Hunting for a job can be a tedious task, be it a new job or a job change. Some fortunate job seekers manage to grab a job without much efforts, most of others not being that much lucky.
But never wait for fortune to smile on you, rather strive to create your own destiny. So capitalize on what you possess and develop a proper job search action plan to trigger your chances of getting the dream job.
What is a Job Search Action Plan and Why is it Important?
It generally means creating a strategy to help a candidate during his/her active search for a new job or job change, encompassing overall aspects of a job search, from choosing relevant work experience and customizing a resume up to maintaining a track of job boards and preparing for common interview questions.
Inclusions of a Job Search Action Plan
A job search action plan consists of a few steps, each focusing on the diverse facets of the job search process. The steps arranged chronologically will build your day-to-day as well as weekly schedule, and it might be required to assign daily and weekly targets to see when to perform a particular task or a set of tasks. You can set deadlines to monitor your progress. The tasks might vary from person to person, but there are a few common stages that are essential to actually get into your preferred role.
Stages of a Job Search Action Plan
Each stage comprises of a specific action or a set of related actions to serve a common purpose, towards improving your chances of grabbing your target job.
Stage 1: Question Your Decision
Whether You Really Want a Change
Prior to taking any steps, always ensure if you really want a new job or it’s just because you had a bad experience at the office yesterday. Since, a job change can be a momentous decision, check if you are in a dilemma and prepare a checklist of your priorities to re-analyze the reasons behind your job change decision.
Whether this is The Right Time
Always ensure whether it is the right time for you to change the job. If your promotion is due at your present organization, or if have an important project to execute in your office, or you have something personal that may impact your job hunt process, then your partial dedication is not likely to bring any positive outcome and that would eventually lower your confidence level.
What are your Expectations from the New Job?
Since, a job-seeker has diverse aspects to consider before looking for a change, whether it be the size of the company, pay office hours, industry type, fringe benefits, etc., therefore, figure out what you want exactly from your next role to help you land a job best suited to your necessities.
Stage 2: Acquiring the Right Skills
Identify the Skills that You Need:
It’s important to identify in advance the skills required by your target industry or companies. Also, you need to think about how you can be a good match for your dream job, and if you have the appropriate qualification, work experience, or skill set needed for the job.
Apply for a Minimum Work Experience:
In case you are a fresh graduate or you are looking for a career change, it would be good idea to obtain some work experience in the field of your interest. It would help your recruiters to consider you as a potential candidate for the specific position. Consider job shadowing and volunteering opportunities so that you can land a job.
Stage 3: Getting your Application Ready
Develop content in your Social Media Accounts:
Start engaging in your social media account to create some relevant contents as per your target job position. It would help the employer to know how creative and potential you are for the job position. You must change your privacy settings to those posts that are irrelevant to your position and are likely to disappoint your prospective employer. Mention your social media account details along with your contact details in your resume.
Customize your Resume:
Since you have now acquired skills, it’s the time to put them down on your resume. Enlist your educational details, work experience, and skills to cover other major sections of a resume as per the target jobs. Make an impressive resume while focusing on the roles of your interest.
Develop a Cover Letter:
Draft an imposing cover letter along with your resume. The recruiter will read your cover letter along with the resume for only 20 seconds, and ultimately decide whether your resume is worth considering or not. Hence, you cover letter, just like your resume, has to be tailor-made.
Update your LinkedIn Profile:
Networking will significantly help you get your target job. So customize your resume and cover letter, and don’t forget to update your profile on LinkedIn in accordance with both. Today’s recruiters are most likely to visit your LinkedIn page to see if everything matches with what is there on your resume or cover letter.
Identify your Source:
The job boards will remain your primary source as they would help your search by comparing your results with job titles, relevant keywords, industry types, and locations. Sign up for job alerts as job posts get updated every 24 hours. You can also try some untapped and lesser-known networking opportunities to actually help you land a job.
Follow Up with the Recruiter/Employer:
Patience is required but it’s OK to follow up to check whether your employer has received your job application or not. This shows your enthusiasm but never overdo it.
Monitoring the Progress:
Apply for multiple job openings but it might be difficult to keep track of the progress of each application. So you can develop a tracker over a spreadsheet or notepad to help you monitor all applications easily.
Stage 4: Preparing for Interviews
Employers might prefer conducting a telephonic interview and you may also be invited for the same. So start preparing today for any kind of telephonic interview.
Face-to-face interview can be a bit more stressful. You can follow some proven tips and read about common interview questions to succeed in a personal job interview.
Dressing up formally is required but don’t go overboard with it. So, choose what you will wear on your big day very sensibly.
Next Steps to be taken:
Once the interview gets over, don’t forget to follow up with the employer and thank him/her for the opportunity offered. Now, wait for the response, either an invitation for the next/final phase, an offer letter, or rejection. If you are selected then it’s good, but if you are rejected then remember that you ample number of opportunities waiting. So don’t be upset and learn from the mistakes to start preparing for the next opportunity.
Stage 5: Accepting an Opportunity
Mention a Reference:
If you successfully make it through the interview and receive an offer for the job, you might need two or three references from your present or past employers. Select people whom you know personally and are able to explain your skills and expertise relevant to the particular job.
Executing Your Job Search Action Plan
It’s at your discretion to create your timeline for implementing your job search action plan, which might take several days to a few weeks to submit your job application and get your interviews scheduled. As experts suggest, the action plan can be split into small parts, each dedicated to a specific set of tasks, to keep yourself motivated throughout the job search phase. Ensure that you concentrate more on the quality of your applications rather than creating a huge pile of substandard ones. Applying for four to five jobs a day is just enough. Subscribe to job alerts to have job posts directly in your inbox and don’t depend on a single job. Increase your chances of getting a job by applying for multiple positions at the same time.
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