the comments section below!
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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