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Job Search Action Plan

Get advice from a career consultant on how to create a successful job search action plan.

Job Search Action Plan

by David Claeys

By creating an action plan you are essentially giving yourself the best possible chance to succeed. What's the old saying 'people don't plan to fail, they simply fail to plan'.

The significance of job search planning is it forces you to set goals, identify your desires and skills, and provides a sense of organization and therefore creates confidence in what your about to do. The planning process assures that you have a vision of what you want to accomplish and the focus you will need to achieve it. So your plan will require goals and schedules to keep you on track.

  • I. Self Assessment
  • II. Get Organized (identifies goals)
  • III. Build your list of contacts
  • IV. Resume Design
  • V. Line up References
  • VI. Determine search strategies

    • 1. Networking
    • 2. Internet Job Boards
    • 3. Direct Employer contact
    • 4. Agencies/.recruiters
    • 5. Newspapers
    • 6. Publications
    • 7. Social networking on internet
    • 8. Career Fairs
    • 9. Industry and Professional
    • 10. Libraries
    • 11. College Placement Offices
    • 12. U.S. Government
  • VII. Interview preparation (Q and A)
  • VIII. Presentation Skills (role playing, body
  • IX. Research companies before interviews
  • X. Follow up on interviews
  • XI. Document and log everything

Performing a job search in today's market with no coaching or instructions is like trying to find something in the dark, occasionally it happens if you're lucky. Without the guidance of a industry professional that knows the tools and techniques to compete in today volatile job market its simply relying on luck. It's a difficult process to begin with, the job seeker today works harder to find and land a job than actually working. It can be a lonely, discouraging and frustrating process with many land mines to trip up the inexperienced just to find a job. So make sure to utilize these tips in your job search:

Network constantly

Think of the people you know - relatives, friends, professors, classmates, past co-workers, social clubs and others. Make an effort to meet with people, and use these conversations to ask their advice, to make them aware of your job search, to learn more about their jobs or their organizations, and to get the names of others who might be useful in your job search. Everyone is potentially a link to a job opportunity.

Target your resume format

Make sure your resume is format is targeted to the type of work you desire and the type of industries your interested in. Make sure your resume is easy to read with lots of action verbs. This is your calling card so it's the time to brag about your accomplishments so that you stand out. Make more than one resume if you are applying to more than one industry and/or different level of responsibility.

Be prepared

You should have a copy of your resume with you at all times. It is also a good idea to have fresh copies of your resume prepared in case you are called to an interview at the last minute. Always have your references ready and updated.

Document what you're doing

Write down all the employers you contact, the date you sent your resume, any contact made, people you talk to, and notes about those contacts. Keep a notepad with you at all times - take notes as soon as you hear about an opportunity or when you leave an interview. Get into the habit of updating your information daily.

Make a "to do" list every day

This will help you organize your list of priorities and keep you focused on finding a job.

Learn a short presentation of yourself

Throughout your job search, you will speak with many people at different levels. You must be comfortable having conversations about your abilities and skills with other people. So memorize a short presentation that you can give on short notice if required. Know what your skills are and how to communicate them. You should be able to tell prospective employers and others you meet what you can offer. You should also be able to talk about how your strengths and weaknesses to others for about 2 minutes when asked.

Practice for each interview

Preparation is key to interviewing well. Friends, relatives, and career services counselors can help you formulate strong answers to questions you might not anticipate. Look at the list of possible questions on the interviewing section and prepare yourself.

David Claeys is currently the C.E.O and staffing consultant with Technology Recruitment (, a recruitment solutions and consulting firm in Southern California. He has 26 years of staffing industry experience As a author David writes on staffing and gives advice, such as, how to conduct an effective job search campaign, self-assessment, resume writing, interview counseling, job evaluation, job search action planning, and how to develop a competitive edge. Additional information is available at for two books David has written - "A Job Seeker's Guide" and "Job Interviewing Guide"