Should You Have An Online Job Search Strategy?

Trying to navigate the job search process? If you don’t have a strategy to tackle all of the tasks and find your ideal job it can feel like an overwhelming and unrewarding process. A job search strategy really can make all the difference.

What is a Job Search Strategy?

A strategy is simply a plan of attack. It answers many important questions and helps you create razor sharp focus on your job search and related tasks. Your strategy might answer questions like:

  • How are you going to approach the job search process?
  • What is your goal?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do you put yourself ahead of the competition?
  • What steps do you need to take to get your dream job?
  • When will you take the necessary steps? What’s your schedule?

Job Search Strategy Tools

Mind maps are actually quite useful for outlining your job search strategy. A mind map is a visual tool. It has a main idea or goal in the middle. From that main idea or goal you’ll have several spokes or branches. Each spoke is a different step to take to achieve your goal. You can then create additional branches that apply to each step. Eventually, your mind map may resemble a spider web.

Spreadsheets, checklists, and simple calendar planning software also help outline and organize a job search strategy. And of course if you prefer good old fashioned pen and paper then grab a three ring binder and some paper and start planning.

What Goes Into a Job Search Strategy?

Identify Your Goal – What Job Are You Looking For? The first step is to identify your goal. Be detailed with the description of the type of job you’re looking for. Include working environment, salary, and all of the intangibles that might be part of your dream job. Write it down. You might even make a list of companies you’d like to work for.

Identify Your Brand – The second step is to spend some time assessing your strengths and weaknesses and creating a brand. Who are you? Why should someone hire you? What do you have to offer and why are you better than all of the other applicants? Write this down. It’s important to know your strengths. And don’t hesitate to get detailed here. “I am a hard worker” is great but do you have evidence that supports your claim?

For example, “I completed a ten day project in seven days and received rave reviews from management.” That’s proof you’re a hard worker. That’s what employers will be interested in. When you’re creating your resume, or having it written for you by a professional, be sure to include this information. It’s important to show them why you’re a good prospect.

Identify Your Tactics – How are you going to find your job? Chances are you’ll be:

  • Networking online
  • Applying to online job postings

You may also be interested in applying for contract or temporary work as these often turn into permanent positions.

Create Your Schedule – During this final step you’ll want to carve out time each day or week to focus on your tasks. For example, maybe on Mondays you hit the social networking pages and connect with people in your industry. On Wednesdays you apply to the online job boards and on Fridays you follow up with people you’ve sent resumes to.

By organizing your online job search, you’ll feel less overwhelmed. Additionally, you’ll be able to make sure you’re focusing on the steps required to land your dream job.

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